My Experience on the Grand Designs Live Stage

I recently returned from a phenomenal day at the Grand Designs Live in Birmingham where I shared the stage with Grand Designs TV presenter and guru Kevin McCloud and a number of other fantastic and knowledgeable professionals in the industry for a Q&A on all aspects of self-building.

My main takeaway from the day was the level of support, help, and advice I was able to give to other architects who are thinking of setting up on their own. It made me think how a supportive franchise model such as Pride Road would have been a LIFESAVER to me when I first set up shop.

With no support, I had to become an overnight expert in all aspects of operating an architectural firm – marketing, finance, compliance, lead generation…even before the client facing stuff…

Top Tips for fellow architects striking out on their own

At the show I was asked if I had any TOP TIPS for fellow architects striking out on their own so here goes:

Become a Chartered Architecture Practice

It doesn’t cost much more and it opens the door to taking part in the big shows and conferences, elevates you to a higher level of professional integrity (kudos) and gives you the opportunity to shout about it on social media (good PR).

Talk the Language of your Clients

Think! What are their pain points? What are they struggling with? Jot them down on a piece of A4 and create some Key Fact Sheets with the answers to those pain points. By giving your clients some useful content from day one you’re beginning the relationship between collaboration and support. It’s a partnership from start to finish.  

Find a Mentor

It’s hard doing this on your own. A professional mentor can help you identify which areas of practice you want to pursue as well as be there with feedback, guidance or simply someone to bounce ideas off.

Enter Design Competitions

Design competitions can help you create a name for yourself and establish industry connections. Even if you don’t succeed keep trying – just entering the competitions is a useful discipline in itself and you soon realise what the industry standard is in levels of excellence. Hey, even if you get Highly Commended or Finalist it’s an accolade that can be used across all your branding.

Be Passionate About Architecture

It may sound obvious but not all architects love what they do. Yes, it can and should be all-consuming but your passion is a great DIFFERENTIATOR to your clients. If you’ve little time for passion, think about the benefits of a franchise model, which removes the stress of marketing, branding and lead generation, leaving you more time to develop your true passion for architecture.

About Lisa Raynes

Lisa Raynes is an architect of over 20 years, an active member of the RIBA Council and Founder of Pride Road.

By going against the traditional way of running an architecture practice, Lisa achieved something that many others in her industry long to – a work-life balance that allows her to use her skills, experience, creativity, and training in a meaningful way that works around her personal life.

As a result of her own success, Lisa rebranded her practice to Pride Road – the architectural practice franchise that helps other trained architects start their own practices 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 now!

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