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Session Descriptions

Business Planning

  • What is business planning?
  • What goes into the different types of plans
  • How to develop your plan
  • Mistakes to avoid in planning
  • Making people accountable for plan action items and goals

Project Management for Principals

  • Project management at the principal level
  • Why good project management matters at this level
  • Causes of claims at firms
  • Benchmarking project managers
  • Making big differences through process, people, and tools

Financial Management

  • Why you need to understand the numbers of this business
  • Typical weaknesses of design professionals when it comes to finance
  • Basic terms in accounting and methods of accounting
  • Financial statements and what it all means
  • Financial measures and performance metrics
  • Predictive measures
  • Managing cash flow
  • Five steps to improved collections

Human Resource Management and Recruiting

  • What HR management is all about
  • Where HR people go wrong in this business
  • Results from research on HR in this business
  • How to get the most out of your HR function
  • “How to guide” for Recruiting, Development, and Retention
  • Reduction of employment related liability

Marketing and Business Development for Principals

  • Where A/E firms go wrong in their marketing
  • Results for research on A/E firms
  • What marketing is really all about
  • The four “P’s” of marketing for design firms
  • Building a strong brand
  • Importance of brand loyalty
  • Developing a good marketing plan
  • Leveraging effective pursuits
  • How to win proposals and presentations
  • Beating the competition

Ownership Transition Planning

  • What ownership transition is all about
  • What are your basic options
  • In depth description of transition options
  • Selling stock internally
  • ESOPS
  • Selling the firm externally
  • Going public
  • Using debt
  • Merging the firm with another firm
  • Orderly shut down
  • Where firms go wrong in their ownership transition
  • When do you need a valuation?
  • Drivers of value
  • Valuation discounts/premium
  • Valuation ratios
  • Is your transition plan reasonable and are your people on board?
  • Ownership continuum
  • Key elements of an OT plan
  • The Shareholders Agreement
  • Leadership succession planning

What it means to be a “Principal”

  • Results from research on principals in the A/E/P and Environmental Industry
  • What it means to be a “Principal” in this industry
  • Who should get to be a Principal
  • Mark Zweig’s best advice for new principals