Starting a Successful Architecture Firm

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Architecture is an exciting career and an important one. You can help to develop towns and cities, leaving your mark for people to marvel at. You can also design some of the most unique and beautiful homes for yourself and your clients. Although the road to becoming a fully-fledged architect might belong, it’s worth the commitment. If you also have an entrepreneurial spirit, you may even want to establish an architecture firm yourself one day. If that is the case, below are a few tips you might find useful to help you plan for your start-up.

Business Plan

As with any start-up company, the first step is to work out a thorough business plan. It’s generally recommended that you plan for the first five years of trading, but things will be subject to change, so it’s up to you whether you want to plan for longer or perhaps even just the first 3, and then review your plans at a later date. Either way, in your plan, you will need to include your business branding, marketing strategies, cash-flow forecasts, how many employees (if any) you intend to hire in the first year, how much you will charge for your services, what kind of services you will offer, and what makes your company stand out from competitors. You can find templates for business plans online. If you’re unsure about where to start, find a business advisor to help you either privately or through start-up business support through government bodies.

Incorporation, Insurance and Business Loans

Once you have finished your business plan, you can start applying for business loans from banks, start-up schemes, or private investors. It’s better to complete your business plan beforehand as loan providers will want to see this to help them decide whether or not to give you the money. To get a business bank account, you will need to incorporate your business with the Department of Corporations. You will also need the relevant business insurance in place before you start operating as a company, and this is a legal requirement.

IT and Software

You must keep your data safe, so having excellent IT security software is key. You might also want to look at hiring an in-house IT team to help keep your business networks running smoothly, or you can outsource this. From a design perspective, as architecture relies heavily on this, invest in quality software so you can present your architectural designs to clients and impress them. Cloud 9 Visualisation is a fantastic example of this kind of programming.

Get an Accountant

If you have no prior experience with accounting, then this can be one of the more complicated aspects of running a business. Although there is plenty of accounting software to choose from, which makes bookkeeping easier when it comes to filing your tax returns for your company, it might not be so straightforward. If you can find it in your budget, hire an accountant to do this for you.

There are plenty of other things to think about when starting an architecture firm, but make sure you have these points covered if this is something you would like to do.