Architecture Firms: Keep Focused And Stay On The Path To Prosperity In 2016
If you're an architect, then life must be pretty peachy - that's if you believe the headlines, of course.
In the government's Autumn Statement, the Chancellor announced a doubling of the annual housing budget to £2 billion with the aim of funding 400,000 affordable new homes by the end of the decade. With this undoubtedly brings new demand for architectural services.
Yet, as every business professional understands, embarking on a path to prosperity is never a straightforward journey. As well as providing a growth in business opportunities, 2016 will undoubtedly come with its fair share of challenges.
So what are these challenges likely to be and how can you overcome them?
Commercial project management
When opportunities are plentiful, keeping a commercial focus on every project you and your firm deliver is absolutely key.
A government-funded building spurt may well boost your firm's income fi you pitch for this type of business. But, with costs and competition also increasing, generating a decent profit from this income will require discipline.
It is imperative to continue making commercially-savvy decisions. Not only at the point of pursuing lucrative new opportunities, but also over the course of project delivery.
A centralised and flexible ERP system that processes data in 'real-time' will help reduce oversight and poor decision-making. Disparate systems are unlikely to provide a comprehensive enough view of the company or a project at any given time, thus risking planned financial objectives.
Staying on track
Without this centralised system in place, it's practically impossible to draw an accurate picture of the work you have in progress and compare it against the budgets you have agreed with your clients.
And when you consider that just a small oversight can sabotage your success - for instance, merely failing to account for the time it takes to implement a change request could be catastrophic to the overall profitability of the project - then it's easy to grasp just how important this 360 degree visibility can be.
With new opportunities and new business likely to follow as a result of an upturn in home building, there may well be money to be made in architecture this year.
Harnessing a technological platform that will help you capitalise on the predicted upturn could mean 2016 really does turn out to be a year of prosperity for your firm; rather than just a time of false hope.
Find out more about the trends and challenges in architecture and how to make 2016 your firm's year for growth in our Architecture Industry Snapshot 2016.