The worst of the Great Recession is behind us and markets are up for architects. The Architecture Billings Index, the main gauge of the health of the industry, has been going strong since 2012. Still, downturns can strike at any time. Firms that want to endure should start planning now. Strategic investments are one way to leverage the current economic climate—but where to start? A panel of business advisers and experts in the architecture profession offer tips on how to spend while times are good.

Think Sustainability, Not Growth
With replete coffers and abundant work, it can be tempting to use extra resources to grow staff or even to acquire another firm. But Ray Kogan, AIA, of the Arlington, Va.–based strategic planning consultancy Kogan & Co., suggests that firms shouldn’t pull out their wallets yet. Instead of focusing on short-term gains, they should be looking further ahead to stay afloat in case of future downtimes. “You want to invest in sustainability more than growth right now,” he says. “And that really means investing in things like marketing and positioning yourself in a strategic way.”