Once you have set up your architectural firm, it is imperative to manage it efficiently and effectively. There is a huge difference between being a good designer and an architect and in the management of a successful architectural firm. Architects usually are design oriented and genuinely lack in management related skills. The following is a list of all the various things that architects can keep in mind to enhance themselves as entrepreneurs-
The Right Team
Hiring the right people is absolutely the most important thing to achieve success in the long run. No matter how good or experienced you are as an architect; you are only as good as your weakest employee. All clients look upon your team as an extension of you and your company. If they are inefficient and are shabby in their work, it gives the wrong impression to the people who matter the most, your clients. Also, even the smallest of error from any of your team members can lead to the slipping away of a significant contract that you have been waiting for. Thus, find the right people even if it costs you more initially.
Keep no Room for Communication Gaps
An important point which most of us ignore or do not pay attention to is to communicate effectively with our employees. An ingredient to a successful firm is that people or member of the organization communicate well with each so that there are no communication gaps left. Thus, if you want something to be done in a particular timeframe, make it clear to your team that it needs to be done on time, not leaving any loose ends.
Don’t Over-staff or Under-staff
An initial problem which many an architect faces is that they understaff or overstaff their firms. Both are an issue. One leads to overburdened and unhappy employees and the other results in a bloated and inefficient office. Thus, solely rely on numbers and results to determine the need for each employee that you hire or fire.
Manage Personalities Well
Managing personalities well is perhaps one of the most important jobs of an architect who runs his/her firm. Things such as creating the organizational structure, deciding who sits where and which kind of personality will gel well with whom are just examples of making decisions in this department. Thus, understanding personalities and behavioral patterns v=becomes integral to handle this task.
Set Goals and Penalties
Setting targets and penalties is another great way through which the staff can be kept motivated as well as penalized as according to their work output. An example of this can be rewarding team a particular sum of money if they complete a project well before time at the same time penalizing them for not meeting the deadline. This is a classic example of some the strategies as devised by top entrepreneurs throughout the world.
Set the Rules Early and Define them Well
As the head of the organization, you need to set the define and set the rules early in the life of your organization. This will help you establish your expectations for your employees and will let them know what is acceptable and what is not. This helps establish you as a leader and authority in your office and possibly a role model too to your employees.
A major mistake which is committed by many an architect is not to evaluate on a regular basis and to trust blindly their employees. While it is a great thing to trust and make people responsible, it is equally important to hold employees accountable from a time to time basis. Thus, the valuable lesson here is to continuously evaluate your team on a periodic basis.
Keep your Numbers up to Date
This is perhaps one of the greatest mistakes made by most entrepreneurs. As much as don’t want to, you have to make your decisions according to numbers and not emotions. For example, you might like a person in the office, but if the numbers do not add up and if they show that he/she is inefficient in his/her work then it is imperative to take corrective action against that person irrespective of your opinion. This is just a small example of how numbers can be used to make decisions in the day to day functioning of an architectural firm.
These were just some of the things which can be kept in mind to manage an architectural office efficiently among many others. The ruling principle here being that one has to challenge and learn each step of the way in order to be successful in the long run.