Staying Small Successfully

An A/E/C Senior Executive Retreat

Registration Status: Open
Date and Location: June 4-8, 2018 | Newport Beach, CA

Staying Small Successfully

Register Now for A/E/C Senior Executive Retreat


As the leader of a small design firm, you may think of yourself as an architect or engineer or project manager or general jack-of-all-trades to keep things running.  Truth be told, those are hats that you wear every day.  But, there is one role that you may not think of right away.  You are a visionary.  A visionary who takes risks, who has a passion for your practice, and who is willing to put in long hours to achieve success – both for you and for your clients.

So, how is it going? Is your design firm exactly where you want it to be? Are you getting what you want out of it? Do you have a clear path forward in the fast-changing times that we are experiencing in the A/E/C industry? Or, are you getting tired? Are you seeing competitors get gobbled up around you and not sure how to respond? Are you seeing the mega-firms get larger and not sure how to compete against them? Are you seeing clients demand more and more from you and not sure how to meet their rising expectations?

How would you like to do better? To achieve clarity and a path forward for sustainable success? Introducing Staying Small Successfully: An A/E/C Senior Executive Retreat. This three-day meeting is designed to get right to the point on some of the most pressing issues facing small firm leaders just like you. One of the fundamental underpinnings of this meeting is that you should never apologize for being a small design firm!  Being a small provides you with a degree of client-focus and agility that many of your larger competitors can’t touch.  You get exposure to virtually every aspect of your firm’s projects, there aren’t many places for under-performers to hide, and you can move much faster than your larger competitors.  You just need to make sure that you are laser-focused on leveraging these strengths. Take your eye off the ball – even briefly – and the big guys will pounce and eat your lunch…and then try to acquire your firm for pennies on the dollar!


Join PSMJ’s founder, Frank Stasiowski, FAIA and John Doehring, CMC in sunny Newport Beach, California to refresh and recharge, and return to the office with a new sense of clarity and purpose for your small design firm. The meeting is built around PSMJ’S latest observations and data pertaining to small design firms. General themes of this meeting include:

  • New Opportunities for Success. We share the tools available today that prevent size from being a limiting factor in winning big jobs. Arrangements like partnering and strategic alliances, coupled with technology and other resources widely available have blown open a door into a much vaster A/E/C world.
  • We’re in an Industry Sea-Change. Entrepreneur-led, successful firms have always found ways to “do it a little differently.” Truth be told, the innovators and wildly successful owners we encounter have broken out of the box of thinking in terms of “more of the same” years ago. So what are they doing differently? These firm leaders understand that they’re practicing during a remarkable time in the A/E/C marketplace.
  • Identify Your Smarts. As players in a service industry, we must assume the role of visionaries not only for our own practices, but for our clients as well. Staying small successfully in this environment means taking a step away from what everybody else is doing. It means replacing the emphasis in your firm on quality drawings and good communication (which is what every client expects from every A/E/C provider) with an emphasis on anticipating needs.
  • Develop Leaders in Your Firm. The firms we encounter who stand head and shoulders above the rest in terms of fees generated, staff commitment, and promise for the future are the ones whose leaders think like business consultants, and who look for this trait in others. Leaders of high-performing design firms aren’t afraid to bring in the very best employees they can find—then groom them to take over.
  • And Much More!

Bring your challenges, your questions, and your war stories to share with the group in a confidential and candid setting.


Like our ever-popular Growing and Optimizing the Mid-Sized Firm program, this retreat is limited to just 27 participants. This is a truly unique opportunity to find the new ideas and to stretch your thinking with fellow A/E/C business leaders. Frank and John will bring plenty of topics for discussion (get more details here), but this is really about you...the challenges and talking points that matter most to you and your fellow participants!

Here are some of the highlights that past attendees have found to be quite valuable with this unique retreat:

Staying Small Successfully Agenda

By now, you are probably saying “I don’t have time to be away from the office for this meeting. Everything here would come to a stop.” This is exactly the mistake that too many of those firm leaders make – the result of which is the firm withering away or selling for pennies on the dollar. They stay too focused on the day-to-day and resist the need to spend time working ON the business instead of always working IN the business.

So, back to those earlier questions. How is it going? Is your design firm exactly where you want it to be? Are you getting what you want out of it? Do you have a clear path forward in the fast-changing times that we are experiencing in the A/E/C industry?

Space is very limited at this program and registration is available on a first-come, first-served basis. If you receive a message that registration has reached capacity, you will be added to a wait list.

If you are ready for a better and more sustainable way forward, confirm your registration today.


Retreat Agenda

Who Should Attend

Date and Location

About Your Facilitators



At this Senior Executive Retreat, you get the chance to sit in the HOT SEAT! What exactly is the HOT SEAT?  Throughout the retreat, we carve out time and select a participant to present a case study related to their specific firm. You paint the picture and lay out your challenge. Frank and John then lead a discussion around solutions for that challenge. You get tangible ideas for success out of the group’s wisdom. This is an exclusive benefit that is only available to THREE PARTICIPANTS at the retreat. To request a HOT SEAT slot, just request one in your registration and we’ll be in touch with more details.


Save $500 on your registration by signing up for the program at least 30 days prior to the meeting date. Please note that registration is capped for this program to ensure the most interactive experience for participants. As such, availability is on a first-come, first-served basis until we have reached capacity.”

Register Now for A/E/C Senior Executive Retreat