Wednesday, 24 February 2010

Narrow margins & hollow victories

Blogging is slow this week - work issues have preoccupied me. A couple of big things have been in the offing - contracts up for review and renewal - and fortunately it would seem that I have managed to pull them off.

This feels good -  not in some hideous Gordon Gecko sense that it is high fives and bonuses all round - but because it ensures the security and survival of some of the blokes here. The socialist in me makes me wary of the motives of any businessman but in all honesty I can say  the driving factor for us, and I suspect a lot of small-ish, craft-ish business, is not to make profits but simply to keep carrying on with what we are doing.

The laws of the market however are not conducive this; they demand that businesses continually up their ante. When we go for new work ,or have to jump through hoops to maintain existing work, we are always expected to demonstrate 'MORE'. An increasingly common scenario of 'shit or bust' where we are obliged to pitch for all or nothing of the business.  

On one of these contracts we were only told after the event how close we came to loosing all of our current  work, built up over ten years,  to a very much bigger multinational competitor. With it would have gone six jobs here.

Thankfully it didn't go that way - this time -  we actually won more work, in fact all the work. So instead today somebody else is figuring out how to lay-off six other guys in another similar studio. Isn't capitalism wonderful ?

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