Running an architectural practice isn’t easy. From dealing with complicated briefs to being on the phone to often difficult clients, it takes a lot of patience to run your own architectural business. If you have given some good thought to your company, you will have started out by writing a business plan. This will help you establish what you need from your business in order to make ends meet and how to go about earning yourself some clients.
An architect doesn’t just need physical space and a handful of computers to make their dream come true. They need good architectural skills, a powerful overall vision and, this is the hardest part, a bit of money to fall back on in order to afford office space and equipment.
Hopefully, you are already at trading stage and if this is the case, we would like to give you a few tips on how to run your business better.
Network with potential clientele
It is easy to underestimate the importance of networking when you are busy finalising that special design you have been working on for your latest client. Networking, however, is not something you should overlook. It has been said many times that networking is one of the keys to success, and this couldn’t be truer. With the opportunity to meet people who are in desperate need of your services, it is of paramount importance for you to make yourself be seen in the industry in which you work. As a result, it is wise to set some time aside to research popular events that are architecture-related in your area and attend these, if only to make your presence be known to others in the field. This is why networking is important.
Establish strong links with material providers
Being on the phone to clients is already a challenge if you are a tad shy and socialising is not one of your strengths, but building strong relationships with customers, potential clients and material providers alike is an important aspect of running your own architectural practice. Who are you going to go to when you need a specially-finished extension required for the latest project you have been working on? Or when you need that aluminium walkway cover for the hospitality industry building design you are about to start to work on? Know your customers and make sure you also know your suppliers.
Do your best in every job
Human beings can be lazy by nature. It is all too easy to become a tad bored in your everyday routine and feel like you can get away with putting minimal effort into some jobs. This is never good practice, however, as you should be doing your best in every single project you embark on. A recent study concluded that 85 percent of small businesses get customers through word of mouth and as a result, putting your best effort into every single job that you do (this includes liaising with customers over the phone) is a key aspect to acquiring new business. Here’s a guide on how to do your best without this leading to high levels of stress.