Business development resources — bd4aec

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bd4aec website

bd4aec magazineAcronyms and abbreviations may look cool (or be utterly confusing) but occasionally, if you take a few minutes to look beyond the shorthand, you can discover some really interesting resources.

bd4aec.org represents what it sounds — resources for business development (sales) for the business-to-business (ICI) architectural, engineering and construction marketplace.

I’m sure I must have heard about consultants Larry Silver and Ron McKenzie, but sometimes things slip through the cracks.  Silver’s own site is contractormarketing.com, which should tell you where he is focused.  He provides strategic consulting services, focusing on business development and growth.

The new consulting business appears to combine a variety of the “usual” marketing/consulting services such as webinars, live seminars, and peer-group sessions.  They’ve also started an e-magazine, for which they have set a $60 annual subscription rate. The first issue of Business Development: Helping AEC Firms Win New Business, is available free at this link.

When you are dealing with consultants, of course, there is always the fear of the endless cost of implementation, and (perhaps equally challenging):  The great “start” but then things fall off the tracks. Strategic planning can reflect ideals, but making things happen ongoing is always a challenge, especially when you are trying to stay afloat.  The consultants acknowledge this with some practical advice:

Question #4: We need work now; what should we do?

Answer: It’s important to understand that you must apply your energies to where you hurt. If you need work you don’t have the time, or probably the money to do a strategic plan, (although this might be in the company’s future) which could take six months or longer to prepare, conduct and implement. The same goes for a business plan. But what you can do is focus on marketing and create some sort of marketing campaign to attract new work. It might be a direct mail program with an offer, it might be a free survey of their facility or building envelope.

(I discovered this gem in the bd4aec.com’s media information page.)

I’ve never used these consultants’ services nor have any first-hand recommendations or experience to relate and validate their observations.  Their magazine contains some rather well-written articles. I didn’t find any magic bullets — the advice focuses (rightfully) on focusing your efforts where you have good relationships and connections, and maintaining these to find and enhance new project opportunities. However, you undoubtedly will discover some value in reviewing these resources.

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