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Survival of the Fattest? by Alex Ross

Wednesday 14 March 2012

In these trying times it is often tempting to contemplate one’s navel, whilst bemoaning the lack of work and non-existent profits.

But life goes on and, whilst it is certainly not easy to generate income, who said life was easy? There is work out there; it’s just harder to find it. So what do prospective customers and clients look for when deciding who to go to when they need some work carrying out?

I think this is all about showing off your belly.

What I mean is that people are more likely to trust an organisation to carry out important work if it is able to demonstrate that it has been around for a while (and has therefore survived the worst the Recession has thrown at it) and is not showing signs of emaciation – on the contrary, life is treating you well and you’ll be around for some time to come. A well fed stomach demonstrates that you are a person of substance and people can be reassured by your comforting presence.

It’s not very English to boast, but if you are able to highlight recent successes in your field, demonstrate personal excellence and generally tell everyone about how good you are, the chances are this will distinguish you from the opposition and make customers choose you ahead of them. In order to spend their even-more-than-usually-hard-earned-cash, customers need to be convinced that they can trust you to carry out the work efficiently and cost effectively, so you need to tell everyone about how you work and what you have achieved. Articles, case studies, commentaries on Social Media sites and general networking are always good ways of letting people know about your work and it is even more important in a Recession to keep up such activity, especially when the competition are flagging. The mission has to be: “Make sure you’re the person they think of when making a decision about where the work goes”. This takes effort, but the alternatives are not appealing.

So next time you’re tempted to worry about where the next job is coming from, think of flashing the belly a bit – the diet can always start tomorrow!

Alex Ross has been a Partner and Head of Commercial Services at Bell & Buxton for the last 12 years. After writing this article he is now very proud of his middle-age spread and it has given him an excuse not to get on the treadmill. Further helpful tips can be obtained by calling 0114 220 2190 or emailing

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