When I decided to branch out on my own as a #civilengineering search consultant nearly 25 years ago, I jumped in with both feet, shut the door, and locked it shut.

🚪I could have had one foot in the door while working a side hustle.

🚪I could have had one foot in the door while keeping an eye on other opportunities.

🚪I could have had one foot in the door and asked my wife to go back to work rather than raising what would eventually be 3️⃣ beautiful daughters.

You see, with 1️⃣ foot in the 🚪:
👉Energy escapes
👉Pressure is released
👉There is no full-court press
👉Any sense of urgency is diminished. Greatly.

I had no “PLAN B.”

It is my belief that this same mentality should be taken for civil engineering firms looking to grow and expand ORGANICALLY into new geographic markets, or looking to enter a new service line.

Over the years I have worked with many great clients who successfully used this “full court press” mentality to grow.

They went ALL. IN.
And they won.

💪🏻One client did not start a new Highway Division by having a municipal engineer split time between existing billable work while at the same time trying to chase large scale DOT projects using a resume filled with city/county roadway projects trying to connect the dots. NO SIR! They invested in a strong candidate with a strong track record of success in the DOT market. They allowed her to hire a couple staff members right off the bat with an absence of billable work. They put together specific marketing materials and they gave the leader a VP title. Did they bleed 💰 early on? Of course. But when the wins started rolling in, it turned out to be a phenomenal investment.

💪🏻Another client wanted to expand into Texas. Did they chase work from out of state by submitting proposals with the right type of experience, but without specific TxDOT experience, *hoping* to get a win to justify opening a new office? NOPE! They signed a lease on Class A office space, they hired a local leader with an impressive resume of TxDOT projects, put together a business plan and then let him do his thing.

💪🏻Finally, a client who had about as big of a footprint as possible in Texas decided in order to grow they had to expand beyond the borders of Texas. They targeted North Carolina. Did they relocate one of their PM’s from Texas to work on Texas projects while pursuing work in North Carolina from some sort of temporary office space? NO! They hired an experienced local leader in that market who had a strong following. They paid him well. They gave him a guaranteed bonus for his first two years. They immediately found office space in an attractive part of town. They went ALL IN, and it paid off in spades!

Growth is hard. It takes a lot of work. It takes a lot of money. It takes a lot of due diligence. There is risk involved.

Done properly, with no Plan B, the reward is phenomenal.

How has this mentality and approach worked with you or your company?

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