09 Jul Starting an Architecture Firm? Business Development Tips for Success
It’s an exciting time to be in the architecture industry, and as architecture and interior design recruiters, a common question we get asked is what it takes to build a firm from the ground up. Many architects have the expertise to start their own practice, but lack some of the core understanding of establishing a successful firm. If you ever decide to strike out and start an architecture firm, here are some business development tips that can help you get established.
Diversification is Critical
In addition to advertising the traditional services architects offer, you also need a menu with additional areas of expertise that your competition doesn’t offer. Consider offering other services to stabilize your firm from market fluctuations such as brand development, BIM integration, or strategic planning. Stay up to date with all of the current trends happening around the industry to learn the needs of your prospective clients.
Grow Your Clientele
Attracting new clients can be the most challenging aspect of starting your architecture firm. You might be inclined to start a meeting with potential clients by bragging about all of your past projects. Talk less and listen carefully during meetings to show that you know how to collaborate. Ensure that clients remain happy during every phase of the project by keeping them informed. Meeting your clients’ expectations might be what you were hired to do, but if you want to retain them and attract new business, you should always strive to exceed their expectations, and even follow up with a token of appreciation.
Create a Genuine Message
Communicate a clear brand message to your clients. You have to be prepared to explain why you are the ideal choice for a specific hospitality design job but might not be a good fit for a residential design job. Prepare a confident pitch to show that you are the best possible match for the project. Document your projects with exceptional photography and be sure to display them prominently in your firm in addition to your website, social media, and online publications.
You could have the best business development strategy in the world, but it won’t take off without hard work and execution. You’ll have to put in more effort than firms that are already established because they already have clients and have built a reputation. Guide your clients throughout the process to establish yourself as true collaborators. Attend regional and national trade events with promotional materials to announce your presence. Then share photos of the event on social media. Connect with partners within the industry to cross-promote complimentary services.
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