Are you ready to make 2015 the best year in your engineering business yet? Starting the year by establishing some solid goals is a perfect way to set yourself up for a prosperous and productive year. So, here are 10 business resolutions every engineering firm director needs to commit to to ensure their success! How many of them are you going to keep?!
1. I resolve to.. invest in my website
Engineers, admit it, as an industry you’ve been notoriously slow at getting on board with creating a strong online presence. In fact, many of you don’t even have a website. But if you do, I’m guessing that it’s something you threw together because you ‘thought you probably should have one’ and you haven’t looked at it again since.
Well, having a bad website is probably worse than having none at all. I would really encourage you to set aside marketing spend for upgrading and maintaining your website this year - you’ll likely find that the results will pay for your investment several times over.
Review the appearance, usability, functionality and content of your site regularly throughout the year and ensure your mobile site functions well. Hire a web design team to create a modern, slick and on-brand look, as well as a web copywriter if you don’t have resources in-house for creating polished content.
I’ve put more in-depth tips together for you with this article on 8 essential features every engineering website needs.
2. I resolve to… embrace new technologies
Make 2015 the year that your firm gets ahead of the game - or at least catches up with it - by embracing the introduction of new technologies to help you manage your systems and processes.
The thought of moving away from the tried-and-tested way of doing things can seem a little daunting - if it ain’t broke, why fix it, right? But it’s time to acknowledge that if you don’t keep your administration and management updated, you’ll not only turn away customers but also new talent. Employees are becoming accustomed to accessible, real-time systems, like those offered through cloud software solutions.
Are you still stalling on the uptake of cloud technology? Here are 10 advantages of cloud computing for engineers that might just have you convinced that 2015 is the year your business moves to the cloud!
3. I resolve to... give back
There are plenty of talented undergraduates who are currently studying engineering. Academic achievement is one thing, but real, hands-on experience is another when it comes time for them to apply for a full-time role as a graduate. Give back to the industry and take on some students or new graduates by offering work-experience, mentoring or internship programs at your firm. You’ll give a grateful engineering student the opportunity to gain greater insight into your particular field of engineering and do you part in nurturing rising stars in the industry.
4. I resolve to … streamline my job management system
It’s time to ditch the piles of paperwork and inefficient job management processes that continue to frustrate both you and your clients and implement a cloud-based job management system such as WorkflowMax.
Software such as WorkflowMax allows you and your team to collaborate on project details in one place. All the information you need for a project - right from when a new lead is entered through to quoting, job tracking and costing, timesheeting, purchase orders and finishing up with invoicing - can be managed through one software solution.
Take a look at how other engineering firms are benefitting from using WorkflowMax on our engineering case studies page.
5. I resolve to … give my brand a makeover
Ask yourself, does your branding still reflect who you are as a company, or how you want to be perceived in the market? Has the scope of your services changed? Or are you struggling to attract new customers, or new talent? A brand refresh has the potential to do wonders for your image and inject new energy into a tired looking business.
Find out if your brand is in need of a tidy up with these five tell-tale signs.
6. I resolve to … network
Just because you currently have a solid client base, that doesn’t mean you should become complacent about generating new contacts and referral prospects. You never know what opportunities you may be missing if you are not making an effort to connect with other local businesses, industry contacts and complementary services.
Join business networking groups or establish connections with other local businesses. You should also consider making social networking a part of your marketing strategy - here are my thoughts on the best social networking sites for engineers to get you started.
7. I resolve to … attract great talent
Finding great engineering talent can be a challenge, particularly if you are competing against big businesses with big budgets. This year, think about how you can work on attracting and retaining great engineering talent to your firm.
Consider your recruitment process and how you can stand out from the crowd when it comes to advertising your roles. What incentives can you offer and how can you look after your existing employees so that they also help you promote your business as a great place to work? Become known as an awesome employer that boasts a committed, motivated and engaged workforce!
8. I resolve to… invoice on time
No doubt, keeping on top of cashflow is the bane of your business life. So let’s make 2015 the year that you resolve cashflow troubles once and for all.
The best way to keep the cash rolling in is to ensure you are invoicing on project completion, rather than leaving jobs unbilled until you can finally get around to looking at your accounts. Integrating a system such as WorkflowMax with online accounting software like Xero allows you to seamlessly transfer your projects to an invoice. You can then easily email the invoice direct to your client. Make it standard practice for your team to issue invoices on completion of jobs - or even progress invoices throughout the stages of a large project - rather than just at month end.
9. I resolve to… become known as an expert in my field
How can you leverage your professional expertise to grow your business in 2015? Concentrate on developing your profile as an expert in your particular field. This will lead to more business exposure as you become known as the ‘go-to’ person for particular projects or opinions and commentary. Take time to comment on industry blogs, articles and industry LinkedIn groups, write your own blog with relevant news and opinion pieces, present at a conference or workshop, write a white paper or ebook, approach magazine editors with an article pitch - anything that will help you grow your ‘expert’ status and boost your business profile.
10. I resolve to … make this the best year yet!
Running a business can be tough, so celebrate the wins - big and small - and see the challenges as an opportunity to learn and investigate new ways of doing things. With a positive approach you’re sure to have a successful year!
What are your resolutions for 2015? Share them in the comments below.
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