How to build practice resilience in times of crisis

Tony Robbins has been a great source of wisdom for me over many years. I have even walked on fire (yes really!) twice at his Unleash the Power Within events. Once on my own and again the following year with my extremely skeptical, (now converted) daughter.

Recently, I received the following 3 questions from Tony as his response to the COVID-19 virus.

  • What do we choose to focus on?

  • What do we make things mean for us?

  • What will we do in spite of the fear and challenges?

As an architect running a practice you will have to wrestle with these questions in the coming days, weeks and maybe even months.

Managing your mindset will be crucial. There will be moments when you think you might crack. You might even have a few quiet moments of despair. Many of us are experiencing anxiety. In this time of social distancing it’s key to reach out to those around you virtually, it’s okay to feel vulnerable. Beyond Blue has some wise strategies on how to manage what you’re feeling.

There are a five key areas you can focus upon to build resilience in your practice to help get through this period:

1. Look after your staff

Don’t make knee jerk cuts. Of course, you need to project your cash flow, you may have to insist that people take holidays and you may have to ask employees to accept temporary cuts in their working hours and/or wages.The ACA has compiled a helpful resource of information to assist in navigating your obligations.

2. Look after your clients

They will have problems too, maybe worse than you are experiencing. Call them, set up a Zoom call or send them a caring text. Ask them how they are coping and if there’s anything you can do to support them. Please do not email them, make the connection personal.

3. Think about life after the virus

This will end and architects will become busy again. Now is the time to strengthen your systems, processes and personal skill levels.“I don’t have time or funds for that business education course,” is not an appropriate reaction.

4. Switch focus from working ‘in’ your business to ‘on’ your business

Make the effort to better understand your financials, learn about marketing tools that are currently available and investigate the business enhancing technologies now in use to help improve practice efficiency.

5. Grow your digital networks

Finally, use this time to build your digital networks, such as LinkedIn and other digital industry forums that you’re a member of. Don’t take the approach of “will this person be able to give me work”, but rather see your list of connections as a value matrix. The bigger it is, the more opportunity there is for you to give and receive introductions, insights and ideas.

Now is the time to make sure you have the foundations in place to build resilience in your practice. You can learn how to implement this in your practice by joining our next Designing Architectural Practice Success course starting Tuesday 21st April.

P.S. I spoke to two of our clients this afternoon who were youngsters in the Bosnian war. They were amazingly positive and had a “we’ll get through this” attitude. Their advice – “buy plenty of sauerkraut and pickle.”

If you’re looking for more tips, strategies and advice on how you can lead a profitable and impactful architecture practice, subscribe to receive our bi-weekly Mentor Memos below. Alternatively, you can contact us directly by filling out this form, and we’ll find a time to chat about your needs and how Archibiz can help.