As a small business owner, you probably think a great deal about the types of services you offer or the types of goods you sell. Yes, you want to offer the things that your potential customers need and want, but you also need to make sure that your business is profitable. In other words, you don’t want to offer things that will make it difficult, or even impossible, for your business to make money.
Of course, every rule has its exceptions. Retail stores will sometimes advertise “loss leaders” to get people into their stores. These are products that the store actually loses money on when they sell them, but that may bring in customers that likely wouldn’t have shopped there otherwise. The store makes up the money they lose on the loss leader by selling other items to those customers. Service providers may offer services that aren’t profitable as a way to secure customer loyalty. This is a tactic most often employed by new businesses that rely on repeat customers. A new car wash near me recently offered free car washes for a week. When you showed up for their free car wash, the employees attempted to sign you up for their monthly plan (pay a flat monthly fee and get unlimited car washes).
As a Long Beach architect, I can’t really offer free services in order to entice loyalty because I don’t often get repeat clients. With most of my clients, it’s one and done. I need to make sure that the projects I take on are profitable (except for the occasional pro bono projects I take on to help organizations that are near and dear to my heart).
There are, however, some projects that are more profitable than others. For example, we occasionally get contacted by clients who own historic homes in the City of Long Beach. Some architects won’t take on historic home remodeling projects, and I can certainly understand why. They can be extremely complex, and the plans require an additional approval from the city’s Cultural Heritage Commission, which can sometimes be difficult to obtain. But I happen to really enjoy working on historic home remodels. I love the challenge of designing a space that is true to the original character of the home, but that also gives homeowners the modern conveniences they crave. Can historic home remodels take more of my time to complete? Yes. Are there additional challenges that you wouldn’t face with a custom home build or the remodel of a newer home? Yes. But the end result is worth the extra work, in my opinion. These types of projects look great in my online portfolio, give my staff the opportunity to grow their skills, and often stretch me as an architect as well.
Owners of historic homes also tend to be the types of clients I most enjoy working with. They are typically lovers of great home design. They appreciate the finer details, and they understand that to get a great end result, it can take some patience on everyone’s part. They want their homes to continue to make the City of Long Beach a special place to live by doing their part to preserve a little bit of its history.
In the end, working on historic home remodels can be very rewarding. It makes me a better architect and helps make my team more well-rounded. And all that is worth something, even if those projects don’t bring in as much money as others.short url: