Build a better business with strong process foundations
No matter what business is being looked at, there is always a foundation of processes that build up how the organisation operates. For an architectural firm, large or small, many of these processes are similar to any other company. Processes range from client acquisition, design to concept, quality control, change management, project control and analysis, ordering and other financial management tasks. Some of these tasks will be the same across any company, where others that look at design, acceptance and customer consultation may be more specific to the architect business. By enhancing these core processes and making them more efficient, effective and even less resource intensive, there is the opportunity to reduce costs, create more revenue and in turn drive up business profit.
Start simple with fundamental processes
For any architectural business who is operating in a live working environment, a complete overhaul of business processes is not advisable in one go. A wise approach is to look at some of the core processes that have a large impact on the business operation. These core processes hold the key to streamlining your organisation from the bottom up. One prime example may be the way in which you get clients and keep them. This is the marketing and client retention processes that are the bread and butter of your business. Strategies for effective communication, client service delivery and project assurance may be a great starting point.
Cut out the unnecessary for efficient service delivery
Every business is different and has varying needs, but in order to improve your client retention and conversion to sale of services, you may look to implement some CRM software. CRM software (Customer Relationship Management) allows you to manage all aspects of sales and customer relationships electronically. It will allow the booking of resources, management of time scales, communications and much more. By implementing this type of solution, you are able to cut out some of what would have been manual management of customer data. Resources spent on administration in the past could be better used in other more effective areas. With a more robust system in place, there is also an opportunity to be more effective in getting and maintaining customers, thus increasing turnover and profit. Done right, the costs of implementation are quickly negated by improved profit.
Monitor, review and revise systems development
As with any process change or new development, it won’t be perfect first time unless you are very lucky! Very much like your first architectural design, first time round, the customer may not be quite satisfied, so you go away, tweak it and try again. This is the same with process and systems implementation. We need to take time to review successes, learn from mistakes and implement a revised version to tackle what we found. This continued cycle of review and revision allows the wealth of experience to be built into the processes, making a product that is as streamlined as possible.
For further reading…
If you would like to read further on how to use systems and process development to enhance the productivity and profitability of your architectural business, ‘Process to Profit – Systemise Your Business to Build a High Performing Team and Gain More Time, More Control and More Profit’ is an excellent read that will help get you started on the road to more success. This is a great starting point that will show you how even small changes can mean big things for your business. Why not take a look today?