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Architect's Essentials of Starting, Assessing and Transitioning a Design Firm

ISBN: 978-0-471-45655-1
272 pages
December 2003


Written by two leading experts in the field this essential volume offers a step-by-step guide to understanding and evaluating the goals, risks and the rewards of starting a firm.
  • Covers the basics of firm organisation, personnel requirements, legal considerations, fee setting, marketing issues and the essentials of strategic and business plans
  • Addresses how to get started including how to create your first business plan, evaluate initial needs and costs, create a budget and a produce a list of action items to get started
  • This volume is practical, applied, concise, portable, affordable and user-friendly
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Table of Contents


Chapter 1. Deciding Whether to "Go on Your Own".

Chapter 2. Marketing and Sales.

Chapter 3. Financial Management.

Chapter 4. Negotiating Fees and Contracts.

Chapter 5. Organization and Personnel.

Chapter 6. Legal and Ethical Issues.

Chapter 7. Resources and Support.

Chapter 8. Strategic and Business Plans.

Chapter 9. Planning for Excellence.

Chapter 10. Potential Causes of Failure.

Chapter 11. Getting Started.

Chapter 12. Study Guide.

Appendix A. Firm Typology.

Appendix B. Charting Your Course.

About the Authors.


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Author Information

PETER PIVEN, FAIA, is a principal consultant of The Coxe Group, Inc., in Philadelphia, the oldest and largest multidisciplinary firm providing marketing and management consultation to design professionals. Author of Architect’s Essentials of Ownership Transition (Wiley), he guest lectures at the University of Pennsylvania Graduate School of Fine Arts, the Harvard Graduate School of Design, and Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute.
BRADFORD PERKINS, FAIA, OAA, AICP, is the founding principal of Perkins Eastman Architects, PC, a twenty-year-old architecture, planning, and interior design firm based in New York. He is a frequent lecturer on design and design-firm management topics, as well as the coauthor of Building Type Basics for Elementary and Secondary Schools (Wiley) and many industry articles.
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