Accountable accounting

For the first six years and three months of Mihaly Slocombe's existence, we relied on a lean methodology and Microsoft Excel to manage our business. But my growing constellation of Excel spreadsheets eventually began creating as many problems as they were solving. The increasing trouble I was having with them triggered a broader realisation that... Continue Reading →

Renovating our business

When we founded Mihaly Slocombe in 2010, Erica and I had never been taught how to manage or grow a business. Naïvely we thought we could work it out ourselves, piecing together every fragment of the puzzle through trial and error. Our learning curve was steep and often rocky. I sometimes think back on those first... Continue Reading →

The challenges of geography

There are many residential architecture studios in Melbourne whose portfolios are concentrated within specific geographical regions: the south-eastern suburbs, the inner-north, bayside, the Mornington Peninsula, Ballarat. I live in Carlton North and seem to see Robert Simeoni signs on front fences everywhere. Zen Architects does a lot of work in and around Northcote. Jolson Architects has nailed the Toorak market. I don't... Continue Reading →

Houzz Pro membership

In August last year, Erica and I signed Mihaly Slocombe up to the Houzz Pro membership programme. This placed our sponsored project photos into the organic search streams of local audiences, increasing the visibility of our business in and around Melbourne. We were required to commit to the programme for twelve months, a huge financial leap... Continue Reading →

Explaining the architectural fee

According to the standard client and architect agreement published by the Australian Institute of Architects, there are three traditional methods by which an architect can charge fees to her client: Percentage fee Lump sum fee Hourly rates[1] There's a fourth method that's emerging amongst younger practices, inspired by the lean startup strategy and the practice of web-based design platforms... Continue Reading →

How Soon Is Now?

The Australian Institute of Architects' annual national conference, How Soon Is Now?,  was held last month in Adelaide. Creatively directed by Cameron Bruhn, Sam Spurr and Ben Hewett, it explored the "agency of architecture to make real changes in the world."[1] The directors identified the expansive conversation of last year's conference, Risk, as a precursor, and proposed to... Continue Reading →

The mystery of marketing

Marketing is a constant source of intrigue for the architecture profession. We don't understand it very well, so regard it with reverential awe. Marketing, we think, is the magic lamp that will make us rich. So we talk about it all the time, we ask our colleagues in hushed whispers for the secrets of their success,... Continue Reading →

The lifestyle is bitchin’

The 28th instalment in a series of lessons learned over the years. What do I know now that I didn’t then? What wisdom would I impart to my younger self, given the opportunity? This lesson also formed part of a lecture given for the May Process forum, The Jump, exploring the challenges faced when setting up a practice. Process is a monthly information... Continue Reading →

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