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Oregon FBLA Business Spotlight: Novak Architecture

This year, several Oregon businesses have been generous enough to sponsor awards for FBLA's competitive events at SBLC.  We appreciate the generosity of all of these companies, and take a moment to shine our Business Spotlight on their company and its good deeds.

Our first interview is with Terry Novak, owner of Novak Architecture.

Christy Flores: Please describe for our readers what your company does?

Terry Novak: My company has experience in providing architecture and planning for commercial, retail, medical facilities, mixed-use, movie theaters, restaurants and residential projects for private clients.

Christy Flores: How did you get started in your business?

Terry Novak: I wanted to be an architect since 4th grade so it has been a dream for a very long time.

Christy Flores: What high school/college courses did you take to help prepare you for success in business?

Terry Novak: In high school I took as many drafting courses as I could to improve my drafting skills before attending the University of Illinois at Chicago. At the University I took courses in architectural design, architectural history and structural engineering to develop skills to prepare me to be an architect.

Christy Flores: What is your greatest accomplishment of your business?

Terry Novak: Starting and maintaining my own business in the architectural field is the greatest accomplishment because it is difficult to open your own business with competitors all around.

Christy Flores: How do you define success for your business?

Terry Novak: I define success for my business as maintaining a good relationship with my clients and developing work through repeat clients and referrals; it’s all about keeping my clients happy and providing good design solutions that the public will appreciate and enjoy.

Christy Flores: What are the challenges and risks of running your own business?

Terry Novak: The challenge with running your own business is you have to control both sides of the business such as the business part like budgeting, taxes, and scheduling times to meet with your client, as well as the actual architectural part. You have to balance both out for your business to run smoothly. Design fields, like architecture, carry considerable liability risks because you’re responsible for the safety of the public that uses the buildings you design.

Christy Flores: What are the benefits of running your own business?

Terry Novak: The benefit of running my own business is that I have the opportunity for design freedom where I am able to design projects that meet the client’s needs while still representing my company to its full potential. Along with that freedom, I have the chance to be flexible with my work schedule and personal life.

Christy Flores: Who influenced you the most to start your own business and why?

Terry Novak: No one personally influenced me; I’ve wanted to run my own business since I was in my third year of college. I talked to a lot of people who were in the architectural field which really pushed me to take the next step and open my own business.

Christy Flores: If you had one piece of advice to someone just starting out, what would it be?

Terry Novak: My advice to anyone would be to get as much experience in the career field as possible.

Find a mentor to help you reach out to the career you plan to go into. Being a good employee and getting a wide range of experience is going to further your chances at reaching your career goals.

Thank you Terry Novak of Novak Architecture for taking the time to talk with us!