Designing Your Business Masterclass Series

with acclaimed architect and business coach Douglas Teiger, FAIA


The Designing Your Business Masterclass series was created by acclaimed architect and business consultant Douglas Teiger to help fellow architects and engineers run their firms more profitably while maintaining a healthy work-life balance. Douglas Teiger grew from a solo practitioner to become managing partner of his 30+-person firm and later sold his firm to being Teiger Consulting. 


On the third Wednesday of every month, Douglas Teiger dives deep into an essential topic that will strengthen the profitability of your firm and make it sustainable for growth in the years to come.  
The goal of this masterclass is to implement systems and processes that increase profitability and create freedom, allowing you to get back to the areas of your practice and your life that you love. 


Douglas Teiger, FAIA 

Founder  | Teiger Consulting


Douglas Teiger, FAIA, graduated from Cornell University, in 1982 with a BARCH.  He opened his own firm in 1989 and grew from a solo practitioner to become managing partner of his 32-person firm.

In 2009, Douglas received a Master’s in Spiritual Psychology from USM, where he learned tools and skills he is sharing with his staff and clients.  His ability to effectively streamline the operations allowed for more time to be spent on design and project research while creating a culture that fosters a holistic approach to a work life balance. 

In 2017 he became president of the AIA Los Angeles Chapter and is currently serving on the AIA National Strategic Council. 

In 2019 Douglas transitioned out of his firm elevating three associates to partners, sold his shares and started his next venture, Teiger Consulting.

Douglas’s mission is “Live an inspiring balanced life” whether it involves family, coaching, consulting, painting, or sports. “Love what you do and do what you love”.  



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Marketing & BD Essentials: Creating Sustainable Growth & Predictable Revenue  
Part 12 of the Designing Your Business Masterclass Series

View on Wednesday, December 21, 2022.

Most firms are extremely thoughtful when developing their designs, but often let communicating their brand or actively pursuing ideal clients fall to the wayside. Although marketing and business development both contribute to firm growth, there is a big difference between the two. While marketing establishes your brand and (hopefully) generates qualified leads, business development focuses on strategically developing relationships with potential, new and existing customers. During this session, Douglas Teiger, FAIA, will reveal his system for gaining and tracking leads and sales opportunities that works for teams of all sizes. 



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Your Business Blueprint: Creating a Plan to Succeed  
Part 11 of the Designing Your Business Masterclass Series

Originally Aired on Wednesday, November 16, 2022.

How many of us take the time to create, update and review our firm’s strategic plan? This does not have to be overly complicated, but you do need to put a flag in the ground and define where you want to go. Your strategic plan defines the overarching vision of your company and ensures that your team members know what they can do to make a difference and help your firm achieve its goals. It helps answer questions like: Who is our ideal client? What are our strengths as a firm? What are our leading and lagging indicators to track success along the way? During this session, Douglas Teiger, FAIA, will teach AE firm leaders how to select, tweak and manage essential KPIs in their strategic plans to set their firm up for success for years to come.  

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Aligning Your Firm to the CORE: How to Create Core Values & Mission Statement 
Part 10 of the Designing Your Business Masterclass Series

Originally Aired on Wednesday, October 19, 2022.

Establishing core values and a firm mission is a critical step to define who you are as a firm. It determines the type of staff you want to hire and, as importantly, it qualifies your ideal client. During this session, Douglas Teiger, FAIA, shares a step-by-step process to define your core values and mission-vision statement. He will talk about storytelling and how your story reflects your values.  Are your clients aligned with YOUR story? In addition, he will discuss using an analyzer tool to confirm if your employees, clients and projects are in alignment with your core values. 

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Structured For Success: How to Build an Org Chart That Increases Alignment and Improves Output
Part 9 of the Designing Your Business Masterclass Series

Originally Aired on Wednesday, September 21, 2022.

Creating your ideal business structure is more than just deciding if you are an S Corp, LLP, or sole practitioner. This webinar dives into the various options of business structures and the benefits of each type. Equally as important, we’ll develop an accountability chart and define the difference between an organization chart and an accountability chart. Douglas Teiger, FAIA, will guide you through this process whether you are a 1-person firm, 5-person firm or 25-person firm. 

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Management Through Measurement: Essential KPIs to Optimize Your Firm 
Part 8 of the Designing Your Business Masterclass Series

Originally aired on Wednesday, August 18, 2022.

A real-time view into the activity of employees, projects, and firm financials through dashboards, reports, and scorecards is required to maintain a profitable practice. Tracking this information shows trends over time and provides critical information you need to adjust your business decisions around staffing, business development, and even firm culture. During this course, you will discover the most important KPIs to look at and learn a system for tracking this information month-over-month to reflect your firm's trends.

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Firm and Project Profitability: Understanding the Difference and What It Means for Your Bottom Line
Part 7 of the Designing Your Business Masterclass Series

Originally aired on Wednesday, July 20, 2022.

There are many ways to analyze profit and understand profit. Typically, principals and accountants alike look at how much money is in your firm’s bank account at the end of the year. In this webinar, we will go much deeper and review the metrics and tools necessary to understand both your project profitability and your firm profitability. We will define a critical KPI, the cost rate multiplier, and review the difference between utilization rate and efficiency rate. We will also define what your billing target per month should be in order to reach your goals.  

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Strategies for Successful and Profitable Project Management
Part 6 of the Designing Your Business Masterclass Series

Originally aired Wednesday, June 15, 2022

Great project managers are sometimes underappreciated and overlooked. They are not the architect who designs the building or produces the drawings, but they are an integral role for any A & E firm. Most small and medium firms rarely have proper training or mentorship for project managers. In this course, we will discuss an overview of the skillset and training necessary to hire or manage an effective project manager. 

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Understanding Runway and Burn Rate: The Key to Cash Flow 
Part 5 of the Designing Your Business Masterclass Series

Originally aired Wednesday, May 18, 2022

Gross burn rate is an important thing to measure. Burn rate is the pace at which a firm is running through its capital ahead of it generating any positive cash flow.  It allows you to answer the question: “If we don’t sign another project, how many months can we stay in business? How long is our runway?” This webinar looks at the key performance indicators associated with your runway and burn rate and teaches you how to estimate your projected income. 

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Building a Better Proposal: How To Get Clients To Say Yes
Part 4 of the Designing Your Business Masterclass Series

Originally aired on Wednesday, April 20, 2022

The proposal is a critical part of the client onboarding process. While there are multiple types of proposals, there is never just one that works for every project. In this course, we review what is included in the proposal, the difference between a proposal and contract, and terms and conditions to turn your proposal into a contract. We also highlight the importance of linking to your project setup and the valuable benefits of using AIA agreements.  

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The Art of Estimating Fees: Creating a Simple Process for Success 
Part 3 of the Designing Your Business Masterclass Series

Originally aired on Wednesday, March 16, 2022

Ready to start mastering fees and better understand what they mean for your bottom line? To do so, let’s start at the very beginning—when you receive a request for a proposal. In this course, you will learn how to define your project scope, develop a Rough Order of Magnitude of construction cost, and estimate your project hours. We’ll finish off with how fees are broken down and explore a simple system to improve your overall project profitability.


The Foundation of Financial Reporting: How to Organize Your Chart of Accounts to Understand Firm Profitability 
Part 2 of the Designing Your Business Masterclass Series

Originally aired on Wednesday, February 16, 2022

The Chart of Accounts is foundational to understanding your firm's finances.  In this course, we will review basic terminology used in accounting, analyze a typical Chart of Accounts that will work for most small firms, and show how this Chart of Accounts can assist with understanding your flow of money and help to create your budget for the coming year.


Time Management Strategies To Increase Your Firm's Profitability
Part 1 of the ‘Designing Your Business’ Masterclass Series

Originally aired on January 19, 2022

In architectural and engineering practices, time is money. Without proper tracking and allocation of time there is no way to understand and manage profitability on your projects. In this webinar, we will discuss time tracking via buckets, calendar blocking, and a work-life balance. 



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