Entrepreneurship is a 24×7 job, much like parenting. It requires your full attention and extreme commitment. You cannot just go around establishing a firm and let it run on autopilot. Setting up an architectural firm requires as much homework and evaluation of risk as setting up any other start-up does. Not every venture taken upon is successful; therefore, every risk associated has to be calculated. Even though luck has a little something to do with the success of the venture, some tried and tested formulas for success are always there. Building on the premises of the discussion, we will talk about some definitive tips to go by for building a flourishing clientele base in architecture.

10 surefire tips to get architecture clients - Sheet1
The Loft Studio space_© Sameer Chawda

1. Make your presence felt in the Industry

Engage yourself in social media platforms and get yourself featured as much as possible in architecture and building construction-related Instagram pages or weblogs. Publish newsletters for your followers to interact via monologues. Let the world know what you think about design and how you perceive the challenges associated with disparate projects. Give the audience a piece of your mind.

10 surefire tips to get architecture clients - Sheet2
Social media engagement_©digitalplant-my.com/en/blog/how-to-optimize-your-social-media-engagement/

2. Be bold in your Design Choices

Do not be afraid of going aberrant with your design approach. Design is subjective, and so is your perception. Just because it defies the classical rules of aestheticism, it is not necessarily a bad design. As long as the functional parameters of your design are coherently processed, your design is as good as any other piece of art.

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La Muralla Roja(The Red Wall)_©Ricardo Bofill

3. Do not turn your back on the Details

No matter how ravishing the building elevation or the planning looks on an A1 sheet, the true judgement can be only passed after evaluating the details. Even a toe wall designed carelessly can create functional anomalies of greater risks in any given project. The soffit of a staircase is as important as the steps are. Since the built project speaks for the architects, a poorly detailed project will never help an architect to generate any further clients from that particular project.

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Construction detailing_©architizer.com/blog/inspiration/industry/detail-library-fully-resolved-construction-details/

4. Give personalized attention to Each Project

It might be your 50th project, but the client associated might be having his first and only home, factory, showroom, or any such sort built. Each task you take should be dealt with as much fervour and dedication as you had for your first ever project. A satisfied client would fetch you more clients, and that’s a universal truth in every business model.

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Working on architecture projects_©www.architecturelab.net/architecture-or-architerror-13-challenges-every-architect-faces-today/

5. Have Visualized Representation of your Projects at your workplace

It is very often that some clients visit the office for the first time, but you never see them again. This happens when the architect fails to establish the client’s confidence and faith in the studio. It is rather amateurish to toss your portfolio before the client and show them what you have designed when all they want is to discuss their aspiration from their project. Instead, having 3D models or well-rendered walkthroughs playing in your office pique their interest in your firm’s portfolio itself.

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Unicorn Island, China – Conceptual model_©OMA

6. Collaborate with other studios for Special Projects

There is no rivalry in architecture; collaborating with a fellow studio does not affect your business. The only thing that would hamper your growth is the egoistic mindset. Bid together for projects which have special eligibility criteria. Sharing your workforce would only do good to your staff as well as your workflow.

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Project collaboration_©sloanreview.mit.edu/article/in-search-of-the-collaboration-sweet-spot/

7. Stand out with your Customized Material Palette

Everyone throughout your architecture college must have told you to have a personalized design style to stand out from the rest. But the trick is not limited to that. Having a personalized distinct material palette would highlight you as much and make your design unique. For that, stay updated with all sorts of materials made available in the market even if they have not been used in the construction industry yet. Be the pioneer and lead from the front.

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Ahmedabad residence_©Ishita Sitwala, Dreamscape Architects

8. Have multiple outsourcing Consultants for Services

Having more options rather than sticking to one single firm for MEP services would open more doors for networking. Better networking would fetch more projects. Your outsourcing units for MEP services might lead you to some renovation or extension projects.

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9. Do not miss out on any significant Architectural Competitions

It is rather advised to have a small team dedicated to working only on architectural competitions calling for design proposals of actual projects. Just because your firm has not won any competition yet, it does not make the firm any less of a prospective winner for the next one. There is always a first time.

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Institution building proposal_©Author (S K Imtiaz Uddin)

10. Be Punctual with the deliverables

Avoid delays in delivering your projects. Since the architectural community is closely knitted, the reputation of your firm’s profile is subjected to public knowledge. A regular occurrence of the news of such misconduct would find its way to the clients. For that, hire appropriate numbers of associates and workforce to run the firm. Safeguarding your existing clientele base is as important as expanding into more.

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Being on time (illustration)_©payrollmgt.com/blog/how-to-handle-employee-punctuality/

Since a generalized advertisement of an architectural firm is prohibited by the council itself, the only advertisement props the architects are left with are the projects they do. The built projects are the mouthpieces of the firm’s excellence. Therefore, the key to bringing more business to the company is to focus majorly on what’s at hand. And while doing so, keeping these points in your mind would prove beneficial.

Architecture building blocks illustration_©store.aia.org/products/blockitecture-garden-city

“Imtiaz is an architect based in New Delhi, inclined towards art and history. He sees architecture as millions of untold stories frozen in time. He has an immense love for literature and everything that has anything to do with the past. He specifically enjoys museum tours and reading books.”