Key Factors to Keep in Mind When Starting Your Architecture Firm From Scratch
In order to start a successful design and architectural business from scratch, these are the key factors that should always be kept in mind
Are you interested in becoming a successful entrepreneur? Have you graduated with an architectural degree? Have you been working in a firm and want to quit and start on your own? And are you brave and strong enough to deal with the real world on your own?
Once the basic requirements such as a degree in the designing field (like B.Arch.), a COA registration number and registration with the government sector of the local body (for government work) of an individual is fulfilled then the person is eligible to start his or her own architectural practice.
First and foremost whenever anyone wants to start their business the initial step should be to have a clear objective and absolute certain answers to the following questions:
What do you want to do?: To decide what the areas of the field you would work in is very important. Whether you want to take up residential projects or commercial ones, whether you want to experiment with versatility or keep your focus to the architectural sector or interior sector, whether you want to stick to a particular style of designing or construction or whether you want to focus on sustainability and green architecture – all these doubts should be clear and what all services your firm would provide should be decided.
What is your area of specialization? : In a world with so much competition, having a USP of your firm is a must. One should know his or her weaknesses and strengths and should use their area of specialization to make their business stand out from the rest.
What does the market want? : Success and profits of any business depend on their production and supply. To provide services that are in demand would always lead to more production and hence more success of the business.
A smart and secure way of beginning is by NOT taking any outside investment, eg a big loan in order to start the business. Instead of that, you should get a project first by asking bigger firms for any small-scale projects that they are willing to outsource or by asking around and networking. From there on you should move forward slowly and organically for an initial couple of years. Always break down your investments into smaller chunks. You should always have enough resources to cope up with all the ups and downs of the market and to keep your firm wealthy.
Once the business is established to keep it running successfully the spectacular mantra is to keep the best possible proportion between "project: person: time” with the ratio being “MORE PROJECTS WITH LESS NUMBER OF PEOPLE IN LESS TIME”.
Always remember for entrepreneurs networking is the prime game changer. When starting your own business start by informing 100 people in the same field about your services and intents. Every year find 100 more new people from the field to inform and 100 more new ones the following year and so on and so forth. Once you execute and complete a project ask the client to refer you for a couple of projects and then ask the newly referred clients to do the same and then keep the chain running. Branding is another important thing to practice and your firm’s USP should be showcased in every single project that you do to increase your brand value resulting in more number of clientele.
Just keep one thing in mind, any architecture firm is not successfully established over a fortnight. It takes time, willpower, determination, and hard work to make such an entrepreneurial venture successful.