YOUR BUSINESS IS A BRAVE ACT
As a leader of a small architectural, design or any project-business, you launched your firm without a safety net, offering to do your very best for your clients and their projects. You’re determined to make a success of it and you’ll do whatever it takes, however you often don’t get recognised for the all that you do.
In fact, you aren’t always sure of the next project.
But it’s about as close as it gets to having control of your creativity and technical skills, working IN the business on projects.
You are your own boss, most of the time, and figuring out a way to become a better boss managing a better project-business is the most worthwhile investment you can make.
As the boss, you’re also responsible for working ON the business, on all the functions that keep the business running because the risks are high and the margins are small.
We get it – we’ve been there – we created a way to succeed, a way to GET BACK ON TRACK, and now it’s our mission to help you as…
We are a boutique small business advisory, with a very special focus and skill set.
We work exclusively with the leaders of small architectural, design and project-businesses to simplify and improve their ON-Business functions, so they can focus on their passion for projects without stressing about the business imploding around them.
Our name describes how we work.
PRACTICALLY - we work with YOU, both virtually and practically, as business…
P A R T N E R S - people on your side, focused on the same objectives.
Our passion is working with you to develop solutions that deliver measurable improvements, and to this mission we bring 40 years of knowledge, hands-on experience and practical wisdom, gained through owning and/or managing successful architectural, workplace design and project management businesses.
Your time is finite, so we are pragmatic, using the Pareto Principle to focus on 80% of the benefits through improvements, for 20% of the time and effort needed for perfection.
We seek success, not perfection.
Simon Maddox is the founder and Principal Partner, an entrepreneur who started his first business making custom surfboards as a 13 year-old schoolboy, before becoming a degree qualified design professional.
At 25, he took a struggling workplace design and project management consultancy, from 3 to 25 architects and designers, over a 5 year period.
As a design studio, it was recognised in design publications both nationally and internationally.
But more importantly it was recognised by his clients and both internal and external stakeholders.
At a time when the industry norm was focused on building a great design studio (that might turn into a business), Simon vision as a young leader, was to create a successful business that delivered great design.
So he went looking for help – for the ‘wisdom’ and guidance to simplify the complexities of working IN and ON the business. However, the only help available was either;
Small Business Advisory firms, owned by accountants, who were focused on financial management and securing your firm’s monthly accounting services. OR
Management Consultants, offering scaled down services from corporate consulting firms, delivered by a recent MBA graduate with no experience and textbook models.
No one had any tacit knowledge or experience in managing a small project-business.
So, whilst running the business and his projects, Simon set about collecting data and systematically improving each function needed to run the business, shifting the business from striving under the traditional Demand Management model to thriving under Exception Management (click for more information). This progressively reduced the time lost to errors, unnecessary work, double handling.
Just as importantly, it kept the business agile and able to take preemptive action to external threats, leading to the business not only successfully navigating through three recessions but actually generating its greatest profitability in those years.
In parallel with this, Simon progressively launched an architectural practice, a retail design consultancy, a strategic facilities planning consultancy and a project management business.
He has also been a CEO for a start-up (now ASX listed), COO for a national project services and logistics business with 350+ staff, owner/founder of a PMO software business, and has worked as project director on projects valued from <$100K to $350M.
Simon’s management and professional project
experience now spans 40 years. He has completed over 200+ projects (as Principal Consultant on 98% of all projects) with a combined value of $850M+ for clients, including Australian Government, NSW State Government, multinationals and many of Australia’s leading corporates.
Professionally qualified, with a BA(Interior), as well as undertaking a postgraduate Master of Design (both at UTS) with thesis research based on ‘Quality Assurance for Professional Services in Construction’.
Simon is also a member of the Project Management Institute and has experience in multiple project life cycles, including Waterfall, Iterative and Agile.
Like you, it all started with...
MY ENTREPRENEURIAL SEIZURE
"I started my first project-business at 13, making custom surfboards with my school friend and neighbor, Sam Marshall (Architect Marshall).
We started out with a goal of being able to fund the supply of our own personal surfboards, but finished 4 years later, making 50+ surfboards and delivering to 4 different schools.
It taught us the fundamental commercial realities of running a small project-business.
The need to raise capital to start a business, achieved through labouring on a site after school.
How to market and sell a custom project that didn’t yet exist.
Learnt the skills (self-taught) required to design, shape, fibreglass, sand and finish a surfboard.
How to set-up processes and procedures to standardise the quality of our product.
How to manage cash flow to fund the procurement of the expensive materials needed for each surfboard.
How to schedule multiple projects (4-5 surfboards per 11 week school term), being produced in parallel with over lapping phases.
The rigour of time management needed to balance study, school sport, surfing and surfboard production.
The tenacity needed to complete each and every designated task, to reach each production milestone, that would guarantee the quality of the finished product by the delivery date (which was always the day before the school holidays).
In addition to regularly providing us with new surfboards, our success allowed me to buy my first car a year before I was eligible for my ‘L’ plates.”