Architecture Business Plan

Business Plan Articles

If you are starting an architecture company, it is likely that you will require a business plan at some point. The experts at Pro Business Plans have extensive experience working with architects and their firms to prepare plans for investment and strategy. This article contains information on what is typically included in an architecture business plan and how it is generally structured.

Architecture Business Plan

There are several things to consider when starting a new architecture company that will directly influence the success of your business including your business model, marketing strategy, and budgeting. The performance and success can vary substantially from firm to firm. Some firms may start relatively large with several senior level staff and strategic partnerships. More frequently, however, firms will start small and grow through as they establish a strong reputation and portfolio. The following sections outline how an architecture company business plan is structured at a holistic level.

Business Model

The business model of an architecture firm will depend upon several factors including the company’s capability of being awarded business, the qualifications of the management team, and sector focus. For instance, some business models may focus around residential architecture or public sector architecture and generally smaller firms will focus on specific niche in order to be more competitive during the bid proposal process. Therefore, the business model generally focuses on the market positioning, operations structure, and overall market implementation strategy.


Market Positioning

The market positioning for an architecture firm is generally focused around how a new architecture firm will enter the market or an existing once will scale. This generally consists of the types of deals that it will target (E.g. industry, size, etc.) as well as the prices and qualifications of its team. As an architecture firm develops a portfolio in any one segment, it will be more competitive within that segment. For instance, a firm that has an architect that has prior experience working on a similar project will be given preference to one that does not.


Operations Structure

There are several ways that architecture firms may structure themselves in order to quickly scale, maintain stability, and high profit margins. Some attempt to work with part-time subcontractors in order to increase the diversity of services that they offer. Others may stay more focused and phase-in highly qualified full-time staff or perform the service themselves. Hence, the operations structure will help to determine the financial projections as well as analyze the risk of the company as it enters or scales within the market.


Marketing Plan

The marketing strategy for an architecture company depends on the industry that it is focused around and the sector in which it is based. In general, the most effective way to scale in any market is through strategic partnership formation and relationships with construction firms or real estate executives that make architecture decisions. These are generally formed very early on, but getting into the request for proposal network can help your firm to at least get exposure in front of the appropriate people. Smaller clients may also be generated through business development, personal sales, and direct marketing.


Strategic Partnerships

>One of the best ways to scale any service business, especially one so heavily based on referrals, is through the formation of strategic partnerships. This may include a referral network, joint venture, or other creative arrangement that allows prospective third-parties that are ideally much larger and have an established lead generation system. It is often difficult to form strategic partnerships in a new location, or if you are just starting out, but sometimes relationships may be purged with time that could provide you the perfect opportunity to enter the market.


Business Development

The business development for an architecture firm is largely focused around developing strategic partnerships with synergistic companies and establishing RFP Some firms will send a request for proposal to consulting firms within its network and those that frequently establish new business relationships may always be open to having new companies apply for projects that they may have.


Financial Projections

The financial forecasts for an architecture business plan generally depends upon several factors including the proposed size, number of projects anticipated being awarded annually, and the stability of contracts. For instance, some architecture firms may have relationships with third parties that send them a consistent stream of leads to generate new business. These leads not only help them to stabilize their cash flows, but also decrease marketing expenses. In other cases, some new architecture firms may struggle to enter the market and consistently be fighting to win greater market share.


Revenue Projections

The revenue forecasts for an architecture firm are generally focused around how the pricing strategy and percentage of contracts that are likely to be awarded. For instance, some architecture firms may already have a sales pipeline full of leads with various probabilities of success. Such a pipeline can form the basis for the revenue forecasts, as well as the prior operating history of the company and an analysis of similar firms in the industry. It is important that the assumptions to the revenue forecasts be clearly outlined and easy to follow so that investors may see the building blocks as inputs to estimates.


Budget Forecasts

The budget estimates for an architecture firm are most effective if they are based upon actual quotes received from third-party service providers. If your business plan is to acquire bank loans, it can help the bank to also get a clear picture of what the capital will be spent on. Some loan programs restrict your company to capital allocations such as fixed asset purchases, which are then collateralized to secure the loan. The specific allocation of capital will help your business to more effectively plan for the future and also more effectively determine the precise amount of capital that it needs to raise. Some companies make the mistake of asking for far more than needed and end up paying interest on money they never needed. In other cases, an inadequate amount of capital is raised and the company needs to request more when it is already over-leveraged.


What is Included in Our Custom Architecture Business Plan?


  • Marketing Plan
  • SWOT Analysis
  • Competitive Analysis
  • Profitability Analysis
  • Personnel Plan
  • Organizational Chart
  • Company Valuation
  • Executive Summary
  • Company Description
  • Keys to Success
  • Three Year Objectives
  • Product or Service Description
  • Market Research
  • Fundraising Support
  • 12 Month & 3 Year Profit & Loss
  • 3 Year Balance Sheet
  • 12 Month & 3 Year Sales Forecast
  • 12 Month & 3 Year Cash Flows
  • Break-Even Analysis
  • Financial Ratio Analysis
  • Management Team

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