Licensed Architect - Winter 2015 - (Page 44)
n my consulting practice, many small firm owners ask me how
they can become more profitable. While profitability isn't the only
bottom line for most architects, there comes a time for many when
they just want to earn more money in exchange for their hard
work. And, as firm owners, most also want to be able to reward
trusted staff and build the value of their firm as a business entity.
How a firm becomes more profitable can be a complex question
involving many factors, including firm culture, leadership proclivities,
market sector, client management, and operational effectiveness. Of
course, to get different results it is necessary to embrace change and do
things differently, which is often the biggest hurdle to overcome.
Influences on Profitability
Because design firms operate in an unpredictable environment, an
unexpected issue on a project or a particularly difficult client can
sometimes have a disastrous impact on firm profitability. Often
these situations are beyond a practitioner's control. Bad things do
happen to good architects, even when following all best practices.
Nevertheless, it is still possible to improve profitability through
taking action in arenas where firm leaders do have some control.
One of these involves reducing the number of hours worked
on projects that, for one reason or another, cannot be billed to
clients. To help understand how this change can be enabled,
Figure 1 illustrates the influences on profitability in design firms.
Figure 1: Influences on Profitability (Chapter 8, The Architect's
Guide to Small Firm Management, by Rena Klein, Wiley, 2010)
Want To Be More Profitable?
BY RENA M. KLEIN, FAIA
44 | Licensed Architect | Winter 2015
Table of Contents for the Digital Edition of Licensed Architect - Winter 2015
Legal Issues The New Construction Industry Arbitration Rules
ADA Advice Accessible Showers: The Devil is in the Details
ALA New Members
Continuing Education Architectural Coatings: Field Performance and the Application Process
Second Chances: Evaluating Repair Approaches for Historic and Contemporary Window Systems
Insurance Information “Go” “No-Go” Project Evaluation
Firm Management Want To Be More Profitable? Here’s How
Index to Advertisers
Licensed Architect - Winter 2015