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Think-Time Tuesdays: Profit Motive & The Business of Design

November 16, 2021 @ 8:30 am - 9:30 am PST

$15.00 – $40.00


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Think-Time Tuesdays: Profit Motive & The Business of Design (3rd Quarter: FINANCE)

(Inside the A+D Studio)

This is a virtual series. Zoom log-in information will be emailed to registrants 24 hours in advance from events@aialosangeles.org. If you do not receive a confirmation 24 hours prior to the event, please email events@aialosangeles.org.

CES Units: 1 LU per session

Scheduled to raise your financial fitness level of your firm, this special AIALA series offers learning units and the foundations of a strong practice with applied strategic planning rooted in sound financial management.

Who deals with the money, and how? This session focuses on how finance, metrics and performance influence an A+D practice’s wellbeing and its success moving forward, as well as the firm culture and its bottom line.

Join Think-Time Tuesdays host, and SO|arch founder Elisabeth Sporer, AIA CIC for the third quarter event of the Think-Time Tuesdays series – a presentation on the metrics behind the business of design. Elisabeth will provide an overview of what metrics an A+D leader needs to measure and how – key performance indicators [KPIs] like overhead and break-even rates, staff target utilization rates, profitability, competitive hourly billing rates, backlog / billing forecasting and staffing planning tied to financial performance.

Then in conversation with her clients, Elisabeth will present case studies that founders and leaders of small studios and midsized firms in particular will find useful:

+ Transitioning to professional systems for midsized firms with Julia Campbell (Quezada Architecture)
+ Optimizing basic systems for small firms with Khal Khaireddin (K2A)


Elisabeth Sporer, AIA, LEED AP, CIC – A+D Business Strategist and SO|arch Founder
Elisabeth Sporer works with CEOs, founders and leadership teams to build successful A+D firms through an integral approach of business strategy consulting and leadership coaching. Based in Northern California, she has presented at major AIA chapters in the region, including AIA Los Angles, AIA SF, AIA East Bay and AIA Central Valley, on topics like international practice [“Unlearning the Metric System” in 2019], mentorship [“High Performance Mentorship” in 2020], entrepreneurship [“The Free Solo Practice” in 2019] and business strategy [“Blueprint for Success” in 2020]. She holds a Master of Science in Advanced Architecture Design from Columbia University in The City of New York and a Master of Architecture and a Bachelor of Architecture, both from the TU Berlin.

TTT3 Guest Presenters:

Khaldoon Khairedding, AIA – Founding Principal of Khal Khaireddin Architects (Los Angeles)
Khal (short for Khaldoon) is an Architect by trade and an entrepreneur in spirit. He leads K2A with a perpetually positive attitude and instills in his peers and staff a dedication to service, and excellence, in the practice of architecture. Khal’s greatest asset is his holistic viewpoint and ability to see architecture’s interconnections within a broader real estate and development context, without losing sight of architecture’s power to enhance communities and inspire individuals. Khal obtained his BArch from Cal Poly in San Luis Obispo.


Julia Campbell, RIBA LEED AP, Partner at Quezada Architecture [San Francisco / Los Angeles]
Julia is a Partner at QA, a boutique SF / LA based architecture and interiors firm. She brings her international and local expertise gathered at firms like AECOM, Gensler and Studios to QA and has a passion for delivering great work and exemplary client service and focusing on people and relationships. QA is a diverse practice including commercial, corporate, hospitality, retail, mixed use and residential architecture and interiors. Julia holds an MA in Architecture form Oxford Brooks University and an HNC Business & Finance degree from the University of London.

Learning Objectives:
+ Participants will discern how financial management practices can improve their bottom line.
+ Participants will gain an understanding of key performance indicators for A+D practice.
+ Participants will add to their knowledge of best practices for finance, metrics and performance.
+ Participants will be able to adapt best practices for their own business.

Series Overview:

What makes a successful A+D practice? Find out by taking a break from your daily grind and getting into active thinking mode with business strategy consultant, architect and SO|arch founder, Elisabeth Sporer, AIA, CIC.

Elisabeth works with A+D firms — from emerging studios to established practices and legacy firms — to create business plans based on the “Four Pillars” of brand, finance, operations and design. Holistic in approach, viable and succinct, these business plans address a variety of goals — from long-terms ones like overall growth, market sector expansion, succession planning or ownership change, to short-term ones like strengthening leadership teams, improving financial performance, establishing efficient operational processes, or even getting a business loan.

Through interactive, quarterly sessions — rooted in case studies, best practices and the lessons of entrepreneurship — you will learn how to strengthen, and synergize, the “Four Pillars” of your business. By giving yourself time to actively, and deliberately, think on all aspects of your business, and your firm’s unique DNA, you can realize an A+D practice where purpose, portfolio and profit meaningfully converge.

1st Quarter: Story-selling & The Freestyle Practice; February 23, 2021 | (Watch Recording Here)
Who gets the work, and how? The first session [of four] focuses on the elements of a strategic plan with a focus on brand, BD (business development) and marketing.

2nd Quarter: Leadership & Where the Buck Stops; May 25, 2021 | (Watch Recording Here)
Who builds, manages, and supports the team and how? This session focuses on business strategy, culture and firm management.

3rd Quarter: Profit Motive & The Business of Design; November 16, 2021 | 8:30-9:30AM PST 
Who deals with the money, and how? This session focuses on finance, metrics and performance.

4th Quarter: The Art of Collaboration & Getting Things Done; December 14, 2021 | 8:30-9:30AM PST
Who does the work and how? This session focuses on design teams, leadership styles and new ways of working.


November 16, 2021
8:30 am - 9:30 am PST
$15.00 – $40.00
Event Category:


AIA Los Angeles


A virtual ZOOM meeting