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“We’re busier than ever right now”

Downturn? What downturn? Many of Boreal’s clients are busier than ever this year, thanks to your steadfast commitment to success. But did you know there’s another characteristic you all share that will get you work—regardless of the economy?

We recently sat down with Phil Whitson of Whitson Contracting, one of Edmonton’s busiest contractors and a happy client of Boreal Services Group. As a 30-person team, Whitson is what you might call a small contractor, but they’re using that to their advantage, and they’re prospering as a result. With 10-20% annual growth projected for the next five years, Phil says, “We’re busier than ever right now, and we’ve got steady work for the next 14 months.”

Here are four ways Whitson is capitalizing on their smaller size to stay busy and successful in a slow economy. Their strategies will work for you, too!

 1. Flexibility

A change order submitted to a larger contractor is a big...

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You take stuff off the truck and put it up?

I have attended many career fairs selling engineering students on the merits of a career in construction. At one such fair, a student said to me “Construction? All you do is take stuff off a truck and put it up” after which they walked away. While the work of the Hole School of Construction has helped to change some of the negative attitudes, the stereotypes still persist.

I’ve worked in the construction industry for over 15 years, and I can say that is a constantly changing and challenging career, but also a highly rewarding career. Full disclosure: I am an engineer and don’t typically perform any tasks requiring manual labour (I don’t think anyone wants me to do any of that anyways), but I have the utmost respect for the skilled trades that execute the construction projects I’ve been a part of. Construction isn’t for everyone. Here’s how I explain construction to non-construction types (and the under-informed job...

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