Danielle offered great advice and insight when it came to her praxis of business and marketing choices. She has worked in many different sizes of firms and in many different locations, but the main thing she has taken away from her experience is to get outside of your comfort zone and go for projects that you feel passionate about even if it isn’t within the scope of your firm’s work. She believes that diversification is important in your career and also understands that growing a small firm, like she is assisting with at Red Iron, means understanding short and long term outlooks of the economy and market sectors.
We discussed the importance of honesty when vying for new project types and being open about your exact role in projects that may relate to the work you are chasing. We also discussed competing for price on projects and the negatives that comes with. In planning for growth as a small firm, we are looking at our own value and what our worth is to earn clients that match our mission. We don’t want to price match just to feel equal to our competitors if that isn’t going to create the best project.
- What do you do if you are working in tandem with a firm that you know has stolen work from others? Do you report it? What happens to your working relationship with the firm afterwards?
- For a business that is women owned and supports women in architecture, how do you handle losing out on a project that you are more qualified for to a firm that is predominantly male? Why is this still happening to women in the field of architecture?
- In growing a business that you can be proud of, is it worth keeping clients that don’t match your firm’s values and mission i.e. values on the environment, value on public impact of a building? Even if they are a high paying client?