Looking back on 2020, and ahead to 2021

As the year end approaches and we look back on this unusual year, here at Pride Road Architects, we have so much gratitude for the work we’ve been able to do. Despite the challenges of 2020 and the way it has impacted the architecture industry, we’ve had a huge amount of work and our Pride Road Franchisees have been very busy. We’ve been receiving more enquiries than ever, and some of our franchisees are reporting record months in monthly turnover.

When lockdown first happened, we quickly moved all our work online, and although strange at first, it’s proved to be an incredibly successful way of working for both homeowner and architect.

Despite starting her architecture business right at the beginning of the year just a few months before lockdown, we are so proud of our newest franchisee Laura Simpkins, for her resilience, her ability to adapt, and for turning what could have been detrimental to her business into an incredible success. Laura says,

“I feel as busy as I would want to be, the market we work in is very buoyant and we have benefited from people moving house and lots of people needing to adapt the house to working from home. Thank goodness for being part of a franchise where Lisa quickly worked out a way we could operate our service online – there have been many benefits in terms of feeling part of a team and we have negotiated the challenges together, drawing strength and inspiration from each other.” – Laura Simpkins, Pride Road New Forest & Bournemouth

We love what we do, and this year with people using their homes more than ever, it’s really become apparent how impactful working in the domestic sector is – helping people configure their home around their family’s needs and how that improves their day-to-day life (and mental wellbeing!)

This year also saw the start of ‘Architecture in the Den’ and our new podcast. On the podcast, we feature guests from all over the architecture industry and we talk about the business of Architecture, the RIBA, marketing, sales, running your own practice, start-up advice, flexible working, women in architecture, career development, and more!

Some of our guests this year were the 2020 RIBA Presidential Candidates, including the next RIBA president Simon Allford, Rion Willard, Simone de Gale, Ben Derbyshire, Jason Doyle, and our very own marketing, sales, SEO and web experts.

You can find the podcast on your favourite app – Spotify, Apple Podcasts, iHeart Radio, TuneIn, and more (or ask your Alexa or Google Home to ‘play the Pride Road Architects podcast!’)

We want to take this opportunity to thank everyone – our clients, our networking partners, friends and family – for helping us to help our clients achieve their dream home plans.

We are now looking ahead to 2021, and making plans to reach more architects and help them achieve their vision of a career that is gratifying, financially rewarding, and that works for them.

Wishing you and your loved ones a Happy Holiday season, and, here’s to a happy and healthy 2021!

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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.