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RE: Marketing your company

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Hadi,
 
While Gillette Wyoming is not nearly the size and scale of NYC, however, I will give you my outlook on the issue.  Our firm is small as well.  Currently, we are 10 people, up from about 8 a year or two ago.  We are looking at hiring another one or two people ourselves, however, finding candidates is difficult.  But that's besides the point.
 
Our growth as a firm is a result of more work piling in.  So, it was our current client list as well as our new walk-in clients, that have driven our growth, though not on your scale.  And we have done absolutely no advertising for the company outside of the yellow pages.  What I have found, at least with the phone calls that come into our office, is that a lot of our more residential work comes from the yellow pages.  Our past experience, existing client base, and word-of-mouth reputation have really sustained us over the past 8 years and allowed the firm to grow to what it is.
 
It sounds as though, in your case, you have hired more people so you can take on more clients.  And now, "The Man" has given you the task of increasing your client base to keep your employees cranking.  I'm no business expert, but this sounds a little like putting the cart before the horse.  And while you are ready for the big project, you can't just sit around and wait for it to come in.
 
Now, what I have seen from other companies when they go through a major overhaul with their organization, whether it be an ownership change, a merger of companies, or something similarly spectacular to the company, I have seen letters show up at the door informing of such.  I believe that your case may be a case of such a "spectacular event."  Any firm that doubles their work force to help accommodate the industry is certainly something worth announcing.  And, from the sounds of it, you are looking at a particular area of interest with communal living buildings (apartments).  I also understand that the "Design-Build" method of project delivery is becoming more and more popular these days (at least hear locally).  So, maybe targeting construction companies as well as architects may be beneficial to increasing your work load.  You could send out an informative letter stating the current condition of your company, your project type history (you mentioned multi-dwelling structures), as well as any other type of capabilities that your company holds.  Include on the letter that a full company portfolio can be made available upon request.
 
In doing a letter like this, it is both informative as well as inexpensive.  There are firms out there that, when they get a company portfolio, may just toss it in the garbage.  While you want to make an impression, you don't want to invest lots of money when the return may not justify it.  If you send out 20 letters and get 2 responses for the portfolio, your letter is a success.  Plus, it forces interested parties to contact you to gain more pointed information on what you are about.  It immediately opens the lines of communication between you and a potential client.
 
Bottom line is, your company grew for a reason.  There must be a certain level of demand for your services.  I don't think you should sit on your hands, especially with doubling your work force, but I also don't believe that, with a little bit of initiative, you're efforts won't go unrewarded.  Start small, and if nothing pans out, it's time to return to the drawing board and start looking at some more options.  To simplify, an letter announcement would be one step.  And taking out a Yellow Pages ad is another.  I think that these will give you the biggest bang for your buck.  Best of luck to you and your efforts.
 
David Maynard, PE
Gillette, Wyoming
-----Original Message-----
From: hadiprawira djohan [mailto:hadiprawira(--nospam--at)yahoo.com]
Sent: Friday, August 26, 2005 11:10 AM
To: seaint(--nospam--at)seaint.org
Subject: Marketting your company

Hi,

Curently, I am working for an engineering company in NY. Within the past two years, our firm has doubled in size from 9 to 18 personnels. My boss requested me to help him to market the company to enlarge our client base.

Most of the work we are doing is structural design for 8 to 15 stories apartments in NYC.

I am wondering if someone has went thru what i am experiencing. What is the best marketting strategy to reach more clients in a short period of time? I understand that the word of mouth is the best way, but at this time, I have to ensure that all 18 personnels will always have work on their desk!

Is it ethical to solicit the company resume/portfolio to random architectural firms/ developer that we never had business with? Do you think Yellow pages really sell?

Please share your thought with me. Thank you very much!

Hadi Djohan, P.E.

Brooker Engineering, PLLC.

Suffern, NY

 


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