Growth. Flick through the pages of any major newspaper and it is a subject that has become an increasingly common theme.
The perfect antidote to the much discussed economic doom and gloom – a subject that quite understandably keeps many executives awake at night.
Growth on the other hand, reflects something far more positive. It points people towards a more prosperous future and it’s just the sort of thing that presents a catalyst for commerce.
And yet in this search for something better, many within emerging energy markets have forgotten about something far more pressing. Growing pains.
Or, perhaps more precisely, an innate ability to manage that upward trajectory of growth.
Of course, for upwardly mobile upstarts it’s all perfectly understandable.
Several years ago – when many firms were starting out – few would have guessed that the wind energy market would have had such potential and scope.
Indeed, many support services firms took on the additional contracts and jobs as a sideline to their core business – somehow finding space to squeeze the projects in around the mêlée of existing contracts.
The thinking for many was that the work provided a welcome boost to the bottom line – keeping the accountants happy and off their backs and keeping the workshops, consultants and service offerings topped up at full capacity.
The work – they thought – would be a welcome balance sheet blip and would quickly fall away to be replaced by the next best thing.
Only, that fall never happened. And firms that had previously had very limited involvement in negotiating and fulfilling long term contracts with the major market players suddenly found themselves thrust into the spotlight.
The money was on the table and the pressure was (and indeed, still is!) on.
Developers, utilities and major manufacturers filled the order books of these young and ambitious firms and in doing so, piled on the expectation to deliver.
And so it is then, that as these contracts are realised and rolled out, there’s inevitably going to be some the shut up shop, some that stumble and some that succeed.
For those firms stuck in the thick of it, that search for success is as much about managing reputations and relationships, as it is about turning the handle faster.
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