In architecture school, you may have learned everything you needed to know about designing buildings. However, it’s unlikely that you were taught how to run your very own architecture firm. So if you want to run your own architectural firm after amassing experience as an architect, your knowledge regarding how you can do that is probably limited.
Here are ten top tips for architects, that can help you start your very own business.
1. Focus On Your Specialization
At the beginning, your business might not be very big. Don’t try to do too many things well, as the quality of your work can go down in this way. Instead, you should consider picking an area in yourself to specialize in. Choose a niche that you think you can do well in, or that you’re passionate about. Dedicate your time and energy to improving your offerings within the niche that you’ve selected.
This way, you give clients more of a reason to approach your business. If they want work done that falls within your niche, they can rest assured that they’ll be provided with quality work.
2. Build Alliances
Don’t forget to network with other people in your industry, as well as build strategic alliances with them. If you want to discuss your toe into a new market, then you’ll need to have the right network connections to make this happen. Your network will be able to provide you with referrals, which can help you secure clients who you might not have access otherwise.
3. Save Your Money
The architecture industry tends to be cyclical in nature. Sometimes, your clients could be late with the payment that they owe you. Some of your contracts can take time to become finalized. You should always have some money put away, to help you run your business when you’re otherwise running out of capital.
4. Target Market
You can’t just expect the phone to ring and clients to approach you out of the blue. More often than not, you’ll need to put in work to ensure that you get more work. Try to understand what helps you get more clients – whether that happens as a result of referrals, or through social media marketing. Then, focus your energies on getting more clients, and the target market them.
5. Don’t Forget Your Old Clients
Remember to cultivate relationships with the clients you’ve already worked for. Stay in touch with them, add them to your email list, and drop them emails from time to time. Old clients who are happy with you can refer your services to their family and friends. This can help you secure more work in the future.
Think about investing in insurance for architects as well. This is as running an architectural firm exposes you to various business risks, such as getting sued by clients. When you have insurance for architects, you can protect not just your business but your finances as well. To learn more about professional liability insurance for architect, click here.
6. Hire Marketing People
One of the first people you should bring into your team should be someone associated with marketing. This is as marketing your business is crucial to securing new clients. Hire professionals in the field of marketing to give yourself an advantage when it comes to developing brand awareness.
7. Avoid Open Competitions
Participating in open competitions is unlikely to help you secure new clients. Instead, you’ll be wasting both your time as well as your money. Doing pro bono work that provides your business with more exposure is better than participating in open competitions.
8. Don’t Quote Hourly Prices
Instead of providing the client with an hourly price, tell them what your fee is. Even if the client asks for your hourly price, tell them that your business doesn’t follow that model. Let them know what your fee is instead.
9. Be Careful Of The Projects You Pick
Sometimes, you may find yourself being asked to work on projects where the fees are low. Some of these projects could be worthy enough to be worked on, even if the fee is low. However, this doesn’t apply to all the projects you come across. Pick and choose your projects carefully, to ensure that you aren’t wasting your time on projects where you don’t earn enough.
10. Create Your Business Plan
A strategic business plan can enable you to make or break your business. Your business plan should be something you treat as a guide that helps you reach your business goals. Remember to keep updating your business plan from time to time.
Running an architectural business isn’t easy. However, if you follow the tips in this guide, then you can become more successful at running your architectural business. From networking to working on getting referrals, this guide details how you can boost your architectural business.