TZL 1368 (web)



Best practices may be safe, but they won’t differentiate your firm. Make these changes and your firm will stand out. Nine more things to change in your firm

I f there is one thing working in the real estate development business has taught me, it’s that rarely does the shortest path to success lie in following “the other guy.” Yet, that seems to be what most A/E firm owners are hellbent on doing. Firm owners are obsessed with wanting to know “best practices,” which by their very nature are proven techniques and tactics used by other firms. Best practices may be safe, but won’t necessarily be differentiating.

Mark Zweig

2)Send out a minimum of 1,500 press releases a week. I know this sounds like a lot, but it really isn’t that hard. Get PRNewswire or some other service that makes it easy to build a really good press list. Get all the email addresses for print media editors, podcasters, broadcast, and electronic media people who put out stuff your target clients read, listen to, or watch on a single list. Include your local newspapers, national news media, and professional society and trade association publication editors. Have at least 500 names on that list. Then three times a week, send them something. It doesn’t have to be much. It could be notice of an award you have won, a new project you are working on, a project you finished, or quotes from one of your firm’s leaders or experts in something. Do this every single week for a year. That’s 52 weeks times three releases going to

The response to my October 25th article in The Zweig Letter , “Things You Don’t Do in Your Firm but Should,” got me thinking about what else firms could be doing that they aren’t. Here are some of those things: 1)Raise all of your billing rates. If you want to have the money you will need to pay to get really good people, you need to charge more. If you want the cash necessary to be able to afford to give your people the training they really need, you need to charge more. If you want to have the money to afford the best IT systems, you need to charge more. This is so fundamental. The key in business – especially for smaller businesses, but larger ones, too – lies in filling niches better than anyone else and charging accordingly for your real expertise. Get out of the race to the bottom with your competitors price-wise.

See MARK ZWEIG, page 10


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