Facing into the Wind and Making the Most of it

For an April 2008 column in SMPS Marketer, Joan asked five people in the design and construction industry what they would do with their “free time” if the country and their firm hit an economic speed bump.  Their answers ranged from writing a book to volunteering in their community to training current and potential clients. 

One year later, we returned to those individuals to determine how close their predictions came to their current situations. Continue reading for their answers.

Tom Brauer, AIA, has made good on his two ventures.  In addition to expanding 4240 Architecture‘s studio practice to include design investigations and alternative energy research, Tom has squeezed in time to research the Modernist houses in his home town of Chicago.  Keep an eye out for the firm’s completed investigation later this year at Building Design + Construction‘s “Visible City.”

In any “snag,” Arent Fox attorney Jamie Frankel, Esq. and his team develop programs to teach fellow professional service providers how to be more effective at selling their services.  “Our own future revenues come from our clients’ future revenues,” Jamie states.  “A Value Creation Plan allows those professionals to develop monopolies to compete within a declining economic climate.”

David Helpern, FAIA, said he would do community service; he has already served one year on New York City’s Community Board 8 and was recently reappointed to a two-year term. In addition to broadening his network and elevating his visibility within his influential neighborhood, the experience has provided Helpern Architects at least one referral.

Peter Pennoyer, AIA, an author as well as an architect, decided to prepare a book about the work of his own firm. Peter has learned that publishing leads to more opportunities.  His current book on the architecture of Grosvenor Atterbury is due out this August. 

Marketing consultant Nancy Usrey, FSMPS, hasn’t had time in this “roller-coaster” economy to volunteer her management expertise to a local charity, as she originally surmised.  Rather, she’s gone from a 40-hour week as a consultant to a 60-hour week as Corporate Ventures Division Marketing Director for HNTB, to identify innovative techniques for developing business with contractors and concessionaires.

We want to hear from you: How is your firm evolving in today’s economic climate? E-mail us at jpleasants@capelin.com