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15 Killer Tips for Starting Your Architecture Firm

15 Killer Tips for Starting Your Architecture Firm

Get Your License

In order to practice architecture, you’ll need to get your license. This process is typically overseen by your state’s department of licensing or board of architecture. Some states require that you pass an exam, while others require only a degree in architecture and a certain number of years’ experience before granting a license.

To find out what kind of license you’ll need and how to get one, contact your state’s licensing board directly or search online for information on its process (for example: try googling “architecture license” + STATE) and see what comes up. The same is true for setting up an architecture firm in any one of Canada’s states.

Find the Right Insurance Provider

Insurance is a necessity. If your firm is in operation, you will need to carry some form of liability insurance. This can be expensive and confusing, but it’s a good investment that can also help you get discounts on other services.

If you’re starting out, most lenders will require proof of your ability to obtain certain types of insurance before giving you access to funds. Insurance providers may also be able to offer deals on other things such as equipment or office supplies if they know how important it is for you to start your business right away.

Meet Local Contractors

Meeting local contractors is a must for any architect, and more so for an emerging architecture company that needs to know the facts on the ground. Local contractors can give you that kind of info. You can also try to form a kind of friendly professional relationship that may send some work your way in the future. So, how to meet these local contractors?

Choose A Niche

You need to choose a niche that is related to your interests, but also something that will be profitable. If you are passionate about historic preservation and the niche is already saturated with competition, then think of something else related but less competitive.

If it’s too broad, then there will be little demand for your services. For example: “architecture” is too broad—it could apply to any type of building or design work; whereas if you choose “commercial architecture,” then this narrows it down significantly by focusing on office buildings as opposed to residences or other types of structures.

On the other hand, if it’s too specific (like “brick restoration”) then there may not be enough clients who need renovations like this done for you to establish yourself as an expert in this field and grow your business accordingly

Create A Mission Statement

A mission statement is a statement of purpose. It’s a reminder of why you started the business, and it’s what helps keep your actions aligned with your overall goals. A good mission statement should be short and easy to remember so that it can serve as a guide in times of doubt or confusion.

A good way to create a mission statement is to ask yourself why you want to do this kind of work (and/or what qualities you want to bring into the world). Ask yourself: What have I always wanted? How have I seen my clients’ dreams come true? How can I make someone else feel inspired? Your answers will give you clues about what kind of architecture would best fit your values—and the meaning behind your work will be strengthened when these ideals are written down clearly and concisely for everyone involved in the project (including yourself)

Write A Business Plan

One of the most important steps in starting an architecture firm is writing a business plan. A business plan is where you lay out your goals, establish how you’ll achieve them and determine how much money it will take to do so.

The first step in writing a good business plan is to figure out what exactly your business does. At its heart, architecture is about making buildings—but there are many ways to go about that task. You might be interested in designing large-scale retail spaces or public buildings like museums or libraries; maybe instead you want to focus on residential homes and apartment complexes, or perhaps it’s something else entirely (like urban planning).

You should also consider who your ideal clients are going to be, especially if they’re willing and able to pay for services like yours. If possible, make sure these potential clients are located close enough that they can easily get from their home offices into yours every time they need something done—this could save both time and money down the line!

Create A Pricing Structure

Once you’ve completed the first two steps, it’s time to create a pricing structure. This is one of the most important aspects of running an architecture firm because it will allow your clients to understand what they can expect from you and how much they’ll have to pay. The best thing about having a pricing structure is that it helps guide both your employees and clients throughout their experiences with your company. You can also use this as part of your own business planning process: if things aren’t working out or if someone isn’t happy with their results, then simply revisit this step to make adjustments before moving on!

In order for a pricing structure to work well (and ensure everyone gets something out of it), there are five key concepts that need consideration: fairness; profitability; ease-of-understanding; ease-of-explaining; and ease-of-implementing

Hold An Office Warming Party

Whether you’re launching your architecture firm, or have been in business for years and want to expand, making connections with the community is key. Holding an office warming party is one way to help build these relationships and get people talking about your business.

A well-planned office warming party accomplishes several things:

Set Up A Website Or Social Media Page

Your website is a platform where you can display your portfolio, services, and contact information. It’s also an essential part of building your brand identity. If you don’t have a website yet, now would be the time to start one. There are several free and easy-to-use web platforms that will allow you to create a professional online presence in just a few hours!

Once you have established an account on Squarespace or Wix (both great platforms), spend some time determining what content will appear on your homepage. You should include:

Develop An Internal Style Guide For Your Brand

It’s easy to get bogged down in the details of your business, but it’s important to think about the bigger picture and consider how all of those small decisions will add up. In this case, developing an internal style guide will give you a clear vision for your brand while also helping maintain consistency across all of your projects—no matter who is working on them.

A style guide is essentially a document that outlines how you want things done in your office. It covers everything from naming conventions when creating new files on Dropbox to typography preferences used on printed materials such as brochures or business cards. You can also include other aesthetic elements such as colors and images (this is especially helpful if you have multiple designers working in different mediums). The key here is to make sure everyone has access to these standards so they can implement them into their work without having any questions about which typeface goes where or whether or not it should be italicized!

Start An Email Newsletter Or Blog

Start an email newsletter or blog.

Network In Person Through Local Events And Organizations

Automate Some Of Your Processes With Software To Cut Down On The Time You Spend On Administrative Tasks.

Learn How To Market Yourself Or Hire Someone Who Can Do It For You.

Marketing is an important part of running a business, and architecture firms are no exception. It’s not just about advertising; it’s also about how you communicate with your customers, employees, the public, and vendors. You need to know who you are and what you stand for as an architect—and then communicate that effectively in every aspect of your work.

This might seem daunting at first, but don’t worry: there are many ways to market yourself without spending a fortune on ad campaigns or hiring a marketing firm. Here are some easy things you can do today:

Use Your Resources Wisely By Finding Free Or Low-Cost Tools, Books And Training Options When Available.

Create A Financial Plan

You’ll need to create a financial plan that shows your income and expenses, along with how much money you need to make each month.

Once you have your business plan in place, it’s time to start creating your financial plan. The first step is looking over your personal finances and making sure they’re in order before taking on clients. Create a spreadsheet of monthly expenses and subtract those from the total amount of money coming into each month. This will give you an idea of how much money you need for basic bills that come up each month (rent or mortgage, utilities). Then add any extra costs (car payment, health insurance) that might not come up every month but always do when they do show up.

Next, take out credit cards or loans if necessary so that all debts are paid off before starting the business — or use them as needed while setting up shop until they’re paid off completely.

Choose Your Brand

Branding is about communicating your company’s values and making sure they resonate with your target audience. When you’re starting out, you’ll want to make sure that whatever brand you select is:

Name Your Company

Choosing a name for your architecture firm is one of the most important decisions you will make. The name of your company closely represents who you are and what you do, so it must be memorable, easy to spell and pronounce, associated with your brand and reflect the type of work that you will be doing.

Set Up Your Office

Once you have a location in mind and have determined your budget, it’s time to set up your office. Your space can be as small as a spare room or as large as several rooms. The size of your business will determine how much space you need; for example, if you’re working independently with no employees, one room might suffice. If you’re part of a larger firm or have multiple employees who work from home, then more than one room may be necessary for efficiency’s sake.

Once you’ve found an appropriate space and negotiated a rental price with the owner (or landlord), it’s time to think about what needs to go into this new workspace—both in terms of furniture and equipment like computers and printers—and how much money each item will cost. This is where estimating comes into play! Make sure to include all costs associated with setting up shop: rental fees; equipment purchases; licenses; permits; utilities (electricity, gas); furniture costs (desks/chairs/tables); lighting fixtures/fans/ceiling fans/extractor fans); internet connection devices (modems).

Hire Employees, If Necessary

If you’re not interested in the responsibilities of running a business, it’s probably best to hire some help. You’ll need at least one person to handle all the administrative work and another person who has experience managing projects. You might also want to hire a designer or construction supervisor if you don’t have those skills yourself.

Find Clients.

Patience, Organization and Resourcefulness

Starting an architecture company is all about patience, organization and resourcefulness. Patience is key when you are trying to build a successful business from the ground up. You need to be patient enough to work hard at building your brand and your reputation, but also know when it’s time to let go of something that isn’t working out well or doesn’t help further your goals. Organization is also one of the most important things because it helps you stay focused on what needs to be done every day. Resourcefulness is important so that you can find solutions when problems arise, as well as have some fun along the way.

If you’re looking to start your own architecture company, we hope that this guide has been helpful. Remember that you don’t need to have a ton of money or experience—just the passion for design and drive to succeed. With these tips in mind, you should be well on your way toward success!

Get Off The Ground More Easily.

Starting an architecture firm is like starting any other business. You need to know where you’re going, how you’re going to get there, and what resources you’ll need along the way.

Like any other business owner, architects face a number of challenges when they start their firms: they must create and maintain a budget; they must develop marketing strategies that speak directly to potential clients; they must hire employees who can help them with these tasks.

If all this sounds intimidating, don’t worry! It’s actually pretty simple once you know what steps to take first (and which ones are optional).


Do I need a license to start my architecture firm?

Yes, you do. No matter where you’re planning to start your architecture firm, you have to get the necessary license to be able to work.

Do I need to do my own marketing?

Not if you have enough money to hire someone else to do it! While hiring a marketing specialist or outsourcing to a marketing agency saves you some time, the issue of the budget and personal preferences will make most staring architects to do it themselves. Of course, with a marketing automation software, it’s going to be very easy.

Are there any tools to help me handle admin paperwork?

Definitely. There are a lot of tools you can use to handle anything from lead generation and scheduling to invoicing and payment. There are, however, only a few of all-in-one software designed for architects and none of them is as complete as RunSensible.

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