Your Architect, Brisbane, QLD, Australia

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Company: Your Architect, Brisbane, QLD, Australia
Company Description:Your Architect is a Brisbane based housing specalist founded in 2008 by director Rebekah Hurworth. Currently Rebekah leads a team of three architects in her Brisbane team supported by a team based in the Philippines. Your Architect has strong networking connections and is known for their work with charities such as Salvation Army, Cardmaking For A Cause, Meals on Wheels and Glam It Up For Charity.
Nomination Category:Individual Awards Categories
Nomination Sub Category:Female Entrepreneur of the Year in Asia, Australia or New Zealand

Nomination Title: Rebekah Hurworth, Director

Describe for the judges the activities and accomplishments of the nominated entrepreneur since the beginning of July last year (up to 525 words):

Less than 1% of architecture practices are led by female directors in Australia. In a male-skewed industry renowned for being reticent in its methodologies, Rebekah Hurworth, Director of Your Architect, an architecture practice specialising in new homes, renovations and extensions is usurping entrepreneurial innovations and making ripples across her industry on the wave of her success.

After seven years working across four practices, she identified that whilst the practices were proficient in delivering on professional expertise, there was a distinct gap in the methodologies used, hindering business growth potential. She knew she could provide an additional level of business services through systems and industry-new ideas which would generate more leads, increase marketing reach and increase revenue, and established Your Architect.

While most businesses are placing the onus online for generating new business, Rebekah identified the power of B2B and B2C marketing and the dividends networking would yield. She created a series of workshops which she delivers to real estate agents, educating them on architecture and how to use this knowledge to educate their buyers, which in turn reaps rewards through word of mouth referrals to her business. She has climbed the ladder of Business Networking International, to become a Director and her insight and knowledge in lead generation through networking has led to various keynote speaking engagements. As a result, 80% of her business is generated through networking.

In comparison to architects’ general practice of charging initial consult fees, she introduced a free 30-60 minute consult, facilitating 93 free consults from 125 enquiries, with a 28% conversion rate in the past twelve months. Additionally, clients are guaranteed with a maximum three week time frame for turnaround and each client project managed systematically with a transparent fee structure for each stage of the project, a practice uncommon in the industry.

She has invested heavily in training a Philippines-based faction of her business to compliment her three Brisbane-based architects; flying out to meet them, sharing her vision and her long-term goals for her business. Taking this risk proved to be a success; the Philippine faction of her business has expanded to two administrators and four draughtsmen, and is growing. As a result of her tactical foresight, she has identified a gap in the market and created a secondary revenue stream to her business called Wholesale Drafting, a sub-contracting service to others within the business delivering a faster turnaround on design drawings for a greater return on investment.

Additionally, Rebekah implemented an hour-long, training session every Friday morning for her architects which helps ensure the business is abreast of industry changes. This greatly exceeds the minimum professional requirements of 20 hours per year. Introducing this as mandatory, has ensured the retention of quality staff who reap the rewards of professional development. She also engaged in her own development through training courses at National College of Business (NCB) and Business Blueprint, and was awarded Business of the Year by NCB in December 2014.

With entrepreneurial flair, innovating these changes and concepts has resulted in an increase of clients from 60 in 2013/2014 to 86 in 2014/2015, and year on year growth from $238,941 in 2013/2014 to $371,698 for 2014/2015.

Provide a brief biography of the nominated entrepreneur (up to 125 words):

Often described as ‘not your usual architect’, self-confessed ‘accidental over-achiever’, Rebekah Hurworth is Director of Your Architect, an architecture practice specialising in new homes, renovations and extensions. A Level One Member of the Australian Institute of Architects and RAIA, she has recently completed a twelve month training course with the National College of Business and is currently completing her ‘Business Blueprint’ course under the tutelage of Dale Beaumont. A Director of her local faction of leading networking group, Business Networking International, she has twice been elected President, and has recently been accepted on the International Board of Advisors due to high performance as one of 100 people who sit on this board worldwide. Rebekah has a Bachelor in Built Architecture and a Bachelor in Architecture.