I also run a food gift company that sources unique and artisanal gourmet gift baskets from California’s Great Central Valley and I have my own eponymous architecture firm, Enoch Sears Architect.
Novedge: Why did you start The Business of Architecture?
Enoch Sears:Small architecture firms and sole practitioners lack the resources of larger firms but they still need to complete the same tasks. This puts small and micro firms at a distinct disadvantage in the marketplace.
Business of Architecture exists to support architect-led small businesses. On Business of Architecture I provide both free and premium information to help architects compete by attracting and landing the projects they want to work on and improving office efficiency.
Novedge: I am a fan of your interview series: after over 20 episodes, what has surprised you the most?
Enoch Sears:It is interesting that each architect has a very different approach to his or her work. Even though there are many similarities in the way projects are handled, each architect has a very different personality and workflow that is as unique as a fingerprint.
Novedge: What is a recent project that you worked on as an architect?
I’ve mainly worked for smaller firms, including a year-long stint overseas for a developer in the Caribbean. One of the “funnest” projects I worked on was a condominium development on the island of Bocas del Toro in Panama. The project (which has not been built) consists of a beach facing tower and four marina facing buildings.
Retiring baby-boomers from the US have been looking outside of the US for good medical care at a good rate and temperate and tropical climates. This has fueled the market for second homes abroad. Panama is an ideal location for retirees because of its proximity to the US, affordable healthcare, and currency (the US dollar).
Enoch Sears:Currently I use a great software package called BricsCAD. It has all the power of AutoCAD at ⅕ the cost. Most importantly it runs my custom LISP routines flawlessly. I’m also an expert with Revit Architecture. I even program my own custom VBA plugins (a true geek).
Novedge: What has been most important in developing and growing a successful architectural practice?
Enoch Sears:Hustle, vision, and flexibility. My own firm is in the startup phase now, so I’m learning a lot along the way about business development, strategy and positioning. Of course I share the most important lessons that I learn on Business of Architecture under the category Start A Firm.
Enoch Sears:The amount of knowledge needed to be a successful architect is growing faster than architects can keep pace. Architects need to specialize and collaborate well with other specialists. Technology tools can help with this, but even software needs a masterful driver behind the wheel.
Novedge: What do you hope to achieve over the next 20-30 years?
Enoch Sears:I have two professional goals for the next 20 years: I want to create architecture that matters, and I want to provide tools and resources to help other architects do the same.