How can I be successful and keep my business small?

I’m a residential architect looking to start on my own with a small and flexible studio (with today’s tech I can put together a team when and if needed without having a fixed structure). My focus/expertise is designing modern vacation homes for overseas clients. Without tracking record how can I sell my value to clients? Should I focus on the end-user or in the realtor? (Every single business passes through a realtor) Also, to stay small I need to find different sources of incomes (other than exchanging money for time). Can a “store” of floor plans or a collection of pre-made designs (For those who don't have the time to invest in a custom design tailored to their site and program) be a good source of income? Does it bring value to the business or the opposite? I’m truly open to ideas to generate great revenue and that don’t need my work constantly, allowing myself to focus on premium projects and on a better time management to balance work-family-friends.


Chiropractors often sell supplements to drive revenue in their business. They're capped out like dentists and tradespeople on the hours they can crack backs (or 'drill and fill' as the dentists do), so supplements are a great complimentary product that doesn't eat time to fulfill. You'll see a bunch of them and doctors getting into CBD oil now. Their client base already has trust in them so these recommendations are easy to swallow heh heh.

Be looking for your version of supplements in the architectural field. Something complimentary, that your clientele already trusts you about, that you can earn a recurring income on while not using up more of your time.

One advantage I see them having over you is I presume they see more people in a day. What can you do to increase the number of people you see in a day, to leverage your
"architect authority" and drive the income stream of the complimentary product or service?

Could be as easy as loans: helping people rent money from your position as a professional.

Food for thought.

Answered 6 years ago

Hi, I’m a General Contractor, licensed Real Estate Agent, and land developer. Your ultimate end user in the USA is definitely a niche clientele. Having been approached by similar vendors in my home building business, I would certainly say a portfolio of designs would help set you apart from other designers and have buyers confident in your work. On top of creating recurring revenue you could “modify” the plans for clients for a fee.

In terms of growing your business I would recommend contacting contractors with a portfolio of your work as they are essential to fulfilling a buyer’s dream. I would create your ecosystem website then offer builders to be a partner on your site to build your plans. With that, you have your foot in the door and have opened your network. Then reach out to Realtors who have vacant land listings and offer to list a completed home with your builder partner and you have yourself a home run.

I wish you the best of luck with your business!

Answered 6 years ago

It sounds like you have the foundation for a solid business.
Things to consider as you get it rolling:
* Regarding your customer focus - is it more efficient to build a good relationship with a real estate broker/agent who represents many or cast a wide net in hopes to catch some good end-users? Finding a real estate agent/broker who can be a champion for your designs could be incredibly valuable.
* Great to think of different revenue streams. If you invest your time and energy to develop a portfolio of good core designs, that could serve as the basis for “semi-custom” work. I would guess you would still need to do some work as the end-user in these cases has different preferences, but you can define how much change the project can include.
* Otherwise, a portfolio of pre-made designs would likely work better with a developer, who would incorporate that work into their sales efforts for a collection of homes. So those are separate from end-user or realtor relationships.
If you wish to discuss, send me a PM through Clarity for 15 free minutes.

Answered 6 years ago

There is a lot of ways to sell your value to clients. I would start off by creating a store of pre-made floor plans.

Building the store will give you the advantage and create the oppurtunity to show your skills and also create the possibility of selling the floor plans to make money.

On this store of floor plans I would create a strong call to action that makes customers aware you can do any type of custom design they can dream of.. Using a lead magnet to capture customer info.

If these are high ticket floor plans it may take some customers days/weeks/months to pull the trigger. Make sure to have a well written and planned email funnel setup to try and convert every single lead.

I would target end users first. This will build the demand and will make it easier to attract agents.

Instagram & facebook would be ideal places to show off your work too and build a build in customer base who will help spread the word of your skills just by sharing your designs.

I have brand names that sell digital products in the same manner you are looking to do. I can help you along the way if you need my help Im just a call away.

Answered 6 years ago

To be successful and keep your business small, have a written plan. Without a plan, it is merely a dream. It does not have to be a book, but you need a few pages outlining specific objectives, strategies, financing, a sales and marketing plan, and a determination of the cash you need to get things done. Writing it all down is a crucial first step.
Do not marry your plan. Every great military general in history has known that even the best-laid plan sometimes must be thrown in the fire when the bullets start flying. Adjust, confront and conquer.
Keep your ego in check and listen to others. Advisors are crucial because you need people to bounce ideas off, inspect what you're doing, and push you to greater accomplishments, holding you accountable for what you are committing to do. Always be good to your word and follow through on commitments, even when difficult and challenging. This is not about you; it is about the business. Do not take things personally and stay out of emotion. Do not let your ego take control.
Keep track of everything and manage by the numbers. Create written systems for everything because you will reap benefits from them later. This is how you train your employees and retain consistency. Know your numbers and check them daily and make all decisions based on what they tell you.
Besides if you do have any questions give me a call:

Answered 4 years ago

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