The Department for Business Innovation and Skills – now replaced by the Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy (BEIS) – has suggested that 99.9 per cent of construction contracting firms in the UK are small- to medium-sized enterprises (SMEs), and the first issue of Construction Journal for this new decade focuses much of its content on the operational challenges of running an SME.
We speak to three owners of quantity surveying and project management consultancies about why they went solo, how they started out, and what their advice would be for anyone considering doing likewise. Claire Watkins then talks us through two of the key stages in setting up your own firm: devising a business plan and deciding on a company structure.
Last year, Nabih Azzam won the First Movers category award in the RICS Pride in the Profession awards for his work in establishing the quantity surveying profession in the Middle East and Gulf regions. His story demonstrates how RICS professionals have a real opportunity to influence the construction industry and raise the profile of the profession around the world.
In addition, Colin Donnellon offers advice on sourcing the appropriate insurance for your firm, Oliver Sugden explains why keeping evidence is an important back-up in case of a future dispute, Shy Jackson highlights why clearly identifying as a limited company when entering into a contract is vital, and Paul Burrows talks us through some of the intricacies of labour costing, which a new BCIS initiative hopes to improve.
This issue’s APC article focuses on the Accounting principles and procedures competency – a mandatory competency for every RICS surveyor, regardless of the size of firm you work for.
Later this year, RICS will launch a new Professionalism module – a more interactive approach to the subject that will replace the online Professional ethics module. This year will also see the release of an updated New Rules of Measurement suite, and Steven Thompson provides an overview of the key changes that have been made.
Elsewhere in the issue, we feature the third article in our series discussing what makes a ‘good’ project manager or quantity surveyor. Nalin Seneviratne of Sheffield City Council talks about his views on best practice and what he sees as the future of the two roles.
Karl Codd talks us through the part project and cost managers play in constructing theme parks – an expanding sector, particularly in the Middle East – while Simon Sturgis, author of the Whole life carbon assessment for the built environment guidance note offers some perspective on the scrutiny of all-glass towers in the face of the climate crisis.
Our editorial comment for this issue was written by Helen Brydson, associate director at Faithful+Gould and a member of the Construction Journal editorial advisory group. Helen’s article really got me thinking about the positives changes I want to make in this new year and decade, both on a personal and professional level.
I’d love to hear what changes you’re thinking of making, or indeed anything else relevant to the Construction Journal, so do get in touch!
Steph edits the Construction Journal and conservation-related material for the Built Environment Journal. What she enjoys most is the skills exchange involved in editing the journals – combining the technical knowledge of the authors with her understanding of writing, language and the publishing process. Her previous experience includes work on newspapers, magazines and medical journals.