management mistakes that reduce revenue

Architectural firm management mistakes that reduce revenue

After years of working with UK architects, we’ve noticed several major mistakes that prevent architectural firms from reaching their best potential sooner rather than later.

Let’s go over the major architectural firm management mistakes – and how to remedy them.

Not using the right tools

First and foremost, your tech stack matters.

If you are using obsolete software there will be bottlenecks and inefficiencies that will affect your bottom line no matter how great your designs are.

We don’t mean drawing and design software, – most architects stay up-to-date with these products. However, project management, collaboration, client management, document management, cost estimation, – all of the architectural practice management tools should be very high on your software shopping list.

We’ve built PlanMan specifically to remove the hassle of going through scattered and messy management info in emails, notes, and spreadsheets. Get the free trial today to see how you can streamline your project and practice management!

Hardware bottlenecks are absolutely unnecessary in 2024 either – there are powerful laptops and tablets to do any type of work both in the office and in the field.

Not delegating enough

…and not delegating soon enough.

Unloading yourself from mundane and repetitive tasks is a huge topic for architects – and most professionals growing their practices make mistakes there. We’ve produced a post on delegation as well as hiring freelancers and assistants.

PlanMan has everything you need for managing remote teams of architectural assistants and employees – get your trial today and see how easily you can avoid mistakes with our platform.

Not tracking enough KPIs

…and tracking the wrong ones are two very common mistakes that UK architects make in managing their firms.

Make sure your architectural firm business plan reflects meaningful KPIs and your growth is tied to tracking the right stuff. We’ve blogged about this before – PlanMan allows you to store and compare data points and measurements related to your projects and business.

The hell of unbillable hours

There are two types of hours that can pose a challenge to your architectural firm – project hours and non-project hours. A lot of inefficient firms we’ve seen struggle with this: at times everyone is “busy” but they are not doing something you can bill your client for.

To tackle this you can rethink your hourly rates and billing strategies. Also make sure you target the right market after all – nothing beats working with people who are willing to pay more for the quality you deliver.

Neglecting marketing

Even though your design is what matters the most, don’t just assume your design is enough to run your practice. Like many other professionals, architects typically don’t market their services enough.

We’ve put together an extensive guide on architectural marketing – please check it out, as well as posts on social media marketing and lead generation.

Reputation management is a part of this mistake. If you are not proactive about your brand reputation and don’t take measures to control your online presence, it may backfire at one point.

Invoicing and billing mess

Invoicing and billing issues can significantly hinder the business growth of UK architects for several reasons:

  • Inaccurate billing can disrupt cash flow, which is essential for maintaining daily operations and investing in business growth
  • Billing errors can damage your firm’s reputation, as a result you lose of current and potential clients
  • Without a system of invoicing, you will have the constant stress of fighting with clients over money
  • Time spent correcting billing mistakes takes away from productive work.

To address these issues, you can 

  • Use billing and payment solutions specifically designed for architects to streamline the process.
  • Onboard to PlanMan – we integrate with the most popular UK accounting and payment tools so you can keep close track of your payment along with your project progress in our tool.
  • Train staff on the importance of accurate billing and how to use invoicing software effectively
  • Regularly review and update billing processes to keep them efficient and aligned with the firm’s needs

Another pro tip – revise your contracts and make sure they are bulletproof in terms of project disputes and resolutions – even if you never needed those parts before.

Inadequate communication

This concerns both the client and the stakeholder communication.

Effective communication between UK architects and their clients is crucial for several reasons: 

  • Clear communication with contractors and co-consultants ensures that your architect’s vision is understood and the project is built exactly as intended
  • Good communication always leads to proper client expectations and satisfaction, which is essential for referrals and repeat business
  • It helps in managing project costs and avoiding misunderstandings that could lead to financial disputes.

To improve communication, UK architects can:

  • Share potential project constraints and issues early on with clients (visioning workshops work great for that).
  • Be financially transparent & keep clients informed about costs and invoicing schedules to avoid surprises
  • Understand that each client is different and adapt the communication style accordingly – PlanMan lets you do that and segment all the messaging effectively.
  • Regularly ask for client feedback to improve services and communication strategies.

As you can see we’ve put together a massive resource library on our blog – make sure you subscribe to our newsletter and get your free PlanMan trial as well!