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  • Writer's pictureRyan Shoop

Why Hire a Consultant? Free Up Your Time!

image of many hats on a rack

Consultants sure are expensive, aren't they?

Some of their hourly rates are real eye poppers!

Why pay another person to do something when you can just do it yourself?

Architects wear many hats, right?

...So do coat racks!

Do you or your project architects mind

spending a lot of time on your projects?

No, of course not!

It's a challenging profession, and great work needs time to fully develop.

You can do it all yourself:

- Facade detailing

- Spec Writing

- Door Hardware

- Rendering

- Marketing

- Finance

- Existing conditions documentation

- and many many other things.

Imagine this scenario.

If you're a building owner who wants a new build or renovation, why hire an architect? Architects are expensive. They make the process take "too long". Just an extra cut from the budget, isn't an architect a luxury that can be left out?

As an architect it's tough to explain the value of the help you offer. You might even say most potential clients (or go a step bigger, most people) tend to prefer "toughing it out", suffering through the work themselves, rather than ask for help.

A brief anecdote

In architecture school, I learned a little about a broad range of topics. I wanted to do it all. I wanted to master every facet of the profession.

I wanted to return to college one day and get additional degrees in structural and mechanical engineering, so I could do that myself too!

At some point between student loan debt and trying to keep my children fed and clothed, it became apparent that the additional degrees would not be happening anytime soon.

But that desire to “do everything” stuck around. The desire to level up every skill that an architect can make use of. I think it’s a pretty common trait for architects, wouldn’t you agree?

Doing it ALL

For some architects and/or firms, this goal may be somewhat achievable. It is difficult, but possible, to do the business end of the work (marketing, client relations, contracts, finances, etc.), the design, the construction drawings, structural, MEP, energy analysis, etc. all by yourself...

...but only so long as you limit the size and complexity of the projects you take on, and balance that with healthy long schedules.

You CAN do it all, so long as the "all" stays small enough to be manageable.

Hitting the wall...

If a new prospective project comes along at a time that doesn’t fit with your schedule, you have to say “no”. You are overburdened.

Maybe you have to say “no” pretty often.

You can say “no” LESS often (and really mean it) if you have more time.

I’m not suggesting to build a time machine or work nights and weekends, missing important family events.

Putting time to its best use

One way to give yourself more time is to buy it from someone.

“But I could just do that myself for free”, you may be thinking.

Is YOUR time free?

Could you be putting your billable hours to some other task instead,

if you hired someone to do this piece of the work for you?

Or perhaps you could give the time to yourself, your family, or your friends.

YOU are Valuable

It is my hope that everyone reading this will see their own time as very valuable.

We can’t buy an extra hour for the day or an extra year for the end of our life.

Everyone gets only 24 hours in the day.

The person making five figures a year only gets 24 hours in their day.

It's no different for the person making 8 figures a year.

And nobody knows how many years they've got ahead of them.

You could do it all yourself if you choose, but it's not free.

That choice comes at the cost of some of your 24.

Choosing the right tool for the task

Why Hire a Consultant? Free Up Your Time!

You can hire someone to do the work that isn’t your “main thing”.

Some of the benefits of hiring a consultant:

1) Your TIME (and/or your team’s time) is freed up to spend on other things that you would rather be doing, or that are more profitable.

2) Consultants are almost always specialists - even experts - in their field. They have focused deep into their subject matter area. They know things that you don’t know and can solve problems specific to the subject matter more quickly than you.

3) For tasks that you really aren’t that skilled in (taxes or door hardware specification for example), a consultant may be able to complete the work much faster than if you were to do it yourself. Even if the consultant’s hourly rate is higher than yours, if they spend less time on the task than you would, you can still end up saving money.

Last Notes

All of life and business is full of choices.

Every choice has a cost, whether it is time, money, or missed opportunities.

Should you delegate all of your responsibilities to someone else? Only if you want to.

My challenge for you is to consider this:

There are some things

1) that NEED to get done, and

2) that AREN'T your main thing.

You could do them yourself. But someone else (a specialist) could do it faster and better. Don't miss out on an opportunity to avoid the pain of tasks that you don’t enjoy.

Questions? Ask me in the comments section or contact me directly. Also if you think I got something wrong, let me know and if appropriate I will make sure to issue a correction.

Architects, do you have a project with door hardware questions? Check out my website There you can find my contact info, and reach out to set up a call. Let's discuss how I can save you time and money while helping to ensure high quality results for your clients.

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