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Business Development Best Practices

Every month the Business Development Forum reaches out to small business owners, marketing directors, and public relations specialists to gather valuable insight into the rapidly growing construction industry.

If you're looking to create marketing proposals, build relationships with customers, and increase sales, our Best Practices article series can help.

2022

  • May 2022
    Lindsay Young, nu marketing

    Virtual business development seems to be a recently coined and common term in the A/E/C industries, as business development looks much different today than it did a couple of years ago. The opportunities to drop by prospects’ offices or meet them at a networking event are few and far between.

    Tags:
    Business Development, Client Relationship, Communication & Collaboration, Digital & Social Media, Networking
  • March 2022
    Chris Martin, President, Atlas Marketing

    Business development (BD) has always been an important function for contractors. Now, with the impact of virtual offices and the ever-present office mobility, BD has truly become a greater challenge. Let’s not kid ourselves, there are multiple obstacles that BD professionals face amidst an ongoing pandemic including rising competitive landscapes, ongoing supply chain issues and labor shortages. Combining these issues with an ongoing desire for contractor demand, BD is more of a chase now, than simply developing opportunities.

    Tags:
    Business Development, Client Relationship, Communication & Collaboration, Digital & Social Media, Marketing & Branding, Marketing Research, Markets & Trends, Networking, Procurement & Pricing
  • January 2022
    Lindsay Young, nu marketing

    Networking is a naughty word in construction — most people cringe at the idea. Let’s approach networking from a different point of view that’s not cringeworthy then. Let’s think about it as making friends, learning about someone or someone’s company, or just finding common ground.

    Tags:
    Business Development, Client Relationship, Communication & Collaboration, Marketing & Branding, Marketing Research, Networking

2021

  • December 2021
    Julie Wanzer, LEED AP, Owner of Business Rewritten

    To say the last two years has been challenging for everyone in both our professional and personal lives, is quite possibly the understatement of the past 20 months. The construction industry has certainly faced a myriad of challenges, economic fallouts and other setbacks over the years, but none as far-reaching as COVID and its continued impact on all of our lives. As we reassess and begin 2022 with at least some sense of hope, the “challenge” now posed to the construction industry is to redefine our notion of success – more specifically, how we measure and celebrate successes both externally with our clients and partners, as well as internally with our employees.

    Tags:
    Business Development, Client Relationship, Communication & Collaboration, Networking, Proposals
  • November 2021
    Frank Lippert, FSMPS, CPSM

    As we trudge through the pandemic and its economic uncertainty, one thing is clear: we must continue to win work. While there seems to be no shortage of RFPs, our ability to build relationships with the clients behind the RFPs and to truly do the early work of discovery is heavily weighted towards the established relationships we built pre-pandemic. The old rule that 80-percent of our work comes from existing clients and 20-percent is from new is in question. In a recent, very informal poll, 50-percent of respondents said the 80/20 rule was still relatively valid, while the other half erred on the side that its more likely 90/10 at best. With traditional methods of meeting new clients (conferences, networking events, meals, and happy hours) almost non-existent in some places, I wondered how business developers are making connections and succeeding at winning new work. I found two fascinating examples that tell us a lot about what’s working.

    Tags:
    Business Development, Client Interview & Presentation, Client Relationship, Communication & Collaboration, Networking, Proposals
  • August 2021
    Robert Armbrister, President and CEO of SPARK Business Works

    A lot of contractors and managers still struggle to track and understand their sales data. It’s a constant battle of wrangling information from spreadsheets, paper forms, emails, and even word of mouth.

    This current, messy way of doing business is bogging down your processes and best people. It’s difficult to track your daily sales activity, qualified opportunities, and recently won projects and dollar amounts. And, unfortunately, there’s no clear path to efficiency.

    So, why are you still stuck with these methods? Because they’re familiar and what worked in the past. It’s hard to change to something new.

    But the industry is now at a tipping point. Digitization is the way forward.

    Tags:
    Business Development, Communication & Collaboration, Culture & Personnel, Marketing & Branding, Marketing Research, Markets & Trends, Procurement & Pricing, Technology & Processes
  • July 2021
    Hal Routh, President, Equalizer9

    In my many years in the general contracting industry, I ran across many prospective clients that could have benefited greatly from a negotiated team build approach, but were so committed to their traditional Bid-Build delivery model that they were not willing to deviate. First, I will admit that a negotiated approach is not always the right solution, but whenever a project has complicating factors, whether it be logistical, schedule, constructability, or its a unique one of a kind structure, a negotiated team build approach can bring early solutions to a client's most worrisome issues. Regardless of the benefits, some of these "Hard Bidders" are true believers that general contractors are all the same and that price is all that mattered.

    Tags:
    Business Development, Client Relationship, Communication & Collaboration, Procurement & Pricing
  • June 2021
    Julie Wanzer, LEED AP, Owner of Business Rewritten

    Business development (BD) in the construction industry is a continual building and re-building of mutually beneficial relationships. Although this practice of building and re-building relationships was surely tested over the past year, BD professionals still found unique and creative ways to connect. Whether that was through a LinkedIn virtual leads group or setting records for the greatest number of video meetings in one day, BD professionals certainly adopted their practices to fit the needs of their clientele.

    Tags:
    Business Development, Client Relationship, Communication & Collaboration, Marketing & Branding
  • May 2021
    Lindsay Young, nu marketing

    Marketing and business development take months, sometimes years, to turn into something big. It’s the consistency of doing these things on a daily basis that produces results. It’s like running a marathon. If you decide today you are going to run a marathon and you haven’t typically been a runner in the past, then you are going to have to train for it. You can’t just go out and run a marathon. It’s your daily routine and plan you must follow, so in 4 or 6 months, you are prepared and ready to run that marathon. It’s following that plan and consistently implementing those tactics that will get you to race day and across the finish line.

    Tags:
    Business Development, Client Interview & Presentation, Client Relationship, Communication & Collaboration, Digital & Social Media, Marketing & Branding, Marketing Research
  • April 2021
    Chris Martin, Founder, Atlas Marketing

    During a recent meeting of the AGC Business Development Forum, members discussed the various hurdles from this past year.  As the conversation shifted from the obstacles to important lessons, it became apparent that the topic my fellow BD Forum members were sharing would be beneficial to the entire AGC community.

    Tags:
    Business Development, Communication & Collaboration, Culture & Personnel, Digital & Social Media, Marketing & Branding, Networking