A good strategy for consistently landing new clients, retaining old ones, and growing your business is essential for an architecture firm, whether it is established or just starting out. A good promotion and business development for architects are a must. In other words, it means acquiring new clients and growing an existing business.
From day one in the school of architecture, young architects aim to establish their reputation and leave an impactful artistic fingerprint that would immortalize their name.
Recently, the architectural services market has become insanely challenging and competitive with a market size of $52bn accompanied by 241,439 industry employees and expectations of expanding at a compound annual growth rate (CAGR) of 6.2% from 2022 to 2030 in the United States.
The architectural industry comprises different architectural services and fields covering urban, rural, housing, residential, civic, hospitality, business, cultural, and others. The US alone has 70,711 registered architectural businesses competing on different scales. However, in today’s world, the fast pace of events pushed many firms to miss the cornerstone of success: planning and development.
Whether the company is looking for architectural assignments or only limiting its interest to a niche of high-end clients, having a comprehensive development plan for your architectural firms is critical to finding new projects and retaining existing customers or their referrals.
Here are the most effective architecture business development strategies.
How to Develop a Strategic Plan for Architect Business Development
We’ve broken down three of the key ways to grow your architecture firm that should be implemented into a great architecture business development plan.
Understand Your Target Project and Market as an Architect
Most architectural firms lose track because they don’t have a clear vision. Despite having a good start for a short time, they often struggle to sign new contracts, and their hard work doesn’t pay off eventually.
Anyway, the success formula is simple for those looking for continuity; Identifying target projects leads to identifying target clients.
If you want to get started and find the right business development strategies for your architectural firm, it’s better to figure out the answers to these questions:
- What are your target projects?
- Who are your ideal clients?
- What is the best channel to reach them?
An accurate client persona supports the firm’s endeavor to locate the target clients and how they can be approached. Utilize all sorts of networking for relationship building and brand awareness, whether online or in-person. Most importantly, this ensures you’re not targeting the wrong audience because that would only waste your time and money.
Speak Up About Your Architecture Business
Make some BUZZ! No matter how big or small the company is, constantly spread the word about your architectural business and ensure your close circle of acquaintances knows about your work.
Family, friends, and colleagues will form a considerable fan base. The next step in creating an architecture business development strategy would be expanding the network firmly and slowly by using available communication channels and platforms.
Invest in a Website to Reflect Your Architecture Business Development
Prospects looking for an architectural firm will start with Google. A company with a website has more credibility than a company only with social media accounts. Websites are the first point of contact with a potential client; in the architecture business, where everything revolves around art, a good website design represents the quality anticipated by the firm.
Demonstrate your accomplishments; a rich portfolio is crucial to closing the deal on the next project. As an architectural firm showing previous work, client reviews, work variety, and creative skills can gain potential client trust and boost the firm’s credibility.
Following are a few benefits of investing in a professional website:
- Categorize the projects and showcase each one with the relevant information, media files, and tips
- Drive targeted leads from search engine results
- Showcase customer reviews and testimonials prominently
- Insert calls to action and clear contact information to encourage starting a conversation
- Integrate Google Maps for interested local clients to easily locate the firm
Participate in Offline Events as Much as Possible
Public speaking isn’t just about introducing your company; it’s an efficient relationship-building method. Meeting in person with professionals like contractors, designers, and engineers enables reaching new clients through their networks and is one of the key points of business development for architectural firms.
Start locally, look for clubs, seminars, small or large group meetings, schools, and others. Never skip an opportunity to introduce your architectural firm and speak about yourself or your business field. You will never know who’s among the audience; it could be your following perfect business partner, contractor, or customer.
Provide Your Architect Business Clients With Exceptional Customer Service and Client Journey
For architects, word of mouth is considered the best means of marketing. Satisfied clients will become brand ambassadors and recommend the company’s work to their connections.
However, regardless of how creative and outstanding the architectural design is, the service quality determines the success or failure of the customer journey.
Following are some proven strategies to improve the customer journey:
Level up Your Architect-Client Processes With Advanced Collaboration Tools
The technological revolution has transferred architecture to a new level. The most exhausting parts of architect-client processes, such as schematic design, feasibility studies, and design development, have been simplified by innovative technologies such as Augmented Reality (AR), Virtual Reality(VR), cloud sharing software, and Mixed Reality Models.
By allowing the designers to create a 3D model, the client will be able to see the project as it is in reality without even breaking ground, making revisions and modifications more accessible and time-efficient.
Use AR Collaboration Tools for Architecture Business Development
Augmented Reality (AR) allows interaction with the projects by merging the digital model over a physical space. AR is an effective collaboration tool as it allows all the project stakeholders, such as architects, engineers, and clients, to visualize the project and interact productively. It keeps everyone on the same page and encourages constructive engagement.
AR is the next era of architecture business development, as it can be used on tablets and mobile phones. For example, AUGmentecture offers an innovative, user-friendly augmented reality platform for design collaboration that enables viewing 3D models in (AR) format. Most importantly, it is accessible to the clients as well and helps them see the project at the earliest stages.
Use Project Management Tools Designed for Architects
Practicing architecture as a business requires staying on top of all projects, meeting deadlines, and staying organized is the ultimate goal, yet it seems impossible.
Fortunately, many architecture software tools allow effective management of every aspect of the project, such as timeline, file saving, communications, etc.
Management software helps the firms in:
- Stay on time and budget
- Save valuable resources
- Reduce change and delays
- Minimize non-billable work
- Get real-time visibility into costs through reports
- Forecast pipeline to make better decisions
Whether you’re a beginner wondering about how to start an architecture business or an experienced architect interested in architecture business development strategies, no matter how big or small your architectural firm is, follow the listed tips above if you want to take your place in the competitive architectural services market and stand out from competitors through development and growth.
If you believe you’re the next Frank Lloyd Wright or Zaha Hadid, don’t just wait for success to knock on your door; start today and develop your architecture firm business plan step by step to ensure you are moving toward your dream