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Opportunity in Adversity

2020 didn’t go as planned for many businesses worldwide, and with the pandemic continuing at full force into 2021 this hasn’t given many the clean break they were hoping for.

The businesses that have continued to thrive have been those who have been willing and able to innovate and adapt rapidly to the constantly changing needs of its clients.

Here are some of my top tips on how to sustain a business and seek those opportunities through these adverse times:

Change your Focus

For us, this has meant that a shift in focus has been necessary to enable CPC to grow and innovate. This shift has seen us move away from sectors where progress has stalled and instead concentrate on those areas where opportunity has arisen, making the most of the current restrictions and economic environment. We have been able to react quickly on behalf of clients producing reports that have enabled our client organisations to access grants for ‘shovel ready’ infrastructure projects which has resulted in expediating the usual lengthy timeframes especially for larger, complex projects.

Have strong financial systems

As an SME, our company size and agility has worked in our favour and has meant that unlike some larger organisations, change has not been a monumental task. Similarly, our robust management and financial processes have enabled us to soak up hits from economic fluctuations.

Galvanise your key assets

CPC has been able to continue near-normal business operations despite the pandemic due to its significant investments in IT (pre-Covid), our partnership approach with clients and the commitment of our people who have continued to deliver in the most challenging of circumstances. CPC’s greatest asset is our people and each and every one of them has shown huge resilience and adaptability which has been a humbling experience for me and the entire board of CPC. We cannot thank them enough.

Seek out opportunities

Whilst the state of the economy in the UK remains uncertain for many industries, some are still thriving and I believe that industries such as Rail have a unique opportunity to accelerate its infrastructure projects right now, whilst travel is at a low and there are no major events to cater for – so focussing on improving existing infrastructure for when the demand returns later in the year is key.

At CPC, we’re looking forward to 2021 and the challenges it will bring, and wanted to share a more positive outlook on the pandemic.

The last half of 2020 saw CPC win some major contracts and frameworks, including commercial office projects with Google, the A40 Smart Corridor Infrastructure programme in partnership for Oxfordshire County Council, a major housing regeneration programme in Leeds on behalf of the Guinness Partnership and a place on the City of London Construction Project Management Framework. We’re also thrilled to be expanding our operations in Dublin and Canada, allowing us to work with clients both in the EU and the Americas with a hands on local presence.

Our 2021 business plan reflects this positive outlook and includes a planned increase in revenue by 15%, growing our teams capacity by at least an additional 30 people by the end of the summer.

Of course, the risks still remain around the impact of Covid on 2021, with outbreaks of covid-19 in contractor workforces, having a significant impact on delivery of projects and people’s wellbeing.

Ultimately, the commitment of our staff and our loyal client base has enabled CPC to remain very much open for business. In turn, we remain committed to the wellbeing of our staff, the service that that we provide to clients, and working with our communities to deliver projects that improve their lives both at home and at work – finding opportunity in adversity.