Singapore 26th March 2013
The good news today is that some clients seem to have woken up from hibernation…some long outstanding payments start coming in and some clients seem to move into action in regards to projects. From my observation it really seems that there are seasons when it comes to our project work, which seem closely linked to holiday periods and “cultural seasons”. There is definitely a hiatus between Xmas and Chinese New Year. Hardly anything gets done, little is moving. Then come March things get back on track. In the past couple of weeks we have done more than 20 fee proposals, projects have finally started to actually move again, appointments being confirmed, payments finally settled! The busy season is upon us; we can expect a busy time between now and middle of the year. Then western summer holidays set in and we plunge again in a much slower pace, sometimes simply because key decision makers are away on holiday. Come September its then back in action till end of the year. For western background companies there is last minute rush to get things out of the way and finished before Xmas and New Year, for Asian background companies the same happens just before Chinese New Year. These are the typical seasons for you; at least that’s how we experience it in our practice, with exceptions of course.
But there also is something like a financial season; certainly when it comes to big multi-national companies or government organisations. They are clogged into bureaucracy when it comes to financing and payments. There is the end of financial year (generally June or December) which triggers a lock down when it comes to anything related to financing or payments. Often budgets are allocated on a yearly basis end towards the end of financial year there is either nothing left or they are in a hurry to finish the balance of the budget. If you are unlucky with all budget committed, then you need to make sure you educate your client on the budgets required for the next financial year (for your part of the works!) Many companies also have only one time a month when they execute pay settlements. You miss the cut-off date you’re in the wait for another month!
There are definitely seasonal impacts work wise, pay wise. Some are yearly, twice yearly on a macro level; some are monthly or weekly on a micro level…
Light Watch 4-53: Last Saturday was Earth Day and some great photo’s from before and after from landmarks around the world not only illustrate the energy and light pollution issue but in a way also how much light brings out and validates architecture at night. See the link to these interactive pictures: http://www.theatlantic.com/infocus/2013/03/earth-hour-2013/100479/