Are you a super busy executive that needs support to manage your equally busy personal life? Don’t stress, let me help.

Are you a super busy executive that needs support to manage your equally busy personal life? Don’t stress, let me help.

Business Consultancy

We can assist you by doing a feasibility study on your current structure and organisation and provide solutions and resolutions as to what is working, what is not and what is lacking and help implement a structure that is compliant will the codes and requirements taking your business in the direct direction which will ultimately result in a more cost effective and efficient way.  We  can put processes and systems in place, and identify some of the workload and responsibilities that can be performed remotely by us.

 

 

We can assist by putting the right structure and process in place.

 

  • Practice management

 

For architecture, engineering, construction design businesses (AEC) and interior design, we can advise and implement processes using data, tools and systems to make business decisions, allocate resources, streamline revenue/costs, and to generally promote growth and efficiency across your business. This will enable you to achieve your business objectives and meet the needs of your customers, while maintaining control and visibility of your business trajectory thus meeting your Company’s Vision, Mission and Objectives.

 

  • Project Accounting

 

This is sometimes called job costing and it’s  about understanding that every project is a mini accounting on it’s own. You need a system or spreadsheet  which gives accountability that allows you to break your project down within the project with all the details associated with the project — such as resourcing, the total project fee, task and phases across the project, the term of the project, and the various business units and offices involved in the project and any cost associated with the project, even milestones and deliverables. This should also allow you to the ability to structure fees and costs how you need to. By having a clear report on all  the associated costs, unbilled work (WIP),  invoiced value, and the comparison to budgets, you can gain an accurate picture of the current project performance and a view of what the future performance might be or be able to anticipate issues in advance.

 

  • Cash Flow Management

 

Cash Flow is the heart beat of any business.  It makes or break a company’s progress. growth and financial viability.

Good practice management is about taking responsibility for processes to get your invoices out on time and payments by clients on time that will  keep the cash coming in — the more frequently the better. A solid Accounts Receivables tracking system and follow-up  is crucial in ensuring your invoices are paid on time.   

The nature of invoicing/billing for all AEC and interior design businesses over other professional services, is that the invoice will have to cater for multiple stages and fee types at the same time. Therefore, it is important to identify the scope variations and develop invoicing templates to take cater to these specific invoices and also clients who pay immediately, or within seven days.

 

  • Business Development

 

The industry’s new business comes through the network of

relationships. Keeping in touch with your network and building new contacts as well as keeping an keeping abreast for any professional services business is vital. Managing existing and new contacts and maintaining conversations and relationships  is a key part of business development.

 

With empowering your staff to build relationships will transform and create a steady flow of incoming work that allows you to be confident that you will have work to keep the team busy and giving job security to your team.

  • Forecasting

 

Do you know what kind of work/projects and billing you’ll have in your business in the next few months?

Forecasting is not always 100 per cent correct, but it’s essential to have an idea of what is coming ahead. With a good practice management system and good data in your practice, forecasting can become more realistic.

Forecasting ultimately helps you see what cash you could have coming in (based on proposals or tenders won in the future) alongside the resources you’ll need for that work, and the costs you’ll incur doing the work.

This is necessary as you need is to make sure you have enough work for the people you employ and enough people for the work you need to complete

 

  • Resource Planning

 

Knowing what work needs to be done now and in the near future, will equip you to determine the resources (or staff), and the capacity you need to complete the work in a timely fashion and within budget. This will allow you to plan current projects, future projects and staff requirements on a day-to-day level, and at a more strategic level.

This ultimately gives you a roadmap of where and when you can develop staff, create new positions, recruit personnel and generally understand where to position the business around your resources as a whole. Resource planning ultimately helps you reduce idle time and maximise utilisation and efficiency.

  • Technology

 

Clients, partners and staff have minimum standards around the technology they use. Investing in technology is a terrific way to attract and keep great people. You need your technology to work for you and you need to ensure you develop the highest level of capability to get the most from your technology investments.

Whether it’s the latest BIM solution, business management and collaboration tools, a cloud storage system for your project and company information that is accessible anywhere, or hardware to deliver results in the field, the right mix of technology to empower your staff is vital to the ongoing success of your practice.

  • Look for software that allows you to collaborate with social-style communication to reduce emails and meetings.

  • Ask whether the solutions being sold to you are pure cloud and find out the difference.

  • Project Management

 

How do you manage communication internally and between the various project stakeholders in today’s collaborative environment? What is your structure for project information management? Does everyone have access to the same threaded conversations and project documents?

There are systems to help you manage communications — whether that’s connecting to Outlook or your email system, to file emails to project folders, in social-style communications (think Facebook for projects), or tracking transmittal of documents or drives in Servers. Systems ensure an audit trail and reduce risk.

Your system of choice should also have the ability to track tasks, resources and performance on a project,

It’s also important have financial clarity for financial reporting within the  office and inter-project work. This may sound complicated, but a valuable competitive advantage if done right.

  • Accounting

 

Cash Flow is of the utmost importance but it’s important to understand your balance sheet and profit and loss (P&L) which will give you a wider picture of the health of the business nor run your practices like accountants on a general ledger basis.  You will need reports that assist in the delivery of your projects which is the core of any design business. Your project accounting system should feed and receive data, i.e. invoices, payment, expenses,  supplier an clients contacts automatically to and from your chosen business accounting system, reducing double entry and making reporting and reconciliation easy.

  • General Administration

 

We may practice a paperless office, however we are unable to  escape the need for those small tasks like filing, purchasing, managing and distributing office/company information, note taking and generally being across all aspects of the business. A consolidated practice management process helps people get access to the right information to perform these small administrative tasks quickly and effectively.

Having business documents (HR, financials, supplier contracts, etc) filed in an easy to access digital folder, with records that allow notes and reminders to be added to these, can make auditing and tracking simple. It not only helps to carry out the tasks when required but reduces a lot of risk to the business.

© 2019 by Sharon Wong Business Consultancy

ABN 29 433 851 577

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