Growing your engineering consulting firm
Aug 22, 2016 11:31
How do you grow your engineering consulting firm?
You’ve started an engineering consulting firm and you’re generating some success. You have a mix of old, new and some repeat clients. Your team is small, agile, efficient and loyal. Your business is slowly growing as your reputation expands. But you feel you have more to offer – more services to more clients across a wider geographical spread. You’re aware of the opportunities available and you make sense of them.
It doesn’t need to be expensive – particularly if you require new skills and more resources. kkooee, the world’s first online crowdsourcing marketplace dedicated to the engineering industry, offers you the ability to grow your firm with the skills you need, only when you need them.
It will reduce your growth costs by providing you with a pool of engineering talent – a virtual tap to reduce your resource, overhead and administrative costs.
Your growth starts with direction and strategy. It builds off your value proposition. It utilizes and capitalizes on your networks. It takes stock of the resources you have and the resources you need.
Expand, diversify or intensify – what do you want to do?
Before you do anything, you must work out what you want from your firm, where you want to go and how you’re going to get there. There are three different elements of growth you need to consider to underpin your growth strategy. Do you want to expand, diversify or consolidate? Expansion, diversification and consolidation are frequently interchanged and often confused – but they’re very different.
Do you want to expand your offerings and capabilities to new markets and new clients? Or do you want to diversify what you are offering to consolidate your presence in your existing geographical market? Or is it a consolidation of your firm and your market share based on the services you offer?
Think long and hard about the direction you want to head. The best growth strategies for your engineering consulting firm won’t cover all three factors. You’ll need to prioritize the growth strategy that best matches your firm, your people, your clients and the services you offer.
Articulate your value proposition
What value, achievements and success do you have with your current clients? You need to think about this and know the answer. It will help to define your value proposition and help you to target clients in new geographical areas.
Perhaps you should ask your clients. Often, your value in the eyes of your clients is different to your perceived value. Be honest with yourself, identify your value proposition, articulate it and back it up with evidence. Focus on your core skills, capabilities and achievements when determining your value proposition.
Formulate a business development strategy
Strategy must be the basis of your growth plan. You can’t plan your growth without a sound business development strategy.
Your strategy doesn’t have to be complicated. Take a fundamental approach – ask yourself what, where, who and why? What are the specific areas of the business you want to grow? Where do the opportunities lie? Who are your target clients? Who are the possible partners or stakeholders you need? How are you going to execute your plan? And, lastly, what are the steps you need to take?
Once you have your strategy, you’re able to plan and outline the steps to grow your engineering consulting firm. Engineers love planning and schedules – and you know that you can’t build a project with a good plan. Prepare a realistic plan with a schedule that encompasses the steps and actions you and your team need to take. Remember to share your strategy and plan with your team – they won’t deliver it if they don’t have ownership of it.
Building and consolidating your networks is critical – regardless of whether you’re focused on expansion, diversification or consolidation. Think about who can help you deliver the growth of your engineering consulting firm. Is it another consulting firm – a possible partner? Is it niche skills you don’t currently have but will need? Reach out to these people, firms or stakeholders. Realize they are critical to your growth and your success. You’re looking for partners – partners that complement your firm and your strategy.
Evaluate your resources and resource needs
Delivering on your growth strategy will require new skills – skills that you may not have available. You can hire people with the skills you need, or create a virtual pool of resources available when needed. The first approach is the path most engineering consulting firms take. But, it’s expensive and has an element of risk. We know the horror stories.
The latter option is now possible through the world’s first online crowdsourcing marketplace dedicated to the engineering industry – kkooee. It’s simple – search freelance engineers with the skills you need and contract them directly, and only when you need them. It’s powerful. You’ll be able use kkooee to expand your skills and resource base without increasing your headcount, overheads or administrative costs. Your firm, through kkooee, now has a virtual pool of freelance engineers, offering the services you need, to execute and deliver on your growth strategy.
A world of opportunity awaits
Growing your engineering consulting firm starts with clever thinking and a firm understanding of what you want to do, where you want to be, and how you’re going to get there. Remember to first work out how you want to grow your firm – is it through expansion, diversification or consolidation? Formulate a well-defined business development strategy and plan that build on your value proposition. Build the networks needed to support your strategy with a focus on developing relationships.
Determine the resources you need, the skills required and where you’ll source them. Keep in mind that kkooee provides a pool of freelance engineers and engineering skills – only when you need them. Your growth strategy can be executed with a significantly lower cost and lower administrative burden. kkooee offers your firm the ability to expand, diversify or consolidate – regardless of which growth path you choose to head down.