Tip Lists

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Excerpted from ‘The “Smart Guide” to MARKETING’ Copyright © 2020 by Jack Gaskell. All rights reserved. Permission is hereby granted to copy and distribute this “Smart Guide” tip, upon condition that this message remains. Visit: https://www.TheEngineersResource.com, for additional tips.

 

“Starting Your Career”

CHECK LIST 

  • Plan ahead: Don’t stumble into your career. Plan for it. Take the courses in high school – like college prep, if that is the career path that will lead you to the profession/business that is right for you.
  • Your career choice: Should be lucrative enough to support you and a family, not restrict where you can live, and not require odd hours or excessive travel.
  • Shadow: Spend a day with someone in the field that interests you. If your goal is to be an engineer spend a day with a specialist in each of your top choices: i.e. electrical, mechanical, structural, civil etc.
  • Is owning a business right for you? Evaluate a list of advantages and disadvantages.
    • Advantages: Making all the final decisions; never being laid-off; keeping all the profits; and being able to sell an asset upon retirement.
    • Disadvantages: Personal and family sacrifices; difficulty of dealing with employees and acceptance of any losses.
  • Visit the website: https://www.bls.gov/ooh/: The Occupational Outlook Handbook by the US Bureau of Labor Statistics. It has a wealth of information regarding career choices. See a list of occupations in the group that you select including – job descriptions, entry-level educational requirements, as well as recent median pay levels.
  • My recommendation: Choose to be a professional and own your own business.
  • Your job search: Prepare a resume; check websites of potential employers; dress for success; and make follow-up calls.
  • Prepare for your interview: Make a list of your skills and a list of anticipated questions with answers. Ahead of time check-out the company’s website and be prepared for questions like: “Why did you choose our company? Also, make a list of your questions about the company. Ask to meet the person who would be your immediate supervisor. Also, ask to meet someone else already working in a similar position. Always send a thank-you email.
  • Start the job right: Be exceptional – Arrive early and stay late. Ask a lot of questions, but don’t ask the same question twice – start a notebook. Start writing white papers and commit each to memory – and start to become the “Smartest Person” in the room.
  • Become known: Attend meetings of local industry organizations. Here you’ll meet the players in your profession/industry, people who will be your colleagues, future competitors, or future employees.
  • Start a contact list: Collect business cards and later add notes on the back including both business and personal information. Your contact list should not only include potential clients but anyone who might help you or recommend you. Organize this information including e-mail and mailing addresses. Review this information when you are about to attend a function when you expect to meet that person. You will make a better impression if you remember their name and that they are a football fan.
  • Become an officer: Volunteer for committees and attend board meetings. Eventually, let it be known that you want to be an officer. The nominating committee usually only nominates one candidate for each office and assuming you perform competently you will automatically move up the ranks until you eventually become president. You now have your first distinction for your resume; “Past President of _______”.
  • Win awards: After you have been active in an organization, nominate another involved member for an award and they may later return the favor or ask a friend to suggest your nomination. Every organizations have awards: I.e. business man of the year, doctor of the year, engineer of the year. Perhaps your mentor might convince the board to start a new award with you in mind: I.e. young attorney of the year.
  • Start saving: You’ll need equity, good credit, and banking relations to start a business. The same applies to any potential partners that you might need. If your spouse burdens you with mountains of credit card debt, forget about being your own boss.
  • It doesn’t just happen – You make it happen. 

Download this Check List from HERE

Excerpted from ‘The “Smart Guide” to MARKETING’ Copyright © 2020 by Jack Gaskell. All rights reserved. Permission is hereby granted to copy and distribute this “Smart Guide” tip, upon condition that this message remains. Visit: https://www.TheEngineersResource.com, for additional tips.

Excerpted from ‘The “Smart Guide” to MARKETING’ Copyright © 2020 by Jack Gaskell. All rights reserved. Permission is hereby granted to copy and distribute this “Smart Guide” tip, upon condition that this message remains. Visit: https://www.TheEngineersResource.com, for additional tips.

“Your Marketing”

TOOL LIST

  • Become exceptional – Learn everything that you can about your profession or business so that you stand head-and-shoulders above your competition. If your services or products are just “mediocre”, all the marketing efforts in the world are unlikely to lead to your success.
  • Get known: Attend meetings of local industry organizations. Here you’ll meet the players in your profession/industry. Also consider joining social clubs, neighborhood associations, country clubs – wherever you will meet people who will become your clients, customers or who recommend you. Do this instead of sitting in front of the TV. But don’t let it take up too much of your business day.
  • Starting a conversation: You might ask: “How do I actually get to meet people at a meeting or social function. Let the circumstances of the meeting determine the start of the conversation. Smile and approach the person and introduce yourself. Ask about the other person. Perhaps ask “Do you come to these meetings often?” Encourage the other person to speak. If the other person speaks two-thirds of the time, they will rate you as a great conversationalist.
  • Prepare a conversation statement: Make a list of things about you and questions that you should ask. Topics that you might include: About me, books, movies, concerts, travel, and hobbies. Try to commit most of your conversation statement to memory.
  • Start a contact list: Organize your contacts including both business and personal information and for some a running list of each contact. Start a newsletter and personally call selected contacts on a parodic basis.
  • Gain credentials and win awards: To distinguish yourself from your competitors you need more than a licenses and degrees. Become “Past President of” or “Man of the Year” or “Winner of the ____Award”.
  • It doesn’t just happen. You make it happen.
  • Create an Image. Stand out as being professional. Keep this in mind when creating your: business announcement, business cards, letterhead, brochure, announcements, newsletters and your website.
  • Always consider public speaking opportunities. If you take my advice and become an officer in a local organization you will gradually get experience as a public speaker and the more you do it the more comfortable you will become. In your profession or business there will be times that you will be called upon to speak to both small and large groups and you should welcome this opportunity.
  • White papers: A white paper is a report or guide to help readers to understand an issue. After you have prepared a white paper, reread it several times, and commit much of the information to memory. Your white papers will serve as a useful future reference and possibly the basis of a magazine article authored by you.
  • Expert witness: If you serve as an expert witness, white papers will help you to prepare for your expert report, deposition, testimony and cross-examination.
  • Articles: Try to publish at least one article per year in the most prominent magazine in your industry. Write about your projects or timely issues in your industry. Designing, printing, and distributing reprints of your articles is one of the keys to being successful. Send reprints of your articles to your entire mailing list regardless of their interest in the topic and include a copy with all future proposals irrespective of the type.
  • Prepare “Your Disaster Recovery Plan”: Not many of us could have predicted the recent pandemic, and fewer of us have prepared a plan for our business to recover from it. We also need a business plan to recover from other kinds of business disasters, like fires or floods of our places of business. Some of us need to plan for natural disasters like hurricanes, blizzards, tornados, wildfires, avalanches, droughts, volcanos, or even tsunamis.

The document that you create is “Your Disaster Recovery Plan,” so you need to decide what’s best for your company. However I suggest that you include these items.

  • Budget and prepare for adequate emergency funding
  • Prepare “Your Emergency Contact Lists” now
  • Pre-recovery “thanks and reassurance” to staff
  • Keep staff informed and updated
  • Protect property from further damage (if appropriate)
  • Protect property from looting (if needed)
  • Investigate your insurance coverage
  • Repair property (if needed)
  • Safeguard business records
  • Notify, reassure, and continually update clients/customers
  • Temporarily expand business online
  • Search for and move to temporary space (if needed)
  • Promote temporary reopening
  • Promote permanent reopening
  • Thank staff, workers, and customers for their efforts/understanding.

I hope that you find this “Your Marketing” TOOL LIST helpful and I wish you much continued success.

Jack Gaskell 😎

Download this tip list from HERE

Excerpted from ‘The “Smart Guide” to MARKETING’ Copyright © 2020 by Jack Gaskell. All rights reserved. Permission is hereby granted to copy and distribute this “Smart Guide” tip, upon condition that this message remains. Visit: https://www.TheEngineersResource.com, for additional tips.

Excerpted from ‘The “Smart Guide” to MARKETING’ Copyright © 2020 by Jack Gaskell.
All rights reserved. Permission is hereby granted to copy and distribute this “Smart Guide” tip, upon condition that this message remains. Visit: https://www.TheEngineersResource.com

“Your Disaster Recovery Plan” TIP LIST

Implement your emergency funding plan

  • Budget costs for your business to be totally closed for one month.

Overhead, materials, and inventory; payroll; taxes; and your personal needs

  • Sources of revenue:

Savings, loans, special opportunities, Daddy – ?

Implement your emergency contact lists

Who should be included?

Disaster recovery specialist (primary and secondary alternates), vendors, security alarm company, security personnel company, sprinkler repair company, plumber, electrician, fire alarm service company, insurance agent and, for each policy, emergency contact numbers, window repair/replacement company, general contractor, realtor, movers, sign rental company, sign repair company, website guy, media people, professional service companies (Accountant, attorney, payroll, etc.)

Pre-recovery “thanks and reassurance” to staff

“Thank you so much for your concern and help. For now, everyone is still on the payroll with his or her usual benefits. Working together, we will figure this out.”

Keep staff informed and updated

  • What actually happened
  • Why it happened
  • Steps that you are taking to mitigate negative effects
  • How this disaster affects them

Protect property from further damage (if appropriate)

If the problem is a pandemic, there’s no damage unless it is done later by looters.  If the problem is fire or water, call in the disaster recovery specialists.

Protect property from damage by persons (like looters) if needed

Consider each of the following:

Perimeter security, physical entry security, security lighting, intrusion detection and electronic surveillance, video surveillance, access control, security personnel, fire protection (sprinklers), fire alarms

Investigate your insurance coverage

Riot damage is generally covered by business insurance policies under theft and fire. Business disruption insurance has always excluded viruses. This may change by the time that this book is published.

Repair property (if needed)

When there’s no longer an emergency, repair the damage. Use the right licensed and insured contractor.

Safeguard business records

  • Back up to the cloud or/and a portable hard drive.
  • Get a good antivirus software program or a suite including firewalls, antivirus, antispyware, and more.
  • Use a reliable and competent service that can remotely access your compute for repairs, if needed.
  • Retrieve any handwritten or non-electronically stored records as soon as feasible.

Notify, reassure, and continually update clients/customers

  • Communication in any disaster is important to business continuation.
  • Make reassignments to cover for possibly missing staff.
  • As the situation improves, continue to reassure clients/customers.
  • If the crisis extends, provide newsletters offering helpful advice. Don’t let customers/clients forget you.

Temporarily expand business online

  • Step up your online marketing.
  • Car dealerships and realtors should consider virtual tour of their inventory with full audio narration.
  • Upscale restaurants should consider curbside pickup and home delivery within a ten- mile radius.

Search for and move to temporary space (if needed)

  • Work with an established local Realtor.
  • Carefully read the lease.
  • Don’t let your employees become your moving men. Don’t assume that your landlord is making needed repairs.

Promote temporary reopening

  • Modify signage.
  • Make changes to your website.
  • Consider radio/TV/newspaper ads.
  • Consider direct-mail marketing.
  • Start e-mail marketing (your list +/or a purchase list)

Consider radio/TV/newspaper ads

Possibly you can add an introduction to your present ads. Prominently including an advice article.

Consider direct-mail marketing

  • Marketing mailing lists are available by zip codes.
  • A call to a local advertising agency might provide other ideas.

Start e-mail marketing (your list and/or purchase list)

  • Your list of telephone numbers or mailing addresses can be easily converted to an email list. A call or letter offering a discount coupon, if they e-mail a request.  With every receipt that you give a customer include a “valuable coupon” that says: To activate this coupon, e-mail the word Activate to [insert correct e-mail address for you].
  • Social media plays a vital role in communications during disasters.
  • Give back, especially in times of disaster.

Promote permanent reopening

  • Modify signage
  • Make changes to your website
  • Consider radio/TV/newspaper ads
  • Consider direct-mail marketing
  • Start e-mail marketing (your list +/or a purchase list)

The same principles apply as did to your temporary reopening:

  • Hang balloons from your sign for the first week.
  • Hire someone to dance around out front; whatever it takes to attract customers.
  • Announce grand reopening on all of your media channels.
  • Appear on business talk shows. Here’s how to do it right. . . . . .
  • Your e-mail blasts should hype reopening. Include the requirement for them to send an e-mail to you to activate any coupon (to expand your e-mail list).
  • Taking your best shot at each effort, improves your chances of accomplish your desired result.

Thank staff, workers, and customers for their efforts/understanding.  

  • As soon as you catch your breath, there is one more last step to complete.
  • Start by composing a personal letter to each category of person who . . . . . .
  • Talk to your staff privately as a group. Avoid . . . . . .
  • Thank the workers in person.
  • Follow through by sending a personal letter to each of their companies. But . . . . . . Consider a party for staff and workers.
  • Next, e-mail a thank-you note to your customers.
  • Update your disaster recovery plan to include lessons learned.

Download this tip list from HERE

Excerpted from ‘The “Smart Guide” to MARKETING’ Copyright © 2020 by Jack Gaskell. All rights reserved. Permission is hereby granted to copy and distribute this “Smart Guide” tip, upon condition that this message remains. Visit: https://www.TheEngineersResource.com, for new tips.

   

Marketing materials are a crucial ingredient to the success of any consulting engineering practice, whether a start-up or an established firm. Here are just a few of the winning strategies from the new book, The Complete Guide to CONSULTING ENGINEERING. Use these ideas and win more clients and projects.

  • Make your Business Announcement outstanding. It should look like a wedding invitation on fine, thick paper with raised letters.
  • Create elegant Letterhead & Business Cards. Parchment with raised letters and no logo would be a good choice.
  • Your Brochure is the face of the company. It will evolve as your firm grows. Try to make it versatile and something that will make you proud and distinguish you from your competitors.
  • Your Mailing List is your most important promotional tool. Expand it to include those who may recommend you. Send all mailings to the entire list. Send a minimum of two per year including: up-dates, announcements and holiday cards.
  • Create the lists & forms that your firm needs. Expand your contact list; prepare your government 330 form; and avoid construction headaches with your selected bidder list.
  • Don’t overlook Promotional Items. Consider personalized note paper, post cards, pens, tape measures, and anniversary stickers.
  • Write and publish technical articles. Send reprints to your mailing list and include them with your brochure. Everyone will consider you to be an “expert” in your field.
  • Make news Announcements. Don’t forget to send out announcements of awards; new services/specialties; and anniversaries.

 

By John D. Gaskell, Retired Consulting Engineer

Marketing methods are crucial ingredients to the success of any consulting engineering practice, whether a start-up or an established firm. Here are just a few of the winning strategies from the new book, The Complete Guide to CONSULTING ENGINEERING. Use these ideas and win more clients and projects.

  • Expand your sources for leads. Include your Contact List; Consulting Engineers of a different specialty; Land Surveyors; Building Inspectors; Utility Company Representatives; the Yellow Pages; the Internet; Newspapers; and Construction Lead Services.
  • Seek Private Clients. Include Contractors in your specialty; Housing Authorities; Hospitals; Colleges & Universities; Federal, State & City Agencies; Property Managers; Manufacturers; Developers; Banks; and Law Firms.
  • Offer new Specialty Services. There is usually no competition for specialty services and no limitation on fees. Examples (related to electrical) include: EMF investigation & mitigation; Power Quality studies & monitoring; UPS Systems; and Arc-Flash calculations.
  • Always consider Public Speaking opportunities. This is especially important when you are trying to promote a new service or new specialty. Also hold seminars each time that the Code of your discipline is updated. This shows clients that you are up-to-date and gives you the opportunity to nurture your friendship with their tradesmen.
  • Entertain clients & potential clients. If a problem occurs with the services of your firm, clients are more likely to tell you and allow you to make corrections, if you and your spouse are friends. They are also more likely to give the next project to a “friend”.
  • Send Notes. Never forget to send Thank You Notes and look for opportunities to send notes of Congratulation. You don’t even need to know someone to recognize their achievements.
  • Open Houses and Parties. These are great ways to thank your clients, show off your celebrity clients and to tell them all about new specialties and show & tell about exciting projects.

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