What do Professional Land Surveyors Want?

A bridge to a brighter future

I'm preparing a new feature for this site and in that process I started thinking about what it is that Professional Land Surveyors want. As a profession we cover a lot of the territory ranging from being employees, or managers, to business owners.

With that in mind, I kept thinking about what I, as a Professional Land Surveyor and business person, am looking for. What do I want? I came up with a few ideas, which are listed below, but what I'm really interested in is what you want.

A few ideas about what I think Professional Land Surveyors want:

  • More financial security. Professional Land Surveyors want to be more profitable and earn more money.
  • More time. Professional Land Surveyors want to get their work done faster and have more time to spend on building their businesses and, especially, more time to spend with their families.
  • Easier and more reliable equipment, software and systems. Too often all three of these areas concentrate so intensely on the task at hand, often exclusively from the creators perspective and ease, that they become another boulder for us to push up the hill.
  • Less worry. Professional Land Surveyors want to be able to sleep better at night and not worry so much about their business, employees, liability and futures.
  • More job and professional satisfaction. To be happy and successful in your job as a professional you need to seek out new challenges and opportunities for professional growth. I see this as one of the major obstacles to growing the profession of land surveying. We expect to little from those working in the land surveying industry, from field surveyors, office personnel and licensed Professional Land Surveyors. We also do not provide enough areas for growth. This is why the profession is graying.

Do you agree? Are there other issues that should be added to this list? Please leave a comment and let us know what you want.

Eric D. Colburn, PLS, "The Geo-Business Innovator", helps geo-professionals improve through innovative solutions, mastery of marketing and business growth strategies, and coaching/training. Eric is a successful, serial entrepreneur, podcaster, industry writer, product development consultant, and RI licensed professional land surveyor.

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3 comments on “What do Professional Land Surveyors Want?
  1. Justin says:

    If only we could get more professionals to comment, engage and communicate points of view such as this wonderful question which you have asked, Eric, we all might be able to better understand and actually build applications and solutions for them. The biggest thing holding this industry back is lack of community and feedback.
    Is it because there is a communication gap which leads individual surveyors to be afraid of engaging with others? Are we afraid of ‘leaking’ ideas which we think makes us the professionals that we are…and perhaps sharing them might jeopardize job security? Are pro land surveyors just technologically starved due to limited access to the web, even though we work with some of the most advanced technology on the planet?
    I have ask myself this very question for over 2 years now…i appreciate the fact that you finally asked it…..this industry has lacked personality and this is the first time in history when surveyors have been given the ability to virtually customize every aspect of their own job and career, while giving it character and sharing their knowledge with the world..
    PLEASE SURVEYORS….what Mr. Colburn i believe is reaching out for is comments and feedback. It is not only important for you to comment and share your feedback, it is necessary in these days because surveying is now living and changing on the web…the time is now to stake your claim on YOUR contribution to the industry! Dropping a comment here and there will never be a threat to your job if it is done in a responsible and honest manner- in fact, when you look at the long term effects that it can have on the industry as a whole, it could actually be said to have the opposite effect-it creates job security…
    thanks for allowing me to rant for a second, Eric. I hope you receive some feedback on this valuable question..

  2. Chuck Davis Sr. says:

    We want to know how to market our services in a down economy when we are being outbid by companies a long way from our location.

    How to think outside the box and possibly do some things we’ve not considered doing in the past?

    We use to have the phone ringing and lots of work so we never had to think about getting new business or even keeping what we had. How to we get out of that mindset before we go out of business?

    How do we, as a small business, get some of the stimulus money to our municipalities (smaller ones) so they can hire us?

    How do we become more lean and get our employees to understand and provide outstanding customer service that will distinquish us from our competitors?

    • admin says:


      Boy, has that been a trend I’ve seen also, where the larger companies go into survival mode and are undercutting and spreading into areas (both geographically and types of work) that in years past they would’ve shunned. This was something I saw beginning to happen around 6 months before the recession hit in my state, and it’s only gotten worse since. If it’s any consolation the supposed cash flow benefit they think they’ve gotten will most certainly be short lived when they realize that you can’t continuously operate at a loss and when corner cutting bites them in their rear ends.

      It’s so difficult to do everything that needs doing in business. Often particularly when we are busy and flush with work, marketing becomes pushed to the back burner, or forgotten completely. This is a mistake I too have made. I can’t change the past, but I can work on today and set myself up to be successful for tomorrow and the tomorrows that follow; and this is what I’ve been working on.

      Your comment really hit home with me and your questions are so pertinent and spot on. I am now writing to answer your questions (I have to admit that I’ve been woefully unsuccessful in finding the answer to your last question myself). I’ll drop you a line when it is ready to be published.

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