EQiA: Mini MBA for the Emerging Professional, Session 1

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EQiA: Mini MBA for the Emerging Professional, Session 1


6:00 pm - 8:30 pm


Haworth – Terminus 200
3333 Piedmont Road, Suite 150
Atlanta, GA 30305


The Mini-MBA for the Emerging Professional will introduce basic business principles of the design profession. To succeed in today’s marketplace, emerging professionals must have a strong business foundation to survive and thrive. This seminar will empower the emerging professional by offering insights into how a firm is created, managed and is sustained as well as what role they can play in their firm’s success. Professional Practice is a very broad topic but a very necessary pursuit for emerging professionals in today’s evolving marketplace.


A Registered Architect with over 30 years of experience, Jim Kimball, AIA is a proven leader in the professional services industry. He possesses extensive management experience, managing an office for a national A/E firm taking it from a $2 million loss to a $1.4 million profit in three years. As the Director of Marketing for another national A/E firm, he developed a specialization in branding, marketing, and business development. Jim is currently a co-founder of Phase Zero Design, Inc.

Jim is also an Adjunct Faculty member of the Boston Architectural College where he teaches Professional Practice Management.


  • Financial Considerations: Understanding the fundamentals of responding to RFPs, developing design fees, multipliers, billing rates and accounting methods.
  • Stakeholder Roles in Architecture: Understanding of the relationships between the main interested parties in the design process—client, contractor, architect, user groups, local community—and the roles to reconcile stakeholder needs.
  • Project Management: Understanding the methods for selecting consultants and assembling teams; identifying work plans and recommending project delivery methods.
  • Business Practices: Understanding of the basic principles of a firm’s business practices, including financial management and business planning, risk management, marketing, organization, and entrepreneurship.
  • Legal Responsibilities: Understanding of the architect’s responsibility to the public and the client as determined by regulations and legal considerations involving the practice of architecture and professional services contracts.
  • Professional Conduct: Understanding of the ethical issues involved in the exercise of professional judgment in architectural design and practice and understanding of the role of the NCARB Rules of Conduct and the AIA Code of Ethics in defining professional conduct. 3

Program Abstract

The Mini-MBA introduces business fundamentals to emerging professionals and provides the answers to important questions such as: Why do firms fail? How does a design firm earn a profit? What is a multiplier? How do I start my own firm? If the firm appears busy, why were there layoffs? What’s the difference between marketing and business development? Do I need insurance? How do I become a valuable employee? The Mini-MBA presents business and management topics including:

  • Firm Structure
  • Marketing and Business Development
  • Social Media and Networking
  • Branding
  • Financial Management
  • Multipliers
  • Responding to an RFP
  • Developing Fees
  • Contracts
  • Risk Management
  • Ethics
  • Personal Branding

Dates and Location

Dates: Thursdays, 8/30, 9/13, 9/27, 10/11
Location: We’re currently looking for firms that can host a session – max capacity = 40.  Please reach out to Nicole Seekely at nseekely@smithdalia.com if your firm would be willing to host!

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