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How to Start an Engineering Consulting Business

Below you will learn the key steps to starting an engineering consulting firm.

10 Steps to Starting an Engineering Consulting Business

1. conduct market research to determine demand.

An important step to starting an engineering consulting business is conducting market research. To begin, you must learn what services your clients want and how much they are willing to pay for them. There are two ways you can go about conducting this research:

  • Survey your target market . This can be done through online surveys, interviews, or focus groups.
  • Analyze competing businesses . This can be done by looking at their websites, reading their customer reviews, and contacting their clients to get feedback.

Once you have analyzed the survey data, determine which types of businesses are likely to hire you and how much they are willing to pay. Use this information to set your consulting prices.

2. Name Your Engineering Consulting Business

Once you have analyzed your market and determined what services clients want, it’s time to name your engineering consulting firm startup. While naming a business can be difficult, there are a few rules of thumb to keep in mind:

  • Keep it Short : Your business name needs to be short enough for clients to remember and say.  
  • Keep it Relevant : Your business name should be relevant to the engineering services you offer and your target market’s needs.
  • Keep it Memorable : Using clever ideas and words, help your audience connect with your business.
  • Focus on Your Target Market :  Make sure that whoever sees or hears your engineering company name understands who you are targeting as clients.

Read our article about choosing the right business name .

3. Choose Your Business Structure and Set-Up Your Company’s Legal Entity

As with any business, the type of legal entity you set up is critical.  After all, you want your company to be treated as a separate entity, not just an extension of yourself.  There are several types of structures in which you can start your engineering consulting company. Three popular options are sole proprietorship, S-corporation and LLC (limited liability company).

  • Sole Proprietorship :  A sole proprietorship is one in which the business and the owner are considered to be one entity. Therefore, you are personally responsible for all debts and liabilities your engineering consulting firm may incur. One benefit of this type of structure is that it’s easy to set up and there are no formal filings required.
  • S-Corporation : An S corporation is a type of C Corporation that was designed by the IRS to help small corporations minimize their paperwork while still gaining many of the tax benefits of incorporating. It also offers protection for business owners in case of lawsuits and other liabilities.
  • Limited Liability Company (LLC) :  An LLC is a structure in which the company is considered a separate legal entity from its owners. This means that the company is responsible for its own debts and liabilities. This type of structure offers protection for business owners in case of lawsuits.

Read our article comparing the most common consulting business structures .

4. Write an Engineering Consulting Business Plan

A business plan is a document that outlines your business goals, strategies, and how you plan to achieve them. Your engineering consulting business plan should include the following:

  • Business Description : Describe what your engineering company does, who your target market is, and how you will differentiate yourself from the competition.
  • Industry & Market Analysis : Detail your research on the industry and what services clients are most likely to want.
  • Financial Plan : Outline your estimated income and expenses for the next three to five years.

Other sections of your plan will answer other key questions such as the following:

  • What are your areas of expertise?
  • What services can you offer your clients?
  • Who is your target audience?
  • How will you differentiate yourself from the competition?

Your business plan should also include several sections that detail your company’s history, current financial situation, and future goals. These sections will allow an investor to learn more about your company before they commit to investing in it.

Read our article about how to write a consulting business plan .

5. Apply for the Necessary Permits and Licenses

You must register your engineering consulting business as a legal entity with the state in which you plan to do business.

To file your business with the state, obtain the necessary forms from the Secretary of State’s website or local County Clerk’s office. You will be required to pay a small fee for filing your business with the state.

Registering with the federal government may or may not be required. You can register your business on the federal level by obtaining an Employer Identification Number (EIN) from the IRS.

Read our article about obtaining the proper consulting business licenses .

6. Determine Your Budget & Apply for Funding as Needed

As with any business, you will need to use your own capital to finance the initial stages of your engineering consulting company.  Your budget may also include several other costs including marketing expenses and the salary you wish to pay yourself.  

After determining how much money you will invest in starting your business, review some options for financing your business.  Here are several financing options that may be available to you:

  • SBA Loans : The Small Business Administration (SBA) is a government agency that provides financial assistance to small businesses in the U.S.  
  • Bank Loans : Many small business owners are able to secure loans from their local banks. Often, you can borrow money for any purpose that relates to the growth of your company.
  • Friends and Family : You can consider getting loans and/or equity investments from friends and family members..
  • Angel investors : Angel investors may provide debt or equity funding to you.

Read our article about the costs associated with starting a consulting business to help you determine if funding is needed.

7. Get the Technology & Software Needed to Run Your Engineering Consulting Company Efficiently

As an engineering consulting firm startup, you will need different types of technology to complete projects and keep track of your company’s operations. To simplify the process of starting a consulting business, we’ve provided a list below detailing some items that you’ll need:

Computers : Even if most of your work is done remotely with clients on the other side of the country or world, you will need at least one computer that is dedicated to your engineering consulting company.

Software : Software is an essential component of any consulting business. The right software can help you manage projects, track expenses, and communicate with clients more effectively.

Here are some popular software platforms that may be beneficial to your business:

  • Microsoft Office : This software suite includes a variety of applications that can help you manage your company, including Word, Excel, and PowerPoint.
  • QuickBooks : This software is designed for small businesses and can help you track income and expenses, create invoices, and manage payroll.
  • Basecamp : This project management software can help you manage multiple projects simultaneously and keep track of deadlines and milestones.
  • Gmail : Google’s email platform offers several features that can be helpful for businesses, including the ability to access the same email from multiple devices.
  • CRM : Customer relationship management software can help you track customer communication, manage leads, and create reports that detail your sales activities.

There may be additional software that is specific to your engineering consulting business. This may include CAD software, software for writing proposals, or software to manage your inventory. Be sure to research the different types of software that are available and find one that will fit the needs of your business.

Read our article about the technology and software you need to run a consulting business .

8.  Market Your Engineering Consulting Firm to Potential Clients

Once you’ve established your engineering consulting company, the next step is to market it to potential clients.

Here are some common marketing strategies used for engineering consulting startup firms:

  • Networking : Attend local industry events and meet with people in your network. Introduce yourself and your company and be prepared to pitch your services.
  • LinkedIn : LinkedIn is an excellent platform for marketing your engineering consulting startup firm and engaging with engineering industry influencers. Use the site to connect with potential clients, build industry connections, and share content that is relevant to your target market.
  • Online marketing : Marketing your business online, such as through a business website and pay-per-click and/or social media marketing, can help you reach a larger audience looking for your services.
  • Blogging : A blog can be a valuable marketing tool for your engineering consulting firm. Share engineering industry news, insights into your work, case studies, and more to help potential clients learn more about you and what you offer.
  • Guest Posting : Guest posting is a great way to reach potential clients and showcase your expertise. Find blogs in your industry that accept guest posts and submit a high-quality article that will be of interest to their readers.

Marketing your engineering consulting firm can be daunting, but by using a variety of marketing strategies, you can increase the visibility of your company and attract more clients.

You should also consider ways to incentivize potential clients to choose you over another engineering consulting firm. Some incentives that work well include:

  • Lower rates : Many consulting businesses offer lower rates on their services to attract new clients.
  • Discounts on services : Offering discounts on certain projects may help you win bids against other firms.
  • Free consultation : Providing potential clients with a free consultation can help them determine if your company is the best one for their needs.

Learn more about how to market your consulting business .

9.  Establish a Price Structure and Billing System

There are a few factors to consider when establishing your price structure:

  • Hourly rates : Charging by the hour is a common way to price consulting services. This allows clients to budget for your services and gives you the flexibility to charge more for complex projects.
  • Project rates : Charging a flat fee for a project can be beneficial for both the client and the consultant. It ensures that the client knows what they are paying up front, and it allows the consultant to charge more for more complex projects.
  • Retainers : A retainer is a set amount of money that the client pays upfront for services. This can be a good option for clients who need regular consulting services.

No matter which pricing structure you choose, be sure to clearly communicate it to your clients. Additionally, have a detailed invoice template that includes all the engineering services you provided so the client knows exactly what they are paying for.

10.  Manage Client Relationships and Deliver Projects

After finding new clients and marketing your engineering consulting firm, you should begin delivering the projects and getting paid. This means managing client relationships and making sure that clients are happy with your work. Some of the ways to manage relationships with your engineering clients include:

  • Regular communication : Keep in touch with your clients regularly, whether it’s through email, phone calls, or in-person meetings. This will help ensure that they are kept up to date on the progress of their project and that any questions or concerns are addressed quickly.
  • Detailed reports : Send regular reports to your clients detailing the progress of the project, including how much has been completed and how much is left to do. This will help them stay informed on the project’s progress and ensure that you are meeting their expectations.
  • Client feedback : Ask your clients for feedback after the project is completed. This can help you improve your services and ensure that clients are happy with your work.
  • Delivering on time and budget : Make sure that you meet your deadlines and stay within the budget that you agreed upon with the client. This will help keep them happy and ensure future business from them.

Delivering projects on time and within budget is essential for an engineering consulting business. It can be beneficial to create a project management plan that outlines how each project will be completed. This will help ensure that all deadlines are met and that the client is happy with the final product.

Learn more about how to effectively manage client relationships .

Starting an Engineering Consulting Business FAQs

Why start an engineering consulting business.

There are many reasons to start your own engineering consulting firm. The most likely is that you are an experienced engineer who wants to use your skills to help others while earning a nice income and enjoying the flexibility of being your own boss.

What is Needed to Start an Engineering Consulting Business?

There are a few things you will need to start an engineering firm:

  • A business license
  • A website or brochure to market your services
  • A portfolio of your past projects

What are Some Tips for Starting an Engineering Consulting Firm?

The following tips can help you to start an engineering consulting business:

  • Choose the right business structure : There are a few different business structures you can choose from when starting an engineering firm, each with its own pros and cons. For example, a sole proprietorship is easy to set up and maintain but offers limited liability protection for the owner. A limited liability company (LLC) provides more liability protection but is more complex to set up. You should consult with an accountant or lawyer to help you choose the right structure for your business.
  • Create  a website or brochure : A website or brochure is essential for marketing your engineering consulting services. Be sure to include information about your experience and qualifications, as well as examples of your past work.
  • Get insurance : It is important to have insurance in case something goes wrong while working on a project. Be sure to get the insurance that will protect you and your business.
  • Market your services : You will need to market your engineering consulting services to find new clients. Use your website and brochure to market your services, and network with other professionals in your field.
  • Stay up to date on the latest technologies : As an engineer, it is important to stay up to date on the latest technologies. This will help you better understand your clients’ needs and how to best help them.
  • Manage client relationships : It is important to manage client relationships effectively to keep them happy and get future business from them. Be sure to keep clients informed on the progress of their project, meet deadlines, and stay within budget.
  • Keep track of your expenses : Keep track of your expenses so you can stay within your budget. This will help you be more profitable and increase your chances of obtaining future contracts.

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Engineering Consulting Business Plan

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Without professional engineering consulting advice, any science, technology, or related business is likely not going to succeed to its full potential.

Likewise, any business needs a clear roadmap to drive it to success. A business plan will provide directions to your business like a roadmap.

Need help writing a business plan for your engineering consulting business? You’re at the right place. Our engineering consulting business plan template will help you get started.

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Free Business Plan Template

Download our free business plan template now and pave the way to success. Let’s turn your vision into an actionable strategy!

  • Fill in the blanks – Outline
  • Financial Tables

How to Write An Engineering Consulting Business Plan?

Writing an engineering consulting business plan is a crucial step toward the success of your business. Here are the key steps to consider when writing a business plan:

1. Executive Summary

An executive summary is the first section planned to offer an overview of the entire business plan. However, it is written after the whole business plan is ready and summarizes each section of your plan.

Here are a few key components to include in your executive summary:

Introduce your Business:

Start your executive summary by briefly introducing your business to your readers.

Market Opportunity:

Engineering consulting services:.

Highlight the engineering consulting services you offer your clients. The USPs and differentiators you offer are always a plus.

Marketing & Sales Strategies:

Financial highlights:, call to action:.

Ensure your executive summary is clear, concise, easy to understand, and jargon-free.

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engineering consulting firm business plan

2. Business Overview

The business overview section of your business plan offers detailed information about your company. The details you add will depend on how important they are to your business. Yet, business name, location, business history, and future goals are some of the foundational elements you must consider adding to this section:

Business Description:

Describe your business in this section by providing all the basic information:

Describe what kind of engineering consulting company you run and the name of it. You may specialize in one of the following engineering consulting businesses:

  • Civil engineering consulting
  • Mechanical engineering consulting
  • Electrical engineering consulting
  • Industrial engineering consulting
  • Describe the legal structure of your engineering consulting company, whether it is a sole proprietorship, LLC, partnership, or others.
  • Explain where your business is located and why you selected the place.

Mission Statement:

Business history:.

If you’re an established engineering consulting service provider, briefly describe your business history, like—when it was founded, how it evolved over time, etc.

Future Goals

This section should provide a thorough understanding of your business, its history, and its future plans. Keep this section engaging, precise, and to the point.

3. Market Analysis

The market analysis section of your business plan should offer a thorough understanding of the industry with the target market, competitors, and growth opportunities. You should include the following components in this section.

Target market:

Start this section by describing your target market. Define your ideal customer and explain what types of services they prefer. Creating a buyer persona will help you easily define your target market to your readers.

Market size and growth potential:

Describe your market size and growth potential and whether you will target a niche or a much broader market.

Competitive Analysis:

Market trends:.

Analyze emerging trends in the industry, such as technology disruptions, changes in customer behavior or preferences, etc. Explain how your business will cope with all the trends.

Regulatory Environment:

Here are a few tips for writing the market analysis section of your engineering consulting firm business plan:

  • Conduct market research, industry reports, and surveys to gather data.
  • Provide specific and detailed information whenever possible.
  • Illustrate your points with charts and graphs.
  • Write your business plan keeping your target audience in mind.

4. Engineering Consulting Services

The product and services section should describe the specific services and products that will be offered to customers. To write this section should include the following:

Describe your consulting services:

Mention the engineering consulting services your business will offer. This list may include services like,

  • Engineering design & analysis
  • Project management & planning
  • Sustainable engineering solutions
  • Technology consulting & innovation

Describe each service:

Additional services.

In short, this section of your engineering consulting plan must be informative, precise, and client-focused. By providing a clear and compelling description of your offerings, you can help potential investors and readers understand the value of your business.

5. Sales And Marketing Strategies

Writing the sales and marketing strategies section means a list of strategies you will use to attract and retain your clients. Here are some key elements to include in your sales & marketing plan:

Unique Selling Proposition (USP):

Define your business’s USPs depending on the market you serve, the equipment you use, and the unique services you provide. Identifying USPs will help you plan your marketing strategies.

Pricing Strategy:

Marketing strategies:, sales strategies:, customer retention:.

Overall, this section of your engineering consulting business plan should focus on customer acquisition and retention.

Have a specific, realistic, and data-driven approach while planning sales and marketing strategies for your engineering consulting business, and be prepared to adapt or make strategic changes in your strategies based on feedback and results.

6. Operations Plan

The operations plan section of your business plan should outline the processes and procedures involved in your business operations, such as staffing requirements and operational processes. Here are a few components to add to your operations plan:

Staffing & Training:

Operational process:, equipment & software:.

Include the list of equipment and software required for engineering consulting business, such as communication tools, project management software, field equipment, financial & accounting software, etc.

Adding these components to your operations plan will help you lay out your business operations, which will eventually help you manage your business effectively.

7. Management Team

The management team section provides an overview of your engineering consulting business’s management team. This section should provide a detailed description of each manager’s experience and qualifications, as well as their responsibilities and roles.

Founders/CEO:

Key managers:.

Introduce your management and key members of your team, and explain their roles and responsibilities.

Organizational structure:

Compensation plan:, advisors/consultants:.

Mentioning advisors or consultants in your business plans adds credibility to your business idea.

This section should describe the key personnel for your engineering consulting services, highlighting how you have the perfect team to succeed.

8. Financial Plan

Your financial plan section should summarize your business’s financial projections for the first few years. Here are some key elements to include in your financial plan:

Profit & loss statement:

Cash flow statement:, balance sheet:, break-even point:.

Determine and mention your business’s break-even point—the point at which your business costs and revenue will be equal.

Financing Needs:

Be realistic with your financial projections, and make sure you offer relevant information and evidence to support your estimates.

9. Appendix

The appendix section of your plan should include any additional information supporting your business plan’s main content, such as market research, legal documentation, financial statements, and other relevant information.

  • Add a table of contents for the appendix section to help readers easily find specific information or sections.
  • In addition to your financial statements, provide additional financial documents like tax returns, a list of assets within the business, credit history, and more. These statements must be the latest and offer financial projections for at least the first three or five years of business operations.
  • Provide data derived from market research, including stats about the industry, user demographics, and industry trends.
  • Include any legal documents such as permits, licenses, and contracts.
  • Include any additional documentation related to your business plan, such as product brochures, marketing materials, operational procedures, etc.

Use clear headings and labels for each section of the appendix so that readers can easily find the necessary information.

Remember, the appendix section of your engineering consulting business plan should only include relevant and important information supporting your plan’s main content.

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This sample engineering consulting business plan will provide an idea for writing a successful engineering consulting plan, including all the essential components of your business.

After this, if you still need clarification about writing an investment-ready business plan to impress your audience, download our engineering consulting business plan pdf .

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Frequently asked questions, why do you need an engineering consulting business plan.

A business plan is an essential tool for anyone looking to start or run a successful engineering consulting business. It helps to get clarity in your business, secures funding, and identifies potential challenges while starting and growing your business.

Overall, a well-written plan can help you make informed decisions, which can contribute to the long-term success of your engineering consulting company.

How to get funding for your engineering consulting business?

There are several ways to get funding for your engineering consulting business, but self-funding is one of the most efficient and speedy funding options. Other options for funding are:

  • Bank loan – You may apply for a loan in government or private banks.
  • Small Business Administration (SBA) loan – SBA loans and schemes are available at affordable interest rates, so check the eligibility criteria before applying for it.
  • Crowdfunding – The process of supporting a project or business by getting a lot of people to invest in your business, usually online.
  • Angel investors – Getting funds from angel investors is one of the most sought startup options.

Apart from all these options, there are small business grants available, check for the same in your location and you can apply for it.

Where to find business plan writers for your engineering consulting business?

There are many business plan writers available, but no one knows your business and ideas better than you, so we recommend you write your engineering consulting business plan and outline your vision as you have in your mind.

What is the easiest way to write your engineering consulting business plan?

A lot of research is necessary for writing a business plan, but you can write your plan most efficiently with the help of any engineering consulting business plan example and edit it as per your need. You can also quickly finish your plan in just a few hours or less with the help of our business plan software .

How do I write a good market analysis in an engineering consulting business plan?

Market analysis is one of the key components of your business plan that requires deep research and a thorough understanding of your industry. We can categorize the process of writing a good market analysis section into the following steps:

  • Stating the objective of your market analysis—e.g., investor funding.
  • Industry study—market size, growth potential, market trends, etc.
  • Identifying target market—based on user behavior and demographics.
  • Analyzing direct and indirect competitors.
  • Calculating market share—understanding TAM, SAM, and SOM.
  • Knowing regulations and restrictions
  • Organizing data and writing the first draft.

Writing a marketing analysis section can be overwhelming, but using ChatGPT for market research can make things easier.

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engineering consulting firm business plan

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Upmetrics is the #1 business planning software that helps entrepreneurs and business owners create investment-ready business plans using AI. We regularly share business planning insights on our blog. Check out the Upmetrics blog for such interesting reads. Read more

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How to Start an Engineering Firm of One in 5 Steps

engineering consulting firm business plan

  • To start your own engineering firm, you’ll need to write a business plan, set up the legal structure and work environment, and get help for marketing and other nonengineering tasks .  
  • Uncertainty and cash flow are two of the biggest challenges of starting your own firm.    
  • Freelance engineers quote their fees as hourly, fixed fee, or cost-plus amounts; look for industry standards for how much to charge .  
  • One self-employed engineer’s experience has taught her the value of a strong network for finding suppliers, contractors, and new clients .  

There’s a silver lining to the Great Resignation: It spurred a record number of people to start new businesses. According to NBC News , the Census Bureau’s Business Formation Statistics dataset shows a surge in people filing tax paperwork to start new businesses. From January to November 2021, just under 5 million new business applications were submitted, representing an increase of 55% over the same period in 2019.

Running your own business isn’t for everyone, but if you’re curious about how to start an engineering firm, that’s a good sign. You should be an engineer who likes to be the boss, is okay with uncertainty, doesn’t mind constantly hustling for work, and has a passion for both business and engineering. If all of the above applies, you may be the type of person to succeed in starting an engineering enterprise.  

How to Start an Engineering Firm

Before you begin this adventure, it’s important to understand some basics of how to build a successful foundation for your firm—and how to steer clear of common pitfalls for new businesses. Here are five things to consider when opening your engineering firm:

1. Create a Business Plan

You may be an expert in your engineering discipline but not know the first thing about creating a business plan. Don’t know how? A number of online resources can point you in the right direction. The guide from the Small Business Administration (SBA) on how to write a business plan is a good place to start.

Creating a business plan forces you to think through the foundations of your company: the services you will provide, what will differentiate your business from other engineering firms, the types of clients you want to work with, how you will attract those clients, and your financial projections. A business plan is an important way to understand what you’re building—and can also be a way to get funding for your start-up.

2. Figure Out Your Legal Structure, and Get Insurance

Figure out what legal structure will be the best fit for you, and register your business with your state. The legal structure has tax and liability consequences, so do your research and choose carefully. You can always change your firm’s legal structure as it grows. You may start out as a Limited Liability Company (LLC) but eventually change your structure to an S-Corp once you have a substantial number of employees. Learn more about business legal structures at the SBA’s legal structure page .

engineering consulting firm business plan

Whether or not you’re a licensed engineer, you need to get professional liability insurance to protect your firm in case a disgruntled client or someone else sues. If you’re licensed, getting sued may affect your license. Even if you’re confident in the quality of your work and believe you won’t face legal action, you still have to get liability insurance to protect your firm from an unpredictable event that could have serious financial consequences. There are insurance companies that specialize in professional liability insurance for engineers. Ask similar engineering firms whom they contract with, or research companies online.

3. Select the Right Office Environment, Tools, and Software

Working remotely has become the norm in today’s world, which lends tremendous flexibility to how you can structure your office environment. The only tools you really need to provide most services are a laptop, the right software, and Wi-Fi. To keep overhead costs low, working from home, a hotel, a friend’s place, or a coffee shop are all viable alternatives to renting office space.

When working remotely, you may sometimes need to meet clients in person. The key is finding a reliable meeting place that will bolster your professional image. Some coffee shops or other venues provide “conference rooms” you can book ahead of time, and some coworking spaces rent out rooms to drop-ins.

You won’t be able to bypass buying the right software for your engineering firm. Plan for this cost as an essential building block for your business to serve clients. If you need other tools for your firm, such as a 3D printer or other prototyping machinery, you may want to join a coworking space that furnishes them. Paying the extra money for a coworking membership gives you hidden benefits like access to other professionals who may provide synergies, such as businesses to partner with or even potential client contacts.

engineering consulting firm business plan

4. Marketing

Without marketing, you may not have a sustainable business. Even if you’re lucky enough to start the business with a list of clients onboard, that work may eventually dry up, and you’ll need to market your firm to get new clients.

Understanding your target clientele will help focus your marketing efforts. For example, if you’re a civil engineer targeting infrastructure work, market to governments by getting on their lists of qualified vendors. If you’re an electrical engineer, do business-to-business marketing with companies that design electronics. If you work with the general public, social media marketing may win you clients.

Marketing often involves person-to-person interactions. Engineers are stereotyped as introverts who would rather be home tinkering on their latest projects instead of out meeting people. If that’s true for you, running your own business requires either strengthening your people skills or partnering with someone who enjoys meeting with people. For example, if you’re a structural engineer, attending networking events with people in the construction industry—such as architects, developers, and contractors—would be a great way to meet and secure new clients.

5. Get Help

Starting your own engineering business doesn’t just consist of getting clients and doing the work; it also includes billing, bookkeeping, filing taxes, drafting contracts, and running payroll if you have employees. It may be tempting to do everything yourself, but that’s not always the best use of your time. Unless you’re trained as both an accountant and engineer, chances are that retaining a certified accountant would be a better choice than filing your own business taxes. Even if it costs money upfront to hire someone for tasks not in your wheelhouse, it may save money in the long run.

engineering consulting firm business plan

You may eventually have enough work to hire employees. Hiring part-time employees who can help with tasks such as drafting or running calculations is an effective way to begin. The more you can afford to delegate tasks to others, the more it frees you up to do things only you can do, such as envisioning and building your firm into what you want it to be.

The Challenges of Being Your Own Boss

The familiar adage “with great power comes great responsibility” couldn’t be truer when it comes to owning your own business. As your own boss, you have the power to choose how much, where, and with whom you work. However, this comes with the great responsibility of paying your bills even when business is slow. If you have employees, the responsibility is even greater, because you have to meet payroll and provide a stable, positive, and professional work environment.

Dealing with uncertainty presents one of the biggest challenges of being your own boss. When you work for someone else, you can rely on a regular paycheck. But when you’re responsible for rustling up business, paychecks become anything but regular. Engineering businesses can be vulnerable to economic downturns, world events, specific sector shifts, and new technologies and innovations that affect business detrimentally. If you’re just starting out with a solo practice, you may become too busy working on current projects to focus on other aspects, like marketing, which could leave you with no new paying work while bills and expenses roll in.

Cash flow is another big challenge. It’s highly recommended that you amass savings—at least a year’s worth of living expenses—before you make the leap into full-time entrepreneurship. The uncertainty of money coming in combined with the certainty of expenses—business or personal—means that having savings to fall back on when it’s a slow billing month can prevent a great deal of stress and give you enough flexibility that you aren’t forced into a corner with creditors, your landlord, or others. When you’re starting out, there will be some months that you can’t pay yourself. That’s where savings can fill the gap.

How to Master Fee Quoting

When you’re starting your own firm and haven’t been involved in the business dealings of companies you’ve worked for, it’s almost impossible to know what to charge. In most circumstances, there are industry standards for what and how to charge. The best way to find out the industry standard fees in your specific engineering discipline is to talk with other engineering firms. If this is not possible, you can always research online.

Some basic ways of charging include hourly, fixed fee, and cost-plus. The first step is to come up with your hourly rate and the hourly rate of any staff or contractors who work for you. Once you have these figures in mind, you can opt to charge a client hourly for the work you perform. There are a variety of apps that keep track of hours worked and can be shared with your client at billing time.

engineering consulting firm business plan

Another common method is charging a fixed fee. There are several ways to determine a fixed sum. You can estimate the number of hours it would take you or members of your team to complete the task; other industry standards include charging per square foot if it’s a construction project or charging a percentage of the ultimate cost of building the product.

Finally, you could charge clients cost-plus. This is an appropriate method to use when you have a good handle on the costs involved in executing, manufacturing, or building the final product. Cost-plus means you charge an extra fee on top of what it costs to build the product. You may be building the product yourself or contracting with someone who is building it. The fee to your client is whatever it will cost you to have the product built plus an extra fee for your expertise, management, and time.

First Person: Subi Shah on Starting Her Own Firm

Subi Shah is a Chicago-based writer, maker, and mechanical engineer who started her own engineering firm. “I left my job as a salaried mechanical engineer because I didn’t have as much ownership in my projects as I wanted,” Shah says. “I wanted a career with more accountability and engagement with what I was working on, and I wanted more control of how I was spending my time.”

As a mechanical designer, Shah makes clients’ ideas into physical things, such as an insert for a blender or a mountable light fixture. For ideating, designing, modeling, and prototyping, she accesses 3D printing through a hardware-specific coworking space. “Think about the tools you need and whether you have access to them,” Shah says. “A few upfront investments in time or money can help you out in the long run.”

To make prototypes for clients, Shah has discovered many raw-material suppliers and manufacturers already vetted through her network of makers, which has also helped her find new clients and opportunities. “In my coworking space, I’m surrounded by people with ideas for physical products, so our needs often match up,” Shah says. Networking can happen through coworking, social media, or industry meetups in your area.

She also relies on her network for subcontractors when she can’t complete a project alone due to time constraints or lack of expertise. “If a client wants me to do electrical work in addition to mechanical work, I know I need to subcontract an electrical engineer,” she says. “Fortunately, I know someone; otherwise, it wouldn’t be wise to take on that client.”

Communication is key to successful freelancing. Clients should be kept in the loop, especially regarding any complications or delays, which can occur due to factors outside of your control such as supply-chain issues for a part sourced from overseas. Establishing good relationships with existing clients can also pay it forward for your business. “Some clients will want to hire you again, so before the project is over, start talking about next steps and future projects,” Shah says, noting that to drum up new business, “creating a portfolio online can let prospective clients easily see your engineering consulting firm’s past work.”

To sum it up in Shah’s words: “Freelancing can be great, but it’s definitely not the same as a salaried job. Sometimes, you’ll have a lot of work, sometimes none. It’s just like riding a bike: It’s really hard at first, and then you have to constantly pay attention to your surroundings to succeed.”

This article has been updated. It originally published in August 2015. Subi Shah contributed to this article .

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Engineering Consulting Business Plan Template

MAR.12, 2020

Business Plan for starting your engineering consulting firm

Thousands of engineering students are out there with high dreams and aspirations to start and excel in a successful business out there. Having different minds with different plans for a company, but business plans for engineering consulting services are nowadays one of the most exciting and familiar ideas among youngsters. It is wise enough to say that to think and execute any purpose takes efforts in the right direction. Some of them with great views also fail and finally surrender all because of the wrong execution.

So, how to start an engineering consulting business is the central question one should have in mind. Being a businessperson is not that easy because when it comes to marketing, he always looks for more and more profit, but there are ups and downs. For a young mind that has just started his business and is new to the market, it often becomes frustrating with such fluctuations. You need to invest in the right direction and wait patiently for the results.

Always remember, “Rome was not built in a day.” Your mission should be to provide the best and most efficient service to the people, with all types of planning, concept building, and completion. Your team should be highly professional and skilled, which you might be the critical factor, too, using experience and ideas making your customers satisfied. The development of a working strategy and working on its implementation is all it takes. Indeed starting an engineering consulting firm has several challenges that need to get sorted out though we cannot deny the fact that it is a very profitable business.

Further in the article, we will be dealing with these:-

Executive summary

The firm here is to provide all the possible support and successfully solve the problems of the people out there with high, excellent, and efficient consulting services. The firms have a team of competent and well-trained professionals, which would try to help people with consulting to all possible extents. Bit of direct investments in money and time can help you in the long run. The starting of the business is not easy, but it is the most significant step.

Start to invest little, don’t let any even the customers with very less profit go down and start gaining a name in the market. Implementation of quality control work as well as assurance program is beneficial and provides more scope and focus for production work. One needs to be more strategic and schedule oriented to get a good hold over several prospects in the engineering consulting business.

How will the engineering consulting business be started?

The business initially would be all about a small investment and hard works. The company will be started based on providing the best service possible for delivering professional quality services with excellent and efficient budgets and doing so on time. The business plan companies was started to implement and maintain the best policy control and develop a strategy for doing so and maintaining a smooth relation with the customers.

Engineering business

The private limited company is competent enough to deal with any kind of such business. The founder himself, being a professional engineer, is having profound knowledge in the engineering business. The team working alongside is also well to do with such a company and is highly efficient in providing the best service possible. The cost that might involve in such a business may depend on the size of the market. In our opinion, start slow, and then with the growth and expansion, the investments too would become more.

Management of engineering consulting business

The founder does the control of the market; he makes the initial and capital investments made for the company. He is the one who manages the investments made for the company following development and future growth. The management and success of the business, at last, are the results of cooperation and hard work by the team of workers in the venture.

Customers of engineering consulting firms

The customer of such a business, mainly the one who needs help and expert assistance in the specific project, may be private or public. These firms can provide expertise in the sections such as design, model, execution, and many many more aspects relating to civil, electrical, mechanical, and sometimes software engineering. Effective and efficacious communication is very helpful when it comes to engineering consulting. It is a way, which is more efficient, and most number of people can easily get through their problems/issues regarding their engineering projects/career easily. The customers of such firms are the people who need a tinge of experienced advice and guidance over their projects.

Business targets

Start with a little, and do not ever panic to make decisions for your investment for your business plan . The goal mainly should deal with providing the customer what they need, and going on with slow and steady growth to increase the business, I a year or two of your business years the target should be to get market value and minimum. Increase in the gross margin (which would significantly help your firm to grow), and the profit line should be one of your targets.

Company summary

Company owner.

The owner of the company is an experienced and skilled engineer. His mind-set is mainly involved in the welfare of the customers. The owner is the one responsible or every type of investments and inputs to the company, he not only is a role model for the company and the team but also is the main thought behind the concept of setting such a business. He was always into such an idea since starting of his carrier, and with hard works and efforts here, he is today making the dream come true

Why is the engineering consulting business being started?

The owner, as specified above, had the idea of doing so. The company is being stated to deal with the problems of the people, help them in all possible ways when it comes to consultations about design, model, and structure of the project or sometimes thoroughly supervising the project. The company aims to provide every possible expertise in the plans. They always will be getting befits from the best ideas and lots of experience.

Establish a web presence

A web presence is essential for any type of business to grow in the era of technology, and especially one that is dealing with engineering and technology needs to have a web presence. It not only makes your company grab opportunities from any part of the world but also makes your presence in the market stable. Our business mainly deals with consulting services, which needs a web presence. More good reviews and a significant presence out there allow you to grab more and more.

Services for the customers

  • The leading function is for consultation and investigation which further also involves studies regarding it
  • It includes detailed and comprehensive research and analysis of different conditions
  • Comparison between different service ideas and opinion for the project
  • Many various factors, such as risk management, capital and project cost, management analysis, and different environmental facts.
  • When it comes to civil consultancy, it includes many urban and land development plans along with generating different and the best possible facilities
  • Public involvement is also one of the services provided, the owner of the project need new concepts and ideas for explaining and involving the public with him
  • When dealt with mechanical, the services can include selection and testing of materials, specialized equipment selection and employing people with supervising them for the project
  • Evaluation and examination of the existing materials and rating them accordingly is one of the services
  • They have some professional services like designing, bidding, and construction
  • Further, they analyze the report based on the study and explain aspects such as financial requirements to the project

Market analysis of the engineering consulting business

If business was a sport, then the market is the playing ground where it is performed. Any type of business needs a demand to complete, and for a growing activity, it needs to expand and grow.

Market trends

Potentially we as an engineering consulting firm have a lot of different markets to target. According to the direction, we are there for planning and designing services. We not help the designs of the project with our innovative ideas but also give a proper plan to execute it. The trend shows that most of the inputs in the market come from architectural designing, then comes the structural design, and lastly, the mechanical and electrical designing.

The most important market for our firm would be the structural and the architectural designing companies as they need the inputs and detailed analysis of their projects.

Market segmentation

  • For engineering, architectural, and structural firms- most of the customers for our firms are from these companies. The market in these firms have a great need for consulting services; the inputs with ideas, planning, design, and structural development are well-known works out there. Even financial management is one of the aspects
  • Some government departments need the help of consultations firms with projects such as construction, forensic engineering, or structural management. We would like to present ourselves as a firm standing out there with consultation services for projects such as management and restoration.
  • Law-related works are also one of our market targets. We would like to provide our expertise in fields such as mediation, arbitration and many more which would be assisted by forensic engineering
  • Private individuals and realtors- we would like to provide services regarding home inspection for those people who are renovating or fixing their hose up with modern equipment
  • Bodies such as Municipal Corporation also might be one of our markets. Since we are not only interested in business but also promoting it and expanding our market. Bodies such as, municipal cooperation have a vast access to people, if we can collaborate with such organizations and try to help them out. Technically, they can be one of our advertising bodies and not only this much since they work for the government and if they approve you to be a legitimate body, we can attract young students, who are interested in engineering as carrier and teach them for their benefit, which ultimately makes more and more name in the market.

Our main business targets are all the companies and firms, whether government, private, or individual ventures, who are looking for some expertise in their projects. The main objectives generally would be the substantial architectural and structural firms looking for support with their plans for ideas, designs, and financial planning. Other destinations can be electrical and mechanical firms, bodies like municipal cooperation, government structures, and law firms.

To price and bill for a project, which you will be working on is a difficult task. Often the customers can be confusing depending upon their expectation for the price, and one can find it too high and unaffordable while for the other it might be well within the reach

Clients can compare two of the providers but usually goes on what they hear from the market, which makes an essential point of standing in the market with the right name. When reasonable concessions are given with satisfactory work, customers will return to you for the next job, and also the recommendation of your work will create chances in the market.

excellent work

excellent work, competent advice. Alex is very friendly, great communication. 100% I recommend CGS capital. Thank you so much for your hard work!

The primary components of strategy of our business will keep growing and expanding the company in the market. The primary market strategy for the company would include the promotion and spread of the business. Good strategies, along with management for understanding the budgets, can solve your problems easily.

Sales strategy

When it comes to internet and web promotion, we will try to maximize the flow of users to our website with efficient advertisements and campaigns like email campaigns. One of the best ways to connect with customers is to meet them directly. We will try advertising in a limited budget by giving technical supports to NGOs and campaigning in local communities and schools.

Competitive analysis

It is something that is the best way to rate and know where your business is lacking. Comparing another such firm who has similar services to offer allows you to understand how to overcome things which make you lag. Since you are competing and analyzing yourself, it makes you grow with double speed as it would be the combined inputs of both you and the one which you are getting from your competitor. When you analyze on this basis, it makes your market growth, which ultimately makes your business grow.

Sales monthly

Sales monthly and annual are the analysis of the growth of your company in months and years. Regularly the gross margin is expected to be the same all over and will remain constant; with time passing by, it might increase, but it is going to be persistent.

Sales yearly

For yearly sales, the first year n is expected to be moreover a constant one, the second year might show fluctuations, and in the third, we expect a growth in gross margin. During this time, the business might need some extra cost input, which disrupts the graph sometimes, but in most cases, it same.

Sales forecast

The sales forecast is a summary of the sales and layout of the business in months and years. The sales in months and years are expressed in such estimates. This forecast shows a constant deal typically for three years in a successfully running business with a slow start for the first year. When we talk of the third year, the gross margin likely will increase, but don’t lose your patience and be there to support the business.

Personnel plan

Company staffs.

A company is a roof that is supported by the strong pillars of the employees working out there. The company staff, which gives you support and confidence to be there out at the market, is one of the main reasons why a venture becomes successful. If the team does this much for you, makes the backbone of your company secure, then they deserve appreciation, which may be in ways of good and justified salary.

The average salary of employees

The average salary of the employees should be adequate to justify their works when an employee gets what he deserves; he gives his best for the company. It creates a healthy environment and a happy workplace for the people out there. The average salary should justify what one does for a company, and most importantly, the employees should have the respect they deserve.

Financial plans

Important assumptions.

We have assumed the economy be healthy and without a recession. We believe the creation of the company will not change the delivery of engineering services. Different taxes and interest rates are taken as conservative assumptions.

Break-even analysis

A break-even analysis helps you compare total variable and fixed costs with sales revenues to determine the level of sales volume. Charts and graphs can show it, and it is the number of sales, which we need to cover the cost, and we don’t think that before a few months such things would happen.

Projected profit and loss

The projected profit and loss for the first financial year are considered much less, and the gross margin was taken high. As the years pass by and the business is in the second, and the third year the growth can be seen, and gross margin should readily increase

Profit monthly

Profit monthly with our business is moreover seen constant. The profit margins seen every month are next to the same in the initial financial years.

Profit yearly

It is the profit of the business in a financial year. In the first year the profit is not expected to be high, the second year remains to fluctuate, and good profits can be appreciated until the third financial year.

Gross margin monthly

Gross margin monthly is the gross profit the company will make in a month. The gross margin monthly is not estimated to be high in our business in the initial months.

Gross margin yearly

This is the gross profit made by our company annually. In other words, the sales from the business minus the gross cost. In our business, the first year is not expected to give a great gross margin. However, a steep increase can be expected during the third year.

Projected cash flow

The projected cash flow is an essential aspect of the project. With the starting of the business, one should have ready cash inflow, and sometimes an increase in capital investment to boost up the industry is needed. The first periods are often critical, and at this time, a company needs support.

Projected balance sheet

The balance sheet in our business shows healthy financial growth and an increase in the net worth. It shows growth in gross income and increasing business.

Business ratio

It is the ratio indicating if our business is growing or indirectly if we have many to pay our credit holders or not. Our company shows a good ratio, which means we are running out of adequate cash flow.

I hope you got some ideas on how to start with a business in engineering consulting services. Collect your idea and accurately put them for the best result. Thanks for reading!

Download Engineering Consulting Business Plan Sample in PDF

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What is engineering

What is consultation, what an engineering consultant does, engineer vs  architect, does one require one another, kinds of engineer.

  • Mechanical, it the branch of engineering that deals with the design, construction, and use of machines
  • Chemical, is the branch of engineering that deals with the design and operation of industrial chemical plants
  • Civil,  is the branch of engineering that looks for ways on how people can live a convenient life or to make our living condition less difficult to live.You may also check out  implementation plan examples .
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  • Management, this is the kind of engineering that combines the general kinds of engineering (technical and structural) with business.You may also like  company plan examples .
  • Geotechnical, is the branch of engineering that focuses on the rock formation, the roads, soil, pathways, highways, and the likes.

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Steps to Becoming an Engineering Consultant

1. earn a degree in engineering, 2. gain work experience and training, 3. become a licensed professional engineer, 4. start your own consulting firm, 5. get a master’s degree or ph.d., advantages of hiring an engineering consultant, 1. consultant fees., 2. a fresh outside perspective., 3. experience and intelligent advice., 4. specialized skill., 5. ready made business plan., disadvantages of not hiring a consultant, engineering consulting example.

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How To Write a Business Plan for Engineering Consulting Firm in 9 Steps: Checklist

By henry sheykin, resources on engineering consulting firm.

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Welcome to our blog post on how to write a business plan for an engineering consulting firm! With the demand for engineering solutions on the rise, the industry is experiencing significant growth. According to recent statistics, the engineering consulting market is projected to reach a value of $1.06 trillion by 2026, growing at a CAGR of 3.9%. This presents a great opportunity for aspiring entrepreneurs to establish a successful consulting firm in this competitive field.

Researching the market and competition is the first crucial step in building a solid foundation for your engineering consulting firm. This involves gaining insights into the current trends, industry dynamics, and competitive landscape. By understanding the market, you can identify potential gaps and niches where your firm can excel.

Defining your target audience and potential clients is essential to tailor your services and marketing strategies to meet their specific needs. Identifying the industries, companies, and individuals who require engineering consulting services will help you focus your efforts and position your firm as a reliable and trusted partner in solving their engineering challenges.

Once you have a clear understanding of your target audience, it's time to define the specific engineering consulting services your firm will offer. Whether it's structural engineering, environmental assessments, or mechanical design, specializing in specific areas of expertise can set your firm apart and attract clients who value your specialized knowledge.

Building a successful engineering consulting firm requires careful consideration of the legal structure and necessary permits and licenses. Research the legal requirements in your area to ensure compliance and avoid any legal issues that could hinder the growth and operation of your firm.

As with any business venture, assessing the startup costs and financial requirements is crucial. This involves estimating the initial investment needed to set up your firm, as well as ongoing expenses such as office rent, equipment, salaries, and marketing efforts. Creating a comprehensive financial plan will help you determine the financial viability of your business and secure any necessary funding.

A robust marketing and sales strategy is vital in attracting clients and establishing your firm as a trusted provider of engineering consulting services. Identify your target market, position your firm's unique value proposition, and employ various marketing channels, such as digital marketing, networking events, and industry conferences, to promote your services and generate leads.

Building a network of industry contacts is essential for an engineering consulting firm. Establishing relationships with key players in the industry, including clients, suppliers, and industry associations, can lead to valuable business opportunities, referrals, and collaborations.

Creating a pricing structure for your services is a critical step in ensuring profitability and sustainability. Consider factors such as your overhead expenses, industry standards, client budget constraints, and the value your firm brings to the table when determining your pricing strategy.

Lastly, outlining your business goals and long-term vision provides a roadmap for your firm's growth and success. Set measurable goals that align with your overall vision and regularly review and adjust them as your firm evolves and expands.

By following these nine essential steps, you can craft a comprehensive business plan for your engineering consulting firm that sets you up for success in the competitive market. Stay tuned for our upcoming blog posts where we dive deeper into each step, providing valuable insights and actionable advice to help you navigate the journey of starting and growing your consulting firm.

Research The Market And Competition

Before launching your engineering consulting firm, it is crucial to conduct thorough research on the market and competition. This step will provide you with valuable insights and help you make informed decisions throughout the business planning process.

Start by analyzing the current market trends and dynamics . Understand the demand for engineering consulting services in your target area and identify any gaps or opportunities that you can capitalize on. Look for emerging technologies or industries that might require specialized engineering expertise.

Next, identify your competition . Research other engineering consulting firms operating in your target market and understand their strengths, weaknesses, and areas of specialization. This will help you position your firm strategically and differentiate yourself from the competition.

Research Tips:

  • Utilize online resources: Explore industry reports, market research databases, and trade publications to gather relevant information about the engineering consulting industry.
  • Attend industry events and conferences: Networking with professionals in the field can provide valuable insights into market trends and help you build connections within the industry.
  • Conduct surveys and interviews: Reach out to potential clients and industry experts to gather firsthand knowledge about their needs, preferences, and pain points.

By conducting comprehensive market research and understanding your competition, you will be equipped with the necessary knowledge to position your engineering consulting firm for success.

Define Your Target Audience And Potential Clients

Defining your target audience and potential clients is a crucial step in developing a successful business plan for your engineering consulting firm. By understanding who your ideal clients are, you can tailor your services and marketing strategies to meet their specific needs and preferences. Here are some important considerations to help you define your target audience:

  • 1. Research the industry: Conduct thorough market research to identify the key players in the engineering consulting industry and gain insights into their target audience. This will help you understand the demand for your services and identify any gaps in the market that your firm can fill.
  • 2. Segment your audience: Divide your potential clients into specific segments based on industry, location, size, and other relevant criteria. This will allow you to create targeted marketing campaigns and develop specialized services that cater to the unique needs of each segment.
  • 3. Identify pain points: Identify the challenges and pain points that your target audience faces in their engineering projects. This will help you position your firm as a solution provider and tailor your services to address these specific issues.
  • 4. Consider demographics: Take into account the demographic characteristics of your target audience, such as age, gender, education, and income level. This information will help you understand their preferences and tailor your marketing messages to resonate with them.
  • 5. Conduct surveys and interviews: Reach out to potential clients in your target audience through surveys or interviews. This will provide valuable insights into their needs, preferences, and expectations, allowing you to refine your services and marketing strategies.

Tips for defining your target audience and potential clients:

  • Focus on a specific niche within the engineering consulting industry, rather than trying to serve all types of clients.
  • Stay updated with industry trends and technological advancements to understand the evolving needs of your target audience.
  • Monitor your competitors' target audience to identify any new opportunities or underserved segments.
  • Regularly review and update your target audience and client profiles to ensure they align with your business goals and offerings.

Identify The Specific Engineering Consulting Services You Will Offer

Identifying the specific engineering consulting services your firm will offer is a critical step in developing a successful business plan. This step will help you define your niche and target potential clients who require your expertise. Here are some key points to consider:

  • Conduct a thorough analysis of your skills and expertise: Begin by assessing your own qualifications, experience, and areas of specialization within the field of engineering. This self-assessment will help you identify the specific consulting services you are most qualified to provide.
  • Research the market demand for different engineering services: Investigate the current market trends and demand for various engineering consulting services. This research will enable you to understand which services are in high demand and have the potential for growth.
  • Determine your unique selling proposition (USP): Differentiate your firm from competitors by identifying your unique strengths and expertise. This could include specific engineering disciplines, innovative techniques, advanced software tools, or specialized knowledge in a particular industry.
  • Collaborate with industry experts or seek feedback from potential clients to identify the gaps in the market that your services can fill.
  • Consider offering a range of consulting services but focus on a few specific areas where you can excel and establish a reputation.
  • Continuously update your skills and knowledge to stay ahead in the rapidly evolving field of engineering.

By identifying the specific engineering consulting services you will offer, you can position your firm as a valuable resource for clients seeking specialized expertise. This strategic focus will not only help you attract and retain clients, but also differentiate your firm in a competitive market.

Determine The Legal Structure And Necessary Permits And Licenses

When starting an engineering consulting firm, it is crucial to determine the legal structure of your business. This decision will have implications for issues such as liability, taxation, and governance.

Common legal structures for engineering consulting firms include sole proprietorships, partnerships, limited liability companies (LLCs), and corporations. Each structure has its own advantages and drawbacks, so it is important to consult with a legal professional to determine which option is best for your specific needs.

Additionally, you will need to obtain the necessary permits and licenses to operate your engineering consulting firm legally. The specific requirements will vary depending on your location and the services you plan to offer.

  • Research the local, state, and federal regulations that apply to engineering consulting firms in your area.
  • Identify the permits and licenses required for your specific services, such as professional engineering licenses or business operation permits.
  • Contact the appropriate regulatory agencies to understand the application process and any prerequisites.
  • Ensure that you have all the necessary documentation, such as educational qualifications or proof of insurance, to support your permit and license applications.
  • Consult with an attorney or legal advisor to ensure compliance with all relevant laws and regulations.
  • Stay up to date with any changes or updates to licensing requirements to avoid any legal complications.
  • Consider joining professional organizations or associations related to engineering consulting. These organizations can provide guidance and resources on legal matters and professional standards.

Assess The Startup Costs And Financial Requirements

Before launching your engineering consulting firm, it is crucial to assess the startup costs and financial requirements involved. Having a clear understanding of your financial needs will help you plan and secure the necessary funding to set up and sustain your business.

Start by determining the fixed and variable costs associated with setting up your firm. Fixed costs include expenses such as office space, equipment, utilities, and initial legal and licensing fees. Variable costs encompass ongoing expenses like salaries, marketing efforts, and professional development.

To get a complete picture of your financial requirements, create a detailed budget that includes all anticipated expenses for at least the first year of operations. Be diligent in estimating costs, considering both optimistic and conservative scenarios.

Here are some crucial elements to consider:

  • Research the average market rates for engineering consulting services to help you estimate your pricing and revenue projections accurately.
  • Consider the costs associated with professional liability insurance, which is vital for protecting your firm against potential legal claims or damages.

Once you have a comprehensive understanding of your startup costs, you can explore various funding options. These may include personal savings, loans from financial institutions, partnerships, or seeking investment from venture capitalists or angel investors.

Keep in mind that securing funding may require a thorough business plan, financial projections, and a convincing pitch that showcases the potential profitability and viability of your firm.

By assessing your startup costs and financial requirements early on, you can develop a realistic financial plan and ensure you have the necessary resources to get your engineering consulting firm off the ground and on the path to success.

Develop A Comprehensive Marketing And Sales Strategy

Developing a comprehensive marketing and sales strategy for your engineering consulting firm is crucial to attract clients and ensure the success of your business. It involves identifying your target market, understanding their needs, and creating a plan to reach and engage with potential clients. Here are the key steps to develop an effective marketing and sales strategy:

  • Identify your target market: Determine the industries, companies, or clients that would benefit most from your engineering consulting services. Research their needs, pain points, and challenges to tailor your marketing efforts.
  • Create a compelling brand: Develop a strong and distinctive brand identity that reflects your firm's values, expertise, and unique selling proposition. This includes designing a captivating logo, developing a professional website, and creating consistent branding materials.
  • Establish your online presence: In today's digital age, having a strong online presence is crucial for marketing your engineering consulting firm. Create a search engine optimized (SEO) website, regularly publish informative content such as blog posts or whitepapers, and engage with your audience on social media platforms.
  • Network and build relationships: Attend industry events, conferences, and trade shows to network with potential clients. Establish relationships with key influencers, industry associations, and relevant stakeholders to enhance your visibility and credibility.
  • Offer valuable content: Position yourself as an industry expert by providing valuable content to your target audience. This can be in the form of informative articles, case studies, or webinars that showcase your expertise and solve common challenges in the engineering field.
  • Utilize digital marketing strategies: Leverage digital marketing techniques such as search engine optimization (SEO), pay-per-click (PPC) advertising, email marketing, and social media advertising to reach and engage with your target audience.
  • Build a referral network: Encourage satisfied clients to refer your services to others by offering incentives or developing a referral program. Word-of-mouth recommendations can be a powerful marketing tool for your engineering consulting firm.
  • Track and analyze your marketing efforts: Regularly monitor and analyze the effectiveness of your marketing and sales strategies. Use analytics tools to measure website traffic, conversion rates, and lead generation. Adjust your strategies accordingly to optimize your results.
  • Stay up to date with the latest industry trends and use them to your advantage in your marketing efforts.
  • Consider offering free consultations or assessments to potential clients as a way to showcase your expertise and build trust.
  • Collaborate with complementary businesses or professionals to expand your reach and tap into new markets.
  • Regularly engage with your audience on social media platforms by sharing valuable content, responding to comments, and addressing inquiries promptly.

Build A Network Of Industry Contacts

Building a strong network of industry contacts is essential for the success and growth of your engineering consulting firm. These contacts can provide valuable insights, opportunities for collaboration, and a support system to navigate the challenges of the industry. Here are some important steps to help you start building your network:

  • Attend industry events and conferences: Industry events and conferences are excellent opportunities to meet professionals in your field and establish connections. Take the time to introduce yourself, engage in meaningful conversations, and exchange contact information.
  • Join professional associations and organizations: Becoming a member of industry-specific associations or organizations can provide access to a network of like-minded professionals. Attend their meetings, participate in forums and discussion groups, and contribute your expertise to build credibility.
  • Utilize online platforms: Take advantage of online platforms such as LinkedIn to connect with professionals in the engineering industry. Join relevant groups and engage in discussions, share your knowledge, and foster connections.
  • Participate in industry-focused workshops or seminars: Attending workshops or seminars specific to your field allows you to meet professionals who share similar interests and goals. Take advantage of these events to network with participants and speakers.

Networking Tips:

  • Be proactive: Initiate conversations and take the initiative to follow up with your new contacts.
  • Offer value: Share your expertise and insights with others to showcase your knowledge and build trust.
  • Maintain regular contact: Stay in touch with your contacts through emails, phone calls, or meetings to nurture the relationship.
  • Give and receive referrals: Be open to referring clients or projects to your contacts, and likewise, ask them for referrals when appropriate.
  • Attend social events: Networking opportunities can arise in various settings, including social gatherings and community activities. Be open to expanding your network beyond formal business events.

Remember, building a network of industry contacts takes time and effort. Be patient, genuine, and consistent in your interactions to establish meaningful connections that can benefit your engineering consulting firm in the long run.

Create A Pricing Structure For Your Services

Creating a pricing structure for your engineering consulting services is a crucial step in ensuring the financial success of your firm. It involves determining how much to charge for your services in order to cover your costs and generate a profit. Here are some important factors to consider:

  • Cost Analysis: Begin by conducting a thorough analysis of your costs, including overhead expenses, labor costs, materials, and any other associated expenses. This will help you determine the minimum price you need to charge to cover these costs.
  • Value-Based Pricing: Consider the value your services provide to clients. Are you offering specialized expertise or unique solutions? If so, you may be able to charge a higher price based on the value you deliver.
  • Competitive Research: Research what other engineering consulting firms in your area are charging for similar services. This will give you a benchmark to compare and ensure you are pricing yourself competitively.
  • Profit Margin: Determine the profit margin you wish to achieve. This will depend on your business goals and the level of investment required to deliver your services.

Tips for creating a pricing structure:

  • Consider offering different pricing tiers or packages to cater to different types of clients and their specific needs.
  • Regularly review and adjust your pricing as needed. Market conditions and industry trends may require you to adapt your pricing structure over time.
  • Take into account any discounts or promotions you may want to offer to attract new clients or incentivize repeat business.
  • Ensure your pricing structure is transparent and easy for clients to understand. Clearly communicate what is included in each service package and any additional fees or charges that may apply.

By thoroughly analyzing your costs, considering the value you provide, researching the competition, and setting a desired profit margin, you can create a pricing structure that is both competitive and profitable for your engineering consulting firm . Remember to regularly review and adjust your pricing as needed to stay competitive in the market.

Outline Your Business Goals And Long-Term Vision

Having a clear vision and well-defined goals is crucial for the success and growth of any business, including an engineering consulting firm. By outlining your business goals and long-term vision, you establish a roadmap for your firm to follow, helping you stay focused, motivated, and aligned with your desired outcomes.

1. Define your short-term and long-term goals: Start by setting specific and achievable short-term goals that you aim to accomplish within the first few years of your firm's operation. These goals should be measurable and aligned with your overall vision. Additionally, outline long-term goals that define the direction and aspirations of your firm over the next five to ten years.

  • Break down your long-term goals into smaller milestones to track your progress more effectively.
  • Ensure your goals are realistic and attainable by considering market conditions, competition, and available resources.

2. Identify key performance indicators (KPIs): KPIs are essential metrics that help you track the performance and success of your engineering consulting firm. Determine which KPIs are most relevant to your business, such as client satisfaction, project success rate, revenue growth, and employee productivity.

  • Regularly monitor and evaluate your KPIs to identify areas for improvement and make informed decisions.
  • Set ambitious, yet achievable, targets for your KPIs to drive continuous growth and improvement.

3. Establish your unique value proposition: Differentiate your engineering consulting firm from competitors by establishing a unique value proposition. Determine what sets your firm apart and how you will deliver exceptional value to your clients. This may include specialized expertise, innovative solutions, exceptional customer service, or a combination of factors.

  • Regularly communicate your unique value proposition to potential clients and ensure it is reflected in your marketing materials and client interactions.
  • Continuously evaluate and enhance your value proposition to stay competitive and satisfy evolving client needs.

4. Adapt to industry trends and technological advancements: Engineering is a dynamic field, constantly evolving with new technologies, regulations, and industry trends. Outline how your firm will stay up-to-date with these changes and integrate them into your services. Consider investing in continuing education, fostering innovation, and building partnerships with technology providers.

  • Stay informed about emerging technologies and industry trends through industry publications, conferences, and networking events.
  • Implement a culture of continuous learning and innovation within your firm to ensure sustainable growth and competitiveness.

5. Foster a positive company culture: An engaged and motivated team plays a significant role in the success of your engineering consulting firm. Outline your approach to fostering a positive company culture that promotes collaboration, continuous learning, and employee satisfaction. Consider offering professional development opportunities, implementing mentorship programs, and creating a supportive work environment.

  • Regularly communicate and reinforce your firm's mission, values, and culture to cultivate a sense of belonging and shared purpose among your team.
  • Seek employee feedback and address any concerns or issues to maintain a positive work environment.

By outlining your business goals and long-term vision, you provide a clear direction for your engineering consulting firm. Continuously assess and refine your goals and vision as your firm grows and adapts to changing market dynamics. Regularly revisit your outlined goals to ensure you stay on track and remain focused on achieving your desired success.

In conclusion, starting an engineering consulting firm requires careful planning and consideration. By following the nine steps outlined in this checklist, you can create a solid foundation for your business and position yourself for success in the industry. It is essential to conduct thorough market research, define your target audience, and identify the specific services you will offer. Additionally, understanding the legal requirements and financial aspects of your business is crucial. Develop a robust marketing and sales strategy, build a network of industry contacts, and establish a pricing structure for your services. Finally, outline your business goals and long-term vision to guide your firm's growth. With the right approach and dedication, your engineering consulting firm can thrive in the competitive market.

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Starting a small engineering consulting firm

Journal title, journal issn, volume title.

When starting an engineering consulting firm, there are many questions such as, “How do I start a business?”, “How do I handle cash flow?”, “How do I get clients?”, and “How do I market?” among others that need to be answered. Since I am a sole proprietorship engineer, I will first start this paper by constructing a foundation. For a start-up, this foundation is how to get your business started. Then I will explain the business plan. This plan for a business is its structural frame that holds up the company. Finally, I will erect the facade of the business. Just like a building’s façade, marketing strategies are the face of the business and some work well while others fail in their application. At the end, I hope to be able to give a clear understanding of what it takes to start your own engineering consulting firm.

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Engineering Consulting Business Plan Sample

The guidelines within this sample business plan will provide you with a good overview of starting an engineering consulting business..

ExpertHub Staff

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7 tips on how to become a successful entrepreneur in the construction business, construction business plan, commercial contractor business plan.

The guidelines within this sample plan will provide you with a good overview of starting an engineering consulting business. Use this example to compile your own.

1. Executive Summary

StructureAll Ltd. will be formed as a consulting firm specialising in structural engineering services. A home office in Yellowknife, NT will be established the first year of operations to reduce start up costs.

The founder of the firm is a professional engineer with eighteen years of progressive and responsible experience.

The founder, Philip Nolan, provided an initial investment towards start-up costs. Of this, more than half is required for start-up expenses while the balance is to to be placed in the company accounts as working capital.

The firm will specialise in providing three dimensional modeling and visualisation to our clients. State-of-the-art analysis and design tools will be an integral part of the business plan. Implementation of a quality control and assurance programme will provide a focus for production work.

1.1 Objectives

  • Modest revenues the first year, with slow by steady growth over the next two years.
  • Achieve 20% of market value at the end of the third year of operation.
  • Increase gross margin significantly by the third year of operations.

1.2 Mission

Our mission is to provide clients across Canada’s North with structural engineering services for all types of buildings, from concept planning through to completion, with a highly skilled professional team working together, using common sense and practical experience.

1.3 Keys to Success

  • Provide professional quality services on time and on budget.
  • Develop a follow-up strategy to gauge performance with all clients.
  • Implement and maintain a quality control and assurance policy.

2. Company Summary

engineering-company-summary

StructureAll Ltd. is a new company which provides professional engineering design services for clients which manage, maintain, and plan for residential, commercial, and industrial type buildings.

Our focus will be the public sector market in remote communities across Canada’s North.

2.1 Company Ownership

StructureAll Ltd. will be created as a limited liability company. The company will be privately owned by Philip D. Nolan. Leslie C. Goit will also be listed as a Director.

2.2 Start-up Summary

Our start-up expenses allow for initial legal expenses, licenses, permits, stationary, specialty software, office equipment, and furniture.

In addition to these start-up costs, an initial balance will be placed in the company accounts. The software purchases include an allowance of $5,000 for AutoCADD® 2000, $1,800 for National Master Specifications, and $200 for QuickBooks® (accounting package).

Philip Nolan will contribute towards the overall start-up costs.

2.3 Company Locations and Facilities

We will establish a home office in Yellowknife, NT in order to reduce start-up costs.

The office space is estimated to be 150 square feet. We will be installing a dedicated fax line as well as a high-speed Internet connection. An interactive website will also be developed which will serve as a marketing tool.

The domain name of “structureall.com” has already been reserved.

3. Services

engineering-services

StructureAll Ltd. offers complete structural engineering services. We will focus on buildings with the following ‘Use and Occupancies’:

  • Residential.
  • Commercial.
  • Industrial.

The company is ‘project’ oriented where each project involves:

  • Renovations.
  • Rehabilitation.
  • New construction.

We offer innovative and economical design services, maintaining state-of-the-art design technology. We meet client needs on projects of all sizes and smaller, special design projects.

3.1 Competitive Comparison

StructureAll Ltd. offers their clients superior service accompanied with state-of-the-art analysis and design capabilities.

We will offer three-dimensional visualisation services to reduce the possibility of spatial conflicts with architectural elements and other engineering disciplines. In comparison, our competitors rely mostly on two-dimensional models.

We will implement a quality assurance and control program for all projects undertaken. This document will serve to focus on the standards which will be achieved and a means of measuring performance.

A systematic manner of sorting and retrieving a library of structural elements and assemblies will be implemented. Slide libraries will be available from a tool bar within AutoCADD for quick access.

We will adopt the layering standards of the American Institute of Architects (AIA). In comparison, our competitors do not have an integrated database. StructureAll Ltd. will adopt the filing systems developed by the AIA.

All project information will be tracked using an integrated database management system. All of our business tools will be year 2000 compliant.

3.2 Sales Literature

A brochure system, which covers a broad spectrum of the target market segment will be developed during the initial year of operations.

This system will be modular in nature and include many ‘boiler plate’ sections which may be edited to suit specific needs. Brochure inserts will be maintained as individual sheets to facilitate their assembly in any custom situation.

Our website will be developed the first year of operations and include a description of our services, the areas which we plan to serve, contact information, a list of representative projects, and a brief biography of Philip D. Nolan.

An Internet domain name has already been reserved for this purpose … http://www.structureall.com A series of templates will be developed for project proposals. The format for all proposals will include:

  • Cover letter.
  • Scope of services for each project.
  • Fee (if requested).
  • Firm’s qualifications to provide services (overview).
  • Project Team (describes each person’s tasks and qualifications).
  • Philosophy of design approach.
  • Relevant experience.
  • Schedule to provide services.

3.3 Service Description

  • Project Consulting: Proposed and billed on a per-project and per-milestone basis, project consulting offers a client company a way to harness our specific qualities and use our expertise to develop and/or implement plans, from conceptual planning to turnover. Proposal costs will be associated with each project.
  • Forensic Investigations: Proposed and billed on a per-project and per-milestone basis, our investigations will serve the public and private sector markets. We will focus on troubleshooting buildings where damage and or failure has occurred. Our reports will outline the description of the problem, the nature of the mechanism which has caused damage or failure, and a list of options for remedial action including estimated budget costs for implementation.
  • Project Management: Our project management services include defining client needs, preparing bid documents, tendering, bid analysis, construction review, payment certification, contract administration, and warranty inspections. Projects include new facilities, renovations, repairs, and remodeling.
  • Dispute Resolution: We draw upon our broad range of construction and contract administration experience to provide dispute resolution services, including arbitration, mediation and expert reports for litigation. This work is supported by forensic engineering services to identify the cause of failures.
  • Restoration Engineering: We provide condition survey, design, and construction review services for the repair of building structures.
  • Home Inspections: We will provide prospective homeowners with an assessment of the various systems in a residential home, including foundations, framing, building envelope and efficiency, mechanical systems, electrical systems, and general safety issues. We provide a photographic record along with a thorough written report.

3.4 Fulfillment

We will turn to qualified professionals to supplement computer aided design and drafting (CADD) services, specialty connection designs, and analysis support services which are areas that we can afford to contract out without risking the core values provided to the clients.

We have fostered several alliances with suppliers of structural elements, including glued laminated lumber, pre-engineered dimension lumber trusses, engineered lumber, and steel to facilitate this strategy.

In the second year of operations, we intend to secure a storefront presence in Yellowknife. At this stage, we will seek qualified northern engineering students to provide them with work experience in a structural engineering office environment.

3.5 Technology

StructureAll Ltd. will maintain complete and comprehensive Windows® based analysis tools for structural design.

An integrated computer aided design and drafting tool permits several evaluations to be made on a structure at minimal cost. StructureAll Ltd. will maintain an Internet website complete with file transfer protocol (ftp) capabilities.

3.6 Future Services

Quality Control and Assurance: Serving the needs of the welding industry, we will ensure that certified firms and their employee welders are qualified to perform specific welds in accordance with the requirements of the Canadian Welding Bureau (CWB) as a certified Welding Inspector. We are currently in the process of completing a comprehensive home study program offered through the CWB for this purpose.

There are four firms presently in the NWT which require these services in order to maintain their certification with the CWB. On-site inspections are required four times per year.

Fabrication and Detailing Drawings: Serving the special needs of steel and concrete construction, StructureAll Ltd. will be working toward offering these services to contractors in the future.

Toll-Free Communications: We will provide our clients a toll-free number to access 24 hours a day in the second year of operations.

4. Market Analysis Summary

engineering-market-analysis-summary

StructureAll Ltd. will focus on traditional Architect/Engineering (A/E) contracts.

The owner will usually contract the A/E to perform planning and design services. These design services include preparation of plans, specifications, and estimates.

Construction services may be limited to occasional field visits and certain contract administration requirements.

Typically, these types of projects distribute total design fees amongst the professionals involved in accordance with the following guideline:

  • Architecture Design (65%).
  • Structural Design (10%).
  • Mechanical Design (15%).
  • Electrical Design (10%).

Our most important clients will be established architectural/engineering firms who require structural engineering services.

4.1 Market Segmentation

The market for engineering services may be summarised with the following groups:

  • Established Architectural and Engineering firms: Typically, the structural portions of any building project involve a Prime Consultant who pre-selects their team members and promotes their strengths in a proposal call to prospective clients. Our strategy is to offer these established firms a viable resource from which to draw upon. We can undertake the entire structural engineering process or provide assistance to their own in-house staff.
  • Territorial and Federal Governmental Departments: The Government of the Northwest Territories (GNWT) and the newly created Nunavut Territory retain consultants for a variety of purposes. We intend to position ourselves as a local firm offering expertise in consulting, project management, forensic, and restoration engineering. The Federal Government also retains consultants for similar purposes.
  • Law Firms: We will market our services to the legal community to provide dispute resolution services, including arbitration, mediation and expert reports for litigation. This work is supported by forensic engineering services to identify the cause of failures.
  • Contractors: We will offer design/build services to contractors for the multitude of potential projects which the Territorial Government and Nunavut Territory have recently undertaken. Contractors occasionally require structural engineers to submit sealed alternatives for equivalents to construction details.
  • Municipal Governments: Remote Municipal Governments in the Territories can expect to have more autonomy with respect to infrastructure growth and development in the years to come. This initiative is part of the GNWT mandate. We will promote our services to the local municipal governments for this purpose. To attract this market potential, we will offer to train those students in each community who are interested in engineering as a career choice. On the local front, the City of Yellowknife often provides recommendations to builders and homeowners for structural engineering services related to renovations, additions, and new construction.
  • Private Individuals: We will focus attention on homeowners in Yellowknife who are renovating or contemplating an addition to their residence. We will also promote home inspections to those parties contemplating the purchase of a home.
  • Realtors: In conjunction with home inspections, we will make all the Realtors aware of this service.

4.2 Service Business Analysis

The following sections describe in more detail these aspects of the service business environment:

  • Business Participants.
  • Competition and Buying Patterns.
  • Main Competitors.

4.2.1 Business Participants

The majority of consulting services cater to the needs of the Territorial Governments. The Territorial Governments operate on a budget of approximately $1,170 million per year, based on the 1998/1999 Main Estimates. Of this total, approximately $1,028 million is spent on Operating and Maintenance Expenditures while $142 million is allocated to Capital Expenditures.

Within the Capital Expenditures, Buildings and Works is a sub-category. This is the area of the annual operating budget from which all building design consultants must draw upon. Our analysis of the 1998/1999 Main Estimates indicates a total expenditure of $59,339,000.

A typical A/E contract derives fee estimates from total budgets. For this analysis, we will apply 9% as a guideline for design fees. This yields a figure of about $5,340,000 in design fees available for distribution to the consulting industry.

The major clients within the Territorial Governments include:

  • Department of Education.
  • Department of Transportation.
  • Department of Municipal and Community Affairs.

Our competition matrix indicates a total of 102 persons within the consulting field in the Territories. This total has been subdivided into the types of positions these people hold.

Based on reasonable estimates of salary expectations including 30% burdens for administration yields a value of about $7,800,000. This figure represents an estimate of the revenues required to sustain engineering consultants in the Territories.

From this evaluation, the Territorial Governments account for close to 70% of design fees while other participants in the building marketplace account for the balance. The Territorial Governments retain consultants for the following types of buildings:

  • Health Centres.
  • Community Halls.
  • Warehouses.

These types of buildings are constructed on a rotating basis across several communities in the NT. In addition to new construction, rehabilitation, renovations, and additions are also in demand.

Typically, the Territorial Governments issue a proposal call to consultants to service these needs. StructureAll will position itself as a Structural Sub-Consultant or resource to the Prime Consultant. StructureAll Ltd. will also promote its services as structural specialists and project managers to the Territorial Governments.

4.2.2 Competition and Buying Patterns

Pricing of projects and billing rates are surprisingly variable. In consulting at this level, it is easier to be priced too low than too high.

Clients and potential clients expect to pay substantial fees for the best quality professional advice. The nature of the billing, however, is sensitive. Clients are much more likely to be offended when a job starts at $20K and ends up at $30K because of overruns, than if the same job started at $30K or even $35K.

Clients rarely compare consultants directly, looking for two, or more, possible providers of a proposed project or job. Usually they follow word-of-mouth recommendations and either go for the job or not, rather than selecting from a menu of possible providers.

The most important element of general competition, by far, is what it takes to keep clients for repeat business.

It is worth making huge concessions in any single project to maintain a client relationship that brings the client back for future projects.

4.2.3 Main Competitors

  • Ferguson Simek Clark (FSC Group): This well established architectural and multi-discipline engineering firm would be our main competitor. This firm has branch offices in Iqaluit, NT and Whitehorse, YT besides a head office located in Yellowknife, NT. Their principal strength is undertaking a project from inception through to completion under one roof. Their weakness stems from an understaffed structural engineering group. At present, there is only one structural engineer who services the needs of all their in-house architects and outside clients. The drafting aspects of any project rely upon recollection and modification of past projects typically. There is no systematic manner in which standard block libraries are maintained or updated. They underutilise the programs at their disposal for structural analysis and design.
  • A.D. Williams Engineering Ltd. (ADWEL): This multi-discipline engineering firm is well established in Yellowknife. Their head office is located in Edmonton, Alberta. They can draw on additional resources from the core group as required to meet the demands of project schedules. At present, there is no resident structural engineer on staff in Yellowknife.
  • Girvan and Associates: This is a small one person architectural and engineering firm which specialises in providing services for residential construction projects. Ian Girvan services the private sector mostly. It is our hope that we can form a strategic alliance to carry out consulting work jointly as needs and occasions arise.

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4+ Engineering Consulting Business Plan Templates – PDF, Word, Apple Pages

When it comes to running a business which provides consultations to those that need them, it’s important that the owner is able to think ahead in terms of what has to be done towards the path of success. The only to do that is if you know everything that should be going on. You may also see plan samples .

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Engineering Consulting Business Plan [Sample Template]

By: Author Tony Martins Ajaero

Home » Business Plans » Construction & Engineering

Are you about starting an engineering consulting company? If YES, here is a complete sample engineering consulting business plan template & feasibility report you can use for FREE .

Okay, so we have considered all the requirements for starting an engineering consulting company. We also took it further by analyzing and drafting a sample engineering consulting marketing plan template backed up by actionable guerrilla marketing ideas for engineering consulting companies. So let’s proceed to the business planning section .

If you have ample experience in any of the engineering fields and you want to become your own boss, one of the businesses that you should consider starting is to open an engineering consulting firm.

One good thing about this business is that if you are grounded in the engineering industry and you have been able to provide some solutions to some engineering challenges, then you are likely going to get referrals from top clients even government agencies.

The truth is that as an engineering consultant, there are loads of industries that you can consult for. You can work for the construction industry, water resources, oil and gas, production, engineering and a host of other industries as long as it involves machines, or engines or any technology.

If you are looking to go into engineering consulting business, the good news is that you can’t get it wrong. It is important to state that starting an engineering consulting firm comes with its own fair share of challenges, but that does not rule out the fact that it is indeed a profitable business.

An aspiring entrepreneur can either choose to start by choosing a niche or offering general engineering consulting services.

So, if you have decided to start an engineering consulting firm, then you should ensure that you carry out thorough feasibility studies and market survey. Business plan is yet another very important business document that you should not take for granted when launching your own business.

Below is a sample engineering consulting firm business plan template that can help you to successfully write your own with little or no difficulty.

A Sample Engineering Consulting Firm Business Plan Template

1. industry overview.

Engineering consulting firms are part of the engineering consulting services industry and firms in this industry provide engineering consulting services, which characteristically relate to the design, development and utilization of infrastructure projects, machinery, processes and systems.

Engineering consulting firms offer advisory services, feasibility studies, preparation of preliminary and final plans and design, technical services during project construction, and inspection and evaluation of construction and engineering projects. It is important to state that the industry does not manage or organize construction projects.

A close study of the engineering consulting firm industry shows that industry revenue has continued to decline due to weak public spending on large infrastructure projects, as well as relatively weak private investment in new facilities.

Going forward, the industry is expected to grow as increasing corporate profit allows businesses to commit to long-term engineering cum construction projects. Growth is expected to be driven by demand from private non – residential construction.

Statistics has it that in the united states of America alone, there are about 152,646 registered and licensed engineering consulting firms responsible for employing about 1.1 million people and the industry rakes in a whooping sum of $242 billion annually.

The industry is projected to grow at 1.0 percent within 2012 and 2017. It is important to state that no players in this industry have a lion market share in the industry.

A recent report published by IBISWORLD shows that the Engineering Services industry is characterized by many small companies that typically confine operations to a regional market or to specialized niche activities. The report also shows that the industry displays a low concentration of ownership, with the five largest companies generating close to 12.0 percent of industry revenue in 2017.

Despite its low concentration, a significant proportion of revenue is derived from midsize and large firms; the 50 largest enterprises generate close to 40.0 percent of revenue in an industry with more than 130,000 firms. The report further reveals that over the past five years, industry concentration has increased.

As price-based competition increases among major players within the industry, smaller players have been increasingly pushed out of the industry or acquired by their larger competitors.

One good thing about the engineering consulting business is that there are readily available markets for their services, because in most cases, organizations that are looking towards achieving excellence and good results in any of their projects that has to do with engineering would naturally want some professional counsel and input hence the need to hire the services of engineering consulting firms.

2. Executive Summary

Green Belt® Engineering Consulting, Inc. is a licensed engineering consulting firm that will operate in the United States and other parts of the world. We have been able to secure a standard office facility in a busy business district in Little Rock – Arkansas where we intend coordinating all our business activities from all over the world.

We are an engineering consulting firm that is set to compete in the highly competitive Engineering Consulting Services industry not only in the United States market, but also in the global market.

Green Belt® Engineering Consulting, Inc. will offer a wide range of services as it involves general engineering consulting such as:

Chemical engineering consulting, civil engineering consulting, electrical engineering consulting, marine engineering consulting, mechanical engineering consulting, mining engineering consulting, pipeline engineering consulting, product design and plans for fittings, machinery or equipment and inspection and evaluation of projects for players in various industries and government agencies.

We are aware that to run a standard firm can be demanding which is why we are well trained, licensed and equipped to perform well.

Green Belt® Engineering Consulting, Inc. is a client-focused and result driven engineering consulting firm that provides broad-based experience at an affordable fee that won’t in any way put a hole in the pocket of our clients. We will offer a complete range of engineering consulting services to our local, state, national, and multi-national clients and we will ensure that we work hard to provide the required consulting services needed by our clients.

At Green Belt® Engineering Consulting, Inc., our client’s best interest comes first, and everything we do will be guided by our values and professional ethics. We will ensure that we hire certify engineering consultants who specialize in various niche areas in the engineering industry.

We will ensure that we hold ourselves accountable to the highest standards by meeting our client’s needs precisely and completely. We will at all times demonstrate our commitment to sustainability, both individually and as a firm, by actively participating in our communities and integrating sustainable business practices wherever possible.

Green Belt® Engineering Consulting, Inc. is a family business that is owned and managed by Engr. McCarthy O’Neal.  Engr. McCarthy O’Neal is a graduate of Massachusetts Institute of Technology (both first and second degree).

He is a Certified Engineering Management Professional with over 15 years’ experience working as a senior engineering consultant with one of the leaders in the engineering consulting industry prior to starting Green Belt® Engineering Consulting, Inc.

3. Our Products and Services

Green Belt® Engineering Consulting, Inc. is going to offer varieties of related engineering consulting services within the scope of the engineering consulting industry in the United States of America. Our intention of starting our engineering consulting business is to make profits from the industry and we will do all that is permitted by the law in the US to achieve our aim and objective.

Our business offerings are listed below;

  • Providing design and management services for construction and engineering infrastructure projects
  • Providing design and management services for environmental projects
  • Providing construction management services
  • Process management (e.g. assessing engineering and product problems)
  • Project planning and economic assessments
  • Asset management, including life cycle asset management and management systems
  • Feasibility studies, including environmental impact assessment and community consultation
  • Quality management assessment and accreditation, industrial and manufacturing projects, energy projects, project management services
  • Commercial, public and institutional projects, transportation projects, municipal utility projects, and telecom projects
  • Engineering design consulting, testing and analysis, process and systems engineering consulting

4. Our Mission and Vision Statement

  • Our vision is to establish a world class engineering consulting firm whose services and brand will not only be accepted in the United States of America, but also in other parts of the world.
  • Our mission is to provide professional and result oriented engineering consulting services that will assist businesses, governments, individuals and non-profit organizations in achieving their business goals. We want to build an engineering consulting firm that can favorably compete with other leading brands in the industry.

Our Business Structure

Green Belt® Engineering Consulting, Inc., is an engineering consulting firm that will be launched in Little Rock – Arkansas, but we hope to grow big and secure engineering consulting contract from big corporations from all over the world.

We are aware of the importance of building a solid business structure that can support the picture of the kind of world class business we want to own, which is why we are committed to only hire the best hands within our area of operation.

At Green Belt® Engineering Consulting, Inc., we will ensure that we hire people that are qualified, hardworking, creative, customer centric and are ready to work to help us build a prosperous business that will benefit all our stakeholders.

As a matter of fact, profit-sharing arrangement will be made available to all our senior management staff and it will be based on their performance for a period of five years or more as agreed by the board of trustees of the company. In view of the above, we have decided to hire qualified and competent hands to occupy the following positions;

  • Chief Executive Officer/Lead Consultant
  • Engineering Consultants

Legal Secretary

Admin and HR Manager

  • Business Developer (Marketing and Sales Executive
  • Customer Service Executive

5. Job Roles and Responsibilities

Chief Executive Office/Lead Consultant:

  • Increases management’s effectiveness by recruiting, selecting, orienting, training, coaching, counseling, and disciplining managers; communicating values, strategies, and objectives; assigning accountabilities; planning, monitoring, and appraising job results; developing incentives; developing a climate for offering information and opinions; providing educational opportunities.
  • Responsible for fixing prices and signing business deals
  • Responsible for providing direction for the business
  • Creates, communicates, and implements the organization’s vision, mission, and overall direction – i.e. leading the development and implementation of the overall organization’s strategy.
  • Responsible for signing checks and documents on behalf of the company
  • Evaluates the success of the organization
  • Responsible for drawing up contracts and other legal documents for the company
  • Produces information by transcribing, formatting, inputting, editing, retrieving, copying, and transmitting text, data, and graphics; coordinating case preparation.
  • Provides historical reference by developing and utilizing filing and retrieval systems; recording meeting discussions; maintaining transcripts; documenting and maintaining evidence.

Engineering Consultant 

  • Delivers design and management services for construction and engineering infrastructure projects
  • Offers design and management services for environmental projects
  • Provides construction management services
  • Handles project planning and economic assessments
  • Responsible for handling feasibility studies, including environmental impact assessment and community consultation
  • Responsible for handling quality management assessment and accreditation, industrial and manufacturing projects, energy projects, project management services
  • In charge of commercial, public and institutional projects, transportation projects, municipal utility projects, and telecom projects
  • In charge of engineering design consulting, testing and analysis, process and systems engineering consulting
  • Responsible for overseeing the smooth running of HR and administrative tasks for the organization
  • Designs job descriptions with KPI to drive performance management for clients
  • Regularly hold meetings with key stakeholders to review the effectiveness of HR Policies, Procedures and Processes
  • Maintains office supplies by checking stocks; placing and expediting orders; evaluating new products.
  • Ensures operation of equipment by completing preventive maintenance requirements; calling for repairs.
  • Defines job positions for recruitment and managing interviewing process
  • Carries out staff induction for new team members
  • Responsible for training, evaluation and assessment of employees
  • Responsible for arranging travel, meetings and appointments
  • Oversees the smooth running of the daily office activities

Business Developer 

  • Identifies, prioritizes, and reaches out to new partners, and business opportunities et al
  • Identifies development opportunities; follows up on development leads and contacts; participates in the structuring and financing of projects; assures the completion of development projects.
  • Responsible for supervising implementation, advocate for the customer’s needs, and communicate with clients
  • Helps to increase sales and growth for the company
  • Responsible for preparing financial reports, budgets, and financial statements for the organization
  • Provides managements with financial analyses, development budgets, and accounting reports; analyzes financial feasibility for the most complex proposed projects; conducts market research to forecast trends and business conditions.
  • Responsible for financial forecasting and risks analysis.
  • Performs cash management, general ledger accounting, and financial reporting for one or more properties.
  • Responsible for developing and managing financial systems and policies
  • Responsible for administering payrolls
  • Ensuring compliance with taxation legislation
  • Handles all financial transactions for the company
  • Serves as internal auditor for the company

Client Service Executive

  • Ensures that all contacts with clients (e-mail, walk-In center, SMS or phone) provides the client with a personalized customer service experience of the highest level
  • Through interaction with clients on the phone, uses every opportunity to build client’s interest in the company’s products and services
  • Manages administrative duties assigned by the manager in an effective and timely manner
  • Consistently stays abreast of any new information on the company’s products, promotional campaigns etc. to ensure accurate and helpful information is supplied to clients when they make enquiries
  • Receives Visitors / clients on behalf of the organization
  • Receives parcels / documents for the company
  • Handles enquiries via e-mail and phone calls for the organization
  • Distribute mails in the organization
  • Handles any other duties as assigned by the line manager

6. SWOT Analysis

Because of our overall vision of competing at the peak in the engineering consulting services industry, Green Belt® Engineering Consulting, Inc. engaged the services of a professional in the area of business consulting and structuring to assist the firm in building a reputable and result oriented engineering consulting firm that can favorably compete in the highly competitive environmental consulting industry.

We know that if a proper SWOT analysis is conducted for our business, we will be able to position our business to maximize our strength, leverage on the opportunities that will be available to us, mitigate our risks and be equipped to confront our threats.

This is the summary of the SWOT analysis that was conducted for Green Belt® Engineering Consulting, Inc.;

Our core strength lies in the power of our workforce. We have a team that are considered experts in the industry, a team with excellent qualifications and experience in engineering consulting line of business.

Aside from the synergy that exists in our carefully selected workforce and our strong online presence, we have access to multi-skilled and flexible workforce, and also Green Belt® Engineering Consulting, Inc. is well positioned in a business district with the right demography and we know we will attract loads of corporate clients from the first day we open our doors for business.

As a new engineering consulting firm, it might take some time for our organization to break into the market and work for some high profile and high paying clients; that is perhaps our major weakness.

  • Opportunities:

The opportunities available to engineering consulting firms are indeed massive and we are ready to take advantage of any opportunity that comes our way.

Some of the threats that we are likely going to face as an engineering consulting firm operating in the United States are unfavorable government policies , the arrival of a competitor within our location of operations and global economic downturn which usually affects spending/purchasing power.

There is hardly anything we could do as regards these threats other than to be optimistic that things will continue to work for our good.

7. MARKET ANALYSIS

  • Market Trends

One of the notable trends in the engineering consulting services industry is that most firms that are operating as niche players in the industry are beginning to form alliance or partner with other engineering consulting firms who are offering services different from what they are offering.

With that, it is easier for them to get a good chunk of the available market. So also, the advancement of technology has greatly influenced the engineering consulting industry. With new technology, it is easier to conceptualize a project from start to finish with 3D and 4D pictures.

Lastly, engineering consulting firms are not settling for consulting contracts within their country of operations, but rather, they are getting well – equipped to compete at the global market. This is why it is now common to find engineering consulting firms in the United States, bidding and executing contracts in Africa.

8. Our Target Market

As a new engineering consulting firm, Green Belt® Engineering Consulting, Inc. will initially serve small to medium sized business, from new ventures to well established businesses, but that does not in any way stop us from growing to compete with leading engineering consulting firms in the United States and on the global stage.

We hope to someday merge or acquire other smaller engineering consulting firms and expand our services beyond the shores of the United States of America.

As a full service engineering consulting firm, Green Belt® Engineering Consulting, Inc. has a variety of practice areas to help businesses grow especially as it relates to carrying out engineering related project consulting and advisory services.

While we work with a variety of organizations and industries, Green Belt® Engineering Consulting, Inc. will also specialize in working with startups, real estate investors and contractors, construction engineers, miners and government agencies at the local level.

Our target market cuts across government agencies, local and international organizations as well. We are coming into the industry with a business concept that will enable us work with a wide range of clients. In other words, our target market is the whole of the United States of America and subsequently other parts of the world.

Below is a list of the people and organizations that we have specifically designed our products and services for;

  • Construction companies
  • Chemical Production Companies
  • Oil and gas companies
  • General Contractors
  • Telecommunication Companies
  • Geological services companies
  • Bore hole drilling companies
  • Real Estate Owners, Developers, and Contractors
  • Research and Development Companies
  • The Government (Environmental Department, Construction Department and Public Work Department)
  • Waste Management companies
  • Agricultural, Fisheries, And Biological Companies
  • Energy, Mining, Geological, And Geophysical Companies

Our Competitive Advantage

The level of competition in the engineering consulting industry depends largely on the location of the business and of course the niche of your engineering consulting business. If you can successfully create a unique niche for your engineering consultancy business, you are likely going to experience little or no competition.

For instance; if you are the only engineering consultancy firm that offers commercial, public and institutional projects, municipal utility projects, engineering design consulting, testing and analysis, process and systems engineering consulting services in your location, you are sure of monopolizing that aspect of business for a long time.

Green Belt® Engineering Consulting, Inc. might be a new entrant into the engineering consulting industry in the United States of America, but our management and board members are highly qualified engineering consultants who specialize in different niche areas in the engineering consulting industry in the United States. These are part of what will count as a competitive advantage for us.

So also, the fact that we are a general engineering consulting services firm that operates in various niche areas in the engineering consulting industry puts us ahead of engineering consulting firms that operate only within a niche market.

Lastly, our employees will be well taken care of and their welfare package will be among the best within our category in the industry meaning that they will be more than willing to build the business with us and help deliver our set goals and achieve all our aims and objectives.

9. SALES AND MARKETING STRATEGY

  • Sources of Income

Green Belt® Engineering Consulting, Inc. is established with the aim of maximizing profits in the engineering consulting industry and we are going to go all the way to ensure that we do all it takes to attract clients on a regular basis.

Green Belt® Engineering Consulting, Inc. will generate income by offering the following engineering consulting services for individuals and for organizations;

  • Providing design and management services for industrial processes and equipment

10. Sales Forecast

We are well positioned to take on the available market in the U.S. and we are quite optimistic that we will meet our set target of generating enough income from our first six months of operation and grow the business and our clientele base beyond Little Rock – Arkansas to other states in the U.S. and even the global market.

We have been able to critically examine the engineering consultancy market, we have analyzed our chances in the industry and we have been able to come up with the following sales forecast. The sales projection is based on information gathered on the field and some assumptions that are peculiar to startups in Little Rock – Arkansas.

Below is the sales projection for Green Belt® Engineering Consulting, Inc.

  • First Year: $350,000
  • Second Year: $800,000
  • Third Year: $1.2 million

N.B : This projection was done based on what is obtainable in the industry and with the assumption that there won’t be any major economic meltdown and there won’t be any major competitor offering same services as we do within same location. Please note that the above projection might be lower and at the same time it might be higher.

  • Marketing Strategy and Sales Strategy

We are mindful of the fact that there are stiff competitions amongst players in the engineering consulting industry in the United States of America, hence we have been able to hire some of the best business developers to handle our sales and marketing department.

Our sales and marketing team will be recruited base on their vast experience in the industry and they will be trained on a regular basis so as to meet their targets and the overall goal of the organization.

We will also ensure that our excellent job deliveries speak for us in the market place; we want to build a standard engineering consulting business that will leverage on word of mouth advertisement from satisfied clients.

Our business goal is to grow our engineering consulting business to become one of the top 5 engineering consulting firms in the United States of America which is why we have mapped out strategies that will help us take advantage of the available market and grow to become a major force to reckon with not only in the U.S but in the world stage as well.

Green Belt® Engineering Consulting, Inc. is set to make use of the following marketing and sales strategies to attract clients;

  • Introduce our business by sending introductory letters alongside our brochure to organizations and key stake holders in Little Rock – Arkansas and other parts of the U.S.
  • Promptness in bidding for engineering consulting contracts from the government and other cooperate organizations
  • Advertise our business in relevant business magazines, newspapers, TV and radio stations
  • List our business on yellow pages ads (local directories)
  • Attend relevant international and local expos, seminars, and business fairs et al
  • Create different packages for different category of clients in order to work with their budgets and still deliver quality and result oriented engineering consulting and advisory services to them
  • Leverage on the internet to promote our business
  • Engage in direct marketing approach
  • Encourage word of mouth marketing from loyal and satisfied clients

11. Publicity and Advertising Strategy

We have been able to work with our in-house consultants and other brand and publicity specialist to help us map out publicity and advertising strategies that will help us walk our way into the heart of our target market. We are set to take the environmental consulting industry by storm which is why we have made provisions for effective publicity and advertisement of our engineering consulting firm.

Below are the platforms we intend to leverage on to promote and advertise our engineering consulting business;

  • Place adverts on both print (community based newspapers and magazines) and electronic media platforms
  • Sponsor relevant community programs
  • Leverage on the internet and social media platforms like Instagram, Facebook, twitter, et al to promote our brand
  • Install our billboards in strategic locations all around Little Rock – Arkansas and major cities in the United States of America
  • Engage in roadshows from time to time in targeted communities
  • Distribute our fliers and handbills in target areas
  • Position our Flexi Banners at strategic positions in the location where we intend getting clients to start patronizing our services
  • Ensure that all our staff members wear our customized clothes, and all our official cars are customized and well branded

12. Our Pricing Strategy

We are aware that hourly billing for consulting services is a longtime tradition in the industry. However, for some types of consultancy services especially engineering services, flat fees or per hour billings make more sense because they allow clients to better predict consultancy costs.

As a result of this, Green Belt® Engineering Consulting, Inc. will charge our clients a flat fee or per head for many basic services such as one-off engineering consultancy services et al.

At Green Belt® Engineering Consulting, Inc. we will keep our fees below the average market rate by keeping our overhead low and by collecting payment in advance. In addition, we will also offer special discounted rates to startups, nonprofits, cooperatives, and small social enterprises.

We are aware that there are some clients that would need regular access to engineering consultancy and advisory services, we will offer flat rate for such services that will be tailored to take care of such clients’ needs.

  • Payment Options

The payment policy adopted by Green Belt® Engineering Consulting, Inc. is all inclusive because we are quite aware that different customers prefer different payment options as it suits them but at the same time, we will ensure that we abide by the financial rules and regulations of the United States of America.

Here are the payment options that Green Belt® Engineering Consulting, Inc. will make available to her clients;

  • Payment via bank transfer
  • Payment with cash
  • Payment via credit cards
  • Payment via online bank transfer
  • Payment via check
  • Payment via mobile money transfer

In view of the above, we have chosen banking platforms that will enable our client make payment for our services without any stress on their part. Our bank account numbers will be made available on our website and promotional materials to clients who may want to deposit cash or make online transfer for our services

13. Startup Expenditure (Budget)

Starting an engineering consulting firm is cost effective because on the average, you are not expected to acquire expensive machines and equipment.

Basically, what you should be concerned about is the amount needed to secure a standard office facility in a good and busy business district, the amount needed to furnish and equip the office, the amount needed to pay bills, purchase relevant software apps, promote the business and obtain the appropriate business license and certifications.

These are the areas we are looking towards spending our startup capital on;

  • The total fee for incorporating the business in the United States of America – $750
  • The budget for basic insurance policy covers, permits and business license – $2,500
  • The amount needed to acquire a suitable Office facility in a business district for 6 months (Re – Construction of the facility inclusive) – $40,000
  • The cost for equipping the office (computers, software applications, printers, fax machines, furniture, telephones, filing cabins, safety gadgets and electronics et al) – $5,000
  • The cost for purchase of the required software applications (CRM software, engineering related software and Payroll software et al) – $10,500
  • The cost of launching our official website – $600
  • Budget for paying at least three employees for 3 months plus utility bills – $10,000
  • Additional Expenditure (Business cards, Signage, Adverts and Promotions et al) – $2,500
  • Miscellaneous: $1,000

Going by the report from the research and feasibility studies, we will need about one hundred and fifty thousand Dollars ( $150,000 ) to set up a small scale but standard engineering consulting business in the United States of America.

Generating Startup Capital for Arthur LeBlanc & Co® Environmental Consulting, LLP

Green Belt® Engineering Consulting, Inc. will be owned and managed by McCarthy O’Neal and his immediate family members. They are the financiers of the firm, but may likely welcome partners later which is why they decided to restrict the sourcing of the startup capital for the business to just three major sources.

These are the areas we intend generating our startup capital;

  • Generate part of the startup capital from personal savings
  • Source for soft loans from family members and friends
  • Apply for loan from the bank

N.B: We have been able to generate about $50,000 ( Personal savings $40,000 and soft loan from family members $10,000 ) and we are at the final stages of obtaining a loan facility of $100,000 from our bank. All the papers and documents have been duly signed and submitted, the loan has been approved and any moment from now our account will be credited.

14. Sustainability and Expansion Strategy

The future of a business lies in the number of loyal customers that they have, the capacity and competence of their employees, their investment strategy and the business structure. If all of these factors are missing from a business, then it won’t be too long before the business close shop.

One of our major goals of starting Green Belt® Engineering Consulting, Inc. is to build a business that will survive off its own cash flow without injecting finance from external sources once the business is officially running. We know that one of the ways of gaining approval and winning customers over is to offer nothing short of excellent and result oriented engineering consulting and advisory services at pocket friendly rates to all our clients.

At Green Belt® Engineering Consulting, Inc., we will make sure that the right foundation, structures and processes are put in place to ensure that our staff welfare are well taken of. Our company’s corporate culture is designed to drive our business to greater heights and training and retraining of our workforce is at the top burner.

As a matter of fact, profit-sharing arrangement will be made available to all our management staff and it will be based on their performance for a period of ten years or more. We know that if that is put in place, we will be able to successfully hire and retain the best hands we can get in the industry; they will be more committed to help us build the business of our dreams.

Check List/Milestone

  • Business Name Availability Check: Completed
  • Business Incorporation: Completed
  • Opening of Corporate Bank Accounts various banks in the United States: Completed
  • Opening Online Payment Platforms: Completed
  • Application and Obtaining Tax Payer’s ID: In Progress
  • Application for business license and permit: Completed
  • Purchase of Insurance for the Business: Completed
  • Conducting Feasibility Studies: Completed
  • Generating part of the startup capital from the founder: Completed
  • Applications for Loan from our Bankers: In Progress
  • Writing of Business Plan: Completed
  • Drafting of Employee’s Handbook: Completed
  • Drafting of Contract Documents: In Progress
  • Design of The Company’s Logo: Completed
  • Graphic Designs and Printing of Promotional Materials: Completed
  • Recruitment of employees: In Progress
  • Purchase of the needed software applications, furniture, office equipment, electronic appliances and facility facelift: In progress
  • Creating Official Website for the Company: In Progress
  • Creating Awareness for the business (Business PR): In Progress
  • Health and Safety and Fire Safety Arrangement: In Progress
  • Establishing business relationship with key players in various industries and also government agencies and contractors: In Progress

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Engineering/Management Consultant

BUSINESS PLAN

HERMAN LIVINGSTON CONSULTANTS

3053 Harbor Drive, Ste. 206 Los Angeles, CA 90041

HLC's business plan contains informative financials for anyone considering entering the engineering/management consulting business. One interesting aspect of the plan is HLC's plan of networking with other similar businesses to work together and create more opportunities.

EXECUTIVE SUMMARY

Description of business opportunity, description of the market, location of business, description of the competition, management & key personnel, milestone schedule, financial data.

Herman Livingston Consultants (HLC) seeks to raise equity capital of $28,000.00 principal equity for start-up costs involved with an engineering/management consulting firm. This includes the purchase of furniture, equipment and inventory; renovations and improvements at Los Angeles, California office site, and maintenance of sufficient cash reserves. This plan provides a description of the business opportunity and an outline and time line of the start-up period for HLC.

During his eight year involvement with the architecture, engineering and construction (A/E/C) industry, Herman Livingston realized unresolved obstacles existed in many organizations. Despite the lack of qualified management to correct the problems, most A/E/C owners hesitate to seek outside managerial assistance. Mainly this is due to the justifiable belief that an MBA management consultant would not have the technical knowledge to develop applied solutions to A/E/C firms in transition.

This gap in the market place inspired Herman Livingston to establish Herman Livingston Consultants (HLC), a professional service company specializing in providing engineering and management consulting (E/MC) services along with software sales to A/E/C companies and public works departments to enhance and strengthen their organizations and to meet the needs of their clients. In conjunction with established E/MC and software firms, HLC will provide the essential technical knowledge and products to develop goal oriented solutions that address the client's strengths and weaknesses.

The nature of selling consulting services is difficult since the sold product is unique and varies according to the needs of the client. The management of HLC plans to offer, but not be limited to, the following services:

  • Civil, structural, and electrical engineering design
  • Project management and assessment
  • Quality assurance and quality control
  • Computer software and hardware advisement
  • Business development assistance
  • Executive search
  • Operations analysis
  • Personnel manuals
  • Competition and client analysis
  • Company valuation
  • Business plan preparation (Start-ups)
  • Performance management systems
  • Customer service bench marking (internal and external)
  • Expert testimony

Because HLC will be able to chose temporary partnerships with all types of engineering companies and/or management consulting firms based on the job at hand, the flexibility of the company is virtually unlimited. HLC can provide cost effective services for small and large companies, from the public and private sectors. The flexibility to create any size group is further enhanced by Herman Livingston's project management background and strong industry understanding.

In addition to providing professional services, HLC will assess the client's computer needs, if requested, and recommend alternate courses of action. Ultimately, HLC will work to implement both installation and training of new software that will greatly benefit the client. The approach will involve both a thorough understanding of the available software tools and the ability to provide cost/benefit proposals for the client to take action. HLC plans to arrange for a percentage-of-sale fee paid by the software supplier along with a technical service fee paid by the client. The goal here is to leave the client with a product that will greatly enhance their company.

In June 1996, HLC plans to commence business at 3035 Harbor Drive, Ste.206, Los Angeles, CA.

HLC will provide engineering and management consulting services to A/E/C companies and public works departments to enhance and strengthen their organizations and to meet the needs of their clients. As many private companies and public agencies have recently trimmed their staffs, HLC will seek to provide the services that they can no longer provide internally. Initially, HLC will target 80% engineering/20% management consulting strategy and shift to 30% engineering/70% management consulting as the company grows. The firm will continue to provide engineering services in order to stay in touch with clients.

The goal of HLC is to be the management consultant company that the A/E/C industry and public works departments in Southern California ("target region") look to when they are faced with unique situations. Presently, the value of total construction in Southern California stands at $9.3 billion, which includes heavy construction, non-residential, and multi-unit residential. The demand for architecture and engineering companies is driven by construction activity. There are presently 20,560 A/E/C companies located in the target region of which a majority are headquartered here. Below is the list of top A/E/C companies based in the target region; Adwell Corporation, Hinsworth Corporation, and JAX Group are the top 3 A/E/C firms in the world.

Engineering/Management Consultant: Herman Livingston Consultants

Although the potential for finding a niche with large A/E/C organizations is the greatest, HLC will also target public agencies. There are hundreds of public agencies in the target region, including cities, counties, transportation boards and state agencies. Often public agencies are not equipped to provide adequate community services, due to both the lack of staff and knowledge specific to each project. HLC can provide public officials with technology support to complete each complex, varied project with the greatest efficiency.

In addition to providing consulting for private companies and public agencies, HLC will strive to both assist and partner with other management consulting firms. There will be several A/E/C company assignments that a small firm cannot physically handle. In these situations, HLC will position itself as the industry specialist working with the project team. There are less than a hundred management consulting firms that provide services to the target market and work in the target region.

HLC has the potential of over 30,000 public and private clients—the "target market" as described above. These customers will be attracted by:

  • Direct approach to all management levels of the target market, including cold calls, letters and "at work" presentations. This presentation will involve meeting the prospective client at his/her office to discuss concerns and projects and to find common ground in which HLC can help. Typically, reference material will include a laptop computer with various Powerpoint presentations, work portfolio, referral lists, business cards, brochures and a calendar of upcoming events.
  • Networking events where business cards and brochures can be exchanged.
  • Published papers in professional A/E/C journals related to HLC's line of business.
  • Referrals from other professional companies and public agencies.
  • HLC's strategic location near major freeways and the Los Angeles International Airport (LAX).

The competition consists of engineering firms, management consultants, and employees at the client's office. Even though other firms have more people and experience, HLC will win business by understanding the interaction of technical personnel and management. The key to beating the competition is by strategically balancing price, efficiency, and differentiation. We will provide work above the client's expectations and the competition's ability (i.e. early completion, less cost, future paradigm analysis). Finally, in order to best understand the competition, HLC will analyze other company's successes and failures on a regular basis.

HLC plans on capturing only a small portion of the market. Fortunately, the market is not very competitive because most engineers become managers within engineering companies and management consulting firms don't understand the cultures of A/E/C companies enough to quickly root out problems. A complete market analysis will be provided in the Marketing Plan.

HLC is currently utilizing approx. 500 square feet on the first floor of a two-story masonry building with cement floor at 3035 Harbor Drive, Ste. 206, Los Angeles, CA. HLC plans to perform leasehold improvements, including the addition of a conference room, small kitchen, and interior redecoration. The building is divided into (1) a mechanical/electrical engineering shop; (2) a multipurpose office, including one restroom with separate entry; (3) conference room with kitchenette and storage; and (4) upstairs office space presently being leased by Sullivan mechanical engineers. HLC will occupy 64 sq. ft. of the multipurpose office and the entire 210 sq. ft. of the remodeled conference room.

The current building owner, Caldwell Livingston, has generously offered to provide an equity contribution to the business for the first year. The area is zoned for commercial use. Harbor Drive is a heavily traveled, east-west commercial/residential route with most nearby businesses either dining establishments or repair (service) shops. Within a few blocks, there is convenient access to many of Southern California's freeways. Also nearby, the SC transit station provides rail service throughout the South Bay cities.

There are four consulting firms providing services similar to those contemplated by HLC:

Schwimmer & Associates— an independent, management consulting firm run by Calvin Schwimmer, a registered civil engineer and college professor. Mr. Schwimmer is a project management consultant assisting engineering firms and public agencies in proposal preparation, cost estimating, project scheduling, and project management activities. Many of Mr. Schwimmer's clients are also present engineering clients of Herman Livingston. His previous employer was the Alexander Co., where Mr. Schwimmer worked as a project manager. Since Schwimmer & Associates is small and focuses on project management, HLC has confidence that the two firms will have several opportunities to work together rather than compete.

The Coleman Group— a twenty-four year old management consulting firm that caters strictly to the A/E/C industry. According to President Aaron Coleman, The Coleman Group has worked with more than 1,000 clients (less than 0.1% of the market) and is headquartered in San Antonio. The firm has only 13 consultants (6 architects, 4 engineers, and 3 behavioral scientists) that respond proactively to clients by understanding the market and by writing and speaking to professional organizations. Consultants are not salaried, but rather rely on assignment fees. The Coleman Group will be used as a model for HLC both in business development and proactivity, but their limited size minimizes The Coleman Group as a competitive threat.

As with Schwimmer & Associates, HLC will meet with The Coleman Group to discuss partnering opportunities for large consulting assignments. The benefits to The Coleman Group are those in the business description outlined above.

Piedmont & Co. — with 80,000 people in offices worldwide, Piedmont claims to have broad experience in serving the global engineering and construction industry by providing a variety of consulting, audit and tax related services. Piedmont's services include business process reengineering, performance measures, strategic planning, organizational design, customer satisfaction, ISO 9000, project management, global best practices, human resource management, materials and costs management, business systems, and litigation. Piedmont's engineering and construction industry group is headed by Ms. Connie Hall and is headquartered in Atlanta, Georgia.

HLC learned during a year of competitive research that Piedmont was not able respond to a request of an engineering manager seeking assistance. After several calls to reach the right person, HLC finally received a generic brochure package addressed to the wrong company. This was the extent of Piedmont's pursuit of potential work. HLC can much more successfully reach the A/E/C market in southern California.

Fowler Reynolds (A Subsidiary of the Hinsworth Corp.)— has 16 quality centers throughout the United States claiming to provide new and innovative quality methods, systems and technologies that are providing radical improvements to their clients. Fowler Reynolds states that they provide "the leading edge in changing the Architectural/Engineering and Construction Community and directly affecting the bottom line." Their intent is to help companies and agencies that the Hinsworth Corp. works with (which is extensive) in providing higher quality, ISO 9000 certification, and executive management support.

In July 1995, HLC met with Mr. Steve Jenkins, Director of Quality Assurance, to discuss both Fowler Reynolds' business and potential partnering opportunities. First impressions of Fowler Reynolds were that this business unit was being driven by one man, Shawn Reynolds, who had good intentions, but a flawed business philosophy. The problem is that A/E/C companies do not want a competitor knowing what is wrong with their business. Also, Fowler Reynolds has the same bureaucratic structure that potential clients deal with in their own businesses. By meeting's end, Mr. Jenkin's almost desperately asked that HLC come back with ideas to help them build their business. Since this meeting, no mention within the industry has been made about Fowler Reynolds.

Indirect competition exists from internal staffs at HLC client offices. If clients have the options, they will and should have their staff provide the service. HLC will direct the client to use their internal staff if it is determined prudent to do so. However, from an objectivity standpoint, an outside consultant will often be the best solution.

Herman Livingston is a native Californian and has resided in Southern California all his life. After graduating valedictorian from South High School, he attended the University of Southern California (USC) and received his BS in Building Science in 1987. He began his professional engineering career with the State of California Department of Transportation (Caltrans), working in both construction and project planning. Then, Mr. Livingston worked for Trudell Engineering Company focusing on engineering design, business development, and research. Finally, he worked as a project and office manager for Johnson Associates Infrastructure, Inc. (JAI).

While at JAI, Mr. Livingston received his professional engineering registration from the States of California (1993) and Florida (1995). He completed his MS in Engineering Management in 1994 learning about proven management techniques used in all engineering industries.

Karen Livingston, wife of Herman Livingston, is also a native Californian. After graduating in the top 5% of her class at Beachside High school, Ms. Livingston moved to Los Angeles to pursue a BFA at the prestigious California College of Design. Ms. Livingston worked seven years at Nouveau Fashion Industries as technical designer and import manager where her responsibilities included developing and updating procedural manuals for the fitting and import departments. During this time, she also wrote two novels and had several short stories published. In 1995, Ms. Livingston started her own business and has worked with such companies as Nostalgic Antiques, developing a computerized inventory system, designing marketing campaigns and product displays and creating an updated business plan.

Both Mr. and Ms. Livingston believe their complementary knowledge and goals will make HLC a success. In particular, Mr. Livingston understands the A/E/C industry and is a highly regarded member of the community while Ms. Livingston is a proven quality assurance and report writing expert. Since Mr. Livingston has industry track record and management experience, he will be responsible for business development and project control. Ms. Livingston will be primarily responsible for proposal preparation, research and product quality assurance and control. Together they will set all business policies and personnel decisions.

The Livingston's will draw a combined salary of $5,000/month based upon a minimum 40% billing utilization. Ms. Livingston will retain outside business activities earning approximately $500/month and expected to increase. The Livingston's personal expenditures total approximately $4,500/month, including housing, automobiles, insurance, etc.

In order to augment their skills, HLC has enlisted an advisory board consisting of John Commons, founder and president of Capital Management; Dean White, office manager of Dunstable, Goody & Company; Alice Reed, senior associate of Corbin Consulting; Darin Johnson, project manager of Parkway Co.; Trent Silman, vice president of XRS Group, Inc.; and Calvin Schwimmer, founder and principal of Schwimmer & Associates. This board along with several other professional associates will provide on-going management review.

Initially, HLC will not hire any outside office administrative help. HLC will strive to grow the business quickly in order to maximize profits, but only two additional employees have been planned during the first two years. Employees will be chosen based upon their superior knowledge and understanding of their business and will be compensated accordingly.

Preliminary Business Plan June 2, 1996 Work in progress using "The Business Planning Source" by Duke Binman

Send Out Business Plan for Review June 3, 1996 Confidential review by advisory board, family, friends, and professional associates

Meet with Attorneys Week of June 3, 1996 Referrals presently sought

Gather Required Service Information Week of June 10, 1996 Medical, dental, professional insurance, supplies, retirement plan, equipment

Cease Present Employment June 14, 1996 8-week phase-down period through August 9, 1996

HLC Opens to Business June 17, 1996 Hard work & commitment

Finalize Business Plan June 30, 1996 Send to advisory board, family, friends, professional associates, and handouts for HLC Open House

Begin Construction of Office July 6, 1996 Contingent upon Perform Engineering Company clearance office area

Finish Construction of Office December 15, 1996 Finish before the Holidays

Start All Required Services Week of August 5, 1996 Begin services on Sept. 16, 1996

HLC Open House - Xmas Party January 1997 Existing and potential clients, friends, partners, associates

Sources of Funding

Engineering/Management Consultant: Herman Livingston Consultants

Capital Equipment List

Engineering/Management Consultant: Herman Livingston Consultants

Balance Sheet

Engineering/Management Consultant: Herman Livingston Consultants

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Business Funding and Market Research

Engineering Consulting Business Plan

Updated on January, 2024

Engineering Consulting Business Plan

Create a business plan for your engineering consulting company.

Thousands of engineering students throughout the globe have ambitious hopes to start and run a successful company. Varied minds have different objectives for a company, but engineering consulting services business ideas are one of the most intriguing and well-known notions among today’s youth. It is important to emphasize that thinking about and achieving any goal requires a deliberate effort in the right direction. Despite having great ideas, some of them struggle and finally give up owing to poor execution.

As a result, the most significant consideration is how to start an engineering consulting business. Being a businessperson is not easy since he is always searching for ways to increase profits in marketing, but there are ups and downs. For a new entrepreneur who has just founded his company and is inexperienced with the business, such adjustments may be challenging. You must invest your money in the right place and wait patiently for the results.

As the phrase goes, “Rome wasn’t built in a day.” Your goal should be to provide the best and most efficient service to the public in all areas of planning, concept development, and completion. Your team should be very knowledgeable and experienced, and you might be the most significant member, using your expertise and ideas to delight your customers. All that is necessary is the development of a viable strategy and its subsequent implementation. Although there are many obstacles to face when starting an engineering consulting firm, we cannot deny that it is a very profitable business.

Later in the essay, we’ll go through these in further depth:

A brief overview

This organization’s mission is to provide all essential support and to successfully handle the problems of the people by offering high-quality, efficient consulting services. The organizations provide a professional and well-trained team that will do all possible to help people with consultation. In the long run, a little amount of direct money and time investment may pay off. Starting a business is challenging, but it is the first and most crucial step.

Begin by investing a modest sum of money, and don’t let any of your customers walk away, even if they are earning a tiny profit. This will assist you in establishing a market reputation. Implementing a quality control and assurance program is useful since it expands the scope and focus of production operations. One must be more strategic and schedule-oriented in the engineering consultancy market to obtain a firm grip on various prospects.

How will the engineering consultancy firm get off the ground?

The business would start with a little investment and a lot of sweat equity. The company will be built on the premise of providing the best possible service in terms of delivering professional quality services on time and within reasonable budgets. The purpose of the business plan businesses was to execute and maintain the best policy control possible, as well as to build a strategy for doing so while maintaining a pleasant connection with customers.

Business of engineering

Any kind of company may be handled by a private limited corporation. The creator has vast expertise in the engineering business as a professional engineer. The staff that works with them is also accustomed with such a company and is fully capable of providing the best possible service. The size of the market may impact the cost of such a company. Start cautiously, and as the firm develops and increases, so will the investments, in our opinion.

Engineering consulting business management

The company’s original and capital investments are made by the founder, who is also in charge of market management. He is in charge of overseeing the company’s development and future expansion investments. Finally, the venture’s management and success are the result of the venture’s team’s hard work and teamwork.

Engineering consulting companies’ clients

The firm’s customer, who is often someone in need of aid and expert guidance on a specific situation, might be private or public. These firms may help with design, modeling, execution, and a number of other civil, electrical, mechanical, and software engineering tasks. Effective and efficient communication is very useful in engineering consulting. It is a more efficient way for the vast majority of people to tackle problems/issues relating to their engineering projects/careers. Customers of such businesses are individuals who need a smidgeon of professional advice and guidance on their projects.

Business objectives

Begin small, and don’t be hesitant to make decisions on the investment in your business strategy. The initial goal should be to give the customer with what they need, followed by modest and steady growth in order to expand the firm. The objective of your company’s first year or two should be to attain market value and a minimum. One of your objectives should be to raise the gross margin and profit line (which will substantially assist your company’s development).

Owner of a business

The owner of the firm is a skilled and experienced engineer. His main interest is the well-being of his customers. The owner is in control of the company’s investments and inputs; he is not only a role model for the company and its workers, but he is also the driving force behind the idea of beginning a business. He’s had this notion since the beginning of his career, and now, owing to his hard work and efforts, he’s bringing his goal to life.

What is the purpose of starting an engineering consulting firm?

The owner, as previously said, was the one who came up with the notion. When it comes to conversations on project design, model, and structure, the business is reported to deal with people’s problems and support them in every way necessary, as well as sometimes entirely monitoring the project. In the programs, the company tries to provide every imaginable degree of expertise. They will always have access to the best ideas and a lot of information.

Create a web presence

In the era of technology, every kind of business needs a web presence to flourish, but one that works with engineering and technology needs it even more. It not only lets your company to take advantage of opportunities from all over the world, but it also allows you to maintain a consistent market presence. Our firm mostly offers consulting services, which demands having a website. You may acquire more and more with more favorable reviews and a strong web presence.

Customer-oriented services

Consultation and inquiry are the core functions, which are supported by subject-specific research.

It entails a detailed research and analysis of a variety of scenarios.

Several service ideas are compared, as well as perspectives on the project.

Only a few examples include risk management, capital and project expenses, management analysis, and a variety of environmental facts.

Civil consulting comprises establishing a wide range of urban and land development strategies as well as providing the best available facilities.

Public engagement is one of the services provided; the project’s owner need new ideas and thoughts for explaining and influencing the public.

Mechanical services may include material selection and testing, specialty equipment selection, and the employment and supervision of project staff.

One of the services offered is the examination and analysis of current materials, as well as the assignment of a rating.

Professional design, bidding, and construction services are offered.

They also go through the report based on the investigation and discuss things like the project’s financial requirements.

An examination of the engineering consulting industry’s market

If business were a sport, the marketplace would be the playing field. Demand is required for every business to operate, and more activity needs development and growth.

Market developments

We have the ability to target a broad variety of markets as an engineering consulting firm. In line with the instructions, we offer planning and design services. We not only bring innovative ideas to the project’s design, but we also give a precise implementation plan. The trend shows that architectural design produces the most market inputs, followed by structural design, mechanical and electrical design, and finally mechanical and electrical design.

Segmentation of the market

The bulk of our customers are from the engineering, architectural, and structural industries. In these businesses, consulting services are in high demand; contributions with ideas, planning, design, and structural development are well-known works. Financial management is one of them.

Several government organizations need consulting firms’ help with projects such as construction, forensic engineering, and structural management. We’d want to promote ourselves as a company that offers consultancy services for management and repair projects.

Work in the legal field is also a target market for us. We’d want to provide our services in areas like mediation, arbitration, and a variety of others, all of which may benefit from forensic engineering.

We’d like to provide house inspection services to homeowners and realtors who are renovating or modernizing their houses using modern technologies.

Municipal corporations might also be a potential market for us. Not only do we want to conduct business, but we also want to advertise it and expand our market. If we can form partnerships with such organizations and work to help them, we will be able to reach a big number of people. They may technically be one of our advertising bodies, and since they work for the government, if they accept you as a valid body, we will be able to recruit new students interested in engineering as a vocation and train them for their advantage, resulting in a rising brand in the market.

All companies and organizations seeking expertise for their activities, whether government, commercial, or private pursuits, are our primary business goals. Large architectural and structural enterprises seeking help with their ideas, designs, and financial planning would be the major target audience. Electrical and mechanical enterprises, local cooperation groups, government agencies, and law firms are all viable possibilities.

Pricing and charging for a task on which you will be working is difficult. Customers’ pricing expectations may be confounding; one may believe the price is unreasonably expensive and prohibitive, while another may believe it is well within reach.

Clients may evaluate two providers, but they usually opt with what they hear from the market, emphasizing the value of having a well-known brand. Customers will return to you for the next assignment if you make reasonable concessions in exchange for excellent service, and word of mouth about your work will open doors in the market.

The primary components of our company’s strategy will continue to grow and extend the company’s market presence. The primary marketing strategy for the corporation would be to promote and spread the company. Your problems might be solved fast if you have a good plan and management that understands money.

Strategy for sales

We will use efficient advertising and campaigns, such as email campaigns, to boost the amount of visits to our website when it comes to the internet and web marketing. One of the most efficient ways to engage with customers is to meet them face to face. We’ll try to advertise on a cheap budget by providing technical support to non-profits and organizing campaigns in local communities and schools.

Analyze the competition

It’s the most efficient way to examine and figure out where your organization is falling short. Comparing another company that offers similar services will help you figure out how to fix the difficulties that are causing you to lag. Because you’ll be competing and evaluating yourself, your inputs will be matched with the inputs you’ll be getting from your opponent, you’ll progress twice as quickly. When you evaluate based on this principle, your market grows, and your business expands as well.

Employees of the company

A company is like a roof supported by the strong pillars of its employees. The company’s staff, which gives you with support and confidence to be out in the market, is one of the key factors for a venture’s success. If your employees go above and beyond for you and secure the backbone of your business, they need to be recognized, which might be in the form of a fair and appropriate compensation.

Employees’ average salaries

The average pay for employees should be adequate to compensate them for their work. When an employee is given what he or she deserves, he or she will offer their best to the company. For those that work there, it creates a healthier environment and a happier workplace. Workers should be paid fairly for their contributions to the company, and they should be treated with the respect they deserve.

Engineering Business Plans

Did you know each of these plans was created in LivePlan? Learn More

Construction Engineering Business Plan

Indonesia Energy Engineering and Construction is an ongoing firm dedicated to solving the electric energy problems of Southeast Asia and Indonesia.

Electronic Engineering Business Plan

Rosafarbenes Nilpferd & Sons Engineering, Inc. is an electronic engineering firm providing specialized components to the high-tech manufacturing market.

Engineering Business Plan

Compton Geotechnical Associates Inc. (CGA) will provide innovative approaches to geological engineering services throughout the state of Maine.

Engineering Consulting Business Plan

StructureAll Ltd. is a home office start-up consulting firm in Yellowknife, Northwest Territories, that specializes in structural engineering services.

Mining Software Business Plan

Rekayasa Tambang Indonesia is a start-up custom software and consulting company.

Engineers have a unique set of circumstances that make their businesses different from many others. That's why you'll find these specific sample business plans for engineering firms so helpful.

If you’re looking to develop a more modern business plan, we recommend you try LivePlan . It contains the same templates and information you see here, but with additional guidance to help you develop the perfect plan.

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How to write a business plan for an environmental engineering consulting firm?

environmental engineering consulting firm business plan

Writing a business plan for an environmental engineering consulting firm can be an intimidating task, especially for those just starting.

This in-depth guide is designed to help entrepreneurs like you understand how to create a comprehensive business plan so that you can approach the exercise with method and confidence.

We'll cover: why writing an environmental engineering consulting firm business plan is so important - both when starting up, and when running and growing the business - what information you need to include in your plan, how it should be structured, and what tools you can use to get the job done efficiently.

Let's get started!

In this guide:

Why write a business plan for an environmental engineering consulting firm?

  • What information is needed to create a business plan for an environmental engineering consulting firm?
  • What goes in the financial forecast for an environmental engineering consulting firm?
  • What goes in the written part of an environmental engineering consulting firm business plan?
  • What tool can I use to write my environmental engineering consulting firm business plan?

Understanding the document's scope and goals will help you easily grasp its structure and content. Before diving into the specifics of the plan, let's take a moment to explore the key reasons why having an environmental engineering consulting firm business plan is so crucial.

To have a clear roadmap to grow the business

Small businesses rarely experience a constant and predictable environment. Economic cycles go up and down, while the business landscape is mutating constantly with new regulations, technologies, competitors, and consumer behaviours emerging when we least expect it.

In this dynamic context, it's essential to have a clear roadmap for your environmental engineering consulting firm. Otherwise, you are navigating in the dark which is dangerous given that - as a business owner - your capital is at risk.

That's why crafting a well-thought-out business plan is crucial to ensure the long-term success and sustainability of your venture.

To create an effective business plan, you'll need to take a step-by-step approach. First, you'll have to assess your current position (if you're already in business), and then identify where you'd like your environmental engineering consulting firm to be in the next three to five years.

Once you have a clear destination for your environmental engineering consulting firm, you'll focus on three key areas:

  • Resources: you'll determine the human, equipment, and capital resources needed to reach your goals successfully.
  • Speed: you'll establish the optimal pace at which your business needs to grow if it is to meet its objectives within the desired timeframe.
  • Risks: you'll identify and address potential risks you might encounter along the way.

By going through this process regularly, you'll be able to make informed decisions about resource allocation, paving the way for the long-term success of your business.

To anticipate future cash flows

Regularly comparing your actual financial performance to the projections in the financial forecast of your environmental engineering consulting firm's business plan gives you the ability to monitor your business's financial health and make necessary adjustments as needed.

This practice allows you to detect potential financial issues, such as unexpected cash shortfalls before they escalate into major problems. Giving you time to find additional financing or put in place corrective measures.

Additionally, it helps you identify growth opportunities, like excess cash flow that could be allocated to launch new products and services or expand into new markets.

Staying on track with these regular comparisons enables you to make well-informed decisions about the amount of financing your business might require, or the excess cash flow you can expect to generate from your main business activities.

To secure financing

Whether you are a startup or an existing business, writing a detailed environmental engineering consulting firm business plan is essential when seeking financing from banks or investors.

This makes sense given what we've just seen: financiers want to ensure you have a clear roadmap and visibility on your future cash flows.

Banks will use the information included in the plan to assess your borrowing capacity (how much debt your business can support) and your ability to repay the loan before deciding whether they will extend credit to your business and on what terms.

Similarly, investors will review your plan carefully to assess if their investment can generate an attractive return on investment.

To do so, they will be looking for evidence that your environmental engineering consulting firm has the potential for healthy growth, profitability, and cash flow generation over time.

Now that you understand why it is important to create a business plan for an environmental engineering consulting firm, let's take a look at what information is needed to create one.

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Information needed to create a business plan for an environmental engineering consulting firm

Drafting an environmental engineering consulting firm business plan requires research so that you can project sales, investments and cost accurately in your financial forecast, and convince the reader that there is a viable commercial opportunity to be seized.

Below, we'll focus on three critical pieces of information you should gather before starting to write your plan.

Carrying out market research for an environmental engineering consulting firm

Carrying out market research before writing a business plan for an environmental engineering consulting firm is essential to ensure that the financial projections are accurate and realistic.

Market research helps you gain insight into your target customer base, competitors, pricing strategies and other key factors which can have an impact on the commercial success of your business.

In particular, it is useful in forecasting revenue as it provides valuable data regarding potential customers’ spending habits and preferences.

You may discover that a growing number of businesses are looking for ways to reduce their environmental impact, which could mean increased demand for services related to sustainability. Additionally, you might find that technological advances in environmental engineering are becoming more widespread, which could open up more opportunities for your consulting firm.

This information can then be used to create more accurate financial projections which will help investors make informed decisions about investing in your environmental engineering consulting firm.

Developing the sales and marketing plan for an environmental engineering consulting firm

Budgeting sales and marketing expenses is essential before creating an environmental engineering consulting firm business plan.

A comprehensive sales and marketing plan should provide an accurate projection of what actions need to be implemented to acquire and retain customers, how many people are needed to carry out these initiatives, and how much needs to be spent on promotions, advertising, and other aspects.

This helps ensure that the right amount of resources is allocated to these activities in order to hit the sales and growth objectives forecasted in your business plan.

The staffing and equipment needs of an environmental engineering consulting firm

Whether you are at the beginning stages of your environmental engineering consulting firm or expanding its horizons, having a clear plan for recruitment and capital expenditures (investment in equipment and real estate) is vital to ensure your business's success.

To achieve this, both the recruitment and investment plans must align coherently with the projected timing and level of growth in your forecast. It is essential to secure appropriate funding for these plans.

Staffing costs for an environmental engineering consulting firm might include salaries for environmental engineers, administrative staff, and field technicians. It might also include the cost of benefits for the staff, such as health insurance and retirement plans. Equipment costs for an environmental engineering consulting firm might include the cost of vehicles for field technicians, laboratory equipment for testing, computers, and other specialized equipment for the firm's specific services.

To create a financial forecast that accurately represents your business's outlook, remember to factor in other day-to-day operating expenses.

Now that you have all the necessary information, it's time to dive in and start creating your business plan and developing the financial forecast for your environmental engineering consulting firm.

What goes into your environmental engineering consulting firm's financial forecast?

The financial forecast of your environmental engineering consulting firm's business plan will enable you to assess the growth, profitability, funding requirements, and cash generation potential of your business in the coming years.

The four key outputs of a financial forecast for a environmental engineering consulting firm are:

  • The profit and loss (P&L) statement ,
  • The projected balance sheet ,
  • The cash flow forecast ,
  • And the sources and uses table .

Let's look at each of these in a bit more detail.

The projected P&L statement

The projected P&L statement for an environmental engineering consulting firm shows how much revenue and profits your business is expected to generate in the future.

projected profit and loss statement example in a environmental engineering consulting firm business plan

Ideally, your environmental engineering consulting firm's P&L statement should show:

  • Healthy growth - above inflation level
  • Improving or stable profit margins
  • Positive net profit

Expectations will vary based on the stage of your business. A startup will be expected to grow faster than an established environmental engineering consulting firm. And similarly, an established company should showcase a higher level of profitability than a new venture.

The forecasted balance sheet of your environmental engineering consulting firm

The projected balance sheet of your environmental engineering consulting firm will enable the reader of your business plan to assess the overall financial health of your business.

It shows three elements: assets, liabilities and equity:

  • Assets: are productive resources owned by the business, such as equipment, cash, and accounts receivable (money owed by clients).
  • Liabilities: are debts owed to creditors, lenders, and other entities, such as accounts payable (money owed to suppliers).
  • Equity: includes the sums invested by the shareholders or business owners and the profits and losses accumulated by the business to date (which are called retained earnings). It is a proxy for the value of the owner's stake in the business.

projected balance sheet in a environmental engineering consulting firm business plan example

Analysing your environmental engineering consulting firm projected balance sheet provides an understanding of your environmental engineering consulting firm's working capital structure, investment and financing policies.

In particular, the readers of your plan can compare the level of financial debt on the balance sheet to the equity value to measure the level of financial risk (equity doesn't need to be reimbursed, while financial debt must be repaid, making it riskier).

They can also use your balance sheet to assess your environmental engineering consulting firm's liquidity and solvency:

  • A liquidity analysis: focuses on whether or not your business has sufficient cash and short-term assets to cover its liabilities due in the next 12 months.
  • A solvency analysis: takes and longer view to assess whether or not your business has the capacity to repay its debts over the medium-term.

The projected cash flow statement

A cash flow forecast for an environmental engineering consulting firm shows how much cash the business is projected to generate or consume.

example of cash flow forecast in a environmental engineering consulting firm business plan

The cash flow statement is divided into 3 main areas:

  • The operating cash flow shows how much cash is generated or consumed by the operations (running the business)
  • The investing cash flow shows how much cash is being invested in capital expenditure (equipment, real estate, etc.)
  • The financing cash flow shows how much cash is raised or distributed to investors and lenders

Looking at the cash flow forecast helps you to ensure that your business has enough cash to keep running, and can help you anticipate potential cash shortfalls.

It is also a best practice to include a monthly cash flow statement in the appendices of your environmental engineering consulting firm business plan so that the readers can view the impact of seasonality on your business cash position and generation.

The initial financing plan

The initial financing plan, also known as a sources and uses table, is a valuable resource to have in your business plan when starting your environmental engineering consulting firm as it reveals the origins of the money needed to establish the business (sources) and how it will be allocated (uses).

environmental engineering consulting firm business plan: sources & uses example

Having this table helps show what costs are involved in setting up your environmental engineering consulting firm, how risks are shared between founders, investors and lenders, and what the starting cash position will be. This cash position needs to be sufficient to sustain operations until the business reaches a break-even point.

Now that you have a clear understanding of what goes into the financial forecast of your environmental engineering consulting firm business plan, let's shift our focus to the written part of the plan.

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The written part of an environmental engineering consulting firm business plan

The written part of an environmental engineering consulting firm business plan is composed of 7 main sections:

  • The executive summary
  • The presentation of the company
  • The products and services
  • The market analysis
  • The strategy
  • The operations
  • The financial plan

Throughout these sections, you will seek to provide the reader with the details and context needed for them to form a view on whether or not your business plan is achievable and your forecast a realistic possibility.

Let's go through the content of each section in more detail!

1. The executive summary

The executive summary, the first section of your environmental engineering consulting firm's business plan, serves as an inviting snapshot of your entire plan, leaving readers eager to know more about your business.

To compose an effective executive summary, start with a concise introduction of your business, covering its name, concept, location, history, and unique aspects. Share insights about the services or products you intend to offer and your target customer base.

Subsequently, provide an overview of your environmental engineering consulting firm's addressable market, highlighting current trends and potential growth opportunities.

Then, present a summary of critical financial figures, such as projected revenues, profits, and cash flows.

You should then include a summary of your key financial figures such as projected revenues, profits, and cash flows.

Lastly, address any funding needs in the "ask" section of your executive summary.

2. The presentation of the company

In your environmental engineering consulting firm business plan, the second section should focus on the structure and ownership, location, and management team of your company.

In the structure and ownership part, you'll provide an overview of the business's legal structure, details about the owners, and their respective investments and ownership shares. This clarity is crucial, especially if you're seeking financing, as it helps the reader understand which legal entity will receive the funds and who controls the business.

Moving on to the location part, you'll offer an overview of the company's premises and their surroundings. Explain why this particular location is of interest, highlighting factors like catchment area, accessibility, and nearby amenities.

When describing the location of your environmental engineering consulting firm, you may want to emphasize the potential of the area. You could highlight any population or economic growth that could be beneficial for the business, as well as potential access to resources or infrastructure that could enhance the company's capabilities. Additionally, you might also focus on the potential to attract and retain qualified personnel who can help the business succeed. By emphasizing the potential of the area, you could show the financier that your environmental engineering consulting firm is positioned to take advantage of a promising future.

Finally, you should introduce your management team. Describe each member's role, background, and experience.

Don't forget to emphasize any past successes achieved by the management team and how long they've been working together. Demonstrating their track record and teamwork will help potential lenders or investors gain confidence in their leadership and ability to execute the business plan.

3. The products and services section

The products and services section of your business plan should include a detailed description of the offerings that your company provides to its customers. 

For example, your environmental engineering consulting firm may offer services such as environmental impact assessments, waste management systems, and soil and water quality evaluations to its customers. These services are essential in helping customers understand the environmental impact of their operations and provide them with the necessary information to make informed decisions. Additionally, the firm may also provide advice on how to best implement sustainable practices and help customers develop innovative solutions to reduce their environmental footprint.

When drafting this section, you should be precise about the categories of products or services you sell, the types of customers you are targeting and how customers can buy them.

4. The market analysis

When you present your market analysis in your environmental engineering consulting firm business plan, it's crucial to include detailed information about customers' demographics and segmentation, target market, competition, barriers to entry, and any relevant regulations.

The main objective of this section is to help the reader understand the size and attractiveness of the market while demonstrating your solid understanding of the industry.

Begin with the demographics and segmentation subsection, providing an overview of the addressable market for your environmental engineering consulting firm, the key trends in the marketplace, and introducing different customer segments along with their preferences in terms of purchasing habits and budgets.

Next, focus on your target market, zooming in on the specific customer segments your environmental engineering consulting firm aims to serve and explaining how your products and services fulfil their distinct needs.

For example, your target market might include businesses that operate in heavily regulated industries, such as mining and manufacturing. These companies require advanced engineering solutions to ensure their operations are compliant with environmental regulations. Additionally, these businesses may need ongoing consulting services to keep their operations and environmental strategies up to date.

Then proceed to the competition subsection, where you introduce your main competitors and highlight what sets you apart from them.

Finally, conclude your market analysis with an overview of the key regulations applicable to your environmental engineering consulting firm.

5. The strategy section

When crafting the strategy section of your business plan for your environmental engineering consulting firm, it's important to cover several key aspects, including your competitive edge, pricing strategy, sales & marketing plan, milestones, and risks and mitigants.

In the competitive edge subsection, clearly explain what sets your company apart from competitors. This is particularly critical if you're a startup, as you'll be trying to establish your presence in the marketplace among entrenched players.

The pricing strategy subsection should demonstrate how you aim to maintain profitability while offering competitive prices to your customers.

For the sales & marketing plan, outline how you plan to reach and acquire new customers, as well as retain existing ones through loyalty programs or special offers.

In the milestones subsection, detail what your company has achieved thus far and outline your primary objectives for the coming years by including specific dates for expected progress. This ensures everyone involved has clear expectations.

Lastly, in the risks and mitigants subsection, list the main risks that could potentially impact the execution of your plan. Explain the measures you've taken to minimize these risks. This is vital for investors or lenders to feel confident in supporting your venture - try to proactively address any objection they might have.

Your environmental engineering consulting firm could face risks related to potential environmental liabilities. For example, if a client is found to have caused environmental damage, your firm could be held liable for the cleanup costs. Additionally, your firm could face risks related to changes in regulations. For example, if a new environmental regulation is passed, your firm may need to modify its services to comply with the new regulation.

6. The operations section

The operations of your environmental engineering consulting firm must be presented in detail in your business plan.

The first thing you should cover in this section is your staffing team, the main roles, and the overall recruitment plan to support the growth expected in your business plan. You should also outline the qualifications and experience necessary to fulfil each role, and how you intend to recruit (using job boards, referrals, or headhunters).

You should then state the operating hours of your environmental engineering consulting firm - so that the reader can check the adequacy of your staffing levels - and any plans for varying opening times during peak season. Additionally, the plan should include details on how you will handle customer queries outside of normal operating hours.

The next part of this section should focus on the key assets and IP required to operate your business. If you depend on any licenses or trademarks, physical structures (equipment or property) or lease agreements, these should all go in there.

You may have key assets such as proprietary software or a team of experienced environmental engineers. Your firm could also have intellectual property such as data from previous projects or proprietary approaches to solving environmental engineering problems. These key assets and IP could be important to the success of your firm and help you stand out from the competition.

Finally, you should include a list of suppliers that you plan to work with and a breakdown of their services and main commercial terms (price, payment terms, contract duration, etc.). Investors are always keen to know if there is a particular reason why you have chosen to work with a specific supplier (higher-quality products or past relationships for example).

7. The presentation of the financial plan

The financial plan section is where we will present the financial forecast we talked about earlier in this guide.

Now that you have a clear idea of what goes in your environmental engineering consulting firm business plan, let's look at the solutions you can use to draft yours.

What tool should I use to write my environmental engineering consulting firm's business plan?

There are two main ways of creating your environmental engineering consulting firm business plan:

  • Using specialized business planning software,
  • Hiring a business plan writer.

Using an online business plan software for your environmental engineering consulting firm's business plan

The modern and most efficient way to write an environmental engineering consulting firm business plan is to use business plan software .

There are several advantages to using specialized software:

  • You can easily create your financial forecast by letting the software take care of the financial calculations for you without errors
  • You are guided through the writing process by detailed instructions and examples for each part of the plan
  • You can access a library of dozens of complete business plan samples and templates for inspiration
  • You get a professional business plan, formatted and ready to be sent to your bank or investors
  • You can easily track your actual financial performance against your financial forecast
  • You can create scenarios to stress test your forecast's main assumptions
  • You can easily update your forecast as time goes by to maintain visibility on future cash flows
  • You have a friendly support team on standby to assist you when you are stuck

If you're interested in using this type of solution, you can try The Business Plan Shop for free by signing up here .

Need a solid financial forecast?

The Business Plan Shop does the maths for you. Simply enter your revenues, costs and investments. Click save and our online tool builds a three-way forecast for you instantly.

Screenshot from The Business Plan Shop's Financial Forecasting Software

Hiring a business plan writer to write your environmental engineering consulting firm's business plan

Outsourcing your environmental engineering consulting firm business plan to a business plan writer can also be a viable option.

Business plan writers are experienced in writing business plans and adept at creating financial forecasts without errors. Furthermore, hiring a consultant can save you time and allow you to focus on the day-to-day operations of your business.

However, hiring business plan writers is expensive as you are paying for the software used by the consultant, plus their time, and their profit margin of course.

From experience, you need to budget at least £1.5k ($2.0k) excluding tax for a complete business plan, more if you need to make changes after the initial version (which happens frequently after the initial meetings with lenders or investors).

You also need to be careful when seeking investment. Investors want their money to be used to grow the business, not spent on consulting fees. Therefore, the amount you spend on business plan writing services (and other consulting services such as legal services) needs to be negligible relative to the amount raised.

The other drawback is that you usually don't own the business plan itself: you just get the output, while the actual document is saved in the consultant's business plan software - which makes it difficult to maintain the document up to date without hiring the consultant on a retainer.

For these reasons, outsourcing the environmental engineering consulting firm business plan to a business plan writer should be considered carefully, weighing both the advantages and disadvantages of hiring outside help.

Ultimately, it may be the right decision for some businesses, while others may find it beneficial to write their business plan using online software.

Why not create your environmental engineering consulting firm's business plan using Word or Excel?

Using Microsoft Excel and Word (or their Google, Apple, or open-source equivalents) to write an environmental engineering consulting firm business plan is not advisable. Allow me to explain the reasons.

Firstly, creating an accurate and error-free financial forecast on Excel or any spreadsheet demands technical expertise in accounting principles and financial modelling. Without a degree in finance and accounting and significant financial modelling experience, it's unlikely that the reader will fully trust your numbers.

Secondly, relying on spreadsheets is inefficient. While it may have been the go-to option in the past, technology has evolved, and software now performs such tasks much faster and more accurately.

The second reason is that it is inefficient. Building forecasts on spreadsheets was the only option in the early 2000s, nowadays technology has advanced and software can do it much faster and much more accurately.

And with the rise of AI, software is also becoming smarter at helping us detect mistakes in our forecasts and helping us analyse the numbers to make better decisions.

Moreover, software offers ease in comparing actuals versus forecasts and maintaining up-to-date forecasts for clear visibility on future cash flows, as we discussed earlier in this guide. Such tasks are cumbersome when using spreadsheets.

Now, let's address the written part of your environmental engineering consulting firm business plan. While it may be less prone to errors, using software can significantly boost productivity. Word processors lack instructions and examples for each section of your business plan. They also won't automatically update your numbers when changes occur in your forecast, and they lack automated formatting capabilities.

In summary, while some entrepreneurs may consider Word or Excel for their business plan, it's far from the best or most efficient solution when compared to specialized software.

  • Having an up-to-date business plan is key to maintaining visibility on your future cash flows.
  • A business plan has 2 parts: a financial forecast highlighting the expected growth, profitability and cash generation of the business; and a written part which provides the context needed to interpret and assess the quality of the forecast.
  • Using business plan software is the modern way of writing and maintaining business plans.

We hope that this guide helped you to better understand how to write the business plan for an environmental engineering consulting firm. If you still have questions, do not hesitate to contact us.

Also on The Business Plan Shop

  • How to write a 5 years business plan
  • Business plan myths

Know someone who owns or wants to start an environmental engineering consulting firm? Share this article with them!

Guillaume Le Brouster

Founder & CEO at The Business Plan Shop Ltd

Guillaume Le Brouster is a seasoned entrepreneur and financier.

Guillaume has been an entrepreneur for more than a decade and has first-hand experience of starting, running, and growing a successful business.

Prior to being a business owner, Guillaume worked in investment banking and private equity, where he spent most of his time creating complex financial forecasts, writing business plans, and analysing financial statements to make financing and investment decisions.

Guillaume holds a Master's Degree in Finance from ESCP Business School and a Bachelor of Science in Business & Management from Paris Dauphine University.

Published on 24 Nov 2023 , last update on 14 Dec 2023 , as per our editorial standards .

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