By Dan Ritter, AIA, LEED AP, Associate at HORD COPLAN MACHT and member of the 2019 AIA Colorado Business of Architecture Planning Committee
I have the client. I have the project. I have the design. But what do I do now? We have the tools necessary to come up with a well-thought out design, and we have the network to land the client we have always wanted, but do we understand the business side of the profession?
At every prosperous firm there is at least one person that possesses the business acumen to keep the doors open. They may have their MBA or they may just be a pro at Excel. However, that expertise is often siloed within that small group and if you cannot get into that inner sanctum, it could stall your professional trajectory.
Even if you don’t plan to hang your own shingle, being able to understand how a firm works is of the utmost importance. It makes us efficient and profitable with our work and realistic when talking with potential clients. Having a solid business foundation is what gives any architect or firm the ability to thrive.
Now, for the second year, AIA Colorado is providing the opportunity to learn the business side of architecture through their Business of Architecture Series. The series goes a step beyond the introductory in areas such as organizational structures, marketing, contract negotiation, finances, human resources and more. After taking the series you will be able to confidently explain why you are starting out as an LLC and how you plan to utilize the doer/seller role in your firm, among many other things.