There are all types of engineers in today’s workforce from civil engineering to chemical engineering to even aerospace engineering. It doesn’t really matter which field you are in, if you want to launch and grow a successful engineering business, you may want to start with the Internet. There are literally thousands of tools you can use to launch and grow a business, but as you know, the quickest way to get to your destination requires speed – and that’s something the Internet can offer. Here are some tips to build a successful engineering business.
Tips for Using the Internet to Build a Successful Engineering Business
Focus on Your Credentials
Before even thinking of launching a startup engineering firm, consider the fact that your credentials will be the very first thing any prospective clients look at. You may have worked for some of the top firms in your industry, but what are your personal qualifications? If you only hold a bachelor of science in engineering, that might not engender the type of trust needed to capture major projects. You might want to consider taking online master’s degree programs such as those offered 100% online through renowned Kettering University.
Furthermore, as you grow, you may realize that you have the foundation in your knowledgebase but are not really business savvy. Why not tailor that master’s degree with an engineering management masters focus. This way, you will learn the principles of managing an engineering business’ finances, people and even international business codes and ethics. This can all be done while you are growing your portfolio with your current employer because you can study at your convenience.
Even before you launch your new engineering business, you will want to begin marketing who you are and what you do. As stated, the Internet is the fastest way to accomplish that because you can literally reach a global market (if that is your desire) within nanoseconds. However, the key is marketing and that is something else you will learn about when achieving that masters in management.
You need to learn to market yourself, your business, and your team. That comes part and parcel with management and something that might mean the difference between failure and success. No, you can’t be expected to be a marketing guru overnight, but you could work with a web developer and marketing team to set up a website and begin promoting your startup.
Explore the Tools of the Trade
While you are adept with all the tools of your engineering trade, be that CAD software or any other tool you employ, you may not be familiar with all the tools of the online trade. This means that you will need to learn how to reach your audience.
Whether trying to build a client base or build a team for your new business, there are tools you can use to reach the audience most likely to be interested in what you are selling. And, make no bones about it, you are selling. You can’t run a viable business without selling something, and in this case, it is your engineering knowledge and skills.
In the Beginning, Was the Word…
It goes without saying that you need a website, even if only a shell in the very beginning. Over time you can populate your site with informative content but in the beginning, it could be something as simple as an attractive landing page with a few key points and that all-important contact information. You may want to use online tools like chatbots and contact forms but remember, a chat function unless built on AI technology will need to be manned by a person.
Some businesses keep them online 24/7 while others have live ‘operators’ available during normal business hours. This may help induce clients interested in hiring your engineering firm to contact you. However, if you are going to use a chat feature, it pays to have someone knowledgeable answering questions. Have you considered working with interns? This is a great way to give them experience while keeping your operating costs low.
It’s Time to Get Social
While so many businesses spend the majority of their marketing budget on things like Google Ads and Pay-per-Click popups, it has been proven that social media can attract the largest following the quickest. This is not to say that Google Ads are not effective, they are just not as effective as going social! Today’s businesses are all on social media and many have met with more success than they ever dreamed possible due to their efforts to engage their audience in a ‘social’ atmosphere.
You will typically be a B2B business in that most individuals don’t hire an engineer to develop a project for them. You ‘might’ find that one-off client who wants to build a solar farm or a hydro plant on a largescale rural property, but those are probably going to be few and far between. As an engineer, you want to reach out to companies and corporations who will give you those large projects that will accomplish so much more. Not only will they be adding to your portfolio, which you can highlight on social media, but they will be bringing in the bucks it takes to grow your business.
Meet and greet on social media and you’ll be amazed at just how quickly you garner interest in your engineering startup!
Your Key Takeaway
In all this, your key takeaway is that the Internet can offer a useful set of tools to accomplish everything from getting the degree you need to succeed in launching and growing a business. It has made life not only easier for business managers, but it has also made accomplishments faster.
It isn’t referred to as the Information Superhighway for nothing. Consider the Internet like I-5 on the West Coast or I-95 in the East. It’s the quickest way to get to major points on your journey with all the ‘amenities’ you need along the way. Those pit stops may be online tools, but navigating the path is easiest if you go the fastest and most direct route. That’s your key takeaway in all this. The Internet is there for the taking, so why not use it?