In this episode, which is part of the Civil Engineering Entrepreneurs series, I talk to Brian Smith, P.E., civil engineer and founding partner of Urban Design Partners, about growing a civil engineering firm, but specifically around growing your people.
Civil Engineering Firm
In this episode, which is the first episode in our new Civil Engineering Entrepreneurs series, I talk to Gordon Greene, P.E., of Patel, Greene & Associates about how to effectively measure business growth and the use of standing operating procedures in the business world.
Here Are Some of the Questions I Ask Gordon:
- Why is it important for a company to have a vision or mission statement?
- How do you ensure that the everyday tasks or actions that your people are taking are contributing toward the overall vision?
- What is your philosophy around meetings?
- Does every person in your company have a goal or goals that they are working toward, and are these goals aligned with the vision of the company?
- Are there specific metrics, indicators, or numbers that you use to effectively measure business growth at your company?
- How often do you monitor those metrics and what tools do you use to monitor them?
- What have you found to be the most important indicator in the terms of the health of your civil engineering firm?
- Are the people who work in the company held accountable through key performance indicators and other metrics?
- Does your company emphasize capturing core processes that can be practiced consistently throughout the company?
- As a leader, how do you ensure these processes are captured and practiced consistently across the company and that they are followed by all the employees?
- As the company grows, should you consider stepping away from the project work?
Here Are Some Key Points Discussed in This Episode About Measuring Business Growth:
In this episode, I talk to Jeff Peacock, P.E., the President and CEO at Parametrix Inc., about his career journey of becoming a CEO, leading a multidisciplinary civil engineering firm, and the benefits of having multi-disciplines under the same roof.
Here Are Some of the Questions I Ask Jeff:
In episode 126 of The Civil Engineering Podcast, I will be talking with Dax Hoff, PE who is the founder and owner of Dax Consulting. Dax outlines the process of starting a civil engineering firm and also covers some of the aspects of building an engineering business including finding new business and hiring the right people.
Here Are Some of the Questions I Ask Dax:
- Tell us about your background and career journey and how you got to where you are today.
- Take us through your thought process of deciding on starting a civil engineering firm.
- Did you always feel that you wanted to become a business owner?
- What are some of the benefits to starting a civil engineering firm?
- What are some of the risks in starting your own business?
- How do you bring in new business when starting and growing a civil engineering firm?
- Talk to us about the process of hiring engineering staff?
Here Are Some Key Points Discussed in This Episode About Starting A Civil Engineering Firm:
In episode 078 of The Civil Engineering Podcast, I talk with Robert Mora, PE, PLS, ENV SP about the philosophy that he and his partner are operating under in building Batture Engineers + Land Surveyors, a unique civil engineering firm based in New Orleans, Louisiana.
Here are some of the questions I ask on building a Civil Engineering Firm:
- Tell us about your experience with land surveying and how that has helped in growing your firm.
- When did you realize that you might want to start your own business?
- What did you do to prepare for starting your own business?
- Tell us more about networking and personal relationships and how it has affected your career?
- What was your goal in creating a local mastermind group?
- Take us through the first year you started your business.
- At what point did you decide that you want to seek out a partner?
Here are some key points discussed and quotes from this episode:
- I always thought about the bigger picture in my career and looked for roles that would benefit me in the future.
- To a certain extent, I was not really focused on salary, it was more about mobility and opportunity. I would take less money to work someplace if it was going to give me the opportunity to do something that I wanted to get better at.
- Part of what made things easier for me is that I’ve always enjoyed the process more than the results.
- You become confident in certain things because when you are good at doing something, you are typically confident in it.
- Overreacting to something is not going to change what is happening. It’s just going to change your perspective on it.
- When building a civil engineering firm you might not immediately enjoy doing all of the different tasks, but through consistency, you can find enjoyment in it.
- It’s important to build relationships and to listen to people in doing it, and help them, instead of immediately just trying to sell what you are doing when building a civil engineering firm.
- Doing good work and being mission driven is more important than profits. You can’t do bad work and blame the price you gave the customer, for doing the bad work.
- Don’t let money drive your decisions and what you do, but also don’t ignore it. As you grow in your business, you have to think differently about your company finances than your personal finances.
More details in this episode…
About Robert Mora, PE, PLS, ENV SP
Bob Mora, founder of Batture Engineers + Land Surveyors, has over 15 years of experience in land surveying and civil engineering, providing civil design services for both private developers and municipalities. He has successfully managed and completed projects for the Sewerage and Water Board, the Department of Public Works, the Regional Planning Commission, the Orleans Levee Board, and St. Bernard, Ascension, and Plaquemines Parishes. As a sub-consultant for the Army Corp of Engineers, Bob managed the construction of over $100 million of flood protection, earning a Certificate of Appreciation for Exceptional Achievement from the Hurricane & Storm Damage Risk Reduction System Mission. A native of New Orleans, Bob graduated from LSU with a degree in Civil Engineering and Land Surveying. He is the past president and an active member of the New Orleans Chapter of Engineers Without Borders, helping engineers identify pro bono opportunities both locally and around the globe.
This episode is brought to you by PPI, the leader of civil engineering FE or PE exam preparations. Use promo code TCE8 for a 20 % discount at ppi2pass.com/resources
Books Mentioned in this Episode:
Please leave your comments or questions in the section below on building a Civil Engineering Firm.
To your success,
Anthony Fasano, PE, LEED AP
Engineering Mangement Institute
Author of Engineer Your Own Success
In episode 036 of The Civil Engineering Podcast, I interview Rick DeLaGuardia about entrepreneurship in civil engineering. We will focus on his newest book called Engineer to Entrepreneur: Success Strategies to Manage Your Career and Start Your Own Firm.
Here are some of the questions I ask Rick:
- What made you decide to write the book?
- Who is the book geared to primarily?
- What is the one key point you were trying to make when you wrote the book?
- You use a lot of anecdotes in your book, why?
- In the book you ask the readers to consider working for a small niche firm, can you explain why?
- You write about investing and finances a lot, why is it so important?
- Based on the three parts of your book, what is the best advice you could provide to each group: student, young engineer and aspiring entrepreneur?
- Who is publishing your book and how can we get a copy?
Quotes to think about: