21 episodes

Architecture Business Club is the weekly podcast to help solo and small firm architecture business owners build a profitable, future-proof architecture practice that both you and your clients love! It’s an inclusive place (for ALL architecture business owners). So whether you’re an Architect, Architectural Technologist, or Architectural Designer…If you sell architectural services and want to improve the way you do things…This is THE podcast for you.

I’m Jon Clayton, your show host, and a Chartered Architectural Technologist based in the UK. I’ve been in architecture for over two decades and running my own (solo) practice for 10 years+.

Each week you’ll hear from inspiring people from the world of architecture and business who share actionable tips to help you improve how you work, save time, or make more money. I’ll also share my own experiences running an architecture business in occasional solo episodes. We cover everything from mindset, money, business strategy, sales & marketing, productivity, systems & workflows, client experience, outsourcing, software, technology, and much more.

Episodes are kept as short as possible by cutting out the fluff and getting straight to the point. So expect interview episodes of around 30 minutes or less, and solo episodes of 5 to 15 minutes.

New episodes are released every Thursday at 6am GMT / 2am EST.

Welcome to the Club!

Architecture Business Club - For Architects, Architectural Technologists, Surveyors & Designers Jon Clayton

    • Arts

Architecture Business Club is the weekly podcast to help solo and small firm architecture business owners build a profitable, future-proof architecture practice that both you and your clients love! It’s an inclusive place (for ALL architecture business owners). So whether you’re an Architect, Architectural Technologist, or Architectural Designer…If you sell architectural services and want to improve the way you do things…This is THE podcast for you.

I’m Jon Clayton, your show host, and a Chartered Architectural Technologist based in the UK. I’ve been in architecture for over two decades and running my own (solo) practice for 10 years+.

Each week you’ll hear from inspiring people from the world of architecture and business who share actionable tips to help you improve how you work, save time, or make more money. I’ll also share my own experiences running an architecture business in occasional solo episodes. We cover everything from mindset, money, business strategy, sales & marketing, productivity, systems & workflows, client experience, outsourcing, software, technology, and much more.

Episodes are kept as short as possible by cutting out the fluff and getting straight to the point. So expect interview episodes of around 30 minutes or less, and solo episodes of 5 to 15 minutes.

New episodes are released every Thursday at 6am GMT / 2am EST.

Welcome to the Club!

    Ten Lessons (From Ten Years) As A Sole Practitioner | 017

    Ten Lessons (From Ten Years) As A Sole Practitioner | 017

    In this episode, Jon shares 10 key lessons from his decade-long experience as a sole practitioner in architecture. He talks about the importance of learning from mistakes, understanding your financial state even if you're not motivated by money, delegating tasks, and building an emergency fund in your business. He also emphasises the need to make progress over perfection, continuing to find joy in your business, and connecting with others to avoid feeling alone in your journey. Jon encourages you to learn from his mistakes so you can build a profitable future-proof architecture business.
    Episode Highlights...
    00:00 Introduction and Welcome
    00:47 10 Years of Experience: The Journey Begins
    01:23 The Reality of Being a Sole Practitioner
    01:56 Learning from Mistakes: The Hard Truths
    03:00 The Importance of Money in Business
    04:46 The Gap in Architectural Education
    06:52 The Power of Differentiation in Architecture
    08:24 The Impact of Relocation on Business
    10:43 Dealing with Unexpected Crises
    12:11 The Perils of Perfectionism
    13:18 The Struggle of Doing Everything Yourself
    17:11 The Loneliness of Running Your Own Business
    19:10 Conclusion and Final Thoughts
    Key Takeaways...
    👉 Learn from your mistakes, fail fast, and move on.
    👉 Don't neglect your understanding of money and financial management, even if you're not primarily motivated by money.
    👉 Running a successful architecture business requires more than just being a great architect or designer, it requires developing business skills and knowledge.
    👉 Educate your customers about the value you offer and how you work.
    👉 Look for ways to diversify your income so you're not solely reliant on referrals.
    👉 Build an emergency fund in your business to prepare for unexpected crises.
    👉 Focus on making progress rather than pursuing perfection in your business.
    👉 Delegate tasks that don't align with your strengths and priorities.
    👉 Take the initiative to seek support and connection with others in your field.
    👉 Your architecture business journey doesn't have to be lonely, find your tribe and create connections.
    What To Do Next...
    📐Get Jon’s free weekly email newsletter (so you never miss an episode).
    https://mrjonclayton.co.uk/abc
    📐Leave a positive review to support the show.
    https://www.podchaser.com/podcasts/architecture-business-club-5485140
    📐Connect with Jon on LinkedIn (with a personalized connection request).
    https://www.linkedin.com/in/mrjonclayton/
    📐Find Jon on other social media platforms by searching for…
    @mrjonclayton
    📐Subscribe to Jon’s YouTube channel here.
    https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCGZOAac4salmSX0wWRT7JUg
    📐Visit Jon’s website here.
    https://mrjonclayton.co.uk/
    In The Next Episode...
    Next time Jon chats about the power of mastermind groups with expert business mentor Chris Ducker.

    • 20 min
    Embracing Your Neurodivergent Quirks with Mike Cole | 016

    Embracing Your Neurodivergent Quirks with Mike Cole | 016

    In this episode of Architecture Business Club, host Jon speaks with Mike Cole, an IFC-accredited coach and qualified accountant, about embracing neurodiversity in your architecture business. Mike discusses his experience with dyslexia and the strengths it has brought to his work, such as problem-solving and big-picture thinking. He shares his journey of self-acceptance and encourages listeners to lean into their uniqueness and find the most efficient ways for them to work. He also highlights the importance of understanding oneself, both strengths and weaknesses, to build a profitable future-proof architecture business. Mike has also created a quiz to help you discover what's holding you back in your businesses and career.
    Today's Guest...
    Mike Cole is an ICF-accredited coach and qualified accountant with a wealth of business experience from leading multinational teams in £multi-billion corporates to supporting solopreneurs to develop their unique, profitable businesses. Mike combines skillful coaching, and extensive business experience to guide busy people, who are overflowing with ideas, along their unique path to success. He creates calm, collaborative spaces that unblock thinking, generate rapid insight, and result in actionable steps.
    Episode Highlights...
    00:00 Introduction to Neurodiversity
    00:55 Guest Introduction: Mike Cole
    03:19 Understanding Neurodivergence
    04:23 Mike's Personal Journey with Dyslexia
    06:09 Overcoming Challenges in the Workplace
    13:26 Transitioning to Small Business Ownership
    15:18 The Difference Between Coaching and Mentoring
    16:45 Building a Business Around Your Strengths
    19:25 Understanding and Embracing Your Unique Strengths
    20:23 The Coin Analogy: Embracing Both Sides of Your Personality
    22:19 The Power of Big-Picture Thinking and Trust
    25:08 The Impact of Diagnosis and Self-Understanding
    27:50 Leaning into Your Specialness: Final Thoughts and Encouragement
    31:44 Connecting with Mike and Final Remarks
    Key Takeaways...
    👉 Embrace your quirks or your neurodivergent attributes. Whether in business or life, try to understand and lean into your unique traits and strengths, even if they may deviate from the 'norm'. This promotes authenticity and usually leads to better results in one's work.
    👉 Take time to understand the best working methods for you. By analysing and adjusting the way you work you can leverage your strengths, and boost efficiency. 
    👉 Everyone has strengths and weaknesses. Find peace with your weaknesses and focus on maximising your strengths. Your strengths are what make you valuable to others.
    👉 Consider problems from different perspectives. Different people understand and solve problems in unique ways due to their varied experiences, skills, and thought processes. Embracing this diversity of thought can lead to innovative solutions.
    Links Mentioned In The Episode...
    Mike’s Quiz - https://www.milico.uk/quiz
    Mike’s LinkedIn - https://www.linkedin.com/in/thismikecole/
    Mike’s Instagram - @thismikecole
    What To Do Next...
    📐Get Jon’s free weekly email newsletter (so you never miss an episode).
    https://mrjonclayton.co.uk/abc
    📐Leave a positive review to support the show.
    https://www.podchaser.com/podcasts/architecture-business-club-5485140
    📐Connect with Jon on LinkedIn (with a personalized connection...

    • 34 min
    Reduce Your Risk Designing Roofs With James Talman | 015

    Reduce Your Risk Designing Roofs With James Talman | 015

    In this episode, Jon hosts Architecture Business Club with guest James Talman, CEO of the National Federation of Roofing Contractors and Competent Roofer. They delve into the intricacies of roofing in architectural designs and how architects can minimise risks to ensure that their next roof is designed and built properly. James also shares important information about the NFRC's crucial role in enhancing technical excellence in roofing, elevating industry standards, and offering free resources. The discussion further explores the Building Safety Act and how the industry is preparing to implement it to ensure safety and professionalism.
    Today's Guest...
    James Talman is the CEO of the National Federation of Roofing Contractors (NFRC) and CompetentRoofer. Since 2016, James has led a transformation focused on enhancing technical excellence in roofing and elevating industry standards. He's played a key role in partnerships, including CITB's RoofCERT accreditation programme, and represents the NFRC globally, fostering connections with roofing bodies in China, Germany, USA, and Canada. James, a board member of Build UK, balances his professional life with a passion for sports and the outdoors.
    Episode Highlights...
    00:53 Introduction to the Guest - James Talman
    01:39 Personal Interests and Hobbies
    03:23 Understanding the National Federation of Roofing Contractors (NFRC)
    06:29 Benefits of Working with NFRC Registered Contractors
    08:41 Understanding the Competent Roofer Scheme
    10:27 How NFRC Can Assist Architecture Practices
    15:32 Reducing Risks and Ensuring Compliance
    20:09 Understanding the Building Safety Act
    24:49 Career Opportunities in Roofing
    26:16 Personal Travel Experiences
    27:34 Connecting with NFRC Online
    28:31 Conclusion and Preview of Next Episode
    Key Takeaways...
    👉 The National Federation of Roofing Contractors (NFRC) is a membership organisation that provides support and resources for contractors, manufacturers, and service providers in the roofing industry.
    👉 The NFRC offers a Competent Roofer scheme, which allows roofing contractors to self-certify their work to building regulations, eliminating the need for separate building control inspections.
    👉 NFRC registered contractors undergo rigorous inspections and audits to ensure their commercial probity, office procedures, and health and safety standards meet industry standards.
    👉 Working with NFRC registered contractors provides advantages such as independent inspections, comprehensive guarantees, compliance with data provision, and recourse in case of any issues.
    👉 The NFRC has connections with suppliers and manufacturers in the roofing industry and can assist in finding specialist roofing contractors for specific projects, such as heritage buildings.
    👉 The NFRC provides resources on its website, including essential safety information, guidance bulletins, and books on various types of roofing.
    👉 The NFRC is actively involved in the development of the roofing industry, including implementing mandatory technical competencies and promoting careers in roofing.
    👉 The Building Safety Act has introduced legislation and frameworks for competency in the construction industry, including roofing, to ensure safety standards are met.
    👉 The NFRC is available to provide support, advice, and guidance to architects and other professionals involved in roofing projects.
    Links Mentioned In The Episode...
    NFRC’s Website
    https://www.nfrc.co.uk/
    James’s Email
    jct@nfrc.co.uk
    NFRC’s Facebook Group
    a href="https://www.facebook.com/NFRCuk" rel="noopener noreferrer"...

    • 29 min
    Breaking Free From The Nine To Five with Anna Lundberg | 014

    Breaking Free From The Nine To Five with Anna Lundberg | 014

    In this episode, host Jon is joined by Anna Lundberg, founder of One Step Outside who helps professionals break free from a traditional 9-5 job to find a more meaningful definition of success. They discuss the challenges of transitioning from employee to business owner, the importance of building a personal brand, the need for work-life integration versus balance, and the potential for future-proofing the business. Anna also shares her five-pillar business framework and how it helps solo and small-firm architecture practice owners navigate their business journey. She further explores alternative business models, moving past one-to-one client services. They also touch upon travel experiences and their relevance in expanding horizons and sparking curiosity.
    Today's Guest...
    Anna Lundberg is all about crafting careers and businesses that don't just focus on traditional success measures, but take a more balanced approach. Founder of One Step Outside®, she is on a mission to help experienced professionals break free from the 9 to 5 and pursue a more meaningful definition of success. She is the host of the Reimagining Success® podcast and the author of several books. And she's juggling all this while raising two little kiddos down in sunny Dorset.
    Episode Highlights...
    00:00 Introduction and Podcast Overview
    00:56 Guest Introduction: Anna Lundberg
    01:42 Anna's Journey: Leaving Corporate World
    02:02 Anna's South America Adventure
    02:39 The Impact of Travel on Career Decisions
    05:11 The Five Pillars Framework Overview
    06:39 Pillar One: Defining Your Version of Success
    10:05 Pillar Two: Cultivating Confidence and Resilience
    14:27 Pillar Three: Developing the Right Business Model
    18:32 Exploring Alternative Business Models
    21:53 Exploring Creative Solutions in Business
    22:22 Understanding Client Needs and Preferences
    23:11 Exploring Different Business Models
    24:10 Building Trust and Progression in Business
    26:19 Pillar Four: The Importance of Personal Branding
    30:38 Pillar Five: Work-Life Integration
    34:06 Recommendations for Starting or Improving a Business
    37:45 The Role of Travel and Location in Personal Fulfillment
    40:58 Connecting with Anna Lundberg Online
    41:57 Preview of the Next Episode and Closing Remarks
    Key Takeaways...
    👉 Importance of Self-Awareness - Understanding one's own strengths, preferences, personality, and life situation is crucial before starting or revamping a business.
    👉 Redefining Success - Anna encourages not to limit the definition of success to monetary outcomes. Instead, she suggests it should include aspects such as freedom, flexibility, and fulfillment.
    👉 Cultivating Resilience and Confidence - Building resilience and confidence is essential in managing the ups and downs that come with running a business.
    👉 Diversifying Business Models - Not to be limited by traditional business models, and consider alternatives such as paid resources, teaching, mentoring, and upselling other services.
    👉 The Value of Personal Branding - Creating a personal brand can help differentiate a business and establish a stronger connection with clients.
    👉 Work-Life Integration, not Balance - Anna argues for the idea of work-life integration, suggesting that it's about finding a way for work and personal life to harmoniously co-exist.
    👉 Importance of Progression - Offering entry-level services or products can help bring clients into your world and possibly upsell them to premium services later.
    👉 Taking Small Steps towards Big Goals - Ambitious goals can be made more achievable by breaking them down into smaller, more manageable steps.
    Links Mentioned In The Episode...
    Anna’s Website
    a href="https://onestepoutside.com/" rel="noopener noreferrer"

    • 42 min
    Navigating Your Business Journey with Quarterly Planning | 013

    Navigating Your Business Journey with Quarterly Planning | 013

    In this episode, host Jon discusses the significance of strategic planning for business success. Drawing comparisons between embarking on a business journey and going on a road trip, he stresses the importance of setting a clear destination (dubbed the 'big business goal') for the year ahead. Jon advocates for a quarterly approach, stating that breaking down the year into four manageable chunks allows for better planning, easier course corrections, and the capacity to see real results in a business over a 90-day period. Several measurable metrics and tangible tactics for achieving quarterly goals are suggested. Jon reminds listeners of the value of rewarding achieved goals and introduces the concept of creating 'jeopardy' to add urgency to get the work done. Lastly, he suggests methods for holding oneself accountable for plans, including making your intentions public and utilising accountability buddies.
    Episode Highlights...
    00:00 Introduction To Quarterly Planning
    01:31 The Analogy of Business Journey to a Car Journey
    02:17 Setting Your Business Goals
    02:42 The Concept of Quarterly Planning
    03:54 The Benefits of Quarterly Checkpoints
    04:08 What to Include in Your Quarterly Plan
    04:32 Reflecting on the Previous Quarter
    04:58 Setting a Main Quarterly Goal
    06:10 Financial Measures in Your Quarterly Plan
    08:52 Building Your Authority and Visibility
    10:54 Tying Your Plan with Marketing and Promotion
    13:03 Sticking to Your Quarterly Plan
    16:06 What to Do Next Quarter
    17:20 Outro and Preview of the Next Episode
    Key Takeaways...
    👉 Planning is essential: it’s important to plan your business journey, just like planning a car trip. Set specific goals and map out the best route to achieve them.
    👉 Break down your business journey into manageable stages or quarters. By focusing on one stage at a time, it becomes easier to stay on track and make course corrections if needed.
    👉 Reflect and make improvements on the previous quarter and identify what went well, what could have been better, and any obstacles that stood in the way. This reflection helps in making improvements and ensuring better results in the next quarter.
    👉 Set clear quarterly goals and focus on one main goal at a time. This helps in making progress towards the overall business goal for the year.
    👉 Measure key metrics such as revenue, leads, sales conversations, conversion rates, average spend, and profit margin. By monitoring these metrics, you can track your progress and make necessary adjustments.
    👉 Promote strategically: Think about different ways to promote your business throughout the year. Creating different peak points or focusing on different aspects of your services/products can keep your promotions fresh and engaging.
    👉 Stay accountable and motivated by making your plan visible, sharing your goals publicly, finding an accountability partner, creating a sense of jeopardy, and rewarding yourself when you achieve your quarterly goals.
    What To Do Next...
    📐Get Jon’s free weekly email newsletter (so you never miss an episode).
    https://mrjonclayton.co.uk/abc
    📐Leave a positive review to support the show.
    https://www.podchaser.com/podcasts/architecture-business-club-5485140
    📐Connect with Jon on LinkedIn (with a personalized connection request).
    https://www.linkedin.com/in/mrjonclayton/
    📐Find Jon on other social media platforms by searching for…
    @mrjonclayton
    📐Subscribe to Jon’s YouTube channel...

    • 18 min
    Returning to Practice: A Conversation with Ann Vanner | 012

    Returning to Practice: A Conversation with Ann Vanner | 012

    The episode features an in-depth conversation between host, Jon, and guest, Ann Vanner, a fellow of the Chartered Institute of Architectural Technologists and a Chartered Architect who recently returned to practice after a long break. They discuss Ann's experiences and challenges upon reentering the world of architecture, the changes she has noticed in communication modes, document management, planning process, and more. The discussion extends to the importance of continual learning, forming partnerships, aligning visions, and recommendations for those considering a similar transition in their careers.
    Today's Guest...
    Ann Vanner is a Fellow of the Chartered Institution of Architectural Technologists, a Chartered Architect, an academic, and a Living Future Accredited Professional. Ann’s starting point and approach to architecture is Practical Creativity. Her practical background spans over 20 years, in architectural practices in the UK and Germany. She brings an unconventional and unwavering passion for the built environment and a desire to make a positive change in the environment and for those who she works with. Ann has recently returned to practicing architecture.
    Episode Highlights...
    00:00 Introduction and Overview
    00:52 Meet the Guest: Ann Vanner
    01:51 Ann's Personal Interests: Sailing
    03:14 Returning to Practice: The Decision
    05:50 Changes in Architecture Practice: Planning Process
    08:00 Changes in Communication and Document Management
    13:27 The Importance of Continuous Learning
    15:03 The Benefits of Partnership in Practice
    19:03 Tips for Starting a Partnership
    25:04 Advice for Returning to Practice
    29:26 Connecting with Ann Online
    29:54 Closing Remarks and Preview of Next Episode
    Key Takeaways...
    👉 If you're thinking about returning to practice or starting a practice, know that it's a learning process. Don't be afraid of this; embrace it. Being able to adapt to new technology (like email and YouTube tutorials) and being open to learning new skills can significantly ease the transition.
    👉 Communication methods have changed significantly, email and different digital communication methods are central now. Managing the information flow through these channels can take time and patience, but maintaining proper documentation and communication is key in any business.
    👉 When starting a partnership-based business, ensure that there's alignment between the partners on the vision, mission, and values of the practice. Have open and honest discussions and regularly check-in with one another to keep the alignment.
    👉 Running a personal practice or starting a partnership based business gives you the freedom to create a work environment that suits your preferences and lifestyle. It can be more fulfilling and can bring a new spark of enthusiasm to your career.
    👉 Document management techniques have changed over time. Modern practices tend to digitize their documents for easier management and tracking of project history.
    👉 Continual learning is essential in architecture. The methods, tools, and technologies associated with architecture are always changing, so continuous learning is crucial to keep up-to-date and remain competent in the field.
    👉 Balancing your strengths and weaknesses with your partner can lead to a more effective and productive partnership. Be aware of your strengths and lean on your partner for areas where you are weak. 
    👉 Finally, it's also crucial to make brave moves when needed. If you have an aspiration or a dream, such as reopening a practice or starting a new one, sometimes the best advice is to just do it. It may not be easy, and it may require a considerable amount of effort, but the rewards can be significant.
    Links Mentioned In The Episode...
    Ann’s...

    • 30 min

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