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Small Practices Network Resources

The Small Practices Network serves the interest of all who own and work as self-employed designers or in small practices and those other professionals who work with us.

Mission statement

To generate work for small firms
To increase efficiency in small firms
To compete better with large firms
To optimize unique virtues of small firms
To reduce expenses of small firms
To maximize the joy of being a small practitioner
To minimize the risks inherent in being a small firm

How big is a small firm?

Generally speaking, most of our members work in firms of 15 people or fewer; however, our committee is open to all.

AIA statistics illustrate that sole practitioners make up almost a third of firms and about two-thirds of firms have between 2 and 49 employees. However, firms with 100 or more employees account for almost half of the profession's total billings. Sole practitioners only account for 2% of total billings.

Sharing expertise

Network meetings are held monthly at the BSA on a variety of topics. This year we are running evening meetings instead of our former lunch meetings. This allows for longer, more casual meetings, will take less time out of your day, and cheaper parking! Topics discussed cover business and marketing, professional issues, technical issues, community building, awards and promoting design excellence. See the BSA calendar for times and topics. It is our intention to post meeting notes on the web when possible.

Suburban Small Firms: Since many of our members work in the suburbs, we will be encouraging small firms located in suburban areas to get together locally. The intention of these meeting is to supplement the main committee meetings, not replace them, and to serve as local networking opportunities.

By working together we can help ourselves. The BSA can help organize speakers to come out to your town. You can invite manufacturers' representatives to educate you about their products. You can raise the profile of architects and architecture locally through adult education programs and discussing local issues concerning development in your area. You can mentor each other and refer work. Another benefit of these satellite groups is that you will be holding a BSA meeting so all meetings will be eligible for LUs.

Knowledge Database: Small firms can collaborate on individual projects. We are in the process of building a database that lists individual members' expertise and knowledge which others can identify to complement their own talents, or even share their interests.

After Hours: Working in a small firm can be lonely, and sometimes it feels like you can never get away from work! Get out an enjoy yourselves and mix with other from small firms at our social meetings. See the BSA calendar for details.

The AIA offers many online forums known as Knowledge Communities, which share information about industry topics. This Knowledge Community shares interests with our own, and may be a good resource for those interested in our committee.

Small Project Practitioners

The Small Project Practitioners (SPP) Knowledge Community generates, collects and disseminates knowledge and wisdom on how to profitably run a small firm and how...