All successful architects have three things in common. They have patience. They have become masters at under-promising and they are all focused on being the very best at one thing.
Anyone practicing architecture for more than a few months knows that patience is a prerequisite for success. An efficient process of architecture is all about choices and obtaining decisions from some clients takes the patience of a saint. A smile, a deep breath and a complete understanding of the source of the delay will often jump start a slow moving project and resolve a difficult situation.
The fine art of under-promising and over-delivering is a key element in the success of any business. Missing deadlines or, even worse, not managing the expectations of your client, can destroy a working relationship in one meeting. Promising results in 4 weeks and delivering in 2 will keep the referrals coming for years.
Power of a Being the Best
In the name of diversification, many architects spread their workload across many building types and many markets. Too much diversification will dilute your brand and make it difficult for prospects to recongnize your firm as a market leader. How many times have you seen an architect’s promotional material announce, “specializing in residential and commerical architecture”? Being centered and focused on one target market will allow us to develop the skills required to be “the best” in the market and in the minds of our clients.
Question: Can a small firm “specialize” in more than one market?
Photo Credit: Pixabay / stevepb
Tim Barber says
I believe that both Patience and Promises are necessary for any business to be successful, the more important is the Promises. Always over perform and always do more than expected. No one can complain about these and of course no one will. This is the type of things you can do that will spread the good word of mouth referrals we are all looking for.
Power of being the best, I might find a bit of an issue with. There is no question if you find a niche and focus on it that specific clients will seek you out for your expertise. I think it is more important to provide a good service no matter how narrow a focus or broad a focus you try to reach. Your client is the one you need to please regardless of what you are designing. If you serve them well with great service and great design solutions, they will continue to come back to you with whatever they want designed. I have one client who I have done a 25,000 SF shell building for, but also a 2500 secondary home. I can’t claim to be an expert at either, but I must be doing a fairly good job or the client wouldn’t be coming back to me.