Updated: Apr 6
As we all walk through a hybrid of remote working and going to something normal, we will figure out and walk through the drastic changes that will come into the market. We will have to also make changes in our business and marketing strategies, specifically in technical industries like the Environmental Consulting industry. To answer two big questions floating around, 'how are we going to sustain for the future, and can growth even happen?' To answer those questions, here are 5 areas of growth environmental consulting firms need to focus on in 2021
1. Website SEO and User Experience.
Your website right now is your biggest tool to pull in new business. Right now in America, we have around 60k environmental consulting firms, so if you don't have your SEO strategy in place, you will get lost in the shuffle with the thousands of other businesses like yours. Most companies are found through google search, so you will not win if you don't want to play by their rules. The other part of this is the user experience. What happens when someone visits your digital storefront? Do they go to the home page and easily find your environmental consulting services then leave? Or do they go to an about page? This information is essential to know if you haven't already. A customer experience strategy will entice clients to your consultancy and want to reach out to you for your consulting service.
2. Online Content.
Always remember that "CONTENT IS KING" in this new information world. Content strategy isn't new, but it is overlooked in many businesses. If you don't believe me, start looking at the thousands of companies using social media platforms like Facebook or LinkedIn and look at the posts. Too many of them to post anything with no consistency or strategy. It's just pushing things out just for the sake of it. I'm not trying to take a shot at your business or any other environmental consulting firms out there. I am just pointing out that a good content strategy that includes blogs surrounding environmental regulation, social media, and articles talking about environmental engineering and how it's beneficial for everyone, to publishing sites will help you stand out as an expert. It will also help support your SEO and User Experience strategies. Furthermore, most content you want to push out is not a sales pitch. Give quality content that will be engaging from the users' perspective.
3. Internal Workflow.
Every business needs some workflow and communication, and this is no exception for environmental consulting firms, but many companies divide by department. Department silos may have worked in the past, but as the internet comes to maturity, we will need to adapt to people working in the field, at home, in other states, and an office. So internal workflow will be the grease the will keep the gears moving. Every department needs to be interconnected, and systems and protocols will need to be developed to ensure greater employee engagement with the company and clients. Every department in your company should encounter clients from your principles and scientists/engineers to your marketing and human resource, even accounting. Still, for the whole cycle, the client will go through what roles all departments will play to ensure the job goes smoothly and develop opportunities for many projects from one client.
4. Division Strategy Plans.
Strategy Plans are an overarching road map that businesses develop to help them stay on track with their going. Division strategy plans are similar but need to be the more in-depth strategy in the specifics with which divisions need to succeed. Having a plan to bring new clients and keep old clients with your consulting services, so the ever-revolving door doesn't stop and may even speed up a bit. When I say in-depth, I don't mean complicated, just thought through and reliable plans. Only you will know your clients and what their needs are and how they want to communicate too. Just remember, keep it simple, keep it achievable, and have it thought out. This will help develop a sustainability strategy for your company. We will all need to be prepared for many drastic changes as the future plays out. From my perspective, the covid 19 pandemic just pushed and many consulting industries to change quickly. Remember to "Expect the best and prepare for the worst!"
5. Learn Online Networking.
As the covid 19 pandemic forced many opportunities to network to be shut down, we now must learn how to network online. People may not feel comfortable going to big events or even to the bar to ask how we can still network your consulting firm. Social Media is growing into something that can be the medium through which networking can work. With people adapting to things like book clubs and online conferences, we can expect everything else to move that way. Starting a conversation with someone online may feel a bit off but could lead to many business opportunities. If you need help with where to start, go to the many places that will give free information, such as Google or YouTube, for a good network marketing strategy. It is easier than you think and will pay off in the long run.
With all the changes in what the covid 19 crisis made us do, we will need to adapt to what comes out of it. And no one knows what the differences are or how long they will be in effect. One thing is for sure in a competitive landscape, working from home will be ever-increasing, and storefronts will be getting smaller. A well-thought-out plan and effective communication would be the two significant players for your consulting firm's growth or closing shop.