In conversation with…

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I’m inviting owner-founders and leaders of small design firms to explore with me, in a 1:1 conversation, what aspect/s of your design firm could work more effectively in 2018.

Why? Well as we head into Q4, it’s time to think about and plan how you shape next year. And time perhaps to review how you might gear your firm in 2018 to be more exploratory and proactive by nature across three specific client groups – your past/dormant, present and future/new clients.

Sceptical, or maybe confident you have everything covered? There’s no catch, just a one-off chat during October that gets our heads together to see where a conversation takes us. If I can add some value the conversation may run for an hour or so and prove worthwhile for you. If I can’t help I’ll say and we won’t waste each other’s time.

I’m honest, straight-talking, I work with integrity, I get to the point, I’ll respect confidentiality and sign an NDA if you wish, I’ve worked with designers since the mid-80s and I’m a great listener. Here’s a few testimonials from owner-founders and leaders I’ve worked with since 2003.

Interested? Then get in touch and we’ll get something arranged.

Where small design firms struggle – growth strategy ‘implementation’

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Today, there’s a wealth of free resources and advisers in the market offering growth-related support and strategic guidance to owner-founders and leaders of the many small firms in the design industry.

Some of the many invest time and money exploring these resources and/or engaging an adviser to help them develop a strategic growth plan which is all well and good for those firms that are going to ensure they do manage to successfully implement the plan.

My day-to-day conversations with these size firms frequently reveals just how many struggle to implement a growth strategy in the ongoing consistent manner that’s invariably required. This is all so familiar and often painfully clear to see how a change of mindset and more structure can help those that do struggle to get out of the blocks and purposefully drive the marketing and business development function/s to help deliver on their plan.

This may seem blindingly obvious, but it needs saying because I see the same problems today that I saw back in 2002 when I started my consultancy by writing an article called Development Policy. This was published in 2003 by newdesign and made reference to how…”creatives get wrapped up in what they do best – using their skills to meet the day-to-day demands and deadlines of their ‘here today’ clients – yet in doing so, they neglect NBD, the essential driving force behind any business.”

Around this time, I offered design firms a combination of research, strategic thinking, planning and implementation. This worked well for small design firms as it allowed them to concentrate most of their time on what they often do best and enjoy most – client projects.

Today, advisers typically don’t put into practice and implement the plans they shape for design firms. Some design firms simply don’t engage the right marketing and business development resources or structure any resources at all to put the strategy to work. Others see themselves implementing the plan but fail because they become consumed by or choose to focus their time on client projects.

These are just some of the realities and pinch-points I see, and many will be aware of, that influence the successful implementation of a growth strategy.

So, if you’re mulling over the subject of growth and need a plan, think ‘long term’ and think as carefully about the ‘how’ and ‘who’ will put this plan to work as you do about what strategic advice you might engage to help you shape the plan.

Augmented Reality for my client: Future Fires

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A recent development I’ve organised for my client Future Fires – moving their beautifully contemporary wood burning stoves into the Augmented Reality space…

Thinking of buying one of our wood burning stoves but having trouble imagining what it will look like in your home?

Using the free Android and iPhone app Sayduck, you can now view a 3D model of our Panoramic FX1, Panoramic FX2 and Bollente stoves, in your choice of our six standard colours. Sayduck is free, easy to use, great fun and helps you instantly visualise whether our stoves will be a good fit and how they’ll look in your home before you buy one.

Download the app and give it a go…

Get Sayduck on the App Store here http://apple.co/1W2nr66

Get Sayduck on Google Play here http://bit.ly/1iF9H46

Developing ‘new services’ from the inside-out

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Owners and Leaders of design firms, are you thinking about how to develop ‘new service offerings’ utilising your employed resources and expertise/knowledge pool?

Employed Capabilities + New Services = Profitable New Revenue   

No free thought-piece or step-by-step guide on this one. Instead, my practical experience and support for those interested in exploring the potential that may need a helping hand, like CCD….http://bit.ly/1U2bJJA

Design Agency Owners and Leaders: Succession Planning to-do?

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This may be on your list, but are you making the necessary time this needs to; ask yourself the right questions, find the right answers and formulate a plan?

How and when you start to build this picture is clearly a significant consideration that warrants engaging some external perspective to; hear your thoughts, observe your set-up and help you explore the options to bring clarity amid the day-to-day challenges of running the business.

Here are some testimonials to evidence the value of external perspective if you see the need to plan and could use a sounding board that understands the business of design.

Design agency owners and leaders: Lonely at the top?

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Running a design firm can be a rewarding but sometimes lonely experience when you’re at the top.

Do you have a coach or adviser to turn to and share the challenges of leadership? Someone to check in with, as and when required, that understands the business of design and how to bring out the best in design agency leaders?

The tangible value derived from my external perspective can be gauged in these testimonials from some owners and leaders of design firms I’ve worked with since 2003.

During the period April – August 2017, I will be scheduling time and working with design firms that wish to review their growth-related challenges and activities. If you could use another voice in the room to help you reflect, plan and move forward, then please contact me on 07957 627052 or email simon@simonteer.com

Croft Lodge Studio by Kate Darby and David Connor has been announced as the winner of AJ Small Projects 2017

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Loving this award-winning preservation and conversion of a listed 300-year-old ruined cottage in Leominster, Herefordshire – complete with dead ivy and old birds’ nests!

The jury described the 115m² scheme as ‘beautifully executed’, ‘unpretentious’, and praised the design for not ‘romanticising the ruin’.

Kate Darby, founder of Kate Darby Architects said: ‘What is special about the project is the extreme length we went to preserve everything. Initially there was the prejudice to clear it up, but we realised the value of the project was in that extreme approach.’ More

 

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