How to start your architect start up successfully

HaBib Ahmed
4 min readOct 9, 2019

Meta: Launching your brand-new architect’s firm can be a stressful experience. Here are some tips that can make it easy for you!

An architect’s job is one of the most creative, most satisfying ones you can choose to do! And if you want to open your own firm, be your own boss, pick and choose the projects you like, well what can get better than that? So, find your office premises, get your professional liability insurance for architects done, and you are all set to soar to success?? Well, not quite. You need to invest some time and effort and of course, money, into laying a solid foundation for your architect’s firm so that you are right on target to achieve success. Here are a few steps to follow that will put you on the right track to building a successful architect’s start up.

Step 1: Identify your goals

An essential initial step is for you to define what you aim to achieve clearly. Make it a shortlist, say 5 points, covering the following:

· What type of projects will you take up/ what kind of clients you will work for?

· What is the profit you are looking to make?

· How large will your firm be at the outset, and how much do you want it to grow?

· What is your long-term goal for the business? (Expand? Sell?)

· What kind of capital can you put up?

The answers to these questions give you a fair idea of what you need to do to set up the business. All these questions feature in your business plan as well.

Step 2: The Finances

No business can work unless it has capital. Now that you know how big your firm is going to be, what kind of projects you would like to take up, you also have a fair idea of the kind of resources you need at your disposal. Evaluate the kind of capital you need to get all of those in place. Figure out how much money you can put in from your end, from savings, etc. and then arrange for the rest of the money via loans from friends, banks etc. Once you have the capital in place, your business can start taking shape. Making up a budget for your business, clearly defining how the cash will flow through it is a critical task at this point.

Step 3: The Resources

Set up your office at home or at new premises that you have chosen, furnish it and get the necessary resources (equipment, technology, materials etc.). The most valuable resource for your firm is your staff, so hire people with care so that you have a competent, hard-working team with the same approach towards work and work ethic as you do. Keep in mind that staff salaries are a major cost component for you so do not hire more people than you need. Superfluous staffing places a huge burden on your financials.

Step 4: The branding

Your business needs clients to be successful. Your clients get to know about you, choose you over your competitors when they know what you are capable of. It is time to let the marketplace know what you can do, how well you can do it, where your expertise lies. Network with peers, clients, mentors, associated professionals and potential clients as well via various platforms including social media. Leverage all your contacts to make your firm, your brand, visible in the marketplace so that clients start seeking you out for their projects. Now you are ready to display your skills, show off your competence and achieve your goals!

Many start up owners overlooks the critical need to protect against risks right from the outset. Avoid making this rookie mistake by taking out an effective, comprehensive architect’s professional liability insurance policy when you set up your business. This insurance policy will protect your business from the immense financial burden that a lawsuit by a dissatisfied client can encumber your fledgling business with. Firms that offer a professional service should consider a professional liability coverage to protect it against claims made for negligence or errors in rendering the service.

Sources:

1) CasiusPealer, 2007. Professional Liability Insurance for Architects: When to Get Serious. Dec 16, 2007. Available at: https://www.architecturalrecord.com/articles/6964-professional-liability-insurance-for-architects-when-to-get-serious

2) EntreArchitect, 2018. How To Start An Architecture Firm From Scratch. Last updated:JAN 02 2018. Available at: https://entrearchitect.com/2018/01/02/start-an-architecture-firm/

3) Danny Cerezo, 2016. 6 Things I Learned My First 2 Years Running Our Architecture Firm. Last updated: May 4, 2016. Available at: https://medium.com/@csdesignLA/what-i-learned-my-first-2-years-running-my-architecture-firm-68c430d7076f

4) Steff Green, 2013. The Complete Guide to Starting Your Own Architecture Practice. Last updated: Oct 22, 2013. Available at: https://www.workflowmax.com/blog/architecture/complete-guide-starting-architecture-practice

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HaBib Ahmed

Sources externes (français) · Briefly describe the main business line, product or service of your organization. Medium.com, unitedstate.uk.