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The Practice Management Knowledge Community (PMKC) identifies and develops information on the business of architecture for use by the profession to maintain and improve the quality of the professional and business environment.  The PMKC initiates programs, provides content and serves as a resource to other knowledge communities, and acts as experts on AIA Institute programs and policies that pertain to a wide variety of business practices and trends.

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AIA Practice Management Digest - Febuary 2024

By Rebecca W. Edmunds AIA posted 02-22-2024 08:45 PM


Business Basics

Let’s start the year with fresh thinking on business basics to tackle challenges such as digital threats, small firm benefits, best practices for M&A activity, business development and marketing, and new ways of thinking about fees.


Letter from the Editor

By Rebecca W.E. Edmunds, AIA, NOMA

Rebecca W.E. Edmunds, AIA headshot

2023 has been quite the year with year-end billings at a low after 7 months of decline, a rise in inquiries seems promising for 2024 (see Kriston Capps, “​​Design Edition: The Architecture Forecast for 2024,” Bloomberg, December 31, 2023). Often during slow times, we turn internally and reexamine our business operations and strategies.

For readers, these challenges are interconnected, from securing firm intelligence and systems in an increasingly online and cloud-based working world, to advancing business development marketing and strategies to win new work, or deciding to form a new partnership or if an M&A is the best path to chart your firm’s future.

Perhaps a look at benefits for small firms can help attract new talent. Because, despite the billings downturn, architecture job boards still have long lists like the openings posted on Archinect. And we are always pondering fees, so why not consider a new take on ROI, especially when the profession as a whole is laser-focused on sustainability, resiliency, wellness and our communities.

PM Digest’s writers this quarter are both leaders and creative thinkers who address these types of challenges every day in their work and practice. We are pleased to share their ideas here with you.



The Threat is Real: Cyber Attacks Against Architectural Firms
By The AIA Trust

The AIA Trust reveals why architecture firms are attractive to cyber attackers—remember our ever-increasing internet and cloud-base project processes—with research into what your firm can do to protect itself.

Nurturing Growth: Tools for Marketing and Business Development in Architecture Firms
By Sarah Hernandez, Assoc. AIA and CMO at Ci

Hernandez makes it clear that marketing is and should be at the forefront of your firm’s strategy for making the most of good and weathering bad economic times.

From Strategy to Integration: Best Practices for Successful Mergers and Acquisitions
By Cynthia Anderson, CPA, Entrepreneur & Founder, Thinc Strategies 

Anderson provides a virtual primer on strategies for charting your firm’s future through partnership or the M&A process.

The Importance of Employee Benefits for Small Business
By The AIA Trust

According to the AIA Trust, benefits remain a significant factor when it comes to attracting and retaining talent and essential to staying competitive during a downtown like the one we’ve been in for months.

Returns on Investment: It’s Not All About The Money
By Tyler Suomala, Founder, Growthitect

Suomala proposes architects lead client conversations with a discussion on ROI and the benefits working with them will provide.


Contribute to the Digest

The future issues of the Practice Management Digest are currently planned to cover topics such as all aspects of research in practice and a new look at where we are with technology in firm operations. If you have other topics related to practice management that you’d like explored or any articles you would like us to consider for inclusion, please contact