Business Sustainability Benchmark Score

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INVEST IN STEPPING-UP TO YOUR NEXT LEVEL

TRANSFORM YOUR PROJECT-PASSION INTO YOUR SUSTAINABLE PROSPERITY

Whether you’re an emerging practice or a veteran owner, looking to grow or just stay the same size (but do it better) or thinking about your entrepreneurial seizure of going out on your own – we’re here to work with you ON your business, to simplify the complexity of running your business and improve its performance and resilience, so you can focus on your projects without stressing about your business imploding around you.

But will this work for a practice of your size?

YOUR NEXT LEVEL Programme is designed for small architectural, design and project-businesses ranging from 1 to 20+ people, but even this niche category has been subdivided into groups with different and specific needs;

For us, small practices cover:

  1. Hands Solo: 1 principal (or two) delivering their own projects, individually without support.

  2. Movers: 2 – 5 pax, on the move with one principal (or two) and support staff for delegated work.

  3. Shakers: 6 – 10 pax, moved on and shaking things up with one or more directors/principals with shared support teams.

  4. Rock’n’Rollers: 11 – 20+ pax, now on a roll with one or more directors/principals responsible for increased management responsibilities, reduced project work, and more diversified projects supported by individuals and teams with more defined roles and responsibilities.

What's YOUR big picture?

What’s your grandest vision for your life? The life you don’t need to take a vacation from.

Your business is a big part of that life and its success can help deliver your vision. To ensure that success you need:

  • Dream
  • Desire
  • Determination
  • Destination – defining YOUR vision of Sustainable Prosperity

Sustainable Prosperity is being able to maintain and defend your state of prosperity, an outcome of your success which may include recognition, continually improving, time-rich to pursue opportunities (both personally and commercially), and profitable with financial reserves to be resilient and build personal financial security.

Our services focus on how you can achieve your Sustainable Prosperity.

“There will NEVER be enough time to work ON your business. It has to be prioritised as one of your top projects. You set it up as a project and schedule it like any other project. 

You have to work on it every month.”   Greg Branson (revised)

YOUR NEXT LEVEL Programme Phases

Phase 1 - PROGRAMME INITIATION

When you decide to step-up to YOUR NEXT LEVEL PROGRAMME, we will complete your registration procedures under a Mutual Non-Disclosure Agreement to protect the confidentiality of all shared information, and agree on your schedule for Sessions.

Phase 2 - PLANNING & EXECUTION

YOUR NEXT LEVEL PROGRAMME covers

POSITION – Stage 1: Defines your business’s position now, and where you want it to be in the future. Covering 3 Sessions – 1.1 SUSTAINABILITY – 1.2 TIPPING POINT – 1.3 PROSPERITY – to be completed over 3 weeks (or as agreed).

SIMPLIFY – Stage 2: Create the tools and techniques needed to simplify your ON-Business functions. Covering 3 Sessions – 2.1 ORGANISE & REDUCE – 2.2 TIME & PRIORITIES – 2.3 SYSTEMS & SYNERGIES, each two weeks apart (or as agreed). 

IMPROVE – Stage 3: Take action, using the tools and techniques from Stage 2 to create and implement the improvements that simplify your ON-Business functions. Covering a minimum of 7 Sessions – 3.1 BUSINESS MANAGEMENT – 3.2 QUALITY MANAGEMENT SYSTEMS – 3.3 FINANCIAL MANAGEMENT – 3.4 RESOURCES MANAGEMENT – 3.5 MARKETING – 3.6 SALES MANAGEMENT – 3.7 PROJECT MANAGEMENT OFFICE (PMO)

Sessions are delivered in 1:1 Workshops at our offices on Sydney’s Northern Beaches (or alternatively via Zoom or at your office which will incur travel time and costs).

Each workshop is 2 hours and is structured on the following basis:

  1. Review of progress on the outputs from the previous Session.
  2. Inputs Review and discuss pre-workshop tasks that have been set for this Session,
  3. Workshop on the Session topic, covering:
  • ‘Why‘ which explains the purpose and benefits of this Session, and 
  • ‘What’which outlines the scope of what needs to be done, then
  • ‘How’ you create, develop, and implement your systems, synergies, tools, processes and procedures that pragmatically deliver the improvements to your business’s management.
  1. Outputs activity and/or documentation created either during or post workshop.

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Phase 3 - MONITORING & CONTROLLING

“When performance is measured, performance improves. When performance is measured and reported, the rate of improvement accelerates”- Thomas S. Monson

Monitor and report on the performance of improvements across all business functions with agreed KPI (which may be quantitative and/or qualitative).

Control performance deviations using Exception Management and continual improvements. We offer to keep you accountable to the improvements you’re making through ‘30 minute’ monthly check-ins on your performance, as well as guidance and a sounding board for your current issues.

Programme Sessions in Phase 2

Sustainability

Calculate if your business is financially sustainable – and what to do if it’s not.

Simply surviving requires commercial sustainability – the ability for your project-business to maintain and support itself over the long term.

75% of all small architectural, design and project-businesses are NOT commercially sustainable and 60% of those DON’T know it, because they can disguise it for the short term by under-paying themselves and working overtime for free – but you can’t defy financial gravity forever.

Outcome: You will have calculated what your charge-out rates must be to achieve commercial sustainability and included it in your revised Fee Agreement. There will also be an accurate calculation of your business’s potential capacity based on realistic and factual parameters.

Stage 1 POSITION – Session 1.1 Sustainability: 1 workshop (minimum).

The Tipping Point

Identify which improvements will significantly change your profitability.

Are you frustrated that, having thrown everything you have into your projects, it hasn’t converted into the profitability you’d hope to achieve? At what point does striving to succeed transform into thriving with success?

What if you could simply take control of what’s required to make that transformation?

You will be surprised how small improvements can make a big difference to your profitability.

Outcome: You will identify and set your targets for improvements to the 3 fundamental financial variables that deliver your profitability.

Stage 1 POSITION – Session 1.2 The Tipping Point: 1 workshop (minimum).

Prosperity

What do you want your business to look like once you’ve developed it?

The most common mistake made by leaders of small architectural, design and project-businesses, is failing to define what they want it to look like in the future – because if it’s not defined, there can’t be a plan to get there.

Did you realise that more than 80% of small project-businesses, like yours, are also crippled by this indecision? Nothing is done about it and the business keeps rolling along, striving to meet short-term objectives – like just staying in business. It’s a hand-to-mouth existence, not a solution.

Direction is more important than speed.

Stop going nowhere fast.

Outcome: You will define and document what your successful future business will be – even if you change it up at a future date, you will have an initial goal(s) and a direction to take you forward, on which you can build your Action Plan.

Stage 1 POSITION – Session 1.3 Prosperity: 1 workshop (minimum).

Organise and Reduce

Organisation makes a system of many appear fewer (J.Maeda).

For most small project-businesses the creation and development of ON-Business functions has been ad hoc, inconsistent and confused. This confusion creates complexity and inaccuracy, resulting in lost time, anxiety and stress.

The simplest way to achieve SIMPLICITY is through thoughtful reduction.

Do you and your team know exactly what you have (and how to use it) to manage all the different activities in your business? Or have people been creating, naming and storing stuff “their way” or worse – wasting time re-creating something that already exists.

Outcome: Organisation and structure of your ON-Business functions, roles and responsibilities required, required records and filing. Thoughtful reduction is the removal of the unnecessary and the non-contributing, determined by relevance and the G.A.P.P. disciplines.

Stage 2 SIMPLIFY – Session 2.1 Organise & Reduce: 1 workshop (minimum).

Time & Priorities

Savings in time feel like SIMPLICITY (J.Maeda).

​Yours is an infinite job, but you only have finite time available. You can’t manage an infinite job by just adding more and more hours. You need to change the way you think about and manage your time and your work.

Priorities simplify the process of delivering the greatest value from the finite resources available.

The one thing you know for certain is that the non-chargeable time allocated to managing your business needs to be minimised – but productive.

Seek success, not perfection. Applying Pareto’s Principle, focus on the 20% of the effort required to deliver 80% of your defined success. Grab the low hanging fruit! 

Outcome: This session compares any systems (both manual or automated) currently used and how/if they integrate, against under-performance or opportunities identified in the GAPP Audit, using a cost/benefit analysis.

Stage 2 SIMPLIFY – Session 2.2 Time & Priorities: 1 workshop (minimum).

Systems & Synergies

Integrating systems create synergies that simplify the whole and create a value which is greater than the sum of its parts.

Are you frustrated with your team not doing things the way you want them done, and then having to re-do it? Are you fed-up with the time and energy lost, having to re-enter, double handle or track down/transfer/compile existing information?

Systems integration creates synergies involves integrating existing, often disparate systems in such a way “that focuses on increasing value to the client” (e.g., improved service/product quality and performance) while at the same time providing value to the company (e.g., reducing operational costs and improving response time).

Outcome: Identification of existing/required systems and adoption of one-touch information management, to allow delegation rather than abduction.

Stage 2 SIMPLIFY – Session 2.3 Systems & Synergies: 1 workshop (minimum).

Monthly Improvement Workshops

Stage 3 IMPROVE

IMPROVE BUSINESS MANAGEMENT – Session 3.1

Business Management, Leadership and Culture are overarching functions for the entire organisation and business, setting the mission, vision and values that will be used to test all initiatives and actions. It’s responsible for top-down strategy and responsive to bottom-up tactical outcomes. This is where all other functions are integrated with weighted importance. 1 workshop (minimum).

IMPROVE QUALITY MANAGEMENT SYSTEM– Session 3.2

Quality Management Systems are a collection of business processes focused on consistently meeting client requirements and enhancing their satisfaction. It is aligned with an organisation’s purpose and strategic direction (ISO9001:2015). It is expressed as the organisational goals and aspirations, policies, processes, documented information and resources needed to implement and maintain it, converging with sustainability and transparency initiatives. 1 workshop (minimum).

IMPROVE FINANCIAL MANAGEMENT – Session 3.3

The efficient and effective management of money (funds) both income and expenses, in such a manner as to accomplish the objectives of the organisation. It is the specialised function directly associated with the top management, monitored and controlled on a weekly basis with specific Management Accounts including Earned Value Management and cashflow projections. 1 workshop (minimum).

IMPROVE RESOURCES MANAGEMENT – Session 3.4

The efficient and effective development of an organisation’s resources when they are needed. Such resources may include human skills, facilities, support services, information technology (IT), knowledge, data and information. 1 workshop (minimum).

IMPROVE MARKETING MANAGEMENT – Session 3.5

Marketing management is the process of developing strategies and planning for a product or services, to reach the desired customer segment, to create awareness of what is offered and bring the client to you and engage your sales process. Marketing is not sales. 2 workshops (probably).

IMPROVE SALES MANAGEMENT – Session 3.6

Improving sales directly increases revenue. Somehow the one industry that’s almost pure knowledge work is largely stuck in a paradigm of selling the hours they work, instead of the value they create. People tend to make irrational and illogical decisions when addressing financially related issues, so price may not be the determining factor in winning new work. Improved sales proposals and negotiating skills, transform your services offer from a price driven commodity to a value-adding service with a much higher rate of return. 1 workshop (minimum).

IMPROVE PROJECT MANAGEMENT OFFICE (PMO) – Session 3.7

The Project Management Office (PMO) is required if you do 2 or more projects. It’s a management structure that standardises the project-related governance processes and facilitates the sharing of resources, methodologies, tools and techniques. As the PMO controls the availability and allocation of resources across all projects, as well as meeting the obligations of any project-related contracts/ agreements, it is appropriate for the PMO to assist preparing any RFP responses for new projects. 1 workshop (minimum).

Pricing
Phase 1 - Programme initiation
$375
Registration & initial discovery
Phase 2 - Planning & Execution
$765
per workshop
Stage 1 - Position
Stage 2 - Simplify
Stage 3 - Improve
Phase 3 - Monitoring & Controlling
$255
per hour

For additional assistance with On-Demand issues – $255 / hr – (all prices in AUD$ and ex GST)