Felipe Rossato de Souza
US Engineering Practices
January 30, 2015. Dr. Bill Phillips
Forty years ago Thom decided to quit his old job and start his own company. Back there he did not have a master plan for the company but he still had a really successful one. Thom owns a consultant engineering company, which develops projects for public and private sectors. In the beginning it was not easy to get clients. Fortunately he had a great friendship with his old boss, who kept sending him small works during several years. It was important for his success until his company became well known.
According to Thom one of the best things in his area is a good relationship with the clients, but it is not an easy thing to get and keep. He works a lot to keep in contact with them and always try to know new people, potential customers. The contact with these people is done both in formal and informal environment, fairs and forums were examples of first, while “go to where they [clients/partners] go” was the best phase to explain the informal environment.
One big topic covered by him talks about billable vs. non-billable time. Billable time represent the time spent directly with the client and working in the projects, as examples we can quote actual work time, project planning, research, meetings and others. Non-billable time represent that hours that do not generate revenue, but is necessary to keep the project/business running smoothly like team-building and time spent fixing your own