We've collected our excellent advice on how to go about starting an architectural design firm.
(article continues below)
Creating a Business Plan for an Architectural Design Firm
A common mistake for a new business owner is to launch your company without having written a business plan.
The key benefit of writing a business plan is that it defines the game plan. The absence of an effective business plan inevitably results in impulsive leadership, choosing short-term opportunities at the expense of long-term benefits.
The first step in creating a business plan is to develop a mission statement for your organization. From there, the other piece of the business plan puzzle will begin to fall in place.
Look Over Competitors
Long before you open an architectural design firm in your town, it's a smart move to see how you will fit in the competitive landscape. We've provided the link below to help you generate a list of competitors near you. Simply enter your city, state and zip code to get a list of architectural design firms in your town.
It's important to be aware of what the competition is doing. Take the time to visit the competition to properly assess their strengths and weaknesses.
A Good Source of Advice
If you are interested in starting an architectural design firm, be sure to speak with somebody who is already in the business. It's very unlikely that the local competition will talk to you. The last thing they want to do is help you to be a better competitor.
However, a fellow entrepreneur who has started an architectural design firm in a different city will be much more likely to talk with you, after they realize you reside far away from them and won't be stealing their local customers. In that case, the business owner may be more than happy to discuss the industry with you. Our estimate is that you may have to contact many business owners to find one who is willing to share his wisdom with you.
How would you find an architectural design firm manager that lives outside of your area?
No problem! Just use the link below and try a random city/state or zipcode. Then start dialing for advice until you are successful.
Benefits of Buying an Architectural Design Firm
On a percentage basis, more entrepreneurs intend to enter architectural design firm ownership through a startup than through a business purchase. Yet architectural design firm startups aren't easy - many fail within the first year.
There are a lot of factors that need to be considered in buying vs. starting a business. By buying a profitable architectural design firm, you'll shorten the amount of time it takes to achieve a return on your investment because you'll have the advantage of a proven operation and an existing customer base.
Your chances for making a success of your new business go up significantly if you become a franchisee and benefit from the prior work of others and their lessons learned.
If you are thinking about opening an architectural design firm, you ought to determine whether franchising might make your life much easier.
The link below gives you access to our franchise directory so you can see if there's a franchise opportunity for you. You might even find something that points you in a completely different direction.
These additional resources regarding getting started as an entrepreneur may be of interest to you.
If you already are in business and came here to learn about growing an existing architectural design firm, these resources will come in handy:
If you sell to architectural design firms, you're in the wrong place. These resources are more appropriate for you:
If you are still exploring all of your options, please browse our directory of guides below.