Small Firm Exchange (SFx)

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Who We Are

The mission of the AIA Small Firm Exchange (SFx) is to advance the mutual interests of architects practicing in small firms. The objectives of the AIA SFx are three-fold:

     1. Advocate the value of small firms, the national SFx, and local
         SFx groups, both within the AIA and to the public.
     2. Curate and disseminate the most pertinent resources and
         information, from the AIA & elsewhere, that benefit small firms.

     3. Inform the AIA of current issues facing small firms and areas
         in which current resources/information are lacking.


Approximately 75% of all firms within the AIA are small firms (10 employees or less), which equates to 14,288 small firms within the organization. 

~25% = sole practitioners = 4,750

~35% = 1-5 employees = 6,650

~15% = 5-10 employees = 2,850

We need to find ways to leverage that size for collaboration and influence, just like the individual large firms do.

Be sure to "Join our Community" !  This will ensure that you're a part of our mailing list and receive our quarterly newsletter and important small firm information.

The small firm guide to A'22

By Kathleen McCormick posted 03-15-2022 02:52 PM

  
A'22 has all the small firm events and educational opportunities for you and your staff to earn HSW, ADA, GBCI, RIBA, and AIA LU credits for the year. Here are five reasons to bring your small firm to Chicago:

5. Chicago Architecture #louissullivan

4. Educational Foundations #ceus

3. Evolution of Practice #notbim

2. Entrepreneur Tactics #getpaid

1. Build Connections with Peers #beer



Here is the event short list.

Wednesday, June 22

WE103 | 12:00-1:30p | Small Firms: Making the Pivot to a Sustainability-Focused Practice

WE210 | 2:00-3:00p | Pay it Forward: the Benefits of Mentorship at All Ages

 

Thursday, June 23

EV201 | 9:30-10:30a | Small Firm Meetup (on expo floor)

EV202 | 11:00a-1:00p | Free Marketing & Communications Checkup

ET204 | 12:15-3:45p | AIA Chicago: Small Project Award Winners

TH204 | 2:00-3:30pm | Starting Your Own Small Firm: How to Begin

 

Friday, June 24

FR101 | 8:00-9:30a | The Accidental Archivist: Presenting Mid-Century Modernism

FR108 | 8:00-9:30a | Mediation for Architects: How to Limit Your Risk

EV301 | 9:30–11:30a | Firm Performance Audit: Free Analysis & Feedback

EV303 | 11:30a–1:00p | Small Project Design Forum

FR204 | 1:00– 3:30p | Stabilize Your Small Firm with Strategic Business Planning 

FR205 | 1:00–3:30p | Firm Roundtables: Rising Strategies for Practice Innovation

FR304 | 2:00–3:30p | Demystifying Merge & Acquisitions

EV311-320 | 6:00p | Open Studio Visits

 

Saturday, June 24

SA206 | 10:00-11:00a | Architect as Entrepreneur: Lessons in Establishing a New Practice

SA302 | 11:30a-12:30p | Don’t Wait for Clients to Ask - Persuade!

SA304 | 11:30a-12:30p | 2030 Commitment 101: Signing on & Getting Started

EV402 | 1:00-2:30p | Small Firm Exchange Forum


Search the full agenda and register.


Need more details?

Wednesday, June 22

WE103 | 12:00-1:30p | Small Firms: Making the Pivot to a Sustainability-Focused Practice
Why: Small firms are adapting to sustainability-focused practices. This moderated panel discussion will focus on a review of the AIA resources, leadership approaches and challenges facing small firms to meet the AIA sustainability goals.

WE210 | 2:00-3:00p | Pay it Forward: the Benefits of Mentorship at All Ages
Why: Small firms thrive on positive mentorship. A discussion on the importance of and impact of successful mentorship.

Thursday, June 23

EV201 | 9:30-10:30a | Small Firm Meetup (on expo floor)
Why: A chance to meet with fellow AIA members from small firms and SFx leadership. Learn about small firm resources available through the AIA.

EV202 | 11:00-1:00p | Free Marketing & Communications Checkup
Why: Marketing advice and insight for your firm. A chance to bring marketing plans and collateral to professionals who will give suggestions, critique. Great for small firms who may not have a full-time marketing position.

TH204 | 2:00 - 3:30pm | Starting Your Own Small Firm: How to Begin
Why: A discussion about starting your own small firm, ideal for new firms or people thinking of starting their own firm.

Friday, June 24

FR101 | 8:00am-9:30a | The Accidental Archivist: Presenting Mid-Century Modernism
Why: A few small firms work in historic preservation and residential architecture. Mid-Century modern house is the highlight of this presentation.

EV301 9:30–11:30am | Firm Performance Audit: Free Analysis & Feedback
Why: One-on-one audit with professional consultant. Evaluation of finances, leadership, management, business development and firm culture. Great for small firms to gain insight on firm performance goals.

EV303 | 11:30–1:00p | Small Project Design Forum
Why: Forum with food and beverages, opportunity to network. $20.

FR204 | 1:00– 3:30 | Stabilize Your Small Firm with Strategic Business Planning
Why: Demystify the business planning process, be inspired, organized and be one step ahead of the competition.

FR304 | 2:00–3:30p | Demystifying Merge & Acquisitions
Why: Success stories for small, mid. and large firms.

Saturday, June 24

SA206 | 10:00-11:00a | Architect as Entrepreneur: Lessons in Establishing a New Practice
Why: All firms started someone, and most started small.

SA302 | 11:30-12:30a | Don’t Wait for Clients to Ask - Persuade!
Why: A discussion on the importance of building sustainable practices into firm culture and client relations.

EV402 | 1:00-2:30p | Small Firm Exchange Forum
Why: Forum with the Small Firm Exchange, opportunity to network. $5.

Ready? Search the full agenda and register.

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