When you own a business, it can be a constant struggle to stand out. Of course, there are many different ways you can stand out. You could be the cheapest in your area, you could provide the highest quality product or service, you could provide the most amazing customer service, or you can attempt to differentiate yourself in a host of other ways. Often, a successful company will stand out in more than one way, and this is certainly true for one Long Beach architecture firm, Grisafe Architecture.
Founded in 2002, Grisafe Architecture’s owner and lead architect, Mark Grisafe, has been working on ways to position himself in a crowded market. Here are three ways he is doing it:
Provide Concierge Service
One way in which Grisafe sets his architecture firm apart from others in his area is by providing what he calls “concierge service.” This type of service appeals to clients who want a smooth experience, whether they’re doing a home remodel, a tenant improvement project, or a ground-up build. They want their project to turn out amazing, but they also want the complexities handled for them by a professional they trust.
In a recent interview that appeared in Businessing Magazine, Grisafe said, “As a full-service architectural design firm, we don’t just draw up building plans. We handle everything from code research to managing the permitting process. We oversee outside professionals like engineers, landscape designers, and general contractors. We’re involved with the entire process until the project is complete.”
Not everyone needs (or is willing to pay for) the type of concierge service Grisafe Architecture provides, and that’s perfectly fine with Grisafe. He says, “In our area, there are a lot of options when it comes to architects. There are plenty of architects who are happy to draw up simple plans and send clients on their way to navigate the rest of the process on their own. We prefer to be involved beyond the design process, to ensure that our clients get the outcome they are hoping for.”
Grisafe Architecture also provides their clients with an amazing experience from beginning to end. They listen to their clients, offer creative solutions, communicate well throughout the process, and make sure the end results match their clients’ expectations.
Take on Complex Projects
Whether it’s designing a commercial space that can safely house industrial ovens and autoclaves or converting an existing commercial building into one that can accommodate an indoor swim school, Grisafe and his team aren’t scared to take on a challenge. Projects like these can require a significant amount of problem-solving and creativity, but Grisafe says that’s one of the things that he enjoys most about what he does. He says he also enjoys learning about other businesses and helping them solve their unique challenges, like when he worked with a client to design their new surgery center. Grisafe says, “Before that client, I never had anyone ask us to include a back-up power source in their design. But obviously, when you’re in the middle of surgery, you can have the power go out, so we figured out how to provide the client with the emergency power supply they needed for their building. Just about every commercial project we take on has special requests, and fortunately, we’ve been able to accommodate all of them using our own team’s expertise, as well as the expertise of those we partner with.”
During his 19 years as a business owner, Grisafe has put together a network of like-minded independent contractors who can help his design projects reach the finish line. These are smart, ethical professionals who do what they say they will do, and don’t cut corners. Having this network of specialists has allowed Grisafe to take on complex projects that many small architecture firms might shy away from.
Be a Part of the Community
Grisafe has also entrenched himself and his architecture firm in the Long Beach community. On a personal level, Grisafe volunteers his time for organizations like the Scouts BSA, the Alpert Jewish Community Center, and Saint Cornelius Church in Long Beach. He is also a member of the Long Beach Cultural Heritage Commission—the group that works with the City to protect and enhance its historic buildings and structures.
As a firm, Grisafe Architecture aided the City of Long Beach as they prepared to roll out their new online plan checking system. Grisafe Architecture was one of two Long Beach firms asked to beta test the system and offer constructive feedback. The City’s online system is now fully operational and provides a much simpler way for people to submit design plans to the City for approval.
Being an active part of the community in which he lives and works is important to Grisafe and helps guide his work of building and improving the homes and businesses around him.
Every business needs to find its niche if it is to be successful. Grisafe Architecture has found theirs, and as a result, the right types of clients are now finding them.