I love architecture and thus got drawn to this question: “I am an architect and want to start my own architectural business”.
There are two elements to this, firstly the personal preparation and continuing growth and secondly, then only do you start working on the business.
I know most people want to leave work because they feel confined and limited by the company or companies they work for. Now turn that around, where are you limiting the company you are currently working for? Trust me, there are limitations and if you do not discover and try to overcome these limitations while getting a monthly salary, you are going to take those limits to your own architectural business. It spells disaster.
#1. What did you refuse to do at the office?
What tasks or projects did you either flatly refuse to do or did with a lot of uncomfortableness and unhappiness? Sit down and be honest with yourself about these moments. It could be from making coffee up to a multi-million Dollar project. Most of the time fear causes us to procrastinate. Were you afraid of judgement, failure etc? If you don’t deal with this now, it will come back later in your own architectural business.
#2. Who are the people you avoided?
We all have them, people we tend to avoid. When you work for yourself life, Murphey or whomever you believe in will send these people to you as your highest paying clients. Learn to deal with them now rather than after you started your own architectural business. People that rub us the wrong way are reflections of parts of ourselves we don’t like. Look at that person, see what rubs you the wrong way, then look at times you were just like them. It will help you deal with this.
#1. Local government support
See what local government support in grants or other initiatives there may be. It may help just get a desk, phone and data to work with in the beginning. Good start.
#2. Co-create with other architects
Not one architect can do it all, impossible. Thus, try to connect with other architects you think you can fill in with your skills and knowledge. The parts of architecture they are not good at they will probably hate doing, if you love doing it, you end up taking a pain away for them and doing what you love. The reason you started you own architectural business.
#3. Ask for advice
Ok, hold on to your pants, this might scare you a bit. Go and talk to some of the CEO’s of big firms you think are doing good work. Connect via LinkedIn and see if you can spend some time with them. Tell them you are starting out and if they might have advice for you. I have yet to see a proper CEO say no to a request for advice or help. If one says no, keep in mind there are thousands of them out there that WILL help you.
#4. Network not just with architects
Work comes from many places. Network with anyone related to architecture. Even if it means buying a beer for some foreman. It will give you more exposure and also a better understanding of what the real world looks like, giving you a distinct advantage.
#5. Enter design competitions.
Enter some competitions, it will give you exposure and also something to mention on your portfolio.
#6. Upgrade your LinkedIn account
The quickest and best way to find the people you want to connect with in the industry will hang out on LinkedIn. Make contact with at least two new people per day.
I can go on for another 10 or 15 points but I think you are getting what I am saying. It is easy and straightforward to start a business, just be honest with yourself and think logically and not emotionally about things. Then you should be ok.
Do you need startup coaching or mentoring?
If do startup coaching and mentoring to clients internationally via Skype. If you think you need such a service from me then contact me so that we can have a free 30 minute session.
Originally published on www.WillemGous.com and republished on indivineur.com with permission.
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