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.

June 2020
Project Data: A Marketer’s Arsenal for Customer Engagement and Business Development
Elena Lelchuk, Autodesk
Digital transformation. Disruption. Innovation. As a professional in the A/E/C industries, you know these buzzwords all too well. Project teams are accustomed to adapting, testing new solutions on their project sites, and reaping the benefits of quicker workflows and access to data in real time. But what does it mean for marketers? In our latest Business Development Best Practice, Elena Lelchuk, AUTODESK, discusses Project Data: A Marketer’s Arsenal for Customer Engagement and Business Development.
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May 2020
Business Development, Marketing & Proposal Basics for the General Contractor, an AGC WebEd Series
Todd Zdunkewicz, Linbeck Group, LLC
In the business world we live in today, there is no such thing as a single person, process or strategy that sets a company apart from the competition. Evaluation of your services has become more complex and the ability to market yourself and grow during this unusual time due to COVID-19 can make you feel over-extended no matter if you are small, mid-sized or large.  In our latest Business Development Best Practice, Todd Zdunkewicz, Linbeck Group, LLC, introduces our 2020 AGC Business Development WebEd Series focused on Business Development, Marketing and Proposal Basics for the busy general contractor.
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March/April 2020
Business NOT as Usual: Navigating Business Development During COVID-19
Lisa Frisbie, AGC of Massachusetts
If you are like the thousands of BD folks in the A/E/C industry right now, you are struggling to find ways to stay relevant and connected to your clients and project management teams. Depending on the state you live in and the day of week, your situation varies. In our latest BD Best Practice, Lisa Frisbie, AGC of Massachusetts discusses “Business Not as Usual: Navigating Business Development During COVID-19”.
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February 2020
Presell: Your Best Strategy
Brett Pitcairn, PJ Dick - Trumbulll - Lindy
It happens to all of us: an RFP comes across our desk and someone says “Go!” You contact the owner and the design team to gain an understanding, then submit a proposal. Then you wait…. and wait… until that “thanks but no thanks” letter arrives. The owner provides a debrief but the unspoken truth is that you don’t know enough about that client let alone the project. Winning takes more than visiting a project site after an RFP hits the streets and submitting a sound proposal. The best submittals come from years of relationship building and information gathering. Find out how in AGC’s latest Business Development Best Practice, contributed by Brett Pitcairn, PJ Dick - Trumbull - Lindy Paving.
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January 2020
"New Trends to Revitalize Tire Proposals"
Ann M. Leiner, Stacey & Associates
As a society, the way we consume information has changed. We have become accustomed to small bites of information (think Twitter) and highly graphical content (think Instagram and infographics) that can be skimmed and quickly grasped. If brevity is our new normal, why do many firm owners still ask for, and A/E/C professionals respond with, the same stale proposal formats we’ve used for decades? In our latest AGC Business Development Best Practice Ann Leiner, Stacey & Associates, discusses “New Trends To Revitalize Tired Proposals”.  
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December 2019
"Proactive Internal Communication Drives Firm Success"
Christine White,R&M Consultants
In the A/E/C industry, your employees are your most important asset. These are the folks providing the firm’s services and interacting with your clients. In turn, your employees’ perceptions and experiences with your firm are transferred to the clients with whom they work. If your employees are rallied around a cohesive business strategy and a shared sense of purpose, the brand will radiate meaning from the most authentic source: the people who work there. In our latest, AGC Business Development Best Practice, Christine White, R&M Consultants, discusses how “Proactive Internal Communication Drives Firm Success”.
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November 2019
"Pricing Not Competitive? Here's Three Things You Can Do
Matt Handal, Help Everybody Every Day
Regardless of whether you work at a small or large firm, the chances you've heard, "Our pricing just isn't competitive", is pretty high. What do you do if your pricing simply isn't competitive? In our latest Business Development Best Practice, Matt Handal, Help Everybody Every Day, looks at three potential solutions.
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October 2019
"Can an Introvert Succeed at BD? Yes, and Here's How"
Rich Friedman, Friedman & Partners
The reality is that many A/E/C professionals, especially engineers and environmental scientists, are introverts by nature. Firm leaders can be just as reluctant to put introverts into this role, focusing their efforts on more extroverted staff. Introverts (and those who manage them), take heart. You really can learn to be more comfortable with—and even enjoy—BD activities. And you can become proficient without the pressure to be someone you’re not. Find out how in AGC’s latest Business Development Best Practice, contributed by Rich Friedman, Friedman & Partners.
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September 2019
"Contractors Guide to Social Media"
Chris Martin, Atlas Marketing
Building brand awareness on social media may seem like a daunting task, however it is worth your time. Social media is a vehicle to share your story, build brand awareness, and engage with your community, clients and employees. In our latest AGC Business Development Best Practice, Chris Martin, Atlas Marketing, reviews the most used social media platforms and tips on usage.
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August 2019
"It's Time To Change Your Story About BD"

Rich Friedman, Friedman & Partners
Business development is not a cheesy, disingenuous process of passing out business cards or relentless cold calling. Let go of the overly canned elevator speech and consider every conversation your opportunity to learn more about potential clients and their goals and challenges. In our latest AGC Business Development Best Practices, Rich Friedman, Friedman & Partners, explains why “It’s Time to Change Your Story About Business Development.
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July 2019
"Water the Bamboo: Positioning Relationships for Growth"
Pearl-Grace Pantaleone, Cornerstone General Contractors
Business Development is all about nurturing relationships, connecting people, and being strategic while being genuine. And mastering this takes time and patience. In the latest AGC Business Development Best Practice, Pearl-Grace Pantaleone, Cornerstone General Contractors, discusses how you can position relationships for growth.
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June 2019
“Proper Preparation Produces Pitch-Perfect Award Submittals”

Katrina Spinner-Wilson, VHB
Often, without even realizing, technical staff will get too technical, and describe a project in terms that only other technical staff can understand. Yes, no one knows a project better than the technical staff who worked on it—but how can we, as marketers, convey understandable and compelling information about a project to produce a winning award submittal? In AGC’s latest Business Development Best Practice, Katrina Spinner-Wilson, VHB, explains how “Proper Preparation Produces Pitch-Perfect Award Submittals”.​ ​
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May 2019
“Visually Conquer the RFP Response”

Chris Martin, Atlas Marketing
A winning proposal is a driving force behind the construction industry today. When a Request for Proposal (RFP) comes in the door, companies invest time and money to prepare, produce and track responses. The challenge lies in balancing your company’s story and showcasing the recommended solution, so those who weigh in on the review process understand that your company is best suited for the job. In our latest AG Business Development Best Practice, Christopher Martin, Atlas Marketing, discusses how to “Visually Conquer the RFP Response”.​ ​
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April 2019
Want a Strong Brand? Get Your Story Straight

Danielle Feroleto, Small Giants
Branding is largely misunderstood and is often associated with the firm’s logo, colors or brand “look”. But where the most powerful brands start is in understanding your own message and story. Once the richness of your unique story is uncovered the brand that emerges is lasting, convincing, exciting and authentic. In AGC’s latest Business Development Best Practice, Danielle Feroleto, Small Giants, shares insight on how to discover your true brand. ​
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March 2019
Essential Tools for the Busy Business Development Professional

Mauricio Henderson, Perseverance
The life of a business developer is never easy, whether you are just starting up or have been in business for a while. Many professionals tend to juggle too many tasks at once and may become overwhelmed and frustrated. In the latest Business Development Best Practice, Mauricio Henderson, Perseverance, reviews some of the latest technological apps and tools to make your life a little bit easier. ​
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February 2019
Business development in an open bid environment:In all the rough and tumble, it’s still about people

Lou Filippone, Graboyes Commercial Window Company
When you’re offering specialized expertise in a closed-shop environment where low bid is king, labor sources are equal, and material pricing is tight, how can you differentiate yourself? What makes you stand out from your competition? In our latest BD Best Practice, Lou Filippone, Graboyes Commercial Window Company discusses Business Development in an Open Bid Environment.
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January 2019
Lessons Learned from a Client-Focused BD Initiative

Diane Gillman, VHB
With the stress of billable targets, endless client meetings, project deadlines, and business development goals, it’s hard enough to find time together in the office, much less focus on a tailored business development strategy. How can marketing work with seller-doers to overcome these challenges and move in a targeted direction of success?
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December 2018
Driving Business: When Business Development and Marketing Are in Sync

Elizabeth Harr, Hinge
Business development and marketing go hand-in-hand and when they are in sync, your firm can see increases in visibility, growth, profitability, and more. In our latest Business Development Best Practice, Elizabeth Harr, Hinge, reviews each team’s different roles and responsibilities and then examines how the two can best collaborate to support each other’s efforts.
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November 2018
Business Development in a ‘Build, Baby Build’ Market

David Little, Gallegos Corporation
When times are good, some companies tend to drop or back-off on marketing and business development spending. Now is the time to educate your team and support their growth in technical knowledge and developing relationships. In our latest BD best practice, David Little, Gallegos Corporation, discusses “Business Development in a Build, Baby Build Market.”
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October 2018
5 Ways to Engage your Organization to Improve Win Rate

Tim Ashmore, Charter Contracting Company
Business Development leaders are responsible for identifying and vetting opportunities that are good for business. The steps taken can be the difference between winning and losing. So where do you start? In our latest Business Development Best Practice, Tim Ashmore, Charter Contracting Company, discusses “5 Ways to Engage Your Organization to Improve Win Rate.”
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September 2018
Celebrating Key Milestones:How AGC of America is Commemorating its Centennial

Brian Turmail, Associated General Contractors of America
Any time an organization reaches a key milestone like its 100th anniversary it has an opportunity to talk with its stakeholders and position itself for the future. In our latest Business Development Best Practice, Brian Turmail, AGC of America, discusses “ Celebrating Key Milestones: How AGC of America is Commemorating its Centennial” and provides take-aways your company can use in preparing for your celebration.
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August 2018
A Small Firm's Approach to Maximizing Business Development and Marketing Resources

Keith Horn, Rick Scott Construction
When budget allocations for business development and marketing are limited, a firm must choose wisely and allocate its funds where they will provide the most impact. In our new Business Development Best Practice, Keith Horn, Rick Scott Construction, discusses “A Small Firm’s Approach to Maximizing Business Development and Marketing Resources”.
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July 2018
Marketing in a Family-Run Business

Christa Ward, Kieffer’s Appliances
According to the U.S. Small Business Administration, there are nearly 30 million small businesses in the United States employing 47.8 percent of U.S. workers. In our latest Business Development Best Practice, Christa Ward, Kieffer’s Appliances, offers pointers specifically for those “Marketing in a Family-Run Business”.
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June 2018
Cultivating a Marketing Culture

Jessica Thornton, Wick Fisher White
Within the architecture, engineering and construction industry it is not uncommon for many firms to experience a disconnect when it comes to understanding the value of marketing. In our latest Business Development Best Practice, Jessica Thornton, Wick Fisher White, discusses some practical insights on how you can begin to grow and develop a culture where marketing is not only respected but embraced.
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May 2018
LinkedIn Showcase

Danielle Feroleto, Small Giants
Is your company looking to expand its portfolio, build its industry profile or adjust its image? A LinkedIn Showcase may help! In this latest AGC Business Development Best Practice, Danielle Feroleto, Small Giants, provides an overview of Showcase pages on the LinkedIn platform and reviews how it could help your firm convey their service offerings and build its network.
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April 2018
CRM in the World of Construction

Kara Tanek, GLY Construction, Inc
Rebuilding a website is no easy endeavor. In her article “5 Must-Ask Questions for Getting Your Website Right”, Ida Cheinman, Substance151, helps you ask the right questions on the onset of the project to keep your team on track and your soon-to-be new website on the road to exceptional.
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March 2018
5 Must-Ask Questions for Getting Your Website Right

Ida Cheinman, Substance151
Rebuilding a website is no easy endeavor. Fortunately, if you ask the right questions at the onset of the project, you will keep your team on track and your soon-to-be new website on the road to exceptional. In our latest BD Best Practice, Ida Cheinman, Substance151, discusses the “5 Must-Ask Questions for Getting our Website Right”.
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February 2018
The One Question That Can Dramatically Increase Your Proposal Wins

Matt Handal, Founder of Help Everybody Every Day
In a fiercely competitive environment, small differences can play a major role in whether you win or lose a proposal competition. In this new BD Best Practices article, Matt Handal, Founder, Help Everybody Every Day, discusses the single question that can dramatically increase your proposal wins.
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December 2017/January 2018
Integrated Project Teams Boost Success On Construction Projects

Christopher Halapy, Shook Construction
Clients’ needs and expectations relative to the services provided by their design and construction partners are evolving. This has led designers and contractors to increase their focus on collaboration to provide not only planning and design services, but also the budgeting and constructability support that helps guide and define the design. In this in this month’s Business Development Best Practice: Integrated Project Teams Boost Success on Construction Projects, Christopher Halapy, Shook Construction, discusses how collaboration helps provide clients with the best service and solutions.
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November 2017
Taking the Burden Out of Research

Jenny Grounds, BOUDREAUX

October 2017
First Contact: Using Incentives and Automation to Spur Web Visitors to Action

Ida Cheinman, Substance151

September 2017
Keys to Building Effective Business Relationships

Anne Liberto, General Building Contractors Association 

August 2017
Rebrand vs. Refresh: What's Right for Your Firm?

Ida Cheinman, Substance151

July 2017
From the Ground Up: Setting Up Your Marketing Department 

Lindsay Andrews, Kokosing, Inc. 

June 2017
Networking & Why I Hate Selfie Sticks 

Danielle Feroleto, Small Giants

April/May 2017
Win Rate Shouldn't be Your Key Metric

Kathy Nanowski, Fuss & O'Neill

March 2017
7 Questions to Consider When Entering a New Market

Christie DeLuca, AECOM

February 2017
How Effective Are Your Presentations?

Matthew Lee, Young Contracting

January 2017
Effective Event Networking

Lindsay L. Young, nu marketing


December 2016
Choose Your Clients Wisely

Marcia Kellogg

November 2016
Marketers Need to Understand BIM

Julie Huval, Beck Technology

October 2016
Creating an Unfair Advantage

Mike Clancy, Cynthia Paul, FMI Corporation


Looking for a way to get involved and recognized? Please contact Paige Packard today if you are interested in any of the following opportunities:

  • Authoring a one-page best practice article
  • Participating in an internally developed webinar
  • Sharing or advertising related events or webinars hosted by other groups
  • Discussing new ideas or initiatives that would benefit the Forum

The Forum Steering Committee will provide you with the necessary direction and support to make the process as easy as possible and, in return, you and your company will be prominently featured and marketed to the largest and foremost audience in the construction industry!

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