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The marketing conundrum

1184 advice Category_Archives Chad Clinehens featured marketing ZG Team

The marketing conundrum

You know what you’re supposed to do, but since your marketing department is understaffed and disempowered, you can’t make it happen. I’m sure many of you have found yourselves in that familiar seminar or conference listening to a speaker tell you how to better position your firm for opportunities or how to develop more business. I’m also pretty certain that it’s something you have heard before and that there’s nothing earth shattering about anything that is being shared. Why then if we have heard these things over and over are we not going back to the office and implementing them?...

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Packaging things to sell

1184 A to Zweig advice Category_Articles contract featured Mark Zweig pitch proposal

Packaging things to sell

AEC firms have a big problem. We wait for clients to tell us what THEY want or need and then we give them a proposal. That may seem perfectly normal to you. What’s wrong with it is that when you play this game you’ll almost always have competition and even if you don’t, fee will be an issue. Plus, it’s slow. You’re waiting for the client to act so you can respond. If they don’t act you can’t respond. Years ago we did some high-level consulting work for a small firm (about 30 employees). I led the consulting job. After...

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Mutual respect

1184 Category_Archives Category_Structures + Buildings David Cocke featured Leadership Liisa Andreassen q&a Structural Focus Structures + Buildings

Mutual respect

Casual leader of engineering firm is doing what he wants to do, surrounding himself with smart people, and getting the job done. By Liisa Andreassen Correspondent After 20 years of working for someone else, David Cocke founded Structural Focus (#1 Best Firm Structural for 2016) in Gardena, California. It was 2001 and he was ready to make his own business decisions, set a company culture, and have the freedom to pursue the types of projects that most interested him. Today, Cocke is very active in the preservation of historic buildings and has made numerous presentations regarding the reuse of existing...

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Onerous indemnification clauses

1184 Category_Articles contract Dan Knise featured indemnification clause

Onerous indemnification clauses

If improperly worded, they not only can shift significant risks, but do so in ways that leave design professionals exposed to potentially large claims. A critical component of effective risk management for design firms involves practicing good contract hygiene. This includes reviewing any prospective contract to evaluate the risk associated not only with the professional services to be performed, but also related to any contractual risk transfer that can create or expand liability for the architect, engineer, or construction manager. While many provisions can shift risk (e.g., standard of care, warranties, and guarantees, etc.), one of the most important is...

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Crimes and misdemeanors: Part one

1184 bid rigging bribery campaign finance laws Category_Articles featured price fixing William Quatman

Crimes and misdemeanors: Part one

Campaign finance laws, bid rigging, price fixing, and bribery. We hear about this with contractors, but how about design professionals? Several times each year, there is an article about some contractor being debarred or convicted of bid rigging, bribery, or kick-back schemes. We turn the page, shake our heads, and wonder why those contractors are so unethical. But is it just contractors who break the law on ethics? How about design professionals? It is rare for criminal charges to be filed against them, but it does happen, and more often than you would expect. Here are a few laws and...

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