Services vs. Business

John Brunswick, Author at John Brunswick | Page 3 of 19

Dear John:

My partner and I are architects, which means our business relies on our professional know-how and expertise. It's not a business whereby we sell widgets and that can implement systems and procedures which anyone can follow. I've read Michael Gerber's 'E-Myth' about how to build a business that works in a predictable and productive way, which I enjoyed and understood, but find it difficult to apply the model to our business. I feel I'm missing a huge point and feel embarrassed that I'm not getting it...

Are you able to shed some light? I'm sure I'm not the only business owner who has this concern/confusion (at least I hope not).


You're definitely not alone. I struggled with this myself for the first 10 years of trying to get a business off the ground (as have many in the business of selling ideas or expertise).

My question is, do you want to be an architect or own an architectural firm? As sad as this may be to hear, I don't think you can do both. Being an architect must be a creative and rewarding profession, and I'm sure you can make a good living at it, but turning that profession into a scalable business—whether it's an architectural firm, web design shop, PR firm or consulting practice—is altogether different.

A scalable business, at least as I define it, is something that can run without you personally doing all the work.

If you want to make the switch from being an architect to running an architectural firm, I think the first step is to pick a type of architecture you can teach a junior to design. This means narrowing the services you offer. Perhaps you decide to specialize in ranch-style bungalows that you can teach juniors to do the drawings for or backyard living spaces or pool cabanas or industrial warehouses. Once you've got juniors doing the work, you pour your creativity into marketing their expertise, branding your firm and hiring and training salespeople. You've still got a lot of work to do—just not the designing part.

Hearing that advice probably makes your skin crawl. First off, each client, I'm sure, brings to you a unique situation. Admittedly, I'm not an architect, but I understand the profession to be about creatively designing a unique solution based on a unique set of circumstances (terrain, environmental codes, building specs, etc.). At its very heart, it's about creativity, which is why the profession—like most professions—is hard to scale.

The only way to scale up an architectural firm while simultaneously offering a custom solution to each client is to bring in lots of senior talent and make them partners in the business. But, still, all you will have done is created a co-operative of well-paid professionals, not a scalable business.

2007-07-12 18:39:19 by InTheMiddleSD

Father's Rights vs. Business Privacy

I'm a small service oriented business that deals with private sensitive information.
I performed work for the mother of a divorced couple. They have a child.
The divorced father asked me if I did any work in reference to the child.
I told him he wasn't authorized for any information unless he has a receipt number or some number indicating the job or service that was performed.
What is the real deal with a divorced father trying to get information from a private company that did work for the x and maybe or maybe not the child?
It would be like he could just walk around asking businesses private information in reference to his child with no direct knowledge of knowing if the child had been there or not

2007-12-21 07:48:10 by hominahomina

Inc. formation with online service vs. lawyer

We're starting up a non-profit education service in Brooklyn/NYC. We are inexperienced in the formation of a company. We're wondering if the online incorporation/non-profit formation services are indeed helpful and thorough. Any thoughts or experiences you can share would be greatly appreciated. We've met a few lawyers on business formation and to our surprise they had little experience in non-profits. Legal referrals would be appreciated too.

2011-10-10 20:20:18 by MandatoryAliyahNow

Wall St. vs. Main St. is a "code word" for

New York Banksters vs. American industry.
The Banksters, with their monopolistic Federal Reserve system, squeeze American industry - the businesses that actually produce goods and provide services - by financial fraud and government collusion.
The idiot left stupidly attacks American business, while the idiot right stupidly defends Wall Street criminals.

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