Rapid changes in technology, the economy and the business climate have led many companies to “insource” what was once “outsourced”. Like many other business services, market research has not been immune to this current environment. This shift moved Yvonne Campos, Founder and President of Campos, Inc. in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania (www.campos.com) to search for a new business model to offset these technology-driven and business-climate inroads into her business.
Campos and her staff dug deep into multiple resources to try to understand the problem and the market needs–from market studies, to client interviews, to trade publications—to seek out what the market-research industry would look like in the years ahead to match their services to this picture. They even partnered with the University of Pittsburgh’s Katz Graduate School of Business in hopes of unearthing the best thinking to guide them. Above all, Yvonne Campos knew that the life of her company, now in its 25th, year, depended on determining what the market-research industry would eventually look like, given the rapid developments in technology and the new, business environment of “insourcing” and the era of overwhelming access to data.
THE BGC SOLUTION:
Yvonne hired Andy Birol, profitable growth consultant, and he set about working with her and her staff. “I wanted more than a business consultant,” she said, “I wanted a growth consultant.” Andy enabled Yvonne and her staff to focus on growth, created an environment of accountability and offered high-level thinking on the question of what Campos, Inc. could do to grow and sustain its business. Andy set forth a working plan they could follow to achieve the answer to this question.
“The most meaningful thing about working with Andy,” said Yvonne, “is that he prompted us to move past our thinking phase, to action and to commit to a formal growth and revenue-building process.” With Andy’s assistance, Yvonne and her staff put a growth plan together. They are now implementing this plan and are excited about their prospects for further growth. Yvonne concludes, “We look forward to announcing our new positioning, our new services and enjoying the new results for ourselves and our clients!”
Filed under: Business Growth, Marcellus, Pittsburgh, Profitable Growth, Uncategorized
When was the last time you’ve heard the old adage, “It takes 20 years to become an overnight sensation?” Lately I have been feeling this snappy line really applies to the Marcellus Shale boom! The inflection point when Marcellus really takes off won’t take a whole generation, but whenever the shale boom explodes, it will probably surprise many of WPA businesses just as any overnight success would. So, if you take this attitude, I suggest that waiting for a clear sign of when to invest your time, money and energy to grow your Marcellus business is a waste of your time and passion. Why? Because, just like all the breakthroughs we dream of and love to see, they never come exactly when or how they are expected.
For every positive sign like the new $1 billion Shell cracker plant, there are equally dismal predictions that the price of natural gas will never rise to make it profitable.
But I am an optimist (and there is far more evidence supporting an inevitable economic boom) so, as in all other parts of our lives, let’s be realistic and accept that we can never control the timing or the actions of others, but we can control our planning and our reactions to an expected boom.
So what reactions to an uncertain timing of the Marcellus Boom can we as business owners plan and control?
We can be deliberate in our planning and execute our intentional reactions, which, we should be doing anyway! So, if you want to know if you should grow your business when the shale gas boom hits, please ask yourself the following questions:
Do I have experience doing business in WPA?
- Do I need to find new markets and customers to grow my business?
- How many new customers have I met and sold in the last three years?
- Has my business reinvented itself under my leadership?
- Have my employees and I changed responsibilities and accepted new duties in the last five years?
- What new expertise have I recently gained in selling to the energy sector or any new industry?
I believe that energy money flowing into the WPA economy can mean opportunity for my business. I am growing convinced that the timing and the nature of the opportunity is not the real challenge that we as WPA business owners face. Instead it has much more to do with whether we can seize the moment, will we seize the moment and finally how will we seize that moment? Having these questions answered will make Marcellus work for you and your business, whenever it comes and whatever it looks like.