AIA is in the process of migrating all past blogs to this new venue - There is one comment on a recent Small Firms Idea Exchange blog that just can't wait (see below for question and original blog post if you [sigh] haven't seen it.
Thank you to Oscar to asking such a large question for initial real 'blog' in this venue.
FIRST: AIA has that anti-trust thingie that makes it so we can't discuss specific actual fees; we can however discuss the philosophy on how one determines what their fees should be, or debate 'fixed fee' versus 'hourly' contracts.
SECOND: 'how to get clients' is way more fun - let's start there. There has been a number of AIA SPP journals which specifically addressed this topic. I'll figure out how to put the best journal(s) in the 'resources' tab above. A few of my favs that have percolated to the surface (in no particular order) are:
* Everything you do, you're an architect - you think like one, you move like one, you solve problems and look for a multitude of solutions like one - use that to your advantage. Do what you do, well!.
* Offer to help out a wide variety of causes/groups, etc. As you meet more people, make sure you can recite your '15 second informercial' (about one breaths worth); I make mine a little funny and have open-ended pieces so folks want to know more about 'what architects do'.
* Set a limit on how much time or a duration that you'll help out a particular group (i.e. your kids school, a committee at your church, your condo association, etc.). Understand that you won't immediately get a commission for your efforts (well, you might...) but you're getting to know people in your community who might need you, or likely, if they are 'type a' folks they have a friend or business associate who just might need some type of consulting where an architect is just the ticket.
* Cold calling is hard, mass mailings are typically a waste of money.
* Join your local Chamber of Commerce and get involved - let people know that you've got good experience and you're new to captaining your own ship - folks who are involved LIKE finding ways to help out others.
* Introduce yourself to leaders in the area where you want to work.
* All of these suggestions are predicated on the notion that you know who you are and where you'd like to go (hence you've got your 15 second infomercial in you head), if you don't spend a little time on that - Develop your 'business plan' - join toast masters if you get nervous speaking to people you don't know!
I am a "new" architect. I have been licensed less than a year. School
taught me history and design. Work taught me laws, production, and
pleasing the client. However, I don't know how to take the next step.
How to "get" clients? How much to charge them ? Etc.
ORIGINAL BLOG POST:
Woo Hoo for me! I submitted (another) presentation to
(another) convention and it was accepted. I like doing presentations; I
like meeting my colleagues; most of all, I like it when THEY teach me
something! The next topic I’m working on is “What’ll ya have?” For those
of you nowhere near the South, it’s the sound one hears when walking
into the Varsity near Georgia Tech, http://www.thevarsity.com/.
I’m truly a damn yankee but having graduated from Tech and spending the
past 20+ years in Georgia, I think I can get away with using it (but I
The topic dawned on me one day
when I was fielding the umpteeneth call from a favorite client; the
client was asking me for advice for a project that wasn’t even mine! Ok,
bank accounts aside, it’s nice that my client trusts me. Flattery
aside, it doesn’t pay my rent.
So, I started
with a simple list of the things I do that make my clients behave like
they do; and another seminar topic was birthed. So what say you? I’ll
tell you what, in follow up to my post on Advent of Technology and
posted comments, continuing to learn is a big deal. But so is listening
and doing a good job. Tell me what’s important to you? To your
clients? What do you want to learn? I’m all ears…