How to Grow Your Architecture Firm
This week at EntreArchitect Podcast, How to Grow Your Architecture Firm with Todd Reding, President and CEO of Charrette Venture Group and Rena Klein, founder of RM Klein Consulting.
What is Charrette Venture Group?
Charrette Venture Group (CVG) is a firm that provides a wholistic approach to building a business; they provide services from management, leadership, finance, marketing, business development, and more to architecture firms who are seeking to build a strong business in the design space.
What’s new for Charrette Venture Group?
CVG is thrilled to announce a merge with RM Klein Consulting. The parallels with of Rena’s mission and CVG and with EntreArchitect led her to want to share what she knows with those around her, building a consulting practice to help architecture firms succeed. She was excited to meet the founder of CVG, Matt Ostanik, and join in an innovative approach to helping small firms succeed. She found that one of the barriers to success is having the money to invest and the help you need, so CVG’s model of investing as a team to help small firm architects appealed to her. Because her expertise is in operations and finance, it’s great to be a part of a team of experts with skills in different areas.
As a consultant with CVG, Rena has enjoyed having a more “long term relationship” with clients to help them grow. After some time, it made sense to both Todd and Rena to merge their similar missions and specialized skills into one company. Rena brings some larger clients to the table, helping them to accomplish goals after initial growth like sustainability and value growth.
One of the most exciting things about this merger is the creation of the CVG brand message. As kind of a startup going through a merger, they’re working to model the opportunities and decisions that investment partners are having to make these days.
When CVG invests in a new partner firm, what happens?
It’s different with each firm, but before even beginning CVG works with each firm to map out a five year plan. What do they need? When do they need it? One firm may need a lot of bookkeeping help right off the bat. Another may need a rebrand with a new website that fits them better. Then, the firm owners participate in a biweekly assessment to keep up with the progress that’s being made. Those are the kinds of services that are constructed and members of the team get involved at different parts of the process.
Can you tell us about the ideal CVG partner?
Typically it’s a firm under 10 employees with $500K in annual revenue, but they’re always interested in talking to firms larger than that. There’s a thorough assessment process, but it always comes down to the answer to, “What do you want out of this business?” Do you want to build a sustainable business that will allow you to do the work you enjoy and provide for you and your family?
CVG is looking for firm leaders who have aspirations for growth. While there’s nothing wrong with having a small firm and wanting it to stay that way, if you have a desire to grow you need to be willing to professionalize and give up control in certain areas to broaden what you imagine is possible for your business.
If someone’s interested in taking the next step with CVG, how can they do so?
There’s a space on the website to schedule a free consultation for a general inquiry or for any of CVG’s products/services.
What is the one thing that small firm architects can do today to build a better business tomorrow?
“I’m so confident in our team that I’d say you should contact Charrette Venture Group. That’s not a commercial, I’m not trying to sell you anything, but the people on this team are really good at what they do and the firms we work with would reinforce that. If you want to grow a great business, give us a call – no obligations. We’re looking to help firms grow.” – Todd Reding
“Take a look at your 2016 results, see how you actually did, and do some planning with your staff for 2017. This is a moment in time where you can think about your goals for your work culture, financial benchmarks, and your design aspirations.” – Rena Klein
Connect with Todd & Rena online by visiting Charrette Venture Group and RM Klein Consulting, or by connecting on LinkedIn, Facebook and Twitter.
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Referenced in this Episode
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