9/2/15 The Civil Engineering Podcast: Advice on Business Development and Building a Business and Career from a Civil Engineering CEO

September 2, 2015 by Will Schnier P.E.

By Anthony Fasano

Read original article here.

TCEP-Ep13-final Will Schiner

In episode 013 of The Civil Engineering Podcast, I interview Will Schnier, a licensed PE and the Chief Executive Officer of BIG RED DOG Engineering | Consulting who will share his expertise on business development and also talk about one of Big Red Dog’s projects in lieu of our Civil Engineering Project of the Week segment.


Click here to listen to the podcast.

Here are some key points in this episode:

  • In business development, you should learn:
    • How to actually win work
    • How to get yourself in front of clients
    • How to position yourself and your firm as the most able provider
  • Client exposure early on is important – this allows you to see how the client thinks and helps you to anticipate their needs
  • You must have that yearning to learn
  • Constantly surround yourself with people smarter than you
  • To compete with other engineers, you must have the skill sets of business development and project management
  • Learn to write in order to communicate
  • Constantly set goals for yourself and your engineering company

How to develop your business development skills as an engineer:

  • Change your mindset with an objective to help other people win enough work
  • Build relationships and not just collect business cards
  • Give something of engineering value to a prospect to prove yourself (add value to the deal)
  • Do the business development yourself pro-actively, show results and ultimately you’ll take that role
  • Do good work for your current clients
  • Make your clients look good, make them like you, and build relationships with them so they can refer you to other potential clients


  • “The worst thing on your agenda for the day, do it first…” – Will Schnier on Ep 013 of #TCEPodcast
  • How the CEO of Big Red Dog Engineering became successful at a very young age – More on #TCEPodcast Ep 013.
  • Don’t think you know it all, always be open to new things – Stay tuned for #TCEPodcast Ep 013.

Project Name:  Waller Creek

Project Description:

Big Red Dog is part of the team led by Michael Van Valkenburgh Associates (MVVA) and Thomas Phifer & Partners, and Studio DWG with Daniel Woodroffe. The goal of this project is to transform a dilapidated and lifeless creek into a vibrant urban waterway complemented by dynamic parks, bridges, open and interactive spaces that engage the public and will make it a world-class destination.

Books Mentioned in This Episode:

Never Eat Alone

Art’s Principles

Let My People Go Surfing

The Go-Giver