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Your Designs Are Sustainable, But Is Your Business?

In the RIBA journal last week, it was stated that the training an architect receives in business processes is less than adequate. At the end of the day, architects are masters of design and it is only in recent times (since the economic downturn) that the business of making money and making the business sustainable is just as important as creating breathtaking designs.

Sustainability in design is always a hot topic, but do you ensure that your business is just as sustainable?

Here are 3 ways to ensure your business is sustainable:

  1. Look after your most valuable asset – When selling time and knowledge, a business’ most valuable asset is its people. Resourcing your people effectively is important to keep them motivated, energized and engaged with the tasks at hand. Planning resources can be difficult and it is important to have a system or process that ensures your assets are utilized in an efficient way
  2. Cash is king – Without cash flow, it is an obvious statement that your business will not be sustainable. Monitoring cash flow and being able to predict what and when money is coming in, will enable you to resource correctly and take on the most profitable jobs. Doing this will ensure long-term sustainability.
  3. Disaster management – Do all the key people in your business know how all your systems work? If the answer is no, then your business will be in trouble. There are many practices where only a few people, sometimes even one person, knows the process for invoicing or resourcing or time sheet collation. What happens if these people leave? It is so important to have a system in place where continuity is promoted and new people in a business are not looking at sheets of numerical equations that only makes sense to the person who has left.

Timemaster has been implemented into a number of large and medium-sized Architect practices in the last 12 months and because of this, the three concerns outlined above have been covered and their business is sustainable, and will remain sustainable into the future.

So how exactly has Timemaster helped other companies:

  1. Resourcing – Timemaster has the most advanced resourcing module in the market. The software allows you to view all people resourced on a project and the associated tasks, see the costs involved and how this time affects the architects time on other projects. It also allows you to perform “what if” scenarios, adding in more people, maybe at different levels and seeing how this effects the cost of a project. All whilst providing vital information on how much time each “asset” is resourced throughout the business in a snap shot view.
  2. Work in Progress – Through the work in progress module, it is easy to see what is to be invoiced, what has been invoiced and when payments are due. This allows you to see your cash flow forecast in a quick and easy fashion, whilst enabling you to plan far into the future.
  3. Safety in numbers – As Timemaster is a centralized solution, all systems are integrated and there is no manual building of any processes involved, therefore continuity in the business is established for years to come. Meaning, if the key people decide to leave, the business will continue to move forward in a strong position.

Follow these three key steps and your business, like your buildings, will become and remain sustainable.

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