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    7 lessons for architects straight out of the inaugural FRONT event

    Coming straight out of the inaugural FRONT industry event, the top seven things architects need to know include a number of simple, yet often-overlooked items.

    1. Nurture your relationships

    One of the oldest and most well-known ways to get new clients is through word-of-mouth. But rather than waiting for a recommendation to come through, our panellists shared that a sure-fire way to maintain leads and work is through nurturing your relationships. Call upon people in your network and ask them for names of people they know who might need your services. Simple but effective.

    2. The ‘oh crap’ moments can be the best motivators

    There are times in business when critical things happen – rapid growth or cash flow drying up to name a couple – but these scary moments can help propel you forward. And some sound planning can ensure that things don’t end up in dire straits.

    3. The size of your business can have a big impact

    Bigger is not always better. One of the interesting insights to come out of the session was the fact that every business has a sweet spot between profitability and deliverability and that it is possible to make more money without having to scale up.

    4. Look for people to partner with that complement your skillset

    If you are a big thinker with creative vision, it makes sense to find a business partner who can be focused on the details. From first-hand anecdotes, the panel shares that a business partner doesn’t have to be a best friend but you should aim for different skills guided by the same purpose.

    5. Don’t be afraid to charge more

    Pricing is an important factor. If you’re a one-person show, don’t be afraid to charge above the going rate and position yourself as a premium service.

    6. Make appointments with yourself

    Feeding back into point number one, set aside time in your diary to maintain your business and make sure it grows. If you get too bogged down in the day to day you might be missing important opportunities and possible efficiencies.

    7. Don’t let more than 40 percent of your income come from a single source

    By not having a diverse array of income streams, you put your business at risk. Should that one client or source somehow stop, you might be finding yourself in an ‘oh crap’ moment that you can’t get out of.

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