5 Start-Up Tips for Architects

how to start up an architecture practice

Everyone’s path to starting their own business is different. You may be a parent who wants to have greater control of their time; you may have found it impossible to progress in your career due to economic changes; you may be looking for a way to plan your later years, continuing doing the job you love with a team behind you to help keep customers happy.  Balancing the time you spend on work and your life and being in control of your own destiny are the main reasons that people choose to start their own business.

Wanting to start up your business is not the same as being ready to do so.  Most business face issues after the first 12 months, while 40% of small businesses fail within the first 5 years, often because of cash-flow or liquidity issues.  Writing a business plan is an important process in starting and running a business as it sets out your growth strategy. You should think of your business plan as a living document; it will change over time as you achieve goals and deal with challenges.

Decide on the right model for your business. When thinking about starting up in business as well as defining your service and its value proposition, you’ll also need to be on top of finances, sales pipeline, performance data and data security.  A choice between sole trader, partnership or franchise. With a franchise model you don’t have shoulder the responsibilities and risks alone, typically for the franchise fee you can expect, an established brand with associated marketing package, operating processes and procedures, and in some instance ongoing business coaching, support and training.

Market Research and Marketing shouldn’t be overlooked.  Successful entrepreneurs understand that it is essential for their business to have good brand awareness and exposure – but how much time do they really need to spend on their marketing pipeline?  Now, you can work from handwritten contact books, writing a completely new follow up email to each enquiry, but with planning and organisation you can optimise the workflow from enquiry to sale by using templates and processes.

Pride Road Architects Franchise: another option for your architectural start-up. Investigation shows there’s a healthy market for domestic projects across the whole of the UK.  Specialising in this area of work can deliver a healthy annual turnover, and with the right admin systems and business processes in place you as the architect can spend most of your time on design work.  Because Pride Road is an established franchise business, funding is available to help cover start-up costs. A successful Pride Road Franchisee has the same customer-centred approach, and the drive and passion to build an architectural practice that are the core of the Pride Road brand.

Pride Road Founder, Lisa Raynes, leading a Discovery Day at the RIBA, Portland Place

Pride Road Founder, Lisa Raynes, leading a Discovery Day at the RIBA, Portland Place

If you’re interested in finding out more about running your own architecture practice with the support of the Pride Road Franchise, get in touch now!

Get in touch

About the Author

Pride Road was set up by Lisa Raynes, an architect with over 20 years and an active member of the RIBA council.

Before starting her own practice in 2010, Lisa had worked as an architect for over a decade. In 2009, the recession was well underway and Lisa had been made redundant twice during her career – once while on maternity leave. Although setting up her own practice started as a necessity, it turned out to be the best thing that could have happened.

Lisa set up her first business – Raynes Architecture Ltd – in 2010, specialising in home refurbishments and extensions. Through her business, Lisa was able to carve out a meaningful architectural career that also allowed her to balance her family life. Working closely with homeowners and people with smaller projects, she found a stream of business that was able to ride out the downturn comfortable, while giving her the chance to help develop properties that truly contributed to people’s lives.
Recognising that a change was needed in the Architecture industry, for women and working mums in particular, Lisa rebranded her practice to Pride Road – the architectural practice franchise that helps trained architects escape the inflexible and long working hours of traditional architecture practices. Pride Road help others run their own business and achieve a better work-life balance, with the support of Lisa’s experience and brand.Through Pride Road, Lisa wants to give architects the skills, knowledge and resources needed to build their own successful architecture business, while campaigning to make the profession happier, healthier, more diverse and inclusive.
Are you interested in joining the Pride Road team? Download your free prospectus by completing the form here.