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Lessons Learned Over 30 Years

We surveyed the team and collected a few lessons learned over 30 years in a mostly serious blog. 

Communication is key.

Maintain a clear method of communication with the owner, general contractor and consulting engineers throughout the process. Without effective communication, a message can turn into error, misunderstanding, frustration, or even disaster by being misinterpreted or poorly delivered. ~Rob N.

It takes a team.

Controlling and coordinating all the parties involved with producing all the disciplines of construction documents requires teamwork and communication. ~Dennis S.

A small company takes on the personality of its leader.

Ken Dalton has always responded quickly, kept his promises, and treated clients fairly. Of course, after working with Ken for the last 33 years, I confess to have taught him everything! ~Dennis S.

It could be worse.

There is always one municipality out there that makes it harder to get a permit than the worst one you have ever worked with. ~Robert G.

Respond quickly.

We all hate being ignored, whether we’re trying to make a purchase at the register just as the clerk turns away (even though you were waiting in line) or the unanswered telephone. Clients choose to enter into a partnership with us and are trusting us with their project. They expect, and deserve, a quick response to any questions or concerns. ~Rob N.

Marketing pays off.

After years of hard work designing projects that work well, look good and make the owner happy, we still get many projects through referrals. But these days, word-of-mouth is simply not enough; a strong, honest, authentic, digital presence is so important. ~Tom M.

Don’t promise more than you can deliver.

If all your marketing says you are experts in certain fields, then experts you must be. Clients that find us online expect MRP Design Group to be experts at designing restaurants, travel centers, retail fueling stations, car washes, commercial spaces and hotels. Sometimes you feel like you are promising more than you think you can deliver, but deliver we do. ~Tom M.

Design a space you’d want to work in.

When designing a space, don’t just think about the obvious things (the purpose it needs to serve, the owner’s list of requirements, the code restrictions) but image yourself spending eight hours a day working in the space. When MRP Design Group purchased our current building I was able to move into a space I designed. Every day I get to walk into that space, now that’s cool. ~Ken M.

Sometimes it’s just basic math.

It takes about 50% of the total square feet of your building to have sufficient room to install enough solar panels to power your building. So, if you have a large building, that is just one story, you will probably have enough room on the roof for enough solar panels to be net positive. If you have a four story building, with a roof that is just 25% of the total square footage area, IT AIN’T GONNA TO FIT. ~Tom M.

Look forward but don’t forget the past.

Never stop learning, adjust to the changing designs but remember what you have done in the past because it always come back around. ~Ken M.

A few final pearls of wisdom:

If you have a Cannon Ball Contest at the office Pool Party, make sure the small children are out of the pool. ~Tom M.

The phrases “Let’s have lunch at Daddy’s Restaurant.” and “I’m on a diet.” cannot coexist exist. ~Tom M.

If you have doughnuts, they will come. ~Tom M.

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