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.

BD Best Practices

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  • 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
  • March 2021
    Matt Chardavoyne, Managing Director of Business Development, Columbia Construction

    The ability to establish and then nurture connections is a valuable skill that makes for a happy and well-rounded life — and a happy and secure company! And all the market research in the world – while quite valuable — can’t match the power of genuine human chemistry. As a managing director of business development at Columbia, I focus every day on our relationships with prospective and existing clients. But helping to identify and develop new ones and strengthening those that already exist isn’t something a successful business development manager does alone: in fact, business development and retainment is much more successful when your entire team is empowered to contribute.

    Tags: Business Development, Client Relationship, Communication & Collaboration, Culture & Personnel, Networking
  • February 2021
    Mauricio Henderson, CEO, Perseverance

    Everyone knows the key to successful business development efforts is relationships with a capital “R”.  However, 2020 threw a wrench into maintaining those relationships both personally and professionally. 

    As we step into 2021, most of us are ready to accept this "new normal" that includes telecommuting as a part of daily life while juggling the usual demands of work and maintaining relationships. Of course, we are looking forward to the day we can be together again and travel more freely to make contacts, but in the interest of innovation and adaptation, we should focus on the silver linings and the upsides to dealing electronically. Maintaining strong business relationships are as important as ever, and in many ways more so now, as we don’t want to become “out of sight, out of mind” with our customers.

    Tags: Business Development, Client Relationship, Communication & Collaboration, Digital & Social Media, Marketing & Branding
  • January 2021
    Johnny Savage, DBR General Engineering

    My grandfather was a brick mason. If he met you on a jobsite, you would be greeted with a handshake from deeply calloused hands and a smile that would not betray the amount of work he was about to put in. He was a “Good Old Boy” and ran his own company while working in the field. He knew how to do things right, and he lived off a reputation that would earn him credibility with complete strangers. People learned his name, his quality of work, saw his logo on his truck, and eventually called him up to quote work or even gave him a no competition award as a subcontractor. The trust he earned with owners and GCs and the friends he made, spread the word to second degree connections who trusted these contacts.

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


  • December 2020
    Jolsna Thomas, Esq., Business Development Manager, Rosendin

    Since the pandemic struck in March, construction teams have had to pivot from in-person project interviews for new work to the virtual environment. As this is new to everyone, I developed the cheat sheet for my Texas teams at Rosendin to help in our preparation to get in the correct head space for the new virtual environment. It is intended to provide comic relief but serve as reminders to everyone involved what what to do and what not to do. Hope these tricks help your teams succeed in the new normal for project interviewing.

    Tags: Business Development, Client Interview & Presentation, Client Relationship, Communication & Collaboration, Networking, Procurement & Pricing
  • November 2020
    Danielle Feroleto, MA, CPSM, President, Small Giants

    Theodore Roosevelt is famously quoted as saying: "Do what you can, with what you have, where you are." This could possibly be more applicable today than when he originally said it. I love the quote because it removes any excuses or hurdles from the conversation and forces you into action.

    Tags: Business Development, Client Relationship, Communication & Collaboration, Networking
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