Don’t worry about what has happened in the past. Look to the future in this industry and find out what you need to do.

As I write my column for this issue, an oilfield services company based in Calgary, Alberta, announced that it had just cut another 500 jobs because of the oil price downturn.

The company, Calfrac Well Services, says it now has 2,300 fewer workers in North America than it did at the start of 2015. It’s not the first time we’ve heard this story and it probably won’t be the last until the prices rebound.

As a matter of fact, the Canadian Association of Oilwell Drilling Contractors has estimated that 100,000 industry jobs have been lost since the downturn took hold.

Related: Building the Business: 7 Ways to Fail

While to those working in the oilfields and operating services companies it may feel like this downturn will never end, the truth is that it will — sooner or later. You have to be ready for it, though. Don’t look back and wonder what you could have done differently; look ahead and determine what’s next for you and the company.


So what is next? The options are endless: expand, stay the same size, offer more services, cut back on services. Either way, you have to sit down and draw out what you want to do. The worst thing you could do is not develop a plan. That is where many services companies fall into trouble.

There are many resources to help you develop a plan. The U.S. Small Business Administration, for one, gives a nice rundown of how to write your business plan — what your goals and objectives are, your financing needs and even marketing.

Related: On the Money: Paying it Forward

DR Hydrovac in Strathmore, Alberta, featured this month, has a strong tool in its marketing plan — its trucks. Owner Dwaine Ruckman requires his hydroexcavators to be sparkling clean after each day and says it has been a great marketing tool, bringing in customers and even potential employees.

“It’s such a simple thing, but it creates callbacks from customers,” Ruckman says.

Ruckman knew that type of reputation would give him an advantage over competitors.

Related: On the Money: Getting That Loan

“People want to see working equipment when you get on a job site,” Ruckman says. “That’s the way we roll.”


One way to get a leg up on competition when the industry bounces back is to keep your eye on new and improved technology. You’ll be able to do that at the Global Petroleum Show next month in Calgary, where 1,500 exhibitors are expected to show off the newest of technology in the oil and gas industry.

In this issue, we give you a look at what to expect at the show. It’ll be my third time at the show, and each time it just impresses me even more — seeing what is available to contractors and how it can improve performance in the field.

I invite you to reach out to me if you plan to attend as an exhibitor or attendee. Let me know what you’ll be looking for at the show. Email me at or call me at 800/257-7222.

Enjoy this issue!

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