Our industry as a whole may be suffering in recession, but there are still growth areas that need your professional skills

The business is going well, better even than expected. You seem to be bucking the trend in avoiding the shrinkage of work experienced by many in the construction industry.

This may be as a result of the type of work you decided to chase. Church restoration is to some extent recession-proof. Most of the money comes from appeals, which take a long time to come to fruition. An appeal for the restoration of a church bell tower can last 10 years or more.

The majority or people in this country believe in an afterlife and whilst a few pounds donation provides no guarantee, it is often considered that it does no harm. This attitude prevails during feast or famine.

Contractors looking to maintain at least a turnover which helps sustain survival, in a market place were the strike rate is down, will have to submit more tenders to secure less work. This means more opportunities to prepare quantities for contractor’s estimators.

Your work gathering methods have included giving lectures on the New Rules of Measurement. This was quickly curtailed as the audience comprised mainly of your competitors. You have now turned your attention to JCT Update for which there is an appetite from architectural societies and gatherings of contractors, the very audiences you wish to attract.

You decided, rightly, to concentrate your selling activities in attracting the type of work and clients for whom you are currently providing services. The chances of success are markedly better in this size of pond, than casting you line over a broad stretch of river.

With prices cut to the bone, contractors are now squeezing the lemon to secure every pound possible in the settlement of final accounts

The clients, who provide you with work relating to church restoration, are now also providing you with opportunities to secure commissions for alterations and extensions to faith schools. So far your church clients are Church of England, but you are making contacts with architects who undertake work for other religious bodies.

Your reasonable expectation is that you can secure services relating to the Roman Catholic sector, which seems to have a regular programme of construction work on the go.

There is a possibility that you may be able to secure, from contractors, work of a different type to what you have been so far providing. With prices cut to the bone, contractors are now squeezing the lemon to secure every pound possible in the settlement of final accounts. You keep your ariel up all the time in the search for work and it is starting to switch in this direction.

Subcontractors may be in the same position, but you realise there are a lot of chancers in the market place and getting paid could become a problem.

There is never a good time to increase the spend rate for a small company, without a guaranteed income uplift. However if there is more on the upside than the downside, then go for it. If you are to continue to grow in your preferred direction, then a permanent office is becoming essential.