More A/E Firms are Turning to Market Research

By Consulting Specifying Engineer Staff May 12, 2005

On average, firms in the architecture and engineering industry are expected to double in size every ten years. The question many of these firms need to answer is where all of this growth is going to come from.

“One of the first steps firm leaders take toward identifying opportunities is conducting market research,” says Mark Goodale, vice president with Natick, Mass.-based ZweigWhite. “We’re getting more and more requests to scan the business environment for new trends and developments.”

Goodale shares a few market research tips for firm leaders looking for growth opportunities:

Join professional associations. An effective way to learn about any particular industry and its key players is to become a member of a professional association in which clients or prospective clients are involved.

Read industry publications. Industry publications are a valuable and cost-effective tool for keeping up to date with the issues, the players, the local needs and the trends of a particular market sector.

Research government agencies. Federal and state governmental statistical agencies can provide information on regional and industry outlooks, job forecasts and construction spending trends. This is a good source when trying to determine which markets to consider for growth.

Outsource it. Third-party resources can tap into the information firms really want to know—upcoming projects, selection process, contracting arrangements and other details that clients may be less inclined to provide directly.

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