Marketing/Business Development Consulting & Training
In addition to helping you develop a marketing plan, we can assist with implementation in the following areas:
- Optimizing/redesigning the firm’s existing marketing/business development processes and systems (including determining which metrics to track)
- Developing strategies for increasing name recognition and exposure in a particular target market
- Ghostwriting of press releases and newsletters
- Press pitching and article placement
- Determining specific ways to involve staff in lead identification and closing
- Conducting business development training and coaching for technical professionals
Strategic Market Planning
As you know all too well, winning new work doesn’t just happen with the flick of a switch. It results from careful analysis, planning and implementation of select marketing and business development strategies. We can help your firm grow its existing market share and determine the best approaches for expanding into new target markets and geographies. It all starts with the marketing plan. Firms that don’t have them tend to lack focus and squander resources. We can help you “soup to nuts”— from the SWOT (strengths/weaknesses/opportunities/threats) analysis; to developing appropriate implementation strategies, goals, and action items; to crafting a realistic budget that will maximize your firm’s return-on-investment.
We love playing detective and have been told we’re pretty good at it. Our philosophy is, “If you don’t ask, you won’t get.” This adage is applicable not only to conducting market research, but also to the entire business development process. It’s amazing how much data one can gather by asking questions, particularly open-ended ones. Depending on the objectives of your project, we tap into a variety of data sources, including past, current and prospective clients; executive directors and staff of industry-specific professional associations; trade journals, electronic newsletters and other market-specific publications. We then work with our clients to apply the data to their strategic marketing, business development and merger/acquisition plans. We have conducted client/prospect perception surveys for a number of the industry's leading firms.
Merger & Acquisition Research Services
Mergers and acquisitions are an important element of many firms’ growth plans. In some cases, merging with or acquiring a firm is the most effective and efficient way to expand client types, service offerings and target geographies. We work with you from the beginning to develop appropriate target criteria based on your firm’s strategic objectives. By applying our expertise in market research, we take a unique approach to building a list of appropriate candidate firms. We then contact candidate firms on your behalf and conduct an extensive interview with interested firms to assess their fit with respect to your search criteria and cultural compatibility. We are also available to help in the due diligence process should you need assistance.
Aligning your organization is an essential first step to achieving your firm’s vision. Billable targets and business development pressures often leave little time for professional development. Further, communication is often the first to suffer in an atmosphere characterized by competing demands for one’s time. The result may be conflicts within and between operating groups and insufficient attention paid to career development and nurturing key talent. We can assist your firm with a wide range of organizational challenges, ranging from designing programs to orient new hires, to developing tools to assess employee satisfaction and performance, to facilitating sessions to resolve conflicts and enhance teamwork within and between groups.
Unfortunately, in today's economy, many A/E/C and environmental consulting firms are having to cut deeper (i.e., beyond Jack Welch's bottom 20%) when making the necessary staffing reductions to ensure future viability. Some firms are contractually obligated to provide outplacement services to a departing employee (typically shareholders), while others believe that it's the right thing to do after years of loyal service by an employee. Regardless of the motivating factor, hiring a third party to offer customized, results-driven outplacement services to your senior staff is a wise investment for many reasons:
- Softening the blow can reduce the risk of litigation — helping separated employees proactively focus on future career opportunities lessons the likelihood that they will dwell on the termination.
- It's a small industry — separated employees may join a client organization, a vendor, or a competitor. Some may even rejoin your organization when times improve. How you treat them during the separation process can either sustain or even enhance your firm's reputation in the marketplace, or erode the significant time and money you've spent in building your brand.
Why Friedman & Partners? There are few, if any, A/E/C industry-specific outplacement firms. Much of the guidance and skill-building offered by large, national outplacement firms is generic and not targeted to our industry. Firms that do use the standard large, national outplacement firms typically pay a fixed fee of $10–$15K or more per individual, and that fee is "activated" once an individual contacts the company. It doesn't matter, for example, if the individual only requests resume assistance — the firm is stuck with paying the full fixed fee. In contrast, Friedman & Partners charges on an hourly basis (typically with a pre-determined upset limit). So clients only pay for the actual assistance a candidate needs. Friedman & Partners has access to or is one step removed from numerous high-level industry contacts, unlike a generalist outplacement firm.
- Word gets out — bungling layoffs or not acknowledging an employee's contribution to your success can adversely impact your firm's ability to attract and retain top talent.