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If You’re So Smart, How Come You’re Not Rich?

Feb 22, 2013 | By Steven Burns, FAIA | 0 Comments

Topics: Firm Operations

After many years of “Working for the Man,” you finally did it. You set out to blaze your own trail by starting your own Architectural or Engineering firm. But you’re finding that after a year or so, your profits aren’t exactly where you thought they would be. Why?

You’re passionate about what you do, and you know you’re good at it. You’ve even been doing all the boring business stuff you’re supposed to such as invoicing on time, watching utilization rates and other metrics but you still aren’t getting ahead of the game.

The market is competitive. It takes more than being ‘good’ at what you do to stay on top. You must be unique and innovative–at least, you want to be perceived that way by your clients. If you're not, you risk losing money.

To separate yourself from the pack, you need to make your company more valuable in the eyes of both your clients and your employees. This is the secret of companies like Google, REI, Zappos and Whole Foods Market, all listed on CNN Money’s list of 100 Best Companies to Work For. Customers want to do business with them because of their brand. Employees love working for them because they have a business culture that is perceived as fun and encouraging of innovative thinking. As a result, they’re profitable and everyone wants to work for them.

In a previous presentation I gave called If You’re so Smart, How Come You’re Not Rich?, I asked the audience of architects to write down their definition of success. Overall the responses showed that having fun, being engaged and doing fulfilling work were valued as much as, if not more than, monetary success.

This presentation teaches you 10 vital best practices that will help build value in your firm by making it more desirable to both clients and staff. You'll learn how to re-evaluate current internal processes and throw away bad practices that have led to profit losses.

These principles are pulled from my combined knowledge gathered from running my own architectural firm (Burns + Beyerl | Architects) for 14 years in addition to the information gathered by BQE Software. With over 17 years of one-on-one training sessions, on-site visits and consultations with office managers and firm owners, BQE has learned a little about what it takes to succeed.

Check out: How an Incompetent Project Manager Actually Got Promoted to Principal

About the Author: Steven Burns, FAIA, spent 14 years managing his firm Burns + Beyerl Architects. After creating ArchiOffice®, the intelligent office, project management and time tracking solution for architectural firms, Steve brought his management expertise to BQE Software, where he is perfecting the business strategy and product development.

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The Author

Steven Burns, FAIA

Steven Burns, FAIA, spent 14 years managing his firm Burns + Beyerl Architects. After creating ArchiOffice®, the smart office and project management solution for architectural firms, Steve brought his management expertise to BQE Software, where he is perfecting the business strategy and product development.

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