January 31, 2009

Still GeoSpatial Opportunities in Lotus Land?

I recently got an email from a LinkedIn contact asking me what my thoughts were on the ongoing opportunities in the geo industry in BC. This caused me to pause and reflect. It was just two short months ago that I was informed my services would no longer be required by a couple of junior mining clients. They had hit extremely tough times and were having to cut back substantially. I have to admit this was one of those rare moments in my career when I said "why did I choose this line of work" and especially "why did I start my own consulting firm". And the beginning of January certainly didn't give me a lot of reason to feel more optimistic.

Leap forward to the end of January: I just recently managed to negotiate a new consulting contract with an engineering firm here in Vancouver and will be presenting a business idea to a few interested investors over the coming weeks (already have them lined up). So what does this mean? Well, my take on this is, while there are definitely doors being shut, there are also many doors and windows opening, especially for consultants. Look for the opportunities that this economic "adjustment" are providing. My business specializes in open source GIS and I think, given the propensity to cut costs, this sector of geospatial will see a marked increase in use over the coming months. (READ THIS) I have also looked for other ways to help companies reduce costs and increase efficiencies using GIS which will be of paramount importance for survival.

So what am I trying to say? I think you need to look at the downturn with cautious optimism and, above all, look for opportunities...EVERYWHERE! I am not advocating quitting a good paying job to start a consulting business (GOD forbid), but I think we all have to think like entrepreneurs. There are opportunities to increase your business, or at least maintain it, during these times and there are opportunities for the entrepreneurial minded to help their employer in this same way, making you the hero.

KEY: Think Outside the Box!!!!!

I am interested to hear what others think about this. Drop me an email gerry.james@carteryx.com.

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