The Business Behind Design

Behind all great architecture and engineering work there needs to be an efficient, effective business operation in place in order to maximize profits. In his Business Behind Design blog, Steven Burns, FAIA, Director of Product Strategies for BQE Software, creator of ArchiOffice, and long-time managing director of an architectural practice, offers valuable advice about running a design firm.Topics include project management tips, financial best practices, marketing how-to, advice for maximizing meetings, business software, recruitment and retention, and strategic planning. For more on BQE Software, visit: www.bqe.com.
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Posted on July 21, 2014 By Steven Burns
Who are the leaders that will shape the future of your firm? That’s an essential question for AEC firms to resolve, writes Greenway Group Principal Bob Fisher in a Design Intelligence post. “Leaders can attract and inspire the right teams to make great work in a well-managed enterprise, or they can...
Posted on July 07, 2014 By Steven Burns
As the economy continues to recover, employee turnover is projected to rise as well.  “Companies need to do some hard work to keep their employees engaged and in their jobs,” writes Kristi Hedges, a leadership coach, speaker and author, in a Forbes.com post. “Otherwise, any residual...
Posted on July 07, 2014 By Steven Burns
Companies seem to try everything imaginable to fix their workplaces, says Gallup Chairman and CEO Jim Clifton in a recent blog post, except the only thing that matters: naming the right person manager. “Leaders go to seminars, hire consultants, and employ a long list of interventions – competencies...
Posted on June 22, 2014 By Steven Burns
Establishing, conveying, and maintaining a powerful brand is a critical component of an AEC firm’s marketing strategy.  “One of the top goals of branding has always been to distinguish a firm from the crowded sea of similar, qualified competitors,” writes Tim Asimos, VP and director of digital...
Posted on June 03, 2014 By Steven Burns
While it’s often said that strong leadership is an organization’s competitive advantage, is there a single characteristic that can predict which leaders will be most effective? Leadership Consultant Cindy Wahler, Ph.D., contends that flexibility is the trait that distinguishes great leaders. “...
Posted on May 27, 2014 By Steven Burns
The price, cost, and value of design services are explored in a recent Design Intelligence article authored by Scott Simpson, a senior fellow of the Design Futures Council. Value, he explains, represents the difference between “price” (what we agree to pay for specific goods or services) and “cost...
Posted on May 22, 2014 By Steven Burns
Measuring what matters is essential for professional services firms, says Author and Consultant Tim Williams, particularly as firms continue to experiment with the concept of outcome-based compensation agreements.   “Most measures of performance – sales, market share, stock price, etc. – are...
Posted on May 08, 2014 By Steven Burns
Though strategic planning has helped many businesses move forward, its time has passed.  So says Economist and Author Bill Conerly in a series of Forbes.com articles. He bases his conclusion on recent conversations with numerous CEOs, who disclose that they abandoned strategic planning during...
Posted on May 03, 2014 By Steven Burns
Managing a team of people, especially creative people, is a task that not everyone is up for. Keeping your team on the same page while maintaining a schedule and budget that can keep your corporation happy will take confidence and bountiful people skills. Natural leaders can come across as an...
Posted on April 15, 2014 By Steven Burns
Regardless of the fee you charge, clients and prospects decide the value of your professional services based on their experience with your firm. It can be based on any of the following: • Word of mouth • Employees answering the phone • Projected professionalism and friendliness • Enthusiasm for...