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 for small firms within the AIA and in outside organizations and agencies.2. Promote leadership in Small Firm professional development and practice; and3. Facilitate and support the local component round tables and small firm networks.
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,
New Braunfels, Texas