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How good are you at playing the long game?

It can sometimes seem as if there is no good time in the cycle for contractors.

During a recession, firms feel forced to price jobs low; once the market improves and inflation takes hold, they are stuck with under-priced projects that can drag down their whole balance sheet.

In between times, when the industry is doing well and contributing nicely to GDP growth, the industry faces accusations that contractors are wasting taxpayers’ money or that housebuilders are profiting from the housing crisis.

It’s a tough business.

“Could the industry do more to focus on opportunities that will provide greater security over a longer period?”

But could the industry do more to step away from the boom and bust and focus on opportunities that will provide greater security over a longer period?

Long-haul vision

As we explore in our news analysis this week, one of the reasons that the Chinese are so keen to invest in the UK is that they are viewing the long-term opportunity.

They’re not looking at how the market will perform over the next three to five years; they’re weighing up its potential over the next 10.

Clients such as Manchester and Liverpool city councils say this is exactly the approach needed - and that domestic investors are still much too short-termist in their approach.

At the same time, our clients and markets piece this week highlights the potentially huge opportunities available to contractors to get involved in the complete overhaul of traditional social housing estates - if they’ve got the stomach for it.

Reap the rewards

Again, the rewards are there, but reaping them requires often decades-long commitment.

“The rewards are there, but reaping them requires often decades-long commitment”

It can be hard, given all the immediate pressures, to take the long view, but the most successful businesses are those that are doing just that; building long-term partnerships, investigating future technology, doing their bit to ensure there are enough entrants to the industry with the right skills in the right places.

At Construction News we want to support you in this mission. Please let me know how best we can help.

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