It seems counterintuitive, but launching a construction company in the very heart of the recession was the best business move I have ever made.
As a new entrant in the market, I didn’t have a large workforce to support. Therefore I was never having to chase overheads or bid for jobs at zero margins just to keep the business ticking over.
It has been the ‘jobs at any cost’ mentality during the recession which has caused some really systemic problems for the industry now in recovery. And I don’t think we have seen the last of big – and little – failures in the months to come.
Because I had the opportunity to take a more relaxed approach with developers, Artez was able to target quality projects from quality clients. I also set Artez out to be different – in all negotiations with clients we are completely transparent about costs. We also tell clients exactly what margin we are working to, and what profit we will be making from the project.
Again, this may sound like exactly the wrong thing to do, but it gives the developers confidence that they are dealing with a professional company that takes financial planning very seriously to remain viable in the short and long term.
The approach seems to have worked – since 2010 we have consistently grown year on year, and in 2015 we are on track to double the £4 million turnover we posted in 2014.”