Considering your own business start-up in the field of civil engineering? This checklist covers all the essentials you’ll need before embarking on this journey.
What do you need to start?
Industry experience is the number one quality any business owner needs before starting their own civil engineering company. If you haven’t worked the job in a professional capacity, then you may want to consider gaining some first hand experience before diving in the deep end.
Reliable business partners
You’ll also want at least one person on your core team with previous business experience, particularly in start-up / business development roles. Being an engineer doesn’t to prepare you for the actual day to day pressures of running your own company. Management and Leadership will be important for keeping your work flow optimized, clients happy and staff engaged.
Know the difference between Management and Leadership
How you structure your organization is important, even as a start-up or small business. Management is often seen as a leadership role that drives deadlines, structures Key Performance Indicators and motivates the company through adherence to policy. Leadership tackles the core values of your company. Leaders inspire their colleagues, and aspire to create creative workplaces full of engaged workers who are compelled by the identity of the start-up.
Consider the company identity
What are the values of your civil engineering company? Are you focused on public works, large scale developments or regional infrastructure? What about your hiring policy? Are you looking to fill the ranks with enthusiastic go-getters or experienced hands, perhaps some combination of the two. You’ll want a company brand that speaks to who you are as a team, as well as offer a point of difference from the competition. You’ll also want to consider your online identity and how you’re going to build relationships, both online and in the real world.
The best way to differentiate your start-up from others in the market is to research what’s already out there.
Scope out the market
Before starting your own civil engineering company it’s worth checking out the local competition, who they are and what they do. Are they mostly established firms? Perhaps your cutting edge attitude and agile performance will appeal to clients looking for something fresh. If your competition is other small businesses, you’ll need strong branding to stand out. Consider what these other companies aren’t doing, or not doing right. That’s a great place to start.
Form a Business Plan
Without an airtight business plan any company, from civil engineering to software development, is bound to fail. Consult with your partners and financial backers. A good business plan is a collaboration between stakeholders and the cornerstone of your future success.
Make sure your finances are in order
Shop around for the best financial backing. Starting your own company is a big step, and risk minimization is an essential strategy. You should know exactly how you’ll make it through the next two years, even under trying conditions.
Go out and do it
Now that you’re prepared to start your own company it’s time to pull the trigger. Find the right people, offer them fair salary (or equity) and be the best engineering firm you can. There will be lean times, especially during the early days, so prepare for some long hours and tight deadlines. Still, if you follow this essential checklist, the reward for breathing life into your own company is worth the effort.