When you hear “engineering firm” most people think of the engineers that measure, design and draw up the buildings and structures we see every day. But there is so much more that goes into an engineering firm than just the engineering. An engineering firm is a business too, with all the extra details that go into running a business. So just what does the business side of an engineering firm look like?
Engineers are certified and licensed through a state licensing board. For every state that an engineer has a project in, they must be licensed by the board. The firm must be licensed as well. Part of maintaining and engineering business means keeping your license up to date and also expanding into other states where you have business opportunities.
Another aspect of business for engineers is professional affiliations. Engineers join organizations such as the American Society of Civil Engineers or the American Institute of Steel Construction. These associations provide insight and access to cutting edge research and continuing education necessary to keep engineers up to date with the ever-changing field of engineering.
Engineering firms must also engage in marketing if they want to get new business, just like all other industries. Whether that is engaging in community events or calling up other companies to offer our services, marketing is a critical piece in growing and maintaining and engineering firm. Social media is also a critical part of engaging the public and getting the word out there about the service offered. Marketing is one of the biggest, and sometimes most challenging, aspect of running an engineering firm.
These are just three of the many parts of running an engineering business. While the bulk of what ORB does is inspections, design, and drawings, ORB also must perform the tasks associated with any other business. This includes maintaining licenses and affiliations and marketing the company to increase business and find new clients. For any would-be engineers out there, hopefully this provides some insight into just exactly what it takes to have your own engineering business.
More to come soon.