Contact US

Log In

Come Join Us!

Are you an
Engineering professional?
Join Eng-Tips Forums!
  • Talk With Other Members
  • Be Notified Of Responses
    To Your Posts
  • Keyword Search
  • One-Click Access To Your
    Favorite Forums
  • Automated Signatures
    On Your Posts
  • Best Of All, It's Free!

*Eng-Tips's functionality depends on members receiving e-mail. By joining you are opting in to receive e-mail.

Posting Guidelines

Promoting, selling, recruiting, coursework and thesis posting is forbidden.

Students Click Here

Business Development

Business Development

Business Development

I was wondering what the self-employed consulting-engineers on this forum do to develop business.  I head up the environmental engineering division for a small consulting firm and we are trying to increase our business development efforts.  

I personally use a number of different methods to get some exposure including writing articles for various trade publications, sitting on relevant committees, trade shows, cold calls, mass mailings and teaching.  Some are effective but the results of these efforts aren’t always apparent.

Any information would be greatly appreciated.

RE: Business Development

I am a one-man consulting firm doing mainly construction management on the owner’s behalf. Depending on the contract delivery method used I act as the owner’s representative, work with another consulting firm as the CM part of ECPM work and similar roles.

Almost all of my work has come from previous contacts. My first big project was with a firm where a friend from school days worked. I have gotten work from people with whom I worked with in past employment positions; friends form volunteer work (both of us were once Scout leaders) and repeat business that has followed the initial business relationships.

Advertising and cold calls have never worked for me. I have never tried mass mailings. I do make the rounds at industry events but a lot of that is keeping in touch with former clients.  I do call everyone on my contact list at least once a year, more if I feel that there is a good fit for my services in their operations.

My business is a little different than a lot of consulting since I usually only work one project at a time and these can last 6 to 18 months so I am not often looking for work.

One avenue that I have explored but never found a good fit is some of the web sites that offer to be in the business of bringing consultants and clients together. I have never found one that has much relevance to a small firm. They tend to be either big projects where the client is looking for a national competition of the big firms, a highly specialized service or a full design, construction management service. The only web sites looking for one-man services are employment types of sites where they are looking for employees, not independent consultants.

Rick Kitson MBA P.Eng

Construction Project Management
From conception to completion

RE: Business Development

Nothing works as well as networking.  Networking consists both of cultivating your existing network (prior clients, contact, peers, friends, etc.) and expanding it.  Your primary source of work, if you are to succesful, will probably be your prior clients (at least after you are up and running for a while) so also be sure to provide good service.

Red Flag This Post

Please let us know here why this post is inappropriate. Reasons such as off-topic, duplicates, flames, illegal, vulgar, or students posting their homework.

Red Flag Submitted

Thank you for helping keep Eng-Tips Forums free from inappropriate posts.
The Eng-Tips staff will check this out and take appropriate action.

Reply To This Thread

Posting in the Eng-Tips forums is a member-only feature.

Click Here to join Eng-Tips and talk with other members! Already a Member? Login


Low-Volume Rapid Injection Molding With 3D Printed Molds
Learn methods and guidelines for using stereolithography (SLA) 3D printed molds in the injection molding process to lower costs and lead time. Discover how this hybrid manufacturing process enables on-demand mold fabrication to quickly produce small batches of thermoplastic parts. Download Now
Design for Additive Manufacturing (DfAM)
Examine how the principles of DfAM upend many of the long-standing rules around manufacturability - allowing engineers and designers to place a part’s function at the center of their design considerations. Download Now
Taking Control of Engineering Documents
This ebook covers tips for creating and managing workflows, security best practices and protection of intellectual property, Cloud vs. on-premise software solutions, CAD file management, compliance, and more. Download Now

Close Box

Join Eng-Tips® Today!

Join your peers on the Internet's largest technical engineering professional community.
It's easy to join and it's free.

Here's Why Members Love Eng-Tips Forums:

Register now while it's still free!

Already a member? Close this window and log in.

Join Us             Close