Executive summary. Maintaining employment is a factor of your performance, but for construction and engineering firms it is largely dependent on a firm’s ability to bring in project after project. Who’s responsible for bringing in these projects? The answer lies below.
The business model. Construction and engineering firms usually do project work. A road project is won, and that construction firm or engineering firm is keeping a team busy for months or years building or designing it. Absent having brought in this job, perhaps there are layoffs. This cycle lasts forever in businesses of this type.
Who is responsible? Who is responsible for ensuring your company has work? Here are some great wrong answers:
- The CEO
- The business development guys
- The State, City, or County who puts the jobs out for bid
- The manufacturing plant here in town
Here’s the answer: everyone in the company. Yes, many companies hire a business development person and his/her role is to get work. However, isn’t your neighbor the operations manager at the local distribution warehouse? Didn’t you meet a guy in a bar on vacation that is a contract administrator for the pharmaceutical company 50 miles south of your company’s main office? These friends and newly met colleagues over an umbrella drink may award work, or maybe they know the avenues to procurement of projects for your firm. It can be as simple as collecting a business card, giving your business card, or even receiving the website address of a corporation’s business opportunity listing.
The point here is that business survival or good health relies on more than just the CEO or his/her business development lead. You can help bring in work too!
My story. When I left the comfort of a large corporation who continually handed me projects to manage, I then went out on my own. From there I started my own company and quickly learned that in order to eat, I had to kill. Or we had to kill. As a result of this survival mentality, I am always hunting for a new client. In my daily work life, I try to act responsibly, say smart things, deliver a good product, and lastly, inquire as to opportunities that may exist within my firm’s skillset. It’s been more than once I picked up work while on a plane. And more importantly, I’ve relied on employees to help bring in work too. Friends and family can be good and bad, but it has largely been successful in generating revenue and keeping people employed within my companies!
Don’t be afraid to introduce yourself: say hello, shake a hand, give a business card! It gets easier the more you do it.