The sole practitioner must also know how to run a business and when to buy in other skills when required.
Working with a small contractor as many sole practitioners will do, is often harder than working with a large firm that can call in specialists as needed.
Company directors can agree to take a small salary to keep the overheads low and top up their income with dividends when the practice income permits.
Skill, experience, productivity – the sole practitioner, or the two-person practice, must have all the relevant skills to carry out the projects that come into the office and be able to work at the right pace to meet reasonable deadlines.
‘You have to be a certain type of person and a jack-of-all-trades.
You also have to be a bit of a psychologist when dealing with domestic clients and you have to enjoy being on site and working with small contractors.
You have to decide whether you are happy running several projects at the same time and you have to enjoy working with people and constantly re-prioritising tasks in the office,’ says Davys.
Davy’s own formula for success: ‘I can afford to put a lot of senior architect time into small jobs because the practice overheads are relatively low.
The right fee for the practice is the fee that is paid on time and covers the salaries and overheads as well as generating a profit.
Setting up a micro-practice requires self-analysis and a realistic check of your own skill set before taking the plunge, particularly if it is in response to the offer of a single project.