· gospel according to dan · 2 min read

Are surveyors bad at business? What we've seen, and what's at stake.

Surveyors as a group exhibit poor business practices, and this is the only reason land surveying has not risen to the level of other professions.
Photo by Jeremy Bishop / Unsplash

I’d like to start with a quote from Dan Beardslee’s book “The Management Handbook for Land Surveyors”.

It has been my experience that surveyors as a group exhibit poor business practices. There are certainly exceptions, but my opinion is that poor business management has been the only reason that land surveying has not risen to the level of other professions in eyes of the public. There is no reason, after all, why surveyors should be considered with less regard than engineers, lawyers, or dentists, except for one thing – money. Engineers, lawyers, and dentists are all regarded, in general, as being better off financially than we are, and are therefore placed higher in the social stratum of society. If surveyors were perceived as being as well off, they would, over time, be held with similar esteem. We have only ourselves to blame for this fate, and good, common sense business decisions can help us elevate ourselves.

We’ve been working with surveyors for over 5 years now, and we’ve come to the realization that as a group, surveyors are not good business people. Surveyors themselves seem to be the first to admit this.

We understand that the reason for this, in part, is because surveying is a very technical field. Nobody can do what you do, and we see how much you love the technical aspect of your business. But the business side of things is hard, boring and tedious. It takes you away from the things you love.

💡Surveying companies should be making a lot more money.

What is the impact to this? You may struggle to hire good talent, salaries stagnate and everything becomes a lot harder than it should be. In the bigger picture, less people enter into the profession and instead look for more lucrative fields.

Our goal in creating this site is to create a public collection of all of the best practices and resources we’ve come across over the years of working with surveyors. A rising tide lifts all boats.

I hope some of you out there will find this information useful. Please consider subscribing, and you can get new content delivered straight to your email.

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