Business Development in the Digital World

The last link below got me thinking about both our firm's presence on the internet as well as our own individual presence on the internet.

I'm not one to be very self-promotional. I prefer to let my work speak for itself. Rather than to be out "doing business development," I prefer to get more work by doing good work.

As with most things, it is important to strike a balance. I see a lot of people making connections on LinkedIn. "Real Estate Twitter" is a thing. And I do use firm websites quite often when I hear their name or the name of a person working there.

I think it works like this: Awareness > Relationship > Work.

Your digital persona can help with the awareness part, then it is up to you to develop a relationship that leads to work.

It is something to think about. Do you have a website, do you keep it updated, and do you promote yourself and your firm on social media?


March billings fall, resetting previous improvement

The AIA Billings Index registered 43.6 in March. This is the worst retreat we've seen in the last year and negates the improvement we saw last month. This is 14 months in a row of falling billings.

Inquiries were still up, but at a slower pace. New contracts came in at 50.0, which is perfectly flat. Clients continue to explore new projects, but they remain cautious, so they aren't signing on the dotted line.

The commentary this month covers a review of the broader economy, including the stubbornness of inflation, which was expected to be lower by now. They also discuss the results of a survey about profitability and how difficult it is to negotiate fees. This is worth a review to see how your firm stacks up in terms of profitability.

March: 43.6, February: 49.5, January: 46.2, December: 45.4, November: 45.3, October: 44.3

​ABI March 2024: Architecture firm billings retreat further in March​

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The FTC is Banning Non-Compete Agreements

I'm not sure how much this affects architecture firms, but the US Federal Trade Commission voted to ban non-compete agreements between employees and employers except at the senior-executive level.

Both the US Chamber of Commerce and the Associated Builders and Contractors (i.e. employers) are fighting against the ruling, which can be enforced starting in August.

​FTC Announces Rule Banning Noncompetes

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Autodesk Issues 2024 State of Design & Make Report

While many of us may be annoyed at Autodesk for their high costs and slow development, this is always an interesting report to see where the design software market is moving.

Big surprise: people are starting to embrace artificial intelligence instead of being concerned about it. They still don't fully trust it, but they are moving in that direction.

​Autodesk 2024 State of Design & Make

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Speaking of AI...

I know you are probably sick of this topic by now, but these articles keep popping up and I think it is important that we continue to monitor the progress so we don't get left behind. Here are three from this week.

​AI and the Renaissance of Parametric Design​

​Lack of data trust hamstrings AI use: report​

​AI is Good For Architects (For Now)

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Marketing and Winning Work

I thought this article was interesting. I don't think many of us get new work from our websites or social media posts, but those vehicles do generate some awareness. I still think personal relationships and recommendations bring in the most work. Regardless, it doesn't hurt to be out there promoting your firm (and yourself).

As an aside, these techniques also apply to you personally finding a new job.

​From Pitch to Project: How to Communicate Your Value to Win Over the Right Clients