Pricing Creativity with Author Blair Enns (Transcript)

This is the transcript from EntreArchitect Podcast Episode 219, Pricing Creativity with Author Blair Enns. Listen to this podcast episode or download the audio file here.
 

***Start Transcript***

Promo: 00:00 Do you know how to calculate the exact amount you need to charge your clients in order to earn 20 percent profit on that project? It’s simple to do., if you know how. Learn how by downloading our free course Profit for Small Firm Architects today at entrearchitect.com/freecourse. Mark: 00:21 You are listening to EntreArchitect Podcast and this is episode 219. Mark: 00:38 Welcome back to EntreArchitect Podcast. My name is Mark R. LePage and this is the podcast dedicated to a successful life as a small firm entrepreneur architect. Whether you have plans to someday start your own firm, you’re in the process of launching a startup or you may be experienced small firm architect, just Continue reading "Pricing Creativity with Author Blair Enns (Transcript)"

Three Financial BasicsEveryEntrepreneur ArchitectMUST Understand

Financial Management Terminology for Architects

For many design professionals the subject of Financial Management is complex and can become problematic if the terminology used in the discussion or writing of this subject are not precise. For clarity, the term, Financial Management, refers to the accrual-basis accounting process of a professional design firm. Accrual-basis accounting is primarily used to determine true profitability and the metrics, or key financial performance indicators (KFPI’s) that can be calculated only in this form of accounting system.

Three Financial Basics Every Entrepreneur Architect MUST Understand

The following are three financial basics every architect my understand. Unfortunately, they may be some of the most problematic and misused terms used by architects when structuring their financial management systems.

Profit/Loss Statement vs. Income Statement

Each of these terms are uniquely tied to the respective accounting process they represent. The Profit/Loss Statement refers to the financial report for the
Continue reading "Three Financial BasicsEveryEntrepreneur ArchitectMUST Understand"

Three Financial BasicsEveryEntrepreneur ArchitectMUST Understand

Financial Management Terminology for Architects

For many design professionals the subject of Financial Management is complex and can become problematic if the terminology used in the discussion or writing of this subject are not precise. For clarity, the term, Financial Management, refers to the accrual-basis accounting process of a professional design firm. Accrual-basis accounting is primarily used to determine true profitability and the metrics, or key financial performance indicators (KFPI’s) that can be calculated only in this form of accounting system.

Three Financial Basics Every Entrepreneur Architect MUST Understand

The following are three financial basics every architect my understand. Unfortunately, they may be some of the most problematic and misused terms used by architects when structuring their financial management systems.

Profit/Loss Statement vs. Income Statement

Each of these terms are uniquely tied to the respective accounting process they represent. The Profit/Loss Statement refers to the financial report for the
Continue reading "Three Financial BasicsEveryEntrepreneur ArchitectMUST Understand"

The Power ofThe Profit First Architect

We Would Do It for Free If We Could

We architects have deeply rooted positive passion for what we do. As artists we love to manipulate form and space in order to impact the lives of others. We are thrilled every time we walk through one of our structures. Our fuel is the excitement and emotional reaction that others have for our art. We love being architects. We are making the world a better place with every new project and we would do it for free if we could. …and that, right there, may be our biggest problem. We would do it for free if we could.

The Starving Artist

When it comes to money and the thought of having to charge for what we do, we squirm in our seats. We become very uncomfortable. We feel an underlying sense of guilt for charging for the art that we love Continue reading "The Power ofThe Profit First Architect"

The Power ofThe Profit First Architect

We Would Do It for Free If We Could

We architects have deeply rooted positive passion for what we do. As artists we love to manipulate form and space in order to impact the lives of others. We are thrilled every time we walk through one of our structures. Our fuel is the excitement and emotional reaction that others have for our art. We love being architects. We are making the world a better place with every new project and we would do it for free if we could. …and that, right there, may be our biggest problem. We would do it for free if we could.

The Starving Artist

When it comes to money and the thought of having to charge for what we do, we squirm in our seats. We become very uncomfortable. We feel an underlying sense of guilt for charging for the art that we love Continue reading "The Power ofThe Profit First Architect"

My 5 Rules for Developing Contract Documents for Small Firm Architects

It may be the most critical step in the entire process of acquiring a new architecture client.

We may have perfected our marketing, developed a strong reputation, executed a flawless sales process and have received our prospective client’s eager authorization to proceed with a new project. We may have done everything right and find ourselves at the point where, to make this new relationship official, we need a signed legal document. We need a contract. Hand shakes are only as good as your memory (or your luck) may be. Simple letters of agreement may define the project description and manage an understanding for how to get paid, but will only be as valuable as the paper that they are printed upon if there is a mis-understanding or a conflict somewhere down the line. Send your client an overwhelmingly comprehensive legal agreement intended for large projects and it may end up
Continue reading "My 5 Rules for Developing Contract Documents for Small Firm Architects"

Almost 40 Tips for Starting an Architecture Firm

This article was written by architect Timothy Ung of JourneyofanArchitect.com. It is being republished here at EntreArchitect.com with permission from the author. Enjoy!

Almost 40 tips for Starting an Architecture Firm

After obtaining my license as an Architect in New York, I brainstormed several long term goals and decided to start a personal blog, develop design projects, and learn everything that I could about starting an architecture firm. So I purchased several inspiring books written by life coaches, architects, and business professionals. As I read each book, my mind began wandering off in so many directions and many of my fears of the unknown were beginning to fade. Then, an opportunity came up with the local American Institute of Architects in Buffalo’s emerging professionals committee (AIA Buffalo/WNY EP) to put together a proposal for a grant from the college of fellows. We decided to submit our proposal for an
Continue reading "Almost 40 Tips for Starting an Architecture Firm"

What Was I Thinking?Four Lessons in Telling the Truth

My First Assignment

Many years ago, before Annmarie and I started our residential architecture firm, I was a project manager with Kaeyer, Garment & Davidson Architects in Mt. Kisco, New York. I worked very closely with the senior partner at the time, Dick Kaeyer. My first assignment as Project Manager was a major addition and renovation project for a church and facilities in Yorktown Heights. Dick designed the project and I developed it through construction drawings. Then, in order to learn the tips and tricks of construction administration, Dick and I worked as a team through construction. Everything was going very smoothly and I was feeling very confident, until the windows were delivered. I will never forget the day. A sunny summer afternoon, I was attending the project meeting alone and the first window was being installed. The owner looked at the new Andersen Sandtone window and said, “The windows Continue reading "What Was I Thinking?Four Lessons in Telling the Truth"

The Single Most Important Action You Can Take as anEntrepreneur Architect

10 Simple Steps to Develop Standard Operating Procedures for Architects

Every week, throughout the EntreArchitect Community, I hear or read questions from small firm architects struggling to find the success they seek. “How can I make more money as an architect?” “How can I find the work I want?” “How can I get my employees or contractors to do what I want them to do?” “How can I get more done?” There is one answer for all these questions. To build the business we want and find the success we seek, developing business systems with simple-to-follow SOPs (Standard Operating Procedures) is the answer. Michael Gerber, the author of The E-Myth Revisited, Why Most Small Businesses Don’t Work and What To Do About It, said, “Organize around business functions, not people. Build systems within each business function. Let systems run the business and people run the systems. People
Continue reading "The Single Most Important Action You Can Take as anEntrepreneur Architect"

How To Find Happiness

How To Find Happiness

Architecture is a tough profession. We worked long hours, for years, with passion and dedication, to become architects. We struggled to launch our firms, often without the education or a firm knowledge of the basic fundamentals of business. We searched for the best clients and we serve them each, to the best of our ability. Yes, architecture is a tough, tough profession… and we wouldn’t have it any other way. We’ve chosen this life. We’re entrepreneur architects. If we were employed by a larger firm, we would never have the flexibility or the freedom that we so cherish. But even though we’ve chosen this path, and the life that comes with it, we sometimes question that decision. Did we make the right decision? Sometimes we wonder if we would be happier working for someone else. Well, my friends, I’m here to tell you… happiness doesn’t come Continue reading "How To Find Happiness"

4 Simple Marketing Strategies for Residential Architects

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Marketing Strategies for Residential Architects

Have you listened to my interview with co-founder of SALA Architects, Dale Mulfinger, FAIA over at EntreArchitect Podcast? It was a fantastic discussion about how SALA was founded and the journey to where Dale finds himself today as a principal at the firm, a teacher and an author of several books published by Taunton Press. If you haven’t yet listened to the episode, you can subscribe to the podcast at iTunes or listen directly from the website here. I have been following Dale and his former SALA co-founder, Sarah Susanka, FAIA since Sarah published her first book, The Not So Big House in 1998. Together, they built the firm by “doing good work”, openly sharing their knowledge as residential architects with the community around them and by partnering with like-minded principals to grow the firm, continuing the traditions of sharing started by Dale and Continue reading "4 Simple Marketing Strategies for Residential Architects"

Culture is Critical for Success at Your Architecture Firm

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A Culture at Your Architecture Firm Will Make or Break Your Firm

As your small firm grows beyond its infancy of the sole practitioner and you develop a strong team, the culture of your firm will evolve. The different personalities and experiences brought to your firm will mix and a firm culture will develop; with or without your guidance. You are a busy architect seeking your next contract and working hard to complete the current projects on the boards. You just need to get the work done. You may be thinking, “I don’t have time to worry about such ‘fluffy’ thoughts such as culture.”

Culture is Critical

Your firm’s culture and how you manage it is critical to the success of your firm. It will make or break your firm as you grow. Left unchecked, you may be lucky and a strong, positive culture may develop. If not, you Continue reading "Culture is Critical for Success at Your Architecture Firm"

The 21 Rules for Success in Architecture

 
The following is a compilation of my professional practice lecture on the last day of class. Instead of recapping the course or giving a final exam, I share with my students a presentation titled Advice as You Finish School and Start to Practice. I present a series of statements followed up with a brief explanation.

Advice as You Finish School and Start to Practice…

1. GET STARTED ON YOUR CAREER PATH
  • You can start earning AXP (NCARB Architecture Experience Program) hours right after high school graduation.
  • If you haven’t already, sign up for the AXP and get started on the path to licensure!
2. DON’T GET CAUGHT UP IN “OLD GUARD” FIRMS

Mentoring the Young Architect Will Enrich and Strengthen Our Profession

Mentoring the Young Architect

The profession of architecture has historically been dependent upon older architects mentoring younger architects. Due to the complexity of the profession, older architects need to train and mentor our young architects. One of the requirements of becoming a licensed architect is the Architectural Experience Program (AXP) which logs job training under certain tasks which is then signed off by a licensed architect. Aside from just a licensing requirement a significant amount of mentoring and learning takes place with everyone in the office, not just the supervisor. My intention in writing this article is to raise awareness of the importance of being good mentors with the junior staff in your office.

It Took a Village

On the day I went for my interview and got my license, I made a list of everyone who played a part in my progress up until that day. All my Professors,
Continue reading "Mentoring the Young Architect Will Enrich and Strengthen Our Profession"

Mentoring the Young Architect Will Enrich and Strengthen Our Profession

Mentoring the Young Architect

The profession of architecture has historically been dependent upon older architects mentoring younger architects. Due to the complexity of the profession, older architects need to train and mentor our young architects. One of the requirements of becoming a licensed architect is the Architectural Experience Program (AXP) which logs job training under certain tasks which is then signed off by a licensed architect. Aside from just a licensing requirement a significant amount of mentoring and learning takes place with everyone in the office, not just the supervisor. My intention in writing this article is to raise awareness of the importance of being good mentors with the junior staff in your office.

It Took a Village

On the day I went for my interview and got my license, I made a list of everyone who played a part in my progress up until that day. All my Professors,
Continue reading "Mentoring the Young Architect Will Enrich and Strengthen Our Profession"

How Project Accounting Will Transform Your Architecture Firm

Take the Time to Examine Project Financials—You Won’t Regret It

Your projects have many moving parts, and sometimes tracking their financials might seem overwhelming. You might not get all the information you want or maybe, you don’t even bother to determine the profitability of each project because it would involve too much time. It’s completely understandable, but if you want to get serious about boosting your firm’s efficiency and profitability, you need to start monitoring your project financials in a routine way. You can do this through what we call project accounting. It sounds simple enough, as it is essentially the practice of accounting on the basis of individual projects. In reality, though, it’s so much more. If you do it correctly—and have the right tools—project accounting will transform your firm. You’ll keep projects on schedule and within budget, you’ll have more time for new ideas, and you’ll experience the
Continue reading "How Project Accounting Will Transform Your Architecture Firm"

How Project Accounting Will Transform Your Architecture Firm

Take the Time to Examine Project Financials—You Won’t Regret It

Your projects have many moving parts, and sometimes tracking their financials might seem overwhelming. You might not get all the information you want or maybe, you don’t even bother to determine the profitability of each project because it would involve too much time. It’s completely understandable, but if you want to get serious about boosting your firm’s efficiency and profitability, you need to start monitoring your project financials in a routine way. You can do this through what we call project accounting. It sounds simple enough, as it is essentially the practice of accounting on the basis of individual projects. In reality, though, it’s so much more. If you do it correctly—and have the right tools—project accounting will transform your firm. You’ll keep projects on schedule and within budget, you’ll have more time for new ideas, and you’ll experience the
Continue reading "How Project Accounting Will Transform Your Architecture Firm"

Do Good While Doing Well

Benefit Corporations for Architects

Recently, I have been chatting with numerous members of the design community about Benefit Corporations (or B-Corps) and have been met with an equal number of blank stares. The Benefit Corporation movement is gaining momentum daily; 34 states plus the District of Columbia have legislation authorizing B-Corps, while 6 additional states have legislation pending. [1] What is a Benefit Corporation? The Benefit Corporation is considered a hybrid of a for-profit corporation and a not-for-profit in that the directors do not run the corporation solely to maximize corporate value for its shareholders. Rather, a Benefit Corporation commits to taking on social and environmental responsibilities in addition to its primary business purpose. The B-Corp adopts in its articles of incorporation a commitment to socially or environmentally beneficial practices, usually by committing to operate for general public benefit and it may also adopt specific beneficial purposes such as preserving
Continue reading "Do Good While Doing Well"

Do Good While Doing Well

Benefit Corporations for Architects

Recently, I have been chatting with numerous members of the design community about Benefit Corporations (or B-Corps) and have been met with an equal number of blank stares.

The Benefit Corporation movement is gaining momentum daily; 34 states plus the District of Columbia have legislation authorizing B-Corps, while 6 additional states have legislation pending. [1]

What is a Benefit Corporation?

The Benefit Corporation is considered a hybrid of a for-profit corporation and a not-for-profit in that the directors do not run the corporation solely to maximize corporate value for its shareholders. Rather, a Benefit Corporation commits to taking on social and environmental responsibilities in addition to its primary business purpose.

The B-Corp adopts in its articles of incorporation a commitment to socially or environmentally beneficial practices, usually by committing to operate for general public benefit and it may also adopt specific beneficial purposes such as preserving

Continue reading “Do Good While Doing Well”

Architects Are All The Same

Clients see us as all the same. One architect is just like another. We are all expected to be wonderfully talented designers. We are expected to know the codes and technical details required to construct safe and healthy buildings. In the eyes of our clients, we are all the same… unless we do something to stand out from the crowd. My firm does it differently than the rest. One example is our pre-design process. Before we design, before we sketch our first line, we perform a process of information gathering that involves a questionnaire, photo collecting and a collaborative programming meeting. Sounds just like what you do, right? But it’s not. We’ve developed a process that’s fun. It’s exciting. It’s interesting. It’s an “experience”. Our clients have a great time. They feel invested in the project (before we even put pen to paper) and we obtain all the information we Continue reading "Architects Are All The Same"