The Business Behind Design

Behind all great architecture and engineering work there needs to be an efficient, effective business operation in place. In his Business Behind Design blog, Steven Burns, FAIA, Chief Creative Officer for BQE Software—the company behind Core—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-tos, plus 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 | 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 percei...

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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...

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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...

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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 miscommunicati...

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 inh...

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...

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 t...

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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...

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 unpredictabl...

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 t...

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...

Architects | October 16, 2013 | Steven Burns

If you’re on the outside looking in, successful entrepreneurship may seem mysterious. But it isn’t. Here are five patterns of behavior that are com...

Architects | October 07, 2013 | Steven Burns

The average U.S. office worker generates two pounds of paper each day, according to the EPA. Ninety percent of that trash is made up of printed mat...

Architects | September 26, 2013 | Steven Burns

As AEC firms navigate toward an uncertain future, the most effective leaders are those who eagerly adapt to change. Here are three attitudes that d...

Architects | September 23, 2013 | Steven Burns
What’s the best way to reward those employees who go the extra mile, particularly when it’s not always feasible to give large financial bonuses? Accor...
Architects | September 16, 2013 | Steven Burns

The idea-generating process known as brainstorming has come under some intense fire recently. Critics contend that it suspends much-needed criticis...

Building Owner | September 04, 2013 | Steven Burns
U.S. businesses spend more than $170 billion annually on leadership-based curriculum, according to the American Society of Training and Development. I...
Building Owner | August 28, 2013 | Steven Burns
Although firms commonly use client satisfaction surveys and interviews to assess how well their teams are performing, a new article from Harvard Busin...
Building Owner | August 19, 2013 | Steven Burns

Anyone whose desk resembles a war zone can proudly cite a new scientific study that suggests a messy workspace may actually help people think more...

Building Owner | August 08, 2013 | Steven Burns

What’s an idea really worth? That’s the question posed by The New York Times in a provocative article that explores whether the notion of billing t...

Engineers | July 30, 2013 | Steven Burns

As the designers of collaborative work environments, architects and engineers understand how open, transparent spaces can cultivate the casual inte...

Architects | July 25, 2013 | Steven Burns

The key to a firm’s future success has less to do with avoiding trouble than bouncing back from it. 

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