A little over two years ago I started thinking about starting an estimating and consulting business. After about nine months of thinking, planning, and weighing the options, I decided to go for it and started all the paperwork to establish an LLC with the State of Ohio.
Things an AEC Company Or Owner Should Know When Hiring An Estimating Consultant Firm To Do Work For Their Business By Edward Walsh, Executive Director – CERT The Consulting Estimators Round Table [www.CERT-USA.org] has developed some recommended guidelines for any AEC firm, building owner or developer thinking about hiring the services of a CE firm. The CERT is a national non-for profit association which promotes ethics, validation, education and fellowship of consulting estimator firms based exclusively in the United States.
Architects, engineers, owners, developers, planners, law firms, sureties, and contractors no longer have to take as much risk or time when selecting an estimating consultant with whom to partner on their projects. There is now an excellent resource for those with a need for reliable construction cost estimating services to find experienced and dependable consulting construction estimators to work with when they need accurate and unbiased estimates for the projects they are designing, planning, negotiating, or bidding.
So you have decided that now is the time to go out and become a consultant. What tools do I really need and how can I get into the business without spending a lot of money.
This year’s ASPE National Estimating Academy will feature a first-ever seminar on the topic of establishing and operating an estimating consulting practice.
Members of the Consulting Estimator Roundtable (CERT), a trade association founded by several ASPE members who are independent consulting estimators, have developed and will present a three hour session focusing on the requirements for starting a practice, marketing it, finding clients, running it successfully, collecting payments, and making it a sustainable enterprise.
On Friday and Saturday February 7-8, 2014, six members of the Consulting Estimators Round Table (CERT) met in Scottsdale, AZ for the 2014 CERT Winter Conference.
The reader might ask, why would an estimating firm provide services other than estimating? Many of us got started in this business doing something other than estimating.
Traditional networking, (no password required), means that the more people one knows, and knows well, the wider the network. Networking is a valuable resource and many businesses depend on it for survival. It means we can foster growth through introductions to new contacts by people we know, people who can offer personal references as to our skills and reliability. Well executed networking can transition into a business asset termed “blue sky”, which can accrue as a saleable commodity in some business models.
When considering the start up of a construction estimating practice, the business structure of the enterprise is usually the first concern that makes the list. It’s human nature to be concerned about the ramifications of making a mistake on which another person or company makes a cost decision, so this is of course a topic of great concern.