This material cannot be reproduced or distributed without specific written authorization by The National Architect Corporation. Copyright, 15 September, 2014
Renovation and new construction of smaller residential, commercial, educational and institutional projects are massive support to local, regional, and national economies. In expanding economic times, these investments increase comfort, value, innovation, and efficiency. In declining economic times, these investments continue to be made to save costs, improve efficiencies, prevent deterioration, or shed obsolescence.
The average sized architectural, planning, and engineering practice (one to eight persons) derives its livelihood at this foundation level of community economics. As significant as these firms' activities are to healthy local economies, their size constrains their fullest impact. Their insular, isolated character limit these firms' research, manufacturing, sales and delivery of services in an effective manner. Simultaneously, it is very difficult to achieve consistent or satisfactory profitability. Little valuation can be achieved for these firms' equity.
The National Architect Corporation provides services to both consumers of and to the professional producers of design services. The National Architect facilitates Affiliate design firms' attributes into increased net income; helps yield more efficiently provided products and services to the business and residential consumer; and researches and offers strategies to manage or reduce constraints in the development and distribution of Affiliates' services and products. The National Architect enables the marketplace for small projects (up to $4 million in value) to function more efficiently. This energizes local community economic and social verve.
When fully built out (we are still designing and testing the company infrastructure) The National Architect will support more then 500 individual design practices in the largest metropolitan areas across the United States. Ultimately, the system will operate in other countries, also under the "National Architect" name. Testing of various parts of the system have been underway for several years.
1. WHAT IS THE NATIONAL ARCHITECT?
A U.S.A. based business providing a package of services to small and average sized design practices.
1.1 Affiliated firms are owned by their local principals. Basic services to Affiliates by The National Architect are paid via monthly fees, with transaction fees for specialized services;
1.2 The National Architect provides a forum in which the practitioner can post his or her availability, billing rates per service, and purchase or sell services to other members or through other members of the affiliation network;
1.3 Specialized services are developed by the Corporation, and by the Affiliates, both of which earn fees when these services are purchased by Affiliates. Affiliates can expand into profit centers quickly and easily utilizing procedures developed and tested by experienced others;
1.4 Affiliates are selected through a screening process that identifies practitioners who understand business value and seek to improve theirs. The National Architect is equipped to assist its Affiliates in developing marketable assets, through research and development at the individual firm level with guidance from the national office;
1.5 Affiliates understand customer service is their principal focus as defined by the customer; that technology must be acquired at a pace which keeps the firm in a state of constant growth; affiliates are believers in information technology; affiliates obligate themselves to be leading professionals in sustainable design practices; and committed to achieving excellence in integrating improving technologies with their service delivery.
1.6 There are several levels of Affiliation. There are State licensed ("professional") and non-licensed ("technical") Affiliates; student; post-graduate and teaching categories. Credit experience and background checks are performed, and Affiliates will demonstrate active involvement in community, design, or research, at a level forecasting significant current and future leadership in business and civic life.
2. WHAT IS THE MISSION OF THE NATIONAL ARCHITECT?
2.1 To support the small capitalization architectural/engineering practitioner with tools that enhance the value of their practice; increases their income; decreases their expenses; enables the advancement of their career and professional practice goals; and enables them to reach top market position when competing at their specialty(ies). The National Architect does this principally through Internet based technologies.
2.2 To enable the valuation of the Affiliates' equity in their business as a collaterliazable, tradable commodity;
2.3 The National Architect enables Affiliates to better design environments supportive of human culture. Affiliates use a process of designing and project managing which enriches the owners and users of spaces beyond that which is produced by the conventional small practice. Affiliates are able to create in clients more confidence, skill, clarity and momentum for accomplishing their objectives through the process of forming or re-forming their space. Affiliates of The National Architect yield more value to their clients then non-affiliated firms of similar or larger size.
3. WHY SHOULD AFFILIATES JOIN THE NATIONAL ARCHITECT?
3.1 To acquire a business partner that fits to the local firm's business plan, supports its independence, and motivates it to higher levels of achievement;
3.2 To help forge a discipline of repairing problems and turn them into cash generating assets;
3.3 To be encouraged to lay out sensible, practical steps so the average sized practice can create, own, and ultimately sell or trade the business; to give these professionals opportunities for lateral or vertical movement in our field, (which presently can happen only haphazardly or at great expense and uncertainty as to outcomes);
3.4 To have flexible, affordable assistance in support of practice in a chosen design field;
3.5 For the professional to operate at the highest level of satisfaction, while contributing substantially to the betterment of community; and to fulfilling happy, balanced family life.
4. WHY SHOULD VENDORS (TECHNICAL SPECIALISTS) AFFILIATE WITH THE NATIONAL ARCHITECT?
4.1 To gain an enhanced understanding of and access to this business market;
4.2 To gain an enhanced understanding of and access to the consumer market;
4.3 To focus their goods and services in these specialized markets, further increasing their own and the design world's efficiencies;
4.4 To gain access to creative problem solving, research and development capabilities outside of their own organizations or industries.
5. WHAT DO COMMUNITIES GAIN FROM THE NATIONAL ARCHITECT?
5.1 Creative problem solving capabilities delivered at the neighborhood level through the vast number of modestly sized residential development, tenant finish, building conversions, and preservation enable local markets to be more liquid economically and diverse culturally then they would have otherwise been;
5.2 Job creation increases, which supports local economic growth, and sustains area economies. People with good ideas but limited resources get access to sophisticated problem solving techniques which enables them to articulate dreams, motivate strategies, create and secure funds, acquire and facilities, increase value, and respond quickly to their own market opportunities.
5.3 The National Architect Affiliate can contribute measurably to the quality of life and the value of its community; communities gain a heretofore underutilized source of leadership.
6. WHAT DO ARCHITECTURAL, PLANNING, OR ENGINEERING CUSTOMERS GAIN FROM THE NATIONAL ARCHITECT?
6.1 An easy to grasp dialogue with expert development systems which help define the client's problem in practical, understandable terms;
6.2 Access to experienced project managers who stay with their assignment from start to finish, and can bring in appropriately skilled specialists at just the right time and in just the right manner for the most efficient use of the client's resources;
6.3 Engagement with a team that employs strategies which induce creative, practical solutions characterized by high degrees of client support;
6.4 Minimal bureaucratic layers; rapid, focused responses to their project needs.
7. WHAT ARE SOME OF THE SERVICES PROVIDED BY THE NATIONAL ARCHITECT?
A Talent Forum, where Affiliates post their availability on the web site (NationalArchitect.Com), then negotiate agreements through chat discussions and e-mail;
Specialized skills obtained from other subscribers, distributed in their local market by the Affiliate firm, marrying the high degree of customer service with the benefits of a very large design practice; work is produced and transmitted via the web site;
Access to a marketplace for technologies, services, and products created by Affiliates. Typically these investments languish because of a lack of development skill, distribution, or a market. The marketplace enables Affiliates to earn income for creative work which would otherwise never have access to an affordable distribution outlet;
A marketplace for the sale or exchange of equity positions in Affiliated firms, where the subscriber built value realizing forum exists
to make subscriber's business value worth more then non-subscribers' practices.
Creation and sustenance of a national account sales capability for local Affiliates. Affiliates can increase their income on marketing and sales they do at local levels by earning referral fees as other Affiliates service national accounts in their own markets; This connectedness enables national account clients to accomplish multiple market search and location openings at far greater speeds then is at all possible under existing delivery mechanisms;
Provision to national account companies seeking multiple facilities in single or multiple markets with superior site evaluation, project documentation, implementation and evaluation strategies;
Provide regional or national architectural or engineering companies with targeted and timely market research, in ways catered to their needs;
Enable the advancement from journeyman to specialist for general practitioners who whose unique skills would otherwise languish, and incomes thereby suffer;
Allow for economies of scale in software development ("macros") which in turn will yield productivity gains achievable only at great expense to the sole practitioner or small office; allows individuals to prosper from invention;
Allows for the creation of a research and development function which small and mid sized firms would not otherwise be able to never create, sustain, test, or access;
Allows the local practitioner a device for increasing their credibility versus their local competition, thus enhancing their revenue potential;
Creates for Affiliates a mechanism for strategizing through crisis, which in turn enhances the small practitioner's ability to manage otherwise catastrophic challenges;
Creates for Affiliates an affordably priced, easily accessible focused mechanism for creating business/strategic; marketing/sales; and financial plans; Affiliates are afforded a maximum degree of freedom with access to a highly skilled set of partners ("partners without politics");
Provides building permit expediting to national accounts. Accounts can achieve permit applications and approvals from a single source; this connection enables Affiliates a small income source from their participation as an Affiliate with little cost or risk;
Provides site inspection services to national accounts prior to lease or sale commitments, during construction, or when operating; saves these clients thousands of dollars each in reduced change order requests, and staff time lost to travel, waiting, etc.;
Create amongst students of the field a internship/scholarship track that will lead future employees to The National Architect Affiliates, ready for productive employment and eventually, equity ownership when they are ready for it, not when someone grants them permission; their professional growth is as rapid as their skill and motivation permit, not as limited by industry bias as is conventional practice.
8. AFFILIATE OPPORTUNITIES WITH THE NATIONAL ARCHITECT:
Capabilities of companies with products and services supportive of the design fields have presented themselves as we have been constructing the system. Benefits to joining those vendors and The National Architect Affiliates are substantial. Here are ways the relationship with the Affiliate might evolve;
8.1 IDENTIFY AFFILIATE'S INTERESTS: Work with Affiliate to find out what professional activities he is interested in pursuing; then find ways to enable the Affiliate to work with the National Architect and other Affiliates to fulfill those interests.
8.2 BUILD A CONSULTANT PRACTICE (for example) USING AFFILIATE'S SKILLS:
Multiple skill areas mean he can consult for Affiliates, or Affiliates can include him in some of their services;
1. Quality control review of plans and specifications prior to going in for permits (architects e-mail or overnight their plans to Affiliate for redlining);
2. Code analysis of projects in planning stages (Affiliate can take e-based training to upgrade his/her skills);
3. Market research (firms can hire Affiliate to examine specific building sectors, who may be planning projects in given markets);
4. Project Management (Affiliate can monitor projects, keeping track of progress for each task, and updating data based and web based scheduling tools);
5. Business Strategic Planning (affiliates can define problems, have Affiliate critique them, help follow through on solutions).
8.3 SALES INITIATIVES: The National Architect could work with Affiliate to identify National Account sales objectives and strategies;
8.4 ASSIST IN GROWING AND MANAGING THE GROWTH OF THE COMPANY: Work with skilled Affiliates on specific research or problem solving Tasks related to improving or expanding the Company. For example, negotiate national account vendor agreements with providers of computer aided design software so Affiliates can get discounts; examine the business operating design and critique procedures (for example, look at the Talent marketplace, see how it works, find ways of improving the system).
9.0 Next Steps:
9.1 Applicant expresses interest in becoming an Affiliate of The National Architect;
1. Review and sign the Affiliate Non Disclosure and the Affiliate Agreement (separate cover);
9.2 Affiliate creates a business plan for his/her business;
1. The National Architect can work with Affiliate to produce this (Affiliate needs to request this assistance. It is a fee based service);
9.3 Implement Sales Strategy For Affiliate's business;
1. Affiliate makes calls;
1. National Architect/Affiliate evaluate strategy;
2. Affiliate makes adjustments as needed.
Thank you for the opportunity to share these thoughts with you.
Registered Architect, Certified Planner, Development Manager
Founder, The National Architect Corporation
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copyright 14 October, 2014 National Architect Corporation