Is it really possible to win one lucrative new project each month and save 200 hours/year per person in design time?
The architecture and engineering industries are going through a huge change right now. Previously buildings were designed using 2D software packages and that was fine. Now clients are more sophisticated and they are demanding premium services like 3D BIM models, photorealistic rendering and Virtual Reality walkthroughs.
Parametric design and programming were fringe skills just a few years ago. Now these skills are not anymore a “nice to have” ... but quickly becoming essential in top firms.
"How can your firm make the move and become a modern, world-class digital design studio?"
The question that many business owners ask is "How can we make the move and become a modern, world-class digital design firm?"
This page will take you through all the strategies to get there. It’s important to realise that this is certainly possible.
And it doesn’t matter where you are starting from in your business. It doesn’t matter if you’re just starting out, whether you’ve been trying for years and it hasn’t worked out ... It doesn’t matter if you’re already a sophisticated senior executive.
The process that you will see below can get you there. It’s the same strategy that we use for our private clients and it’s the same strategy we have been teaching to thousands of members with many, many success stories.
IDDA members are saving 4.4 design hours a week per person
In fact, we surveyed our members and they said on average, they save 4.4 hours a week in designing per person. That’s 211 hours a year or $4,224 per person if you pay them $20 per hour. So if you’re a business owner and you have 10 staff, you’re looking at saving over $42,000 a year just following these strategies.
“But we’ve always done it this way”
There’s a great quote. “What got you here, will not get you there.” All of the things you have done so far to get you here are great, but you need to do different activities to get to the next level.
In fact, as a business owner, you cannot afford NOT to have these principles in your business. They’re just too effective and too valuable. If you don’t have these, then you leave the door open for your competitors to shoot far beyond you (if they haven’t already).
Of course – our goal for you, is to have the opportunity to tap into your potential and start building an amazing company. The strategies on this page – they’re designed to take your business to the next level.
How IDDA came to existence
IDDA was started seven years ago by Dr. Ben Coorey. Dr. Ben has a PhD in Digital Architecture and is a Registered Architect. He’s an expert in Parametric Design and does a lot of international consulting and keynote speaking. Big companies and Universities often fly in Dr. Ben to consult with them on very complex projects like Parametric Stadium Design, complex High Rises and Robotics.
Dr. Ben has ten years of experience, done a lot of Lecturing at different universities, and he started to notice some big trends. He was finding that when he first started. Most Universities weren’t teaching any digital design software. They were more focused on teaching design principles.
But as the years went by, Industry and Universities were demanding that students learn the digital design software programs earlier and earlier.
It ended up getting to the stage where Dr. Ben was now teaching the first year students some of the same things he was previously teaching masters level students. There was a huge amount of pressure on the lecturers and tutors to teach more content in less time. Dr. Ben was working crazy hours. It became obvious this workload was not sustainable.
It was massively stressful for the students and the tutors as well. It was a very tough time.
Eventually Ben had a realisation
What if he used his skills with software programming and mixed it with his industry knowledge?
He could build software plugins and an online learning platform. The plugins would help automate manual processes, and the learning platform would help to teach these skills in a consistent way and pass the skills on in a rapid format.
And that’s how IDDA was born.
Dr. Ben then showed IDDA to the Universities and they loved it. Many have now come on board as members of IDDA. You can see how happy they are.
"Our first and second year students are now producing work previously only reserved for Masters-level students. The IDDA online learning platform is the fastest way for our students to learn digital design "
Associate Professor M. Hank Haeusler, Director of Computational Design, UNSW.
"Our students are producing brilliant work and having access to the IDDA platform means we can cover far more content in the course, get to the structural point, and get there faster"
Dr. Dagmar Reinhardt, Program Director Bachelor of Architecture and Environments, University of Sydney.
"We are excited to roll out this world-class training platform to our Australian and overseas offices "
Tim Fitzhardinge, Civil Project Engineer, Wood & Grieve Engineers.
"I really enjoyed the videos, they are so clear and easy to understand. So amazing to see what can be done!"
Stephanie le Grange, KD Marine Design.
And the results the members are achieving are phenomenal. Members are reporting that they each save 4.4 hours a week per person on average on their design time. 93% of members are confident to use the software in the workplace after taking our training.
Dr. Ben’s mission is to empower the next generation of digital designers. He is all about speed, workflow and brilliant designs.
Doing amazing work quickly is a great start…now it’s time to win new business
Once architects and engineers rapidly improve their digital design speed, a clear gap emerges.
Designers were starting to have more free time. There was now pressure to win new projects to fill up this new-found time. But traditionally Architects and Engineers are not trained in Sales, Marketing and Business Development. Most projects are won by word of mouth.
Word of mouth is great and the best form of business.
However, when you have an underutilized team, you can’t sit back and wait for the phone to ring.
That’s why Dr. Ben teamed up with his brother, Robert Coorey, MBA – one of the world’s leading sales and marketing experts. Rob was listed as one of Australia’s top 50 Entrepreneurs by Startup Australia. Rob delivers expertise to IDDA members and shows how to win lucrative new projects.
"ONE OF THE MOST INFLUENTIAL ONLINE MARKETERS ACROSS THE GLOBE " – Huffington Post
"AN ONLINE MARKETING GURU" – Fast Company
Do you make these mistakes in your Architecture or Engineering firm?
“I’m too busy to implement this”
Rob speaks to business owners every day. Every single Architecture and Engineering business owner is always flat out busy on projects and team management. That’s normal.
Abraham Lincoln, the most famous US president said, “Give me six hours to chop down a tree and I will spend the first four sharpening the axe”.
Many architects and engineers, are unfortunately trying to chop down a tree with a blunt axe. They are spending the whole six hours trying to chop the tree down, instead of slowing down, sharpening the axe, then making strategic chops.
An IDDA membership sharpens your axe.
A big mistake Architects and Engineers make is just saying they are too busy to improve their business. But remember….what got you here won’t get you there. The strategies we are sharing with you will get you to the next level in a very quick timeframe.
Doing everything yourself
Sometimes the business owners and senior executive and get caught up and try to do everything. Doing the sales, marketing, expenses, managing the clients, managing the team, recruiting the team, emails, phone calls…even doing some designs.
A big reason why businesses fail is burnout. And doing every single thing yourself is a huge reason why people burnout.
Rob had a call with an Architecture business owner recently, she had six staff. When she took a weekend away she got sick with a throat infection. It meant she was out of the office for one week - and it was a disaster. All of the projects got delayed, the clients were going crazy saying “where’s our work” and the place was a circus.
Can you imagine that, just one week away and it all turns pear shaped?
Normally when a business is stuck at the 5-20 employee mark, it means the business owner is doing everything and hasn’t delegated key responsibilities.Remember…what got you here won’t get you there!
IDDA membership empowers your team to design independently, and also have the confidence to win new projects…without always relying on the senior leadership team.
Running a “lumpy cashflow” business
Here’s some common challenges Architects and Engineers face with winning new business:
- “Lumpy” cashflow – some months are great and other months not so good
- Hard to differentiate against other firms
- Entering a lot of competitions but not winning many
- Doing a lot of “free work” in the hope of being paid later
A lot of these challenges come down to not having a predictable flow of new opportunities. If you have predictable flow, you can pick and choose what projects to work on, rather than taking any old project that comes in.
If you have a predictable flow, you don’t have lumpy cashflow because you can plan your projects.
If you have a predictable flow, it means you are differentiated and you don’t need to do free work because people are coming to you.
The IDDA membership shows you how to get a steady, predictable flow of new opportunities coming into your business. It’s taught by our in-house sales and marketing expert Robert Coorey, MBA.
What surprises many members is that the marketing strategies are so simple, that your staff can implement them, even if they are not a senior executive.
Not running events
Our favourite way to ramp up inbound opportunities is to run events. Events are the fastest and easiest way to get new opportunities in the door.
Our recent IDDA 2020 event series was a huge success, with 4,000 architects, engineers, construction and government registered for our national tour.
You don’t need to run events with hundreds of people like we did. You could run very simple “lunch and learn” or “executive briefing” sessions with small intimate attendance.
Inside the IDDA membership we run you through our unique process for running events large and small.
You learn how to fill the room up with the right people, what to do before, during and after the event to ensure it’s a huge success and the opportunities flow in.
Learn how to fill up large events like this!
Not offering premium services
This is the Operations Lifecycle Mindmap:
It may surprise you, but there is still a massive number of firms who are still exclusively on 2D CAD.
Our job at IDDA is to teach your staff how to go from wherever they are, to being exceptional at the premium services. The reason why it’s so important is because it’s very profitable for you as a business to be offering these services!!!
Premium Services like 3D Walkthroughs, Virtual Reality and Rendering are becoming more in demand…and now almost expected by top tier clients.
Compare these two companies and see the difference
Your team was speaking a business owner recently. We asked if she was providing any of the premium services. She said “no” because they were too busy just getting basic 2D work out the door. She said that nearly every client asks about it. But she just tells them they’re dreaming and to focus on getting a 2D model out the door.
When asked about how well the firm is doing…the client mentioned they are flat out busy but not making any money and always having downward pressure on their prices.
Their website portfolio had outdated designs and only had a basic render. It didn’t look very appealing from the perspective of a new potential client.
We spoke with a different business owner who offers all of the premium services. Straight away they said: “Yes, of course we offer all the premium services, here’s our pricing, here’s our portfolio, here is how long it takes, here are our clients…..”
Company 2 is at full capacity and looking to expand their team.
If you were a client and had to choose between these two firms, who would you choose? The answer is obvious….