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How to Rapidly Grow Your Engineering Firm

How to Rapidly Grow Your Engineering Firm

As any company grows, certain processes need to be established if it is to continue to scale. Engineering firms are no different. With complex job requirements, multiple projects taking place at the same time, and a range of skilled staff members, identifying the proper ways to scale smoothly can be tough. 

With the right workflows and processes in place, however, scaling an engineering firm can be as low-stress as possible. Here are the top 5 steps we recommend taking.

Find the Right Staff

Your staff will be the ones supporting you. They will play a critical role in helping you find customers, which in turn, will lead to growth. As such, it’s important to find the right staff early on, be it engineers to expand your capacity or support staff to ensure everything is running as efficiently as possible. 

While there may be the temptation to hire cheaply, it’s important to bring people on board who you can trust. With the right staff in place, you no longer become a bottleneck in your own business as you look over what everyone else is doing. 

Get the Right Processes in Place

The right project management, workflows, and processes can substantially improve how efficiently your business operates, especially as it grows. For example, in the beginning, it might be easy to simply collect receipts for one engineer’s expenses when they’re in the office, and then calculate from there. But if you have a team of 10 engineers, this soon becomes difficult and the probability is high that something will be missed.

Business management software can help you implement these processes early on. BQE CORE, for instance, gives traveling staff the ability to upload expense reports from their mobile phone, which means nothing is ever missed. 

Make Sure You Can See the Big Picture

When working in your business, it can be easy to miss the big picture. Sometimes it’s worth taking a step back to look at the firm as a whole. Who are the engineers that are performing well? What clients are turning the biggest profit? Is there scope to move into a new industry? 

There are a number of ways to accomplish this, but perhaps the easiest is to look at your finances, since this is where you’ll uncover both challenges and opportunities. Most business management software will allow you to run reports so that you get a clear financial overview of your business. With BQE CORE, you can automate these reports so that you receive a business snapshot each month to help guide your decisions.

Work on Your Messaging

In order to scale, you need to make it clear to your target audience that you have the capacity to grow, which is why whatever approach you take in your marketing must be consistent. This will help your target market best understand what it is that you do.

Consistent messaging starts with internal alignment regarding what it is you want to say. Broadly speaking, it’s important to think about what problems you solve for your customers and how you can showcase this through your marketing efforts. 

If your message is confusing — or worse, non-existent — you may struggle to rapidly scale your engineering firm in the way you’d hoped, even with referrals from existing clients.

Become a Project Management Pro

Properly managing each of your projects is vital to the success and growth of your business. When projects get complex, and there are numerous staff involved, it’s important to understand how to properly manage delivery so that you keep your customers happy. Project management software will help you keep a close eye on how each project, as well as its individual tasks, are moving along. This is also something you can share with staff so everyone is kept in the loop.

BQE CORE’s project management features also link up with your accounts. This makes it easy to track staff timesheets, expenses, and invoices — all on a project basis.

For a business to scale rapidly, you need a number of key things in place before you can hope to grow: the right people, the right tools, and the right approach. BQE CORE supports engineering firms that need a clear overview of their business, the people in it, and the clients they’re working hard for.

To learn more, or to sign up for your free trial, click here.

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The Author

Steven Burns, FAIA

Steven Burns, FAIA, spent 14 years managing his firm Burns + Beyerl Architects. After creating ArchiOffice®, the smart office and project management solution for architectural firms, Steve brought his management expertise to BQE Software, where he is perfecting the business strategy and product development.

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