Making the leap to starting your own architecture firm is not a decision to be taken lightly. As with launching any new business, there are some key factors to take into consideration, and if you don’t have the backing of established work or an existing client list, then the challenges become even harder. However, as technology makes the creation of any business model easier to achieve than ever before, with the right planning your architecture firm could be up and running before you know it. If you’re disillusioned by being a cog in a larger firm, or you’re looking to launch your architecture brand, here are the keys steps that you need to take.
Read more after the jump:
Have a Plan
All business ideas start with the business plan. Make sure that you have done some research on how to get the most out of your business plan, and follow the best guidelines. A good business plan is more than just a way of sourcing financial backing. It’s a roadmap to the future, and that’s why your planning needs to be smart and well thought out.
Gather Your Tools
You’re going to need some specific tools. This goes beyond the Handheld Laser Distance Meter and the reams of tracing paper. As architecture becomes ever more tech-focused, you’re going to need some software and hardware that will make your tasks easier to manage. Check out your software requirements and use the Choosist guide to find the laptop that will work just as well on the construction site as in the office.
It might feel like a long way from your daily tasks as an architect, but if you want your new firm to grow you’re going to need to establish professional connections. If you’re not a fan of networking, it’s good to know that in the digital age you can forge those connections with industry professionals online. From Twitter to LinkedIn, make sure that you have a professional online presence, and get involved in the online conversations that matter.
Have a Website
This is going to be the cornerstone of your business. Most new architecture firms aren’t going to need a dedicated office to greet clients in, and that means that your website is going to act as your storefront.
Learn some basics about the best elements to include on your business website, but always remember that for marketing purposes, you’re going to need content. Whether you create your own or outsource it, that content is going to have a significant impact on your ability to be found by clients.
Take Every Job
You’re not going to be able to be picky when you’re starting out. You’re going to want to start building up a client list as well as those all-important online reviews. The faster that you can build an impressive portfolio of completed projects, the more impressive your firm will seem, and that will only serve to attract more prominent and established clients.
Although setting up a business has never been easier, it’s also becoming a crowded marketplace. Look for ways to make yourself stand out, and your fresh and original architecture firm could be making pitches to big clients much sooner than you think.