How to Start an Architecture Design Business

The field of architecture is one of the most in-demand business to many people around the world simply because various structures are being made in this modern era, and people simply need to get the right professional who can properly design the building. It’s an extremely important thing to consider architecture as they provide a means in designing different types of houses and/or other structures that we can visit.


It’s a great business to explore, and this is a very decent field of work to take. Well-known people such as Courtney Brett were able to build themselves a decent firm that has provided her a very nice amount of income. For sure, you will be able to find this business as one of the best options, and it’s all worth the finance. For you to do it properly, below are the following steps that you need to apply if you want to start your architecture design firm properly:

Check your Interest

Always look at your own interest in the field first before you proceed in planning your business well. People who tend to become successful in their field of work are known to be passionate in doing it. Most of the successful architectures of the modern world such as Sylvia Kwan and Melissa Werner are known to be well-versed in the field simply because they love the job that they were doing. The interest they have in architectural designs made them strategic when doing the work, and were able to come up with very unique ideas even during crucial times.

Must-have books for architecture professionals:

101 Things I Learned in Architecture School (MIT Press)

Architect and Entrepreneur: A Field Guide to Building, Branding, and Marketing Your Startup Design Business

Find the Lost Dollars: 6 Steps to Increase Profits in Architecture, Engineering and Environmental Firms

Art’s Principles: 50 years of hard-learned lessons in building a world-class professional services firm 

Gather Clients

If you’re going to start your firm right away, it’s the best to get some clients first. This is the very reason why you want to start architectural design business: to help out people who are in need of a blueprint for their desired structure. To do so, simply socialize with different people in your own network, or simply gather some clients using social networking websites. There are some sites meant for professionals as well – where you just need to make a decent profile for clients to notice. If you have people who are planning to have their own house, you can approach them by talking about your firm.

It’s fine if you don’t have an office yet; as long as you have a laptop that can use CAD, it will give you your first project as a firm. Basically, you’re going to start getting your own clients at this point; you will be your own boss now! The team and the others will follow. It’s also a good way for you to get more funds, and it helps you manage yourself as you handle all of your finances for now. Your firm will grow eventually.

Start Budgeting

In order for you to properly set your finances while doing the business, make sure that you budget it well. Note that the money that you make will wholly depend on how much you’ve invested for the business that you’re in right now. All you have to do is to properly set the right amount of money that you need for the month so then you can upgrade your business into something better. Start separating a part of your personal income from your solo firm so then you can find a means in providing money to the architect that you will hire. Also, consider spending some budget for making your firm’s office, too.

Aside from budgeting money, you should also learn how to budget time. In order to do so, use a bit of your working time to market your business to the clients who might need your services. This is very easy because you can use a website or a social media account in order to promote your services online. Also, spend some time to make some plans in improving your architectural firm. Lastly, you can also invest some of your time to learn from experts. Learn from others’ perspective as it can give you ideas especially if you’re feeling lost in the track of business already.

Aim for Reputation not Income

We might be telling you that budget matters once you’ve earned your income, but we want to make sure that your reputation is what matters. One of the secrets to a well-built business is a very decent reputation as it defines the professionalism of the business in relationship to their interactions with the client. This can be done by accepting some low fees once you’ve started to operate your firm, but make sure that it’s the right type of project.

It can provide you higher prices for your income in the long run once you consider your own reputation first before thinking about the price of the clients’ offers. Another good way for you to build more reputation as a skilled architecture design business owner is through the means of joining design competitions. There are lots of competitions happening around different parts of the country, and it’s a good way to make your name known to other people. It can fetch you more clients as well!

Never Stop Researching

Make sure the research never ends as long as you’re in the field of architectural design. Remember that there are lots of methods that you can learn when handling business just by researching various books and even the internet for information. Always consider the fact that learning never stops for all of us as long as we have a skill that we love to do. Even masters themselves in architecture still need to study harder so then they can refresh their minds about the past lessons that they might’ve forgotten.

Handling an architecture design business is no joke need. However, remember that there are simple steps that can help you handle the business better. This set of tips for you to follow can be used on your business plan, and you can even expand it further so then you can create your own technique that will guarantee the success of your firm in the long run. Architects are in-demand, and by opening up a service, you will be able to help a lot of people in their needs for a long time indeed.

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