Happy New Year!

Jan 15, 2018

There’s always something nice about a new year. It’s a fresh start. It’s time for a new plan. The accounting starts all over at zero. Let’s get going! Here are my thoughts:

  • Org structure. Do you have what you need – what works best to serve your clients, maximize efficiency, and provide learning opportunities for your people? If not, now is a great time to make changes. Organizational structure is far more critical than a lot of people working in the AEC business think it is.
  • Key roles. Who is in what job – particularly the top jobs – is super important. We all know what it’s like to have someone in a role they aren’t geared for. The new year is a perfect time to right those wrongs. Consider moving people to new roles they are better equipped for.
  • Hiring process. Do you have one? It should start with a method for deciding whether you have a need to hire someone or not, and go all the way through interviewing, offer, and integration phases. Too many companies end up with the wrong people filling key roles. When you look at “why,” the hiring process (or lack thereof), is often the culprit. Let’s not make the same mistakes in 2018 that we made in 2017. Address the issue!
  • Training. What skills do your people lack? What can you do to alleviate that situation? What training resources are available in-house and where do you need to go outside? Let’s get a plan together for the new year to address these deficiencies versus just complaining about them!
  • Accounting changes. People respond to what you measure and report. Sometimes that leads to good results. Other times it can result in people doing the wrong thing for the business but the right thing to drive the numbers you’re tracking. Now is the time to fix the problem – at the beginning of the new year. Otherwise, you’ll probably get yet another year with the wrong accounting.
  • Systems. What systems need fixing? The CRM? The manpower scheduling system? The marketing lead tracking? The electronic filing? The new year is the perfect time to get a plan together to FIX some of this stuff once and for all to make everything work better. Get on it!
  • Marketing. Website stale? Tired of the lame social media posts you see your firm making? Don’t have good lists of clients you’re targeting? All of this stuff needs to be fixed as soon as possible. New year, new marketing. The time is never better for a change.

So how about it? Are you going to let everything go – “business as usual” – or are you going to make some headway on some of these old problems and create new opportunities? Now is your chance! Go to it!!

Mark Zweig is Zweig Group’s chairman and founder. Contact him at mzweig@zweiggroup.com.

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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.