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Going out on your own

Anob

Good morning all,

 

In my professional travels I've met a lot of older guys who have started their own practice but to me seems to not been able to progress further or seem to struggle alittle more during down times. I wish to have a small practice one day. 

How hard is it to make it out on your own? And how much of a difference is having a partner or partners to start out with? Is there anyone here who went out on their own wished they had stayed at a firm working for someone else? 

 
Nov 6, 14 8:20 am
BulgarBlogger

You know what it is- you have to have integrity, from accuracy to competence. I am not yet registered, and like you, would like to have my own practice some day, but from what I've heard from others who have started their practice- you really have to make sure you deliver 100% on every project. This way you build a reputation and once you have the reputation, clients will come to you more than you have to go looking for clients. This isn't always the case, but no matter how you look at it, you have to build a solid reputation- whether it is centered on design, technical expertise, project management, etc.

Nov 6, 14 9:28 am
Anob

So it seems it makes more sense to start with a partner to provide clients with high quality and on time deliverables and projects.

Nov 6, 14 11:33 am
3tk

some of the local practitioners used to say that you should have enough savings to live off of for a few years as you tend to lose money in the first couple of years while you build your reputation.

Nov 6, 14 11:44 am
Carrera

Did it myself 40 years ago and never looked back. I tell people that the benefit of private practice is this – If you work for an ass-hole there is no escaping the ass-hole, 8 hours a day. If you have your own practice and have an ass-hole for a client, you only have to listen to the ass- hole for an hour. You need to be someone who is self-sufficient – not needing anything from anybody to get the job done – You need to be a survivor, so when you hit a wall you have the will and drive to climb over the wall or crawl around it. Looking back there was a lot involved in what I did but the biggest part was “Rain-Making”. Nothing happens if you don’t have work and you need to be good at getting it. Always had partners.  

Nov 6, 14 12:57 pm
archiphreak

I am one day away from being out on my own. I echo Carrera's comments. An absolute must above any other issues like partners is to be self-sufficient and a self-starter. If you can't bring in work on your own relying on a partner is only going to make things difficult in the long run.

I also echo BulgarBlogger that you have to establish your reputation early and with all your clients. Sometimes that means sticking it out with the pains in the ass in order to get good referrals. Also, build solid relationships with contractors. They are the hands and feet of our designs - they get the jobs built. They are a resource for knowledge as well as future referrals.

It's a constant battle, a 7 day a week career choice. But it can also be incredibly rewarding if you love what you do and you do it well.

Good luck.

Nov 6, 14 4:13 pm
mightyaa

And on the flip side, it can be terribly soul crushing. Most simply aren’t prepared.  Not only do you have to really know architecture, but you have to know the financial stuff, marketing materials, how to run a business, contract law, insurance, networking, how to be profitable, figuring out overhead rates, etc.  You simply do everything or damn well better know enough to watch over others and be able to pick whatever the hell they were doing when they suddenly give notice.  I’ve known three architects who have been embezzled by financial officers, and it is common to have folks try to leave with drawings, equipment (like Autocad), and client contact list.

If you survive that, add the additional burdens as you grow.  Dealing with PM and architects who feel they are entitled, throw tantrums, etc.  Oh, and you get to know these people and their families.  And lucky you gets to be the person now responsible for making sure you are bringing in enough work so you can keep them and not watch this family you really like become unemployed.  At one point, I had to bring in $25k a month in billings or face sending friends to the unemployement line.  Do this enough, and you’ll see why bosses avoid making friends with staff members.  And see above; You have to be heartless when letting them go because most, if not all, will start copying files immediately to take with them to your competition; These friends will stab you in the back when you are forced to let them go.  And they do see it as your fault; you were responsible for landing that big project.

Even more fun.  This is going to hurt your marriage without the right partner.  Long hours, lots of mixers, staff members who fall for you, financial ups and downs, and so forth.  They have visions of you in the yard teaching your son to throw or raking leaves or ____.  You’ll be torn on your time and struggling to find a balance.  You can’t be halfway in.

What this means is you need the character traits of the dark triad; Narcissism (ego), Machiavellian (manipulation/exploitation), and Psychopathy (impulsivity/remorselessness).  You don’t have to be ‘mean’, you just have to be able to remove your personal feelings from business choices.  This includes making sacrifices on your personal life outside the office.

So if you can handle this on top of just being an excellent architect... then go for it.

Nov 7, 14 10:55 am
Carrera

 Mightyaa, couldn’t have been stated better.

Nov 7, 14 11:19 am
jla-x

^ thats true if you get too big...the nature of architecture almost forces one to get too big because the projects are big.    I think that the key is to design your life rather than design your business.  learn to scale down.  People tend to falsely associate the size of a company with the profitability of the company.  A one man/woman office working out of home billing at 100 an hour at 20 billable hours a week is 100k a year.   A 10 person office with all the overhead may equal 80 hours of work per week at a loss.  find a balance that you are comfortable with and choose work that fits the life style that you desire.  

Nov 7, 14 11:20 am
Carrera

Oh yes, the elusive balance, good luck finding it.

Nov 7, 14 11:27 am
jla-x

also, stop thinking about bigger projects and instead think about better projects.  I would rather create a business around high quality small low risk projects than large value engineered high risk projects.  small things also allow you the opportunity to develop your own ideas, make things by hand, etc.  they are manageable, and allow one to (for a lack of a better term) extract more profit by taking on more roles in the creation process, be it developing, investing, building, fabrication, etc.  

Most of my classmates had dreams of starting the next OMA, I had dreams of working more like a fine artist in a small studio.  

Nov 7, 14 11:33 am
chigurh

yea jla-x...small studio, make enough to pay the bills, do good work, focus on getting good clients that you like to work with/for.  

Nov 7, 14 11:40 am
midlander

I've worked at bigger firms with experienced principals who left their independant practices to join an established office. The biggest reason they came in was for enjoyment: they liked working on the kind of big projects a larger firm can get, and they preferred to spend more time designing instead of managing. None of them needed the money at that point, though it certainly helps.

If you open an office and give it all you've got but don't find it going in the right direction you can always bring that experience back to a larger firm. Just don't do anything stupid, and keep active in your architectural community so people know who you are. And don't wait until you're desperate and broke to get out if its not working - people don't like desperation when hiring.

Nov 7, 14 11:48 am
mightyaa

The scaling down thing doesn't work so hot.  I grew to 17... That was a handful.  Lots of interoffice politics and eventually a mini-revolt where I lost or fired 6 of them within a week after refusing to just give them stock because 'they did all the work'.  So much for them being 'friends'.... 

So, I intentionally kept the firm around 7 which I find to be a very manageable size.  The issue there is getting the work.  The work you are pursuing is also being pursued by the big boys with full marketing departments.  So you lose a lot and have to take on smaller jobs.  Then you are competing with the startups working out of their house and lowballing.  So you too have to become 'competitive'.... that means cutting your cost one way or another (quality of work or overhead like salary).  Either way means your portfolio takes a 'path' to more humdrum in and out work.  It becomes harder and harder to land the jobs you really want.

Once I got down to just me again... It sort of sucks.  I lack the ambition and drive I had when I was in my twenties.  Marriage failing, business struggling, and seeing ex-employee's who built their office using my work growing.  Like I said;  Soul-crushing.   My fantasy is going to work, coming home, collecting a paycheck... all the other crap is someone else's problem to deal with. Ahhh... the nice simple life of an employee.

But that f'n narcissism.  I like calling the shots.  I like the company cars.  I like seeing a flashy new notebook and whipping out the company credit card.  I like disappearing for half a day 'just because'.  I like taking an all expense paid 'sabbatical' to places on the company dime.  Ownership does have it's perk.

Nov 7, 14 11:49 am
curtkram

I lost or fired 6 of them within a week after refusing to just give them stock because 'they did all the work'.  So much for them being 'friends'.... 

struggling, and seeing ex-employee's who built their office using my work growing. 

These are probably related.  suppose you saw your company as people working together for each other's benefit rather than your subordinates working for your benefit?  i suppose if you were all working together, that would mean they also get free sabbaticals and fancy cars, which means your car isn't quite as nice.

if your employees are a means to an end, they aren't really your friends, are they?  you get a new car for their overtime, i doubt they see you the same way they see their drinking buddies or their bowling league or whatever.

Nov 7, 14 12:08 pm
mightyaa

True curtkam.  I treated them more like friends and most definitely equals.  I was young, the firm had transitioned from my father to me.  So, before that happened, and because of the relationship with my father, I was sort of the guy they came to, talked about issues with, and would talk to 'the boss' about it.  When I took over, I continued to try to be that guy.  Big f'n mistake trying to ignore the change in status and staying as just another co-worker with just some additional duties.  They saw themselves as equals... and as such, started making those demands.... Oh, and edit;  The additional stab in the back is the year was tight.  I forfeited my year end bonus so my employees could get their regular nice bonus's.  So I literally gave up $50k out of my pocket to spread among the employees and my base salary is set lower than the PM's. They used that money to finance their own startup.  Still pisses me off.

I wasn't even opposed to partners.  But there were two deal-breakers; I would not give up controlling stock (60%) because it is my family name on the door.  I would not give the stock for free; It has real value.  They did not like those answers.  So I got a call from a client who told me my PM had been querrying him if he'd hire him instead of our firm.  For the other, in a f'n interview for a project, the interview team said they'd seen these building before by another firm presenting that morning; My employee had already started another business with someone and was presenting my work.  Both our firms were disqualified.  I fired them on the spot and escorted them out of the building.  This happened on the same day. 

Then battlelines were drawn amongst the rest of the staff.  One of those PM's was trying to steal employees.  Some staff started spreading rumors like our clients were jumping ship and we were in financial problems.  I had to lock down the server after catching a couple mass downloading project files.  More were fired and we had to start taking inventory and watching closely as stuff started disappearing (software dupping was a favorite theft).  The rest of the staff got skiddish and a few more jumped ship.  And I was obviously pissed.  Dark triad kicks in and I became ruthless towards anyone who showed the remotest sign their loyalty to the firm was questionable.  Ah... what fun!  But I learned.  You can't be friends and you can't be equals.... sucks, wish it wasn't true, but it simply is.

Nov 7, 14 12:39 pm
mightyaa

Oh, and I’m chatty today because I’m facing a crossroads.  Simple fact is that I essentially haven’t been paid in two years now… another fine ‘perk’ of being the king is you are the last to be paid and the money goes first to the expenses just to keep the doors open.  Anyway, I’ve been job hunting; Sending out resumes and marketing the firm because personal and professional coffers are going to run dry in a couple months.  Putting out those feelers…

Anyway; I got shortlisted for a PM position even though I was querying about a possible merger.  They want answers today on some sort of questionnaire… the “where do you see yourself in 5 years?” sort of thing. 

And on the flip side, 4 projects that died 2 years ago (ones I had foolishly banked on), are stirring again in predesign.  If they are ‘real’ versus just design exercises, that equates to a few million in fees again over the next two to three years.  But both these clients are notorious for pulling the plug; I’ve worked with them for over a decade.   If even one hits, that’s a million in fees over the next two years; All 4 and we’re talking real money.  I’ll have to hire and grow and start dealing with all that crap above again.  Do I want this?  I’m just not sure anymore… taking it to someone else to land the job; My narcissist is screaming at the idea and my Machiavellian is plotting ‘commission’ fees to make up for the salary loss jumping back into the working force.

I hate getting stuck on choices that merge personal and business.

Nov 7, 14 12:47 pm

The illusion of freedom or the illusion of security. Tough choice. 

Nov 7, 14 2:22 pm
mightyaa

Tell me about it... argh... reality sucks.  Maybe I'll really dream and just cash out my retirement fund and move to Belize where I know a contactor/developer who builds a villa a year and sits on the beach the rest of the time enjoying the sun and sand. 

I sent the questionnaire.. 9 pages of grade A archibabble.  Figure I might as well let it get to the next step and see how real that illusion might be. 

Nov 7, 14 3:20 pm
Anob

Mightyaa sounds like that's a great problem to have. If they pull out you can still get a another job somewhere else. If they start the project up while you're working for this firm and you can always quit. You do have a 3 month feeling out process anyway. A million dollars within 2 years of billings sounds awesome. 

Do you think it would've help if you had a partner that brought in projects? Can you juggle both a full time job and running your practice?

My first mentor said " you're starve with just architecture". Can you 

Nov 7, 14 4:16 pm
Volunteer

Ref the questionnaire. If they can't waive that crap at this point in your life can you imagine what happy BS awaits you if you join?

Nov 7, 14 4:56 pm
proto

^^ yeah, no shit

put your time into your own equity

this is a good time to reinvent your practice

(maybe not with the old clientele necessarily)

Nov 7, 14 6:25 pm
Carrera

The problem is that looking back I probably made just as much personally with a firm of 5 as I did with 50. The problem is at 5 you’re a bottom feeder and generally don’t get the design opportunities as 50….you don’t get the hospitals and university projects that matter. It’s all car washes and interior redoes in strip malls. Dammed it you do, dammed if you don’t.

As for employees, I have plenty of stories. Running a business is not a democracy. Had guys in later years come in with the attitude – “fuck what I do, I want your job” and just hated me for who I was. I think it takes day-one orientation, explaining to theses fucks how it all works….they all come out of school thinking that they know it all…when they really don’t know anything…..I just put them in their place in no uncertain terms….if they quit I’d just replace them…now I can go to Fiverr.

Nov 7, 14 8:36 pm
curtkram

on the other hand, your employees are people whether you accept that or not.  they want to be successful, you're preventing them from being successful.  of course when you refer to them as 'you fucks' and then expect to ever be respected by people you can't pay to respect you....

Nov 7, 14 8:50 pm
Carrera

Curtkram, I never said “you fucks” to anybody, I respected all that respected me. And I never “prevented” anybody from succeeding because if they succeeded I succeeded. But there are those with attitudes that get in the way of everybody succeeding.

Had a guy come in and tell me that the reason he couldn’t succeed was because I was the chief problem with the firm..…his last day was that Friday. It’s my gig, join it or leave it. What this thread is about is starting you own gig…..if you think you can do better then go do it, but if you’re going to join my gig then you better get with the program.  

Nov 7, 14 9:25 pm
jla-x

^ and thats why I work for myself. 

Nov 7, 14 9:39 pm
jla-x

curt is correct.  whether you say it or not that attitude is easily noticeable in a firm.  Employees are there for a paycheck and a chance to do meaningful work not to serve "your gig."   

Nov 7, 14 9:50 pm
Carrera

Sorry, serve the gig or get out and do your own gig.

Nov 7, 14 9:56 pm
midlander

I worked for an asshole once. Not my direct manager but the owner of the first firm I worked at. He didn't hesitate to fire people who dragged around at work or acted at all indifferent to even a minor task. Eventually I decided to leave for a good opportunity in a city I'd long wanted to move to. On that last Friday I hung around a little while after work and waited until it cleared out. He was as usual still in his office at 7 so I went in to say goodbye.

He was actually quite surprised - no one had thought it mattered to tell him a junior employee had quit; he wanted to know why. After explaining my reasoning (and that it wasn't out of spite towards him) he opened up. We ended up having a good talk about why I had come to work there, and what I was hoping to do in the future. It occurred to me I had never approached him as a decent, thoughtful person before because he so rarely acted like one. But he was. It just required waiting until there was a moment of peace.

I consider a mistake not to have engaged with him earlier. I was never going to like him, but there was value in understanding his position. I'd recommend that approach to anyone in such a situation. It will ultimately pay off in finding your own success. Which no one owes you, and no one will hand to you.

Nov 8, 14 2:59 am
mightyaa, thanks for being so honest about your path.

People reading this: tons of good insights in mighyaa's story. Read through it all a few times and ponder. Starting a business with employees raises big ethical decisions that have to be made every day, with no one else to take that responsibility but you...but it's also really, really fun and rewarding to be the one in charge!

When my former partner and I had a firm we never took on employees specifically because we didn't want the ethical dilemma of being responsible for someone else's livelihood. So we were able to only take on jobs we really felt good about, even though sometimes we ended up being too overworked because we had to do every little thing ourselves. It's your job 24/7/365, no breaks, ever.

mightyaa I now have a facilities job - I go to work, do my work, get my paycheck. It's certainly not without its own ethical dilemmas, but it leaves my mind free enough that I have time to devote to the volunteer work in my city that I feel is important. Good luck to you whatever you decide to do! I hope you'll report back as you make a decision. Come on over to Thread Central and let everyone know if this thread has sunk low by then.
Nov 8, 14 8:14 am

I consider everyone I work with a partner in the project. They have a vested interest in the project's success as well as their own. I don't subscribe to the hierarchal employer/employee relationship.

Nov 8, 14 12:55 pm
snooker-doodle-dandy

I believe in Karma....but it does shit for the pocketbook.

Nov 8, 14 7:09 pm
snooker-doodle-dandy

I never really went out on my own.  I tossed myself in with an Ivy League Gentleman Architect who was looking to retire.  I had been working in a smaller firm, which was also owned by another Ivy League Gentleman. I had no future  in that firm as I was not in anyway on the fast track.  Think the guys there were taken about when they learned I had passed the registration exam, as there was not a lot of room for growth.  I was a mean drafting machine taking in everything I could about auto-cad at the time.   About a month after I had received my registration I left that firm.  My first wife and myself took a month to travel then I went  in with the other fellow.  As I said he sounded like he wanted to retire but in truth he didn't.  I managed to land a  few nice projects and he had a few he was working away on. The plan was to know what was to happen in a years time. Well a year went by fast, and I was busy working my ass off and he was in cruise mode.  However he was making the same kind of money I was making.  I would approach him about our agreement and he would get all Brad Pitt on me... one day his practice was worth nothing the next it was worth a million dollars.  This went on for a few months and he had gone to a four day work week.

I had been really working a lot of long hours including weekends wanting to make this thing work.  Seven days a week  for most of the year.  So I announce I'm going to take a long weekend, as I have some family matter to take care of.  So Tuesday morning I get into the office real early and their is a message on the answering machine from a potential client, telling us somehow our name had slipped thru the cracks and we had missed a required walk thru and they were willing to let us come in and do a private walk thru because they felt bad for what  had happened.  Turns out the message was left , last Friday morning.  So neither my partner or his college educated daughter showed up for work on Friday.  The week was a stormy one, and by the end of the week I had gone thru all of the finances and figured out which jobs were his and which were mine and over the week end removed all of my personal belongings and met with him on  Monday morning and said, " This is not working." 

Then I went out on my own and have not looked back.  Now I'm thinking I want to  practice like Corb.....paint in the morning and draw in the afternoon. I'm tired of clients who disrespect what we do.  I'm tired of Building officials who will not learn the Building Codes, and always toss crap out there which is usually way off base.  I'm tired of Zoning Boards, and Zoning appeals boards.  I'm tired of people who think the world is flat.

Nov 8, 14 7:30 pm
Carrera

SnookerThat’s a great story and there are hundreds more like it. By the way, the world is flat; it’s just you and me that think that its round.
 

Nov 8, 14 7:43 pm
mightyaa

@Carrara:  "The problem is that looking back I probably made just as much personally with a firm of 5 as I did with 50. The problem is at 5 you’re a bottom feeder and generally don’t get the design opportunities as 50….you don’t get the hospitals and university projects that matter. It’s all car washes and interior redoes in strip malls. Dammed it you do, dammed if you don’t."

So true.  The other issue is you need a dozen car washes to equal the billings of just one large projects.  So you end up burning the candle at both ends to stay on top of all these small multiple projects.  And, you sort of get screwed along the way too.... A lovely portfolio filled with carwashes and not much 'glossy pictures' folks want to see to land that decent larger, more architecturally rewarding project.  My portfolio is a fine example of this.   Ditto for the residential architects I know who are trying to break into commercial... A portfolio of stuff they don't want to see or understand how there aren't any significant differences between the studs/masonry used on your projects aren't specifically different than the ones on their "totally unique" building... So it goes to the guy who has the closest thing to what they are hiring for. 

And lol.  Those architects get niched too.  "Oh, you do tenant finish... Sorry, but we need an office building." or "Oh, you do office buildings, we need a restaurant... next."  I think eventually only the mega-firms will be able to provide the owners the pretty pictures they want to see.

Nov 10, 14 2:25 pm
chigurh

dunno dudes....I think BIM is changing the future of architecture.  A large project that used to take a staff of 15 people to complete, now only takes 2-3, and the graphics, presentations, 3d images coming out of small offices are are just as good as some huge corporate conglomerates.  I guess it comes down to clients and where they are comfortable spending their money...is it better to pay huge fees to a corporate office filled with people, a lot of staff salaries for no real gains?  I guess it is just based on reputation.  But we are definitely heading into an era where we can do a shitload more with less (staff, resources, overhead). I hope that still leaves room for the little guys...  

Nov 10, 14 2:49 pm
curtkram

how does it take less people to use bim?  because you're not thinking through the systems in the building anymore?  because there isn't any actual drafting in bim (which there obviously is)?  because you've replaced sketchup with a drafting program (which doesn't actually save you time)?  because now design decisions are all of a sudden made early in the process and not changed frequently?  you think it takes 12 of the 15 people to do door schedules?

drawing a 3d building is not faster than offsetting a couple lines.  there might be some efficiencies with dragging a section cut, but even then you have to detail coping and blocking and everything else. 

Nov 10, 14 3:10 pm
null pointer

Curtkam, you underestimate the amount of coordination required to get a big building off the ground. It's hard to go into details without revealing too much potentially proprietary data, but in many clients, especially the sophisticated ones, will pick a large firm over a small firm on the basis of what raw manpower can accomplish throughout the coordination phase. BIM means that a team can react to the implications of a 3 inch offset across 5 walls located across 60 unique floor plates in a matter of minutes, regardless of team size. Prior to BIM, a 4 person firm would have been at a 2 day disadvantage when compared to a big firm who could just reallocate manpower temporarily, in a matter of hours, to mine info resulting from a change and then react to it.

 

Anyways, let's get back on topic. This is an amazing discussion.

Nov 10, 14 3:32 pm
chigurh

curtkram....are you a BIM user?  I don't think I would even have to explain this if you were, but I can build a solid model of a building in a couple of weeks and from that model and parameters, I can create an entire set of construction drawings in another couple of weeks. You need a framing axo?  free!  you want to cut 5 additional sections? free!  you want to show 25 perspective drawings of complicated interior conditions?  free!  

In addition to getting all of your drawings for the price of one model, revisions are updated automatically.  Go through value engineering/revisions after CD's are complete...you tell me who can do it faster, one Revit operator or 5 CAD draftsmen.  It is not even a comparison.  

Get a whole project team on it?  Structural, MEP?  fuggitaboutit. 

Nov 10, 14 3:58 pm
Carrera

The first question out of the mouths at interviews is “How many people do you have?” RFP’s call for it, every state job I chased had a box to fill in.  It’s an inescapable fact.
 

Nov 10, 14 4:15 pm
mightyaa

"The first question out of the mouths at interviews is “How many people do you have?” RFP’s call for it, every state job I chased had a box to fill in.  It’s an inescapable fact."

My experience too; I've gotten good at the bull - learn to address it like GC's using smoke and mirrors.  Interviews is cake; Just tell them how many bodies you'll throw at this including your consultants. If it's a two man firm, then you'll have available two highly qualified individuals (resumes included), and x many engineers with teams of draftsmen and administrative staff to make sure all milestones are met.  Twirl and twirl for them Carrera :P  Reality is overrated. 

On the BIM; while the BIM stuff really is cool, particularly in the coordination alone in a drawing set, it isn't necessarily 'the right choice' on everything,   It shines on larger complex projects.  As a small firm, you aren't getting those jobs unless you have some sort of benefactor.  So you are doing the small jobs where it is less beneficial and two lines works to represent a wall just fine.  It's only two stories, a dozen doors and two dozen windows... how hard can you f that up with misalignment? 

So to haul it back on subject, it's something you'll have to consider too as a business owner.  Is it worth a few grand more to have that software and hardware to run it?  Does it fit your client base or is it even something they even care about?  A carwash won't care...  Are you proficient or will you have to hire someone who can do it?  What happens if they leave?  Can you open up that model and make it work, or will you be stuck in limbo until you find a replacement creating massive delays? 

Basically, it all comes back to a simple business mind and question:  Can I make money with this?  If you can, you use it; If not, you don't.   No one can last in business if you can't turn a decent profit or cut into that too far with the toys.  Just because it exist doesn't mean you have to have it. 

Like a mistake of old; I have a full version of 3dStudio sitting around. Who knows how many hundreds of hours I spent learning it.   It is cool.  The things you can do.  I used it for one project; two weeks building and rendering that mother. Next project they wanted a couple renderings; I farmed it out to shop for $200... Basically: Dusty boxes... lots of dusty boxes of 'cool stuff' I got over the years that became more profitable to just let others do it, print it, or found ways to do it even more proficiently another way.

Nov 10, 14 7:33 pm
Carrera

Well, you can lie and I have, but I have had committees want to tour the office….happens a lot, just rented bodies. Why do they tour? Size is some kind of fixation….even the hospitals I did there were only a few guys involved, stupefying but a reality.

Nov 10, 14 9:02 pm
mightyaa

It's not lying at all.  Those are the team members; I just include the consultant side.  As for the tour, that has never happened.  Even if it did, I rent about 70% of my building out, so it looks full all the time.  I do maintain image, because it is important to perceptions.  For quite a while, if you got past the receptionist and into the back, you'd just find two of us.  Whether or not you pick up there are three more companies sharing this space is not something I'll lie about, but I won't offer it up either.  Even if I did, I've got enough clutter and workstation to seem like a fairly decent size operation.  Full library, break room, print room, etc. 

Nov 11, 14 10:23 am

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