The recession of 2008 is a significant challenge across the entire construction industry. Until now, work is regular and continually growing, then literally overnight the phones stop ringing.
A crisis meeting is called. Alan Norton (Roy & April Norton’s oldest son) flies in from Australia bringing his chartered accountancy and business skills and together, as a family, a survival plan is formulated.
The recession accelerates the handover of the Managing Director reigns to Mark Norton (10 years after him joining the business), and with the same grit and determination that Roy & April had shown 16 years previously, Mark claims, “I just have to make it work. We aren’t just a small family business anymore. We have a team of sub-contractors, direct employees and their families all relying us on to keep the business afloat.” For the second time in the family history, business is won, and money earned almost on a weekly basis.
Mark says retrospectively, “It was the first time I truly had to understand the finances down to the last penny. I remember scrutinizing the accounts to answer the question ‘How much business did we need to generate each week/month to keep the business afloat?’ It was the first time I really understood what gross margin meant.”
Step-by-step, job-by-job, following a strong business plan, as a family business with Mark Norton at the helm, they steadily pull the company back from the brink.