You’re not alone if you’re looking for ways to generate new business for your Australian Engineering Firm post the mining construction boom. The hardest part can be determining where to start.
During the mining boom, work just came in the door faster than you could handle it. You haven’t had to think about chasing work for 10 years or more.
What do you do to get new business now, given that it isn’t coming in the door all by itself? I’ll explore this issue and discuss some options in this post.
Mining Construction Has Slowed
I think you’d have to have been hiding under a rock for the last couple of years not to know this. I don’t think many people in Australia really consider how this affects Engineers, most of us hear about the layoffs of workers at mining sites and picture general mine workers and laborers, we don’t hear anything about the Engineers affected.
Engineers are the unseen heroes of these projects, the people who make sure these projects go off without a hitch.
Engineering employment still expecting moderate growth
Even with this downturn in mining construction, employment for Engineers is expected to grow moderately over the next few years according to the federal government’s Job Outlook website.
So the real issue is that the work is there, you just need go get it.
Networks Have Changed
The major changes happening out there in the mining industry means that many of the people you used to call on for new work are no longer there. Getting back in there is just as hard as building networks in new industries.
You have to find another way to get onto this new work.
This is how you get new business today
The work is out there, you just need to find it—or more correctly let the work find you. Yes, let the work find you. Times have changed and your clients, including government entities, are doing extensive online research and making decisions about suppliers before they even write their tender or RFQ documents.
You just look like everyone else, your competitors, when you reply to RFQs and calls for tender. You have to differentiate yourself and you do that today by being the company your clients find when they’re doing their research. The information you provide on your website is helping them understand their problem and how they might solve it, getting you known and trusted by them and getting you the work your competitors will be missing out on.
In fact today, 60% of a B2B buying decision is made before making direct contact with any prospective supplier.
Still, don’t dump your old ways yet
Yes, chase down your old network and talk to who’s still there and keep scouring the newspapers and websites for new requests for quotes and tenders.
It doesn’t make sense to drop what’s been working for so many years. It does make sense to move with the times and, given that your clients are checking you out online first, make the most of a new opportunity to maintain and expand your business.
You grow your business in this tough environment by adding the new way to get new business online onto what you’ve always done to get new business
You don’t need to terrify your Engineers by asking them to sell for you
I know you’ve thought about it, “maybe we should get these engineers out there knocking on doors and drumming up new business”. This is the best way to scare the living crap out of most engineers.
Before the last mining boom, my boss proposed exactly this. I didn’t know where to start as I’d never sold anything before. I was saved by the boom, just as we were starting to make plans the work started to pour in.
You just don’t need to consider this today, let your engineers do what they do best be experts in their field. Get your engineers to write about the things they know best, the things that clients are asking about all the time and publish this content on your website.
When your engineering firm is publishing the content your clients are finding online, it’s you who is getting the work over and above your competition.
Yes, the mining construction boom is over. No, that doesn’t mean the work has gone away. You just have to change the way you source your new work. Harness the power of the Internet to spread your reach to new markets.