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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Architects | August 16, 2014 | Steven Burns
Business consultant Tim Williams authored a recent LinkedIn post that highlights the emerging trend among professional services firms toward “decoupli...

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Architects | August 04, 2014 | Steven Burns
Transforming your firm into a “digital business” is particularly challenging because digital touches every function while also demanding the rapid dev...

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Architects | August 04, 2014 | Steven Burns
Most AEC leadership teams are fastidious about tracking their hit rate–the number of proposals submitted minus the number of proposals won. Here are t...

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Architects | July 21, 2014 | Steven Burns
Transition planning can be one of the more complex challenges that firms face. Effective plans begin by determining the gap between a firm’s current s...

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Architects | July 07, 2014 | Steven Burns
The secret to keeping your best employees productive and happy isn’t throwing money at them, as studies have continuously shown that money isn’t the t...

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Architects | July 07, 2014 | 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 t...

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Architects | June 22, 2014 | Steven Burns
Establishing, conveying, and maintaining a powerful brand is a critical component of an AEC firm’s marketing strategy. Here are five strategies to mak...

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Architects | June 03, 2014 | 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 leade...

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Architects | May 27, 2014 | 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 D...
Architects | May 22, 2014 | Steven Burns
Measuring what matters is essential for professional services firms, says author and consultant Tim Williams, particularly as firms continue to experi...

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Architects | May 08, 2014 | Steven Burns
Though strategic planning has helped many businesses move forward, its time has passed. So says Economist and Author Bill Conerly. SPONSORED CONTENT

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Architects | May 03, 2014 | 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 s...

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Architects | April 15, 2014 | 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. 

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Architects | April 08, 2014 | Steven Burns
Every company is a sum of the value it delivers to its clients. What differs from one company to the next is how that value is delivered and perceived...

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Architects | March 27, 2014 | Steven Burns
In study after study, strategic thinkers are found to be among the most highly effective leaders. But is there a way to encourage routine strategic th...

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Architects | March 21, 2014 | Steven Burns
If you’re having a hard time attracting new referrals, here are a few techniques for increasing the number of interactions with potential clients. 

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Architects | March 19, 2014 | Steven Burns
Will 2014 be the year that design firms start selecting the clients they want rather than getting in line with competitors to respond to RFPs? That’s...

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Architects | March 07, 2014 | Steven Burns
As a leader in the AEC world, you’ll likely find yourself making certain mistakes over the course of your career. Here are a few common leadership err...

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Architects | March 03, 2014 | Steven Burns
There are few business skills as important as negotiation. Many successful businesspeople pride themselves on their ability to turn a deal in their fa...

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Architects | March 03, 2014 | Steven Burns
Gaining more clients is one thing. Gaining more clients that you actually like is something else entirely. Here are some tips to perfect the art of at...

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Architects | January 23, 2014 | Steven Burns
After visiting over 200 architecture firms, I was aghast that so many of them were committing these costly sins of mismanagement and miscommunication,...
Architects | January 15, 2014 | Steven Burns
The social media revolution—which is less than a decade old—has created a dilemma for senior executives. While its potential seems immense, the inhere...
Architects | December 29, 2013 | Steven Burns
In a CEO.com post, Andrew Miller, president of ACM Consulting, shares the seven organizational efficiency strategies he encounters most frequently as...
Architects | December 18, 2013 | Steven Burns
What separates the great-but-struggling designers from the great-successful ones isn't luck. If you're as good an architect as you think, it will take...

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Architects | December 16, 2013 | Steven Burns
Trust, one of the key elements to productive business relationships, is in short supply these days. An Associated Press-GfK poll discovered that only...

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Architects | December 09, 2013 | Steven Burns
Whether digital technology will help or hinder workplace insights remains a topic of ongoing debate. FastCo.Design features insights from business sch...
Architects | December 05, 2013 | Steven Burns
Because most professional services firms exist to help their clients reduce risk and navigate an uncertain future, they tend to approach the world of...
Architects | November 26, 2013 | Steven Burns
Like all professional services businesses, AEC firms are challenged to effectively manage people. And even though people can be rather unpredictable,...
Architects | November 18, 2013 | Steven Burns
LinkedIn is the social network used by most construction professionals, according to the results of a newly released national survey conducted by the...
Architects | November 17, 2013 | Steven Burns
Every business development person has been there. You’ve finally earned a few minutes to impress a prospect that you’ve been pursuing. This is your op...
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