If you want to successfully run your architectural practice but have trouble finding customers, then in this case, you can find out how to avoid your mistakes or what you can do to solve them. There are five simple tips and brief explanations on how to make your business known, how to respond to customers’ needs, and how to strengthen your relationships. If you want to do more research on this subject and make more detailed studies, it may be necessary for you to turn to architectural marketing. Although it is a subject that is not taught to architects during school, it is an important subject in business life.
1. Have you Announced your Name enough?
A good reputation allows people to get to know you. Being on online platforms, having an effective website, and being accessible on social media is important for your recognition. Media channels give you opportunities for this. You enable people from all over the world, not just locals, to reach you easily and quickly through these media channels. You can share ideas, developments, and information about your company with blogs or vlogs here. You can include professional photos and sketches. It is one of the ways you can choose for your visibility in print, periodicals, or books.
Announcing your work to everyone you know can be a good solution because you don’t know where your customer will find you. It helps you to share your public relations services—an acquaintance of your neighbour or someone from your professional chamber, maybe your future client.
2. Do you have a Strong Network?
“Networking is an investment in your business. It takes time and when done correctly can yield great results for years to come.” (Helbig, D, 2010)
Networks strengthen relationships with colleagues and potential clients and are important in terms of references. Their advice is valuable because of their personal experience. Being recommended by people you know is the most important way to find customers. Because customers do not want to take risks, they use the references of people they can deal with before. Increasing the number of people you know will make you more recommended.
You can expand your network professionally by participating in voluntary work, sectoral events, conferences, exhibitions, fairs, training, and organizations. In these situations, it’s helpful to be extroverted and open to new connections and share who you are, your passions, and your ideas. But Network is not just handing out business cards and promoting you. Your relationships are a process that you need to strengthen and stop being superficial. That’s why you need to keep in touch and stay in mind.
3. You are Organized, Original, and Prone to Design, but how Competent are you in Project Coordination?
If you’re struggling to find clients or want to expand your client portfolio, simply being good at the design may not be enough. You are responsible for customers’ satisfaction. Dialogue and agreement with the customer is a must-have feature in order not to lose them. Your project may be delayed; customers may be worried or indecisive. In such cases, you may need to manage the environment well or tolerate flaws and provide reconciliation and coordination. You must take responsibility and play a role in management in risky situations. You should be able to account for contracts and proposals, control your budget, and negotiate.
4. Can you Stand-out in this Competitive Environment?
Architecture is a profession that is given importance in terms of image. That’s why it is very preferred, and there are too many architectural firms in the market right now. It may seem difficult to be successful in this profession or to find clients. But there is no need to be intimidated; you can be noticed with the quality of your work, your vision, and the right marketing techniques. For this, you may need to turn to jobs that are compatible with today’s conditions, develop innovation and show your potential. Sometimes sincerity and the value you show to the client can also be what sets you apart from other architects. You can gain the attention of your customers by gaining their trust in your services.
5. Do you Spend Less Time on Projects to make more Money?
Although having extra money is a dream that everyone would want, it can be risky for you to take on jobs that will increase your workload because this can make your work poor quality and overwhelm you. And worse yet, you can lose customers with it. Each project requires specific time, attention, and energy.
Without customers, there would be no architects. However, they are difficult to obtain, and for some simple reason, you do not want to lose them. Moreover, you never want to miss them. This article will be a good start for you to find out the reasons for not finding customers or why they left you. You can also find how to look for solutions to these problems in this article. In fact, all you have to do is trust yourself and be patient.
- Helbig, D (2010). Lemonade Stand Selling: Accelerate Your Small Business Growth: Sales Gravy Press