Strategic Alliances

Design Renaissance and Beyond

From Large Manufacturers to Small Business Owners, all of us are seeking new horizons in Business Cultivation. Today, in fact, Project Innovation’s message will ring true to the Board of County Commissioners – seek new opportunities, now matter how large or small, for the seeds sown today may blossom into great ventures tomorrow. For us, the transition has been more of a ‘feel your way through it;’ from partnering with our Competition to a ‘Back to Basics Approach,’ we are exploring the niches.

Several years ago, akin to hiding your test from a seat neighbor in fifth grade, we would never have considered the potential of sharing ‘trade secrets;’ however, in this day-and-age, a potential competitor may hold the key to a business/project connection, and with the workforce paring down, your Firm may not be able to handle a large job’s production. Thus, we have ‘gone local,’ seeking Strategic Alliances to form a consolidated, powerful front. Get the work and produce a quality Product. To market against ‘bigger guys,’ smaller Firms are wise to consider a more nimble, resource-sharing approach to potential Jobs.

Another example, in the Design industry, is a Design-Build Alliance. It used to be that a Design Firm created a Plan Set, Budgeted the Work, and would oversee the Bid Process…now, this has come full circle through a Full-Service approach. Upfront fees are not expended by anyone, certainly appealing. By capitalizing upon a Contractor’s sources, we can offer a Budgeted Design that is converted easily to a Contract, saving time, resources, and dollars for the Client. The Designer and Contractor are extremely cognisant of the profit necessary to make both parties happy – thus, Capitalism forces us to work together, negotiate, for the Client. Design-loaded information is pared with the reality of the Contract and site conditions necessary to get a quality job done. This is not a trend in our Industry, but it is a trend for historically-separate Companies, traditionally segregating the two Scopes of Work.

A third example, specific to Landscape Architects, is our ability to design graphics. As a Landscape Architectural Firm, we produce marketing materials to convey, graphically, our work product and design aptitude. Historically, these are distributed as part of a brochure, to get work. To simplify Services we offer (and indeed, expand them), we have gone ‘back to basics,’ concentrating on graphic design. Our schooling establishes the framework for such design that was ‘pinned-up’ or presented with each Project. Lately, our Firm has created Pamphlets, Maps, and Brochures for Non-profits, as they distributed, our logo follows. Never forget where ‘you’re from’ and capitalize upon your most ‘simple’ of abilities could be the mantra here.
Finally, Marketing. By virtue of this blog, it’s subsequent ‘push’ to Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, and other sources, we have conducted a self-run and rudimentary Marketing campaign. This is dissemination of information, industry-specific, business-prone, or a simple Client-update (a what ‘we’re up to’). Also, we always look for traditional forms of ‘giving back,’ through non-profits or charities, while the economy sputters to life, in lieu of monetary support. And finally, we are constantly Marketing to ‘feed’ the other opportunities outlined above – you might say this is where it all comes full-circle.
‘Push’ what’s important, has virtue, or creates interest; and you will be amazed at who ‘follows,’ ‘fans,’ or otherwise, ‘comments!’

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