Alex Pesta of City Architecture says NextStep came at a pivotal time for his business. Under leadership from its founding partner, City Architecture had operated successfully for 25 years focusing on city planning, urban design and architecture in and around Cleveland. When the firm transitioned to a partnership, Pesta and his partners found themselves unsure of how to take it to the next level of growth.
“The change of ownership made clear that we didn’t know what we didn’t know as far as running a business,” said Pesta. “The three of us are architects. We went to school to draw pictures…not balance sheets and P&L statements. We were working with our accountants but we didn’t speak the language of finance. NextStep provided us a way to ask better questions and identify the best information for making business decisions.”
Pesta says NextStep helped City Architecture create a stronger internal reporting system to track work and profitability, allowing the firm’s leadership to make more informed decisions. At the same time, the program’s marketing and sales component enabled the firm to prioritize the focus and efforts of City Architecture’s leadership.
“We refocused our marketing efforts to stick to clients and work that fit our vision and values instead of always chasing the next big thing or project,” says Pesta. “It’s not uncommon for us to have four, five, up to a dozen projects with the same client because we’ve established a relationship based on similar priorities and perspectives.”