How to Start your own Civil Engineering Business

Are you considering starting a civil engineering company? If you’re thinking about it, then you have several things to consider before taking the leap into your exciting new venture. Here are basic steps you should take on your way to starting and growing your civil engineering business.

Assess the Market Need for your Future Company’s Services

The first thing you should do before doing anything else is to do in-depth market research. The bottom line is; do clients need the services you want to offer? Whether your company will be a traffic engineering consultancy, a structural design firm, or a building contractor, there’s no point in going for it if there is no market potential.

Have the Right Balance of Business and Technical Skills on your Team

Every business must have the right mix of business acumen and technical skills to grow and prosper. If you have one partner or more, then one of you should take the lead on business development and must have good business skills. If you’re all very technical and don’t have business and management skills, then you may be in trouble.

Technical skills are definitely the cornerstone of your civil engineering company when it comes to sustaining a good reputation by delivering quality work, but those skills on their own are not enough. I’ve seen many company founders with poor business and management skills whose companies never grew beyond a certain limit, whereas companies led by engineers with good business acumen have grown into medium to large companies.

Starting a Civil Engineering Company

If your basics are set, then you’re good to start your company. Beyond the obvious requirements of finding the right company structure and abiding by the rules of your local/national engineering organization body, it’s time to go and get your first client. Many founders start their companies having already secured their first client, but you’ll need more anyway. Work on your professional relationships, build your network, attend events, and set up your marketing basics.

Finding civil engineering opportunities for business development

Continuity is key. After your first few projects are secured, keep tending to your client relationships and create new ones. It’s an ongoing and never-ending effort that even the biggest companies in the world never stop.

Your first clients will most likely be local partner companies, home owners, and real estate developers, and if you’re an out-of-the-box thinker, you may work with international clients who need your expertise through freelancing websites like Handiss, where many startup companies and freelance engineers or architects get their first clients.

You should then look for bigger and better opportunities in large civil engineering projects in your field of expertise. Stay up to date on new projects coming up in your city and beyond, and submit bids all over until you hit the jackpot. Keep your eyes open, be proactive, and go after new opportunities.

If you do things right, you’ll make it. Your company is in your hands and your hands alone, so do a good job and take off your new business.

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