Small Firm Exchange

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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.

  • 1.  Working from home, permanently?

    Posted 05-16-2020 01:21 PM
    If you were not already running a 'remote' based practice, are you now considering permanently giving up your office building space for a 'work at home' or 'virtual office' model?  What are some of the pros and cons you are experiencing?

    Michael Lejong AIA
    SFx - Gulf States Regional Representative
    MAHG Architecture, Inc.
    Fort Smith AR
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  • 2.  RE: Working from home, permanently?

    Posted 05-18-2020 05:46 PM

    This is more to do more with single person firm vs a small-sized multi-person firm, but is something I wrote not long ago and thought it was appropriate to the question.


    The dilemma that firms face when business is slow is to wonder whether to merge with another firm or slog it out.  


    It seems to me the future of architecture is to get bigger by merging firms, as the doctors have been doing for years.   Small firms are already losing a big chunk of their business to contractors that have figured out it is cheaper to employ a designer than pay for an architect.    Mid-sized firms that have a niche are particularly stressed now due to lack of diversity.    An architect working alone has some advantage, as his overhead is low and he can survive the bottom of the V's for a longer period.   As a single-person firm he can work for a smaller salary or independent contractor, and better yet, if he can travel or live away from home for a time.   


    All the Best,


    Craig Massouh

    New Braunfels, Texas


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