Bring Home The Bacon

December 4, 2017

Times are really good right now for the design and construction industry. Many markets and industries are keeping architects, engineers, and contractors busier than they have been since the recession of 2008-2010. This is great news for the overall economy, but it also can be dangerous. Dangerous because strategy and focus aren’t at the forefront of our business. Investing, both time and money, in your company when things are good prepares you when things aren’t so good. (This could be more than just marketing and business development. This might be a new company handbook or investing in a new accounting software.)

Investing in your marketing and business development efforts when times are good may seem counter intuitive, but it sets you up for success in the future. It also allows you to be more selective with the work you are currently performing. You can work with clients and prospects that are in line with your company strategies and culture, being more selective with the type of work that your company and people enjoy performing. Because you have set up a strategy and are being intentional with your time and money, you typically receive a higher profit margin. I’m not insisting that you price gouge your clients, but I am saying that they will pay more for good, quality work from your firm (because of your marketing and business development efforts) and because of your past performance.

Marketing takes months, sometimes years, to see the fruits of its labor, so investing in evaluating your marketing strategy now will help you now and in the future. If you are a mechanical contractor that offers construction and service, have you set up a clear and easy process for handover from the construction department to the service department? If not, this will help your operations and therefore help your marketing and sales. Upgrade your firm’s website, set up and manage your company’s social media accounts, sponsor a client association event, or hire a full-time business developer to continue to foster the relationships that many people in your firm have established and create new ones. These are all areas of your business that will help you when times are slower.

Does your marketing and business development program need an uplift? It probably could use some TLC to help take your company to the next level. Investing money probably isn’t the issue but it’s more the time it’s going to take to implement something new. Investing in your business is a great idea when you are busy, because you have the cash flow to be able to set your company up for future success and make it through when times are slower.

The other challenge in today’s architecture, engineering, and construction industries are recruiting and retaining. (I’ve written several blogs on this topic and will continue to address this issue over the next couple of months.) Writing and implementing a recruitment and retention strategy for employees is also a component of marketing. While some companies’ human resources department and operations plays a role, many times the marketing department is instrumental in this area of the business, too. Employees check out companies’ websites and social media accounts to learn more about their culture, what projects they work on, office locations, and what it’s like to work there. More than likely they will call or reach out to someone at your firm to determine the culture. Current employees can be your biggest asset to recruiting if they are happy and satisfied with their position and the company.

Future employees do research on your firm just like you do research on them or on clients. Making sure you are investing in your people is crucial to retention. Company culture plays a huge role in today’s workforce and companies can NOT forget this. Continually ask your employees why they like to work at your firm and make sure they are fulfilled in their position. Company culture is part of your marketing and your leadership/ownership must be intentional with the culture. Again, this will resonate with employees and future employees.

Invest in your marketing and business development strategies today, so you can bring home the bacon. Enjoy life a little more. Alleviate the rat race. Find and retain good employees, so everyone wins.

Nu marketing will help assemble a strategic marketing and business development plan for your architecture, engineering, or construction firm. Contact us today! We’d love to help take your firm to the next level.