I was going to continue writing my series on integration specification, but, with recent events, it seems to make more sense to discuss how we will reoccupy buildings. 

At first glance, it would seem that there is little to no need for a consulting engineer during reoccupancy. However, I would argue that now, more than ever, is the perfect time for you to increase your consulting fees while niching down on the services you provide.

This may seem restrictive and counterintuitive, but hear me out. 

You could continue to try to compete in the construction design market, though the problem with this approach is that everyone else will be trying to compete for an ever-shrinking pool of capital projects.

Or you could approach the market focused on specific verticals that you can guide through the reoccupancy process, which is going to require changes to building use, layout, and environmental settings. 

Your customers need you to act as a guide during this time, and, the good news is, they will pay for someone who can effectively show them exactly how to lay out their buildings to ensure they are meeting the minimum standards for IAQ and occupant safety.

If I were in your shoes, I would start through education. Use webinars, videos, and blog articles as the entry point for your sales funnel. These marketing pieces are easy to produce and will draw the audience you are looking to sell your services to. 

Upon collection of your new leads, offer them a low-risk service, perhaps a  building health inspection. The results of which will naturally lead to your services in order to provide proper remediation of the building owner’s issues.

From here, you use those relationships to pivot to the next customer via word-of-mouth and/or recommendations.

By focusing on the problem at hand, which is the reoccupancy, and providing a solution to that problem, you are positioning your firm to grow whilst your competition is chasing an ever-shrinking pool of capital projects. 

This approach will be uncomfortable, as it forces your team to become more agile and less process-oriented. It will also force you to produce new deliverables and processes in order to succeed. However, this work will carry you through to the point when major companies’ capital budgets begin to contract. 

I encourage you to explore this model of work so that you are able to continue growing your business and serving your customers during this pandemic.