We all agree that diversification is essential to firm health. But diversifying revenue types can be as valuable as diversifying markets. Backlog building is about much more than total revenue generated, it’s about stability, reputation, and the overall health of your firm. For this reason, it’s critical to understand the types of backlog that make up your projections. This will enable you to identify areas of weakness and opportunity. It will also help you work toward creating a high performing company, service line, or profit center.
Here are three types of backlog available in the A/E/C marketplace.
1: THE MEGA PROJECT
You WON! You won the mega project you have been dreaming about. It’s exponentially bigger than anything your smaller clients could ever give you. A mega project can bring your firm talent, resources and a surge of top line revenues. While these projects appear to make all our dreams come true, it is important to diversify backlog with other types of revenue discussed in this article. If you will
be opening a new profit center, consider what would become of it when the project is over. Analyzing and planning for how to begin and end a mega project will protect you from utilizing too many internal resources or, at worst, closing your profit center altogether. You might create a capture plan to replace the mega project with another, or use the project’s duration to build strong, sustainable market share simultaneously by winning smaller projects to support your profit center after the mega project is complete.
2: SUSTAINABLE REVENUE
Work with smaller, repeat business clients may not be anything to brag about but it can be steady and reliable. This type of work is won through relationships with owners who have current, ongoing and future needs for your services. At times, the revenue generated from projects may be small or sporadic. However, you will find that year over year, you can count on a certain, sustainable contribution to your top line. It provides revenue without the aggressive and dedicated effort required to pursue a new client. To create stability, a group of small, sustainable clients is needed in your backlog alongside other revenue types.
- STRATEGIC PARTNERSHIPS
Teaming with another firm can enable you to pursue projects that may normally be out of your reach. Partnering can shore up your shortcomings with respect to geography, capabilities, or even intellectual property. Another way to service projects normally out of reach is to leverage relationships you have from your sustainable clients. Consider looking at your existing clients’ capital improvement plans to identify projects you wouldn’t normally pursue; ones that are synergistically compatible with your capabilities. Then, find a teaming partner to chase them with.
Diversifying the types of work in your backlog with small, mega and teaming projects will create stability and protect your investment in your company’s working capital.
Talin Astourian is a graduate of the Art Center College of Design where she studied Advertising Design. Currently serving as Vice President of Strategic Growth, she specializes in revenue driven marketing, strategic growth facilitation and customized marketing and branding plan authorship and execution. She collaborates with business owners to develop industry-specific branding messages that holistically address the customer’s buying experience and seamlessly connect the customer to a company’s vision and voice.