WE BELIEVE a well-run design firm begins with a strong management structure — one that is based on tested business practices but is uniquely tuned to the personality of the firm. We understand that most design professionals began their practices in order to have more opportunity to design projects befitting their aesthetics and talents. Yet most Principals find that they spend 50-80% of their time on non-billable efforts, such as generating new business, managing finances and staffing.
Our approach is to look at operations as the three-legged stool which supports all design work. The three legs of the stool represent marketing, human resources, and financial management. Within small firms, we can usually manage with a little wobble, but if we don't pay attention to all three areas, the stool will eventually tip. Our unique talent is finding the source or sources of the wobble and supporting the firm until the stool is steady.
At the outset, we audit the firm’s strengths through consultation with the Principal(s) and key staff members, taking a look at staff roles, responsibilities, and relationships; financial past performance and outlook; project forecasting; and strengths in market sectors. We then begin to identify areas that are understaffed or underperforming. The goal is to implement processes, staff, technology, and tools that effectively and efficiently support design efforts and then to regularly consult on areas of improvement and development.