Business Planning and Management Basics for Small Firm Architects

March 11, 2021
10:00 am -2:00 pm EST
Online Interactive Webinar
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AIA North Carolina

Leading a design firm offers a variety of unique challenges and opportunities. An unpredictable business environment and quickening pace of change requires firm owners to adapt, but how can firm owners proactively prepare for growth in uncertain times? We will explore strategies for business planning and effective management within an environment of unpredictability, including case studies illustrating best practices.

We'll begin by addressing why planning is critical to the success of your small architecture firm; specifically covering basic business plan components, where to begin, and the importance of connecting purpose, finance, marketing, and operations.

The planning overview will be followed by deeper dives into consistent action planning for marketing and business development, finance and operations, and leadership. Between the last two topics covered, we'll host a networking session where participants can discuss their experiences and learn about best practices from their colleagues in a topical "break-out room" format facilitated by CVG subject experts.

All planning and management elements covered will focus on creating actionable steps for small firm leaders, so that your business plan can be used to guide long and short-term strategy and implementation.


10:00am - 11:00am Introductions; Business Planning; Questions: Survey Poll

11:00am - 12:00pm Poll Results; Financial and Operations Management; Questions

12:00pm - 12:05pm Break

12:05pm - 1:05pm Marketing and Business Development; Questions; Topic Forum Directions

1:05 pm - 2:00 pm Topic Forum: 4 Break-out Groups convened by CVG experts - Leadership/Staff Management, Marketing, Business Development, Finance, and Operations, followed by Full Group Debrief and Conclusion.


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$50 for AIA Members

$70 for Non-Members


Attendees will receive basic planning concepts upon registering for this workshop.


Rena M. Klein, FAIA - Rena M. Klein, FAIA leads Charrette Venture Group’s Investment Partnership Program. In this role, she advises CVG’s partners on best practices in finance and operations. Rena is a nationally recognized expert in small firm practice and author of The Architect’s Guide to Small Firm Management (Wiley, 2010). She has 20 years of experience as an architect, and over 10 years as a consultant and educator. Rena served as executive editor of AIA’s The Architect’s Handbook of Professional Practice, 15th edition (Wiley 2013) and is past-chair of the National Advisory Group for the AIAPractice Management Knowledge Community.

Emily Hall - Emily Hall leads CVG’s Marketing Program, with a joint focus on attracting new clients and managing the broader marketing team that serves CVG’s Investment Partners. She brings over 19 years of architectural marketing experience to CVG, having served for over six years as a Senior Associate at Union Studio Architecture & Community Design and for nine years at DBVW Architects, both architectural firms in Providence, RI that have experienced significant growth. She received an MBA from the University of Rhode Island, a Master of Industrial Design from Rhode Island School of Design, and a BA from Colorado College.

Todd L. Reding - Todd leads the CVG organization and is responsible for guiding its vision and growth. He also works directly with all CVG Investment Partners, coaching small firm architect principals and staff on leadership development, best management practices, and talent recruitment and retention. Prior to his role at CVG, Todd served as President and CEO of ASI Signage Innovations in 2008 and in 2011 he was among the first employees of the software startup, FunnelWise. While serving as the Vice President for Alumni and Development at Grinnell College, he earned an MBA from Northwestern University’s Kellogg School of Management. Todd is also an Adjunct Lecturer on Entrepreneurialism at the University of Iowa and chair of the board of trustees of Grinnell Regional Medical Center. He is based in Grinnell, Iowa.

Xylia Buros - Xylia directs the marketing programs of all CVG Investment Partner firms. As a marketing and communications strategist with more than 18 years of experience, she previously ran her own consulting business that helped innovative firms increase their revenue and visibility. She also served as Marketing Manager at two prominent architecture firms in Portland, Oregon, and as Programs Director at the Portland chapter of the American Institute of Architects. Xylia graduated with a BA in English Literature from New York University (NYU). She is location independent.

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