Top 10 Ways Architects Can Make More Money TODAY
Being a successful architect, either as a contractor or someone who has their own firm, means you have to think of the business side of things just as much as the creative side. All businesses need profit to survive, and when revenue is low, you’re responsible to do everything you can to get back on top.
Making enough money to pay the bills allows you to afford to keep designing, coming with creative ideas, and pursuing a career as an architect. If you’re struggling with cash flow, or simply need more money to take on more work, here are 10 ways to bring in more income today!
1. Raise Your Rates
The number one quickest way to make more money today, is to raise your rates. Although this sounds simple, in theory, it’s much hard to negotiate a raise on a current project than to increase your prices across the board.
Make sure your new fees reflect the amount of creative energy that goes into each project, and the overall customer service you provide. Focus on quality projects and less on the volume of work you complete.
Don’t underestimate your value! You can charge a higher price for less work, and spend more time making current clients happy, than having to go out and find new projects all the time.
2. Create and Sell Products
What special skill or knowledge do you have that can be turned into a product? Whether it’s digital or physical products there’s plenty of opportunity to earn some extra cash.
Is there a piece of software or app that you wish was available on the market? Why not work with a software developer to create one? Are there guides, courses, or ebooks that you can create to help other architects just getting started? Explore new ideas for creating different income streams based on the skills and experience you currently posses.
One example of this is from entrepreneur Pat Flynn, who used to be an architect. He created a website to help himself study for the LEED exam, and ended up having enough content and study materials to create a product other people were willing to buy. He now makes $2,000-$3,000 extra dollars each month from study guides and courses he sells for other architects.
3. Increase Your Workload
This may sound like an obvious tip, but increasing your current workload can instantly infuse your bank account with much-needed cash flow. Reach out to your current network of clients and colleagues, and let them know you’re taking on a few more projects.
If you don’t want to sign on for a long-term project, then simply focus on short-term services. Make it known that you’re only taking on more work for a certain period of time so you don’t get overwhelmed.
This strategy will help you keep a good work-life balance while giving you some extra money, but it will also create a sense of urgency with clients so you can charge a higher fee.
4. Expand Your Services
In addition to offering general consulting and architecture advice, there’s a wide array of services you can offer to help your clients realize their vision of a real life masterpiece.
From creating blueprints, to construction, to fixtures and finishes, and even working with vendors and delivery, there are a lot of additional services you can offer that come with being an architect.
Pinpoint what type of client you’re working with and whether they want to you to handle the entire process, or if they want to learn how to do some of the work themselves. Then price out your extra services in an a la carte manner and charge a premium.
5. Find Other Ways to Monetize
Do you have a website you can start leveraging to make extra money? Can you partner with another architect in the business and offer an in-person workshop, or online webinar to help clients or beginner architects?
Maybe you can endorse some products or software that you find helpful for your business, and take a cut of the sales when someone purchases from you. (This is called affiliate marketing.)
Brainstorm some other ways you can monetize your knowledge or current assets. Taking what you already have and turning it into something that produces revenue, is one of the smartest ideas you can do as a business owner. Your goal is to work smarter, not harder.
6. Offer Consulting
Consulting services are always high in demand. It’s a way for you to help other designers, architects, and clients bring their dreams to life. Aside from the less tangible goal of designing something beautiful, there’s a need for the practical stuff too. And you can provide both types.
Maybe your clients need advice on the legal part of construction and you can advise them on the best path to follow. Perhaps a client or colleague needs help determining the best financial or business decisions to make, and you can be there as a consulting architect.
7. Hire Help to Take on More Jobs
Most people are afraid to hire help, whether they’re employees or contractors, because they don’t think they can afford it. But that’s completely untrue — I’ve proven it! If you approach it the right way, you can take on more projects without being overloaded with too much work.
Sign on a new client (and quote them a higher rate) based on the fact that you plan on working with a project assistant during the entire process. You can outsource some of the work, while still overseeing that everything is completed to your standards. And you’ll take home a good portion of the revenue in the process.
8. Fill Your Money Holes
This tip isn’t so much about making money as it is plugging the holes in your financial bucket. Review your business income and expenses and look for ways to increase your overall productivity, and decreases unnecessary spending.
Spend money on things that are multiple purpose, or have the ability to give a return on investment in the future. Stop spinning your wheels and plug any holes in your spending, so you can keep more of your hard-earned money.
9. Become a Mentor
A mentor is a bit different than a coach or consultant in that you’re aiming to become an accountability partner. You’ll be offering support and guidance to clients, companies, other architects, and architectural firms.
Don’t discount the years of experience and learning you have accumulated. Find a way to share that by becoming a mentor and helping someone else reach their career goals.
10. Offer Tutoring
Some clients will want to take a more hands-on approach, and you’ll have beginner architects who need your advice and guidance. Just like a math tutor helps a student increase their knowledge and study for an upcoming exam, you can offer tutoring as an extension of your services.
By creating some simple lesson plans and adhering to a regular process, you can start earning some extra money while branching out. It’s a smart way to share your knowledge while helping someone else with what they want to learn.
If you’re struggling with cash flow, use these tips to make more money today!