By Lorianna Kastrop, Vice President, The Kastrop Group, Inc. Architects
- Resolve not to take on any projects that give you a sinking feeling in the pit of your stomach.
It’s easy to say yes when someone needs your help. But some jobs are just not worth it, for you or for the client; either because the desired outcome isn’t reasonably achievable, or it isn’t achievable with the money available. Sometimes it’s better to admit that this project isn’t right for you.
- Resolve to always get written confirmation whenever the scope of work changes.
This is hard because some issues seem so minor that it hardly seems worth it to do the paperwork, but that’s how “project creep” starts.
- Resolve to make time to check in with the clients who haven’t been bugging you.
We should stop rewarding the “squeaky wheel gets the grease” behavior. Even if a project is chugging along as expected, it’s still worth taking a moment to call and make sure the client is informed and satisfied. The client will appreciate it and you will feel better for it.
- Resolve to give yourself a cushion for contingencies.
Design professionals tend to underestimate potential obstacles that could cost time or money. They are so darn optimistic about their ability to accomplish the project. Give yourself some breathing room in the contract proposal. If you don’t end up having to use the cushion, then everybody wins. If you do use it, you will end up feeling very smart about anticipating the need, and will appear even more competent to the client.
- Resolve to have fun designing.
Even if the client only wants a bare-bones design, always look for an opportunity to include features that will bring a bit of delight to the client, and to yourself.
Have a successful 2016!