Endless possibilities

Jun 10, 2015

January 2015 [ocs 051When it comes to generating opportunities for your firm, the more, the better.

Entrepreneurial architects and engineers all do one thing well – they create lots and lots of possibilities. The more possibilities, the greater the chance something good will happen. This is confirmed to me every single day through observing our clients and seeing it in my own businesses. Here are some specifics:
  • More clients. The more clients you have, the greater the chances that one of them is going to need you to do something – maybe a whole lot of something. One hundred clients is better than 10 clients. A thousand clients is better than 100 clients. The more clients you have, the easier it is to part with those who won’t pay good fees, won’t pay their bills, won’t do what they should, or who are just plain difficult and no fun to work with!
  • More services. The more services you provide, the greater the likelihood that one of them will be in short supply and high demand. Something is always hot; something is always not. Minimize the odds of being in a dead service area by having lots of diversity in the services you provide. Don’t define what you do so narrowly that you reduce your possible points of entry to a client.
  • More locations. One area may be hot and another not. It’s good to be somewhere hot, though, so you aren’t fighting uphill battles in every location. And when one area is hot – and doing well – it can help feed your other locations and prop them up until they are hot again. Yes, more locations do create a certain amount of redundant overhead and inefficiency. But, when it comes to the sustainability and consistent financial performance of the enterprise, they often make sense.
  • More proposals. The more proposals you’re writing the greater the odds you’ll win some new work. Not to say I believe in throwing balls of mud against the proverbial barn wall to see what sticks – these should be quality proposals, well-researched and thought-out. But numbers (i.e., possibilities) ARE important to your chances of winning new projects. Keep writing proposals even when you don’t need the work to make sure you won’t have a problem.
  • More job candidates. The more people you have to consider for any job you want to fill, the better off you are. You’ll make a better decision AND be more likely to fill the job, because your top-ranked candidate may turn down your offer for any number of reasons. Choices –lots of them – improves the quality of your decision making. Don’t stop recruiting when you have just one or two possible hires. I see a lot of firms making this mistake. Keep recruiting until you have a signed offer acceptance letter.
  • More people selling. The more people you have in your firm who can sell work, the better off you will be. More people equates to more possibilities to make a sale. It also greatly improves the value of the enterprise when selling activities are not restricted to one or a few people. That reduces the overall risk associated with the business. This is why everyone needs to be trained in how to sell!
Isn’t it time you started creating more possibilities in every area of YOUR business? Time’s a’wasting! Get with it! Mark Zweig is president and CEO of Zweig Group. Contact him at mzweig@zweiggroup.com.

About Zweig Group

Zweig Group, three times on the Inc. 500/5000 list, is the industry leader and premiere authority in AEC firm management and marketing, the go-to source for data and research, and the leading provider of customized learning and training. Zweig Group exists to help AEC firms succeed in a complicated and challenging marketplace through services that include: Mergers & Acquisitions, Strategic Planning, Valuation, Executive Search, Board of Director Services, Ownership Transition, Marketing & Branding, and Business Development Training. The firm has offices in Dallas and Fayetteville, Arkansas.