Whack-whack-whack – how often do you hear that sound at your firm? Where will the next project pop up? How are we going to hit it . . . at the last minute, no less?
Welcome to the POWER OF FOCUS. Focus is one of the most significant tools for an AEC firm. Focus puts you in the position of aligning your firm with the markets you want to pursue. Then, it allows you to:
Roadmap to Targeting
Rather than waiting for projects to appear, it's time to cherry-pick your targets and put your full attention to pursuing those. You don't need to be everything to everyone and you don't need to chase everything that moves. Narrow your focus with the following.
Stick to your target markets. What markets are expert in? What markets are funded? What markets are growing? If you're pursuing a dying market, time to quickly shift your focus elsewhere. Listen to economic reports, read business publications, and research what is happening out in the world, including megatrends that can provide you with a long-term outlook, i.e., population bubbles that will impact certain markets for a set period of time. Understand what types of projects may be coming.
Define the geographic reach you want your firm to have. Yes, travel can be, for the most part, reimbursable, but it also takes considerable time out of a project team's work week and billable time. Will that geographic reach be a three-hour car drive from any given office? Or, perhaps, limited to a three-hour flight? Don't whack at everything by pursuing a project that is outside of your preferred geographic reach where you have no relationships.
No firm can effectively be all things to all people. And, no one can be an expert in everything. Carve out two to three areas of expertise and wrap your messaging around those. Highlight those specialties and build your thought leadership to draw prospects to you for that expertise. Don't whack at a project that isn't a good fit for your expert services.
A "Preferred Profile" describes the type of client and project that best fit your firm. It's your firm's "sweet spot" – that place where your operational capabilities, firm expertise, profitability objectives, company culture, corporate brand, and growth and firm sustainability goals align with the client. It keeps you from whacking at anything and everything.
Here's an example of a Preferred Profile:
ACE Engineering, a mechanical and electrical engineering firm, pursues the healthcare, mixed-use, and multi-family markets. Our work:
Once you have the above items in place, it's time to cherry-pick, ahead of time, the accounts that best fit your Profile and that you want to pursue for the long-term. Once selected, put a full-throttle business development and marketing campaign together to get in front of them, stay in front of them, and build those solid relationships.
WHY? Because, the stronger your relationship, the more pre-notice and inside information you'll receive and you'll receive it ahead of the competition. No more whack-a-mole for you!
For more info, email: firstname.lastname@example.org
Friday Chow is posted weekly, or thereabouts, to provide you with insights and considerations for AEC sales and marketing. Good stuff to feed your revenue engine!
When you're ready to improve your business development, marketing, and client relations programs, contact Red Hound Studios at email@example.com