Will there be 23 more years of GeoMetrick Enterprises? That’s my own question, actually.
Continuity and Other Factors
First of all, big competitors will sometimes look to small firms such as this and point-out that the continuity isn’t as long as that of a large firm. I will point out that not all the big firms last 23 years as some do go out of business or get acquired by other firms. In addition, just because they exist doesn’t mean they don’t have turnover of staff that disrupts your projects. Another factor is that it also doesn’t mean their people are necessarily good resources.
One more point I’ll make is that you shouldn’t need any consultant for that many years that it should be an issue. Do you really want your projects to go on so long that you’re worrying about whether they can stick around for another ten or twenty years?
My position on this is that it’s up to all of us to be professional and finish the portions of the projects that we’ve committed to before we move on to the next thing. Notice my careful wording of that because some projects just don’t seem to end and aren’t good at planning who they need ahead of time – it’s not always possible to accommodate them.
Back to the Question
I honestly don’t know. Having started this company at a rather young age and coupled with the fact that people do expect to work longer than the previous generation, combined with some general comments on the expected standard retirement age for my age group and it’s doesn’t seem far-fetched. In addition, it’s definitely better than being unemployed, which has been a great motivator in keeping it going, all these years, plus the fact that it’s a better job with more interesting opportunities than what most of us get offered as W-2 positions, so that’s another point in its favor.
With all that said, I’ve always completed my obligations before moving on to the next thing, whether it was more customer work or whether it was to take a W-2 position for a short time, as I did a couple years ago (when I had another person to keep the business running while I was gone, by the way). That takes us back to continuity. I have a track record of NOT abandoning customers that have ongoing work and I would say that that will have to speak for itself.
In addition, I’ve said “pass” on a few truly interesting-sounding opportunities because I felt I had already made some other commitment that I shouldn’t run out on. Some people think that makes me “committed” and a “professional” while others think it just makes me a sap (as in, “Why not take the best thing you can regardless what you’ve already committed to?”).
Once, again, we come back to continuity. Some big firms, even with long track records, dump customers who are less “important” to them when resources become stretched. Customers choose to work with companies who do this to them or they choose to work with companies like mine who won’t. In the end, customers get choices, they make them, they live with them, and we all go about our work.
Here at GeoMetrick Enterprises, all commitments made are taken seriously, regardless the size of the customer or project. It’s not about predicting how far into the future the company will be around. It’s about making each commitment and sticking with each one until the day the commitment is accomplished. In that, it’s more than even the big services groups can guarantee.