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Thread: Rigors of private practice #13: trade areas

  1. #1
    Cyburbian Emeritus Chet's avatar
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    Rigors of private practice #13: trade areas

    Our firm has a home office and four branches. Our private development engineering side has worked in 26 states. Our public side engineers limit their marketing to within one hour of the office they are in. Our planning side is fairly new and until recently stuck with the one hour rule. We're exploring going after strategic work throughout the lower 48.

    So, cyburbia consultants, what's your business model?

  2. #2
    moderator in moderation Suburb Repairman's avatar
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    I'm not in private practice, but I have a friend that is. He restricts all of his work to Texas. He has PLENTY of work and does not want his practice to get too big, and he does not like to fly (he can drive to most of his clients). He also chooses to stay in Texas because of the state's rather unique legal environment when it comes to planning laws.

    "Oh, that is all well and good, but, voice or no voice, the people can always be brought to the bidding of the leaders. That is easy. All you have to do is tell them they are being attacked and denounce the pacifists for lack of patriotism and exposing the country to danger. It works the same way in any country."

    - Herman Göring at the Nuremburg trials (thoughts on democracy)

  3. #3

    Registered
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    I never conducted my practice as a business, not really. It was an adventure. Thus I took it one the road as much as I could. I did substantive work, if you count training sessions, as substantive, in WA, OR, ID, NV, MT, CO, WY, UT, AZ, NE, MN, MS, OH, and GA. I added a few states to that once I was workng for the Sonoran Institute.

    It all depends on you and your goals - if you want to see the country, then you can. In some sense it all depends on your tolerance for living in airports and hotels. It was fuin for a long time. But, if you are really profit-driven, I doubt this is what you do. Its not because of travel expenses, either. Everyone agrees on those and you break even. It is about productivity - you clear more money working for the same old client over and over again than you do marketing and breaking in new clients.

  4. #4
    Cyburbian Cardinal's avatar
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    Wow Chet, your company seems to have the same approch as mine!
    Anyone want to adopt a dog?

  5. #5
    Quote Originally posted by Chet
    Our firm has a home office and four branches. Our private development engineering side has worked in 26 states. Our public side engineers limit their marketing to within one hour of the office they are in. Our planning side is fairly new and until recently stuck with the one hour rule. We're exploring going after strategic work throughout the lower 48.

    So, cyburbia consultants, what's your business model?
    Student - question:

    What sort of work would a private planning consultant do? How does one establish a private practice? How does one even begin to build a client base?

  6. #6
    Cyburbian Emeritus Chet's avatar
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    Quote Originally posted by Yorke790
    Student - question:

    What sort of work would a private planning consultant do? How does one establish a private practice? How does one even begin to build a client base?
    My bread and butter is in current planning: Reviewing zoning changes, site plans, new subdivision plat reviews etc. These clients retain me on an annual basis, and are too small to have a full time staff member.

    We fill in the down time with special projects like those found here:

    http://www.planning.org/rfp-rfq/

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