Licensed Architect - Winter 2015 - (Page 44)

Firm Management I 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? Here's How BY RENA M. KLEIN, FAIA 44 | Licensed Architect | Winter 2015

Table of Contents for the Digital Edition of Licensed Architect - Winter 2015

President’s Letter
Legal Issues The New Construction Industry Arbitration Rules
ADA Advice Accessible Showers: The Devil is in the Details
Conference Recap
ALA New Members
Continuing Education Architectural Coatings: Field Performance and the Application Process
Chapter News
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