I was perplexed by Ian Cochrane’s advice on new business activity (DW 16 August), particularly the first two items on his Don’ts list: enter new markets and take on new design disciplines.
I am pleased that Design Week’s Comment (DW 18 October) produced a response from Cochrane (Letters, DW 1 November), but he is still focusing on efficiency issues that design groups should be regularly tackling, slowdown or no slowdown.
The last recession was a time of great expansion for many groups: businesses that actively looked for projects were rewarded during the recession, and more importantly, after the recession.
There is never a bad time to open a new market. There is certainly never a bad time to make a new contact. I would also venture that if consultancies are constantly reviewing their business plans (every consultancy I have ever worked for has had a business plan), then the time to develop new disciplines should be dictated by factors other than of the economic environment.
I am not advocating that consultancies throw caution to the wind, but ‘the wonders of modern technology’ allow us to work anywhere in the world. There is so much poor quality design work in the world, and UK design consultancies are better placed than any others to benefit from this.
Wren & Rowe