Unfortunately most of us don't learn anything about marketing in engineering school or out on the job site. Since the "school of hard knocks" doesn't necessarily teach us how to find the prospects who will pay us a fair profit for value received, this article will explore step-by-step the development of an effective marketing plan for your construction company. This includes establishing the goals, strengths and assets of your company, determining the needs of your potential customers, forecasting the total size of your potential market, analyzing the strengths and weaknesses of your competitors, developing an action plan which you can afford, and establishing a system for monitoring results.

For our purposes, marketing is defined as the sum total of all the things that you have to do to get the prospect to use your products and services. In addition to preparing a marketing plan, marketing includes such specific functions as: finding qualified prospects who have a need for your construction products and services, creating the proper image so the prospect calls you when he has a need, developing a system so you call on the right prospect at the right time, applying the principles of persuasion so you can convince the prospect that your proposal is his best buy, and handling customer complaints so that you develop satisfied customers who will help you get business from other companies.