Do you want to start an architectural business to earn extra income? If Yes, here are 50 best architecture related business ideas & opportunities for 2020.
An architect is usually responsible for making critical decisions that will allow for a project to be successfully completed. Not only do architects put in several months of focus and dedication in order that a new project might be up to standard but also that the right alterations might be made on an existing project.
In order that they might continue to be able to practice on their license, architects must ensure that the health, safety and welfare of occupants are taken into consideration when designing a new project.
Architects have also to ensure that in running their business that profits are made so as not only to cover expenses and continue in the sustainability of a business but also that they might be able to attain their personal goals of being successful architects.
Nowadays, very few architecture firms offer architecture as a stand-alone service because of how competitive the field is. Therefore in order to earn more, architects have started engaging in other businesses that are related to architecture either as a stand-alone service or in addition to their core service.
Even though there are more than enough small businesses that can be run in architecture; below are 50 profitable small business ideas related to architecture that you can consider;
50 Best Small Business ideas Related to Architecture for 2020
- Existing Conditions Surveyor
Conducting this kind of survey is usually the foundation for buildings that are to be improved upon. The information always provided by an existing conditions surveyor usually include location of property lines and easements, all visible site improvements, above ground and below ground utilities, flood plain zone identification, wetland resource area, property ownership data as well as more information.
An existing conditions surveyor ensures that the design and construction phases of the project flow by guaranteeing the superior quality of all plans. An existing conditions survey is usually conducted for architects, landscape architects as well as engineers.
- Interior Designer
Interior designing is usually the combination of art and science in order that the interior of a building is not only more aesthetically pleasing but is also healthier environmentally for the end user.
An interior designer plans, conducts researches, coordinates as well as manages projects while in communication with the stakeholders of the project. Even though there are residential and commercial interior designers, most often combine the two with only a few choosing either one specialty to focus on.
- 3-D Modeling Services
3-D modeling usually involves the creation of a 3-D representation of an object or a surface by manipulating edges, polygons and vertices in a 3-D simulated pace. This can usually be achieved manually with the use of specialized 3-D production software where the artist is able to create and deform surfaces that are polygonal in nature or by scanning real objects into a set of data points in order to represent the scanned object digitally.
There are several 3-D modeling software that will enable you achieve what you want for your client and it is best to familiarize one’s self with them all especially when clients make special requests regarding the use of certain 3-D modeling software.
- Kitchen Designer
A kitchen designer either helps perform a minor face lift on the kitchen of a client or handles a new project from scratch. As a kitchen designer, you should have access to planning tolls and technology that an average homeowner won’t.
Asides from this, you will also need to be updated on industry trends, technical quirks, new materials as well as building codes so that your clients can have the right information all the time. How you should charge your client will depend on the amount of work to be done. Ensure that you have your previous works at hand as well as references from past clients.
- 3D Architectural Rendering Services
This is usually the art of creating three dimensional images or animations showing the attributes of an intended architectural design. Rendering techniques usually vary as some methods allow for simple flat images to be created or images that have basic shadows.
Renderings, which can be still renderings, virtual tours, floor plans, realtime 3D renderings, 3D walk through and fly by animations, photo realistic 3D rendering, panoramic renderings, renovation renderings, light and shadow study renderings amongst others are usually created not only for presentation purposes but also for design analysis and marketing purposes.
- Architectural Animation Services
This is usually a short movie that is architectural in nature, where computer generated buildings are created with landscaping with moving people and vehicles on the computer. An architectural animation usually has several thousands of still images which are then assembled and played back in order to produce the movie effect.
Architectural animations add computer-generated environment around the project in order to enhance reality as well as convey the relationship of the project to its surrounding area so that the clients can have a realistic view of how the project will look when it is completed.
Construction usually involves the process of constructing an infrastructure or building and it takes place on a location picked out by the client. There are three types of constructions; buildings, infrastructure and industrial, that one offering a construction service can decide to focus on.
Because this is usually a gigantic business that requires working with several professionals, it is essential that you have taken a thorough survey of the area where you intend to focus on and the requirements for it.
- Selection of Fixtures and Finishes
While designing a project, architects usually have an idea of what the client will need regarding fixtures. They may also have contact information of suppliers they know and trust and this can be turned into a revenue generating business for the entrepreneur.
One thing that has to be taken into consideration is the difference in clients as some will require full involvement in all the processes, while some might require part involvement; either way ensure that you understand the project being designed and the needs of your client.
- Purchasing and Delivery Service
Even though purchasing and delivery of whatever is required for the project is usually handled by the client or by the contractor in charge of construction, this can be handled by an innovative entrepreneur especially if the client does not want the contractor handling it and does not have the time to handle it either.
Ensure that you have contacts to several reliable suppliers of the products you intend to purchase and ensure you are always updated as regards the prices and other trends that might affect this sector so that clients can be sure of having the right information from you at all times.
- Sale of House Accessories
This is different from having to purchase at the request of clients. In this kind of business, you will need to purchase several accessories, furnishings, plumbing fixtures, finishes, and lighting that every project usually requires. Due to the fact that you are the supplier, it is important that your accessories are not only genuine but that your services are reliable.
Ensure that you maintain the right contacts such as with architecture firms, construction companies, independent contractors and the rest, so that you can be called upon whenever the need for purchasing of furniture, fittings and other house accessories are required.
- Architecture-related Blogging
There are several reasons why people blog but the main purpose is usually to disseminate information to a particular set of audience.
Starting an architectural blog will require that you not only have through knowledge of architecture and its related disciplines but that you are also updated as regards the trends in the industry if you want your blog to be regarded as a useful resource and authority by your intended target market. Blogging is not an easy venture because you will need to source for fresh content on a regular basis.
- Architecture Consultant
An architecture consultant is one who owns or works for an independent architecture firm that is multidisciplinary in nature. While some architecture consultants are usually sole proprietors who focus on residential or works that are regarded as specialty, others work for the government or private sector citizens.
The role of an architecture consultant is to ensure that they help clients plan a creative and innovative building design solution. As an architecture consultant, the sector has many niches that you can focus on and so it is usually best to choose one where you have conducted a thorough research on.
- Property Developer
A property developer is usually involved in several activities such as renovation, lease and re-lease of existing buildings, purchase of raw land as well as sale of developed lands to interested clients.
As a property developer, you convert ideas from paper into real property and even though the activities of a property developer are different from that of a construction manager, there are many developers who also manage the construction process. As a property developer, you will be required to work with several professionals and it is therefore vital that you have a thorough understanding of the business you are looking to start.
Magazines are loved by virtually everyone due to the fact that they are visually appealing and usually addresses the subject of interest of the intended target market.
Even though 9 out of 10 magazines are bound to fail regardless of the niche that is being focused on, it doesn’t mean that you cannot start your own architecture magazine and succeed if you do your homework well especially as the average profit margin for a magazine business ranges from 10 to 30%. It is therefore important that you have strategies in place that will enable you to compete with already existing architecture magazines.
- Architecture Professor
Before one can become an architecture professor, it is important that you possess a considerable amount of knowledge, skill and experience. Most architecture professors often have over 10 years work experience and this is because experience is regarded as more vital for students.
It is important to know which architectural sector you want to handle as architecture has several fields such as design, history, theory, technology, sustainability, computation, structures and behavioral aspects. Your interest will determine the requirements you will need.
There are several software applications that are being used by architects and other related professionals in ensuring that a client’s needs are being met. While some software are for generalist purposes, others are to solve specific purposes.
Therefore, while you might not be able to compete with existing software that are being used for generalist purposes, you can go into the development of specific software. You must however have strategies in place that will boost awareness for your brand and services.
- Architecture Journal
In order to start an architecture journal, you will not only need writing tools but also commitment if you intend for your journal to be regular.
While some journals are private materials for certain people, others are usually published to contribute either through criticisms, suggestions and ideas to the intended target audience. If you want to start an architecture journal that will be regarded well in the industry, it is best you try and get views from different professionals in the industry.
- Architectural Supplies Business
Starting an architectural supplies business can be regarded as a lucrative business. There are several supplies that are needed by architectures and so will always be in demand. Ensure that you have contact with architecture schools and firms in order that you will be the first point of call whenever supplies are needed.
- Author Architecture Books
Before you can become an author of architecture books, you must have garnered several experiences in the field. While you can write the book yourself, you could pen down your thoughts and have a proper writer organize them for you.
- Sales of Architecture Books
If you are not one to write, then you can start selling architecture books. The good thing about the sales business is that you can decide to sell books that cut across different niches thereby drawing customers from different sectors. Check out the authors of the books that you intend to sell and ensure that they have authority in the area they are writing on. Have strategies in place to advertise and promote your business in order that you might create awareness for it.
- Architectural Drafting Business
When preparing to start your architectural drafting business, you are expected to ensure that drawings are prepared according to the needs of your clients using proper equipment and software. It is important that you make a decision on the type of drafting service – residential, commercial, landscape design and custom work – that you intend to engage in.
Know who your competitors are and have strategies in place that will ensure that you not only get a fair share of the market but that you are also able to compete effectively against your competitors. Engage in advertising and promotional activities in order to get clients for your business.
- Landscape Architecture
This involves the design of outdoor areas, structures and landmarks in order to be able to achieve environmental and aesthetic outputs. However, before you can successfully design a landscape, you must first engage in a systematic investigation of the existing ecological and social conditions as well as what design interventions will ensure that you produce your desired outcome.
You will also be required to use your knowledge of landscape processes to advise on long-term care as well as development of the landscape. As a landscape architect, you will be required to work with other professionals.
- Carpentry Business
As one who intends to start a carpentry business, you will be required to build, maintain, renovate and repair buildings that are either residential or commercial in nature.
There are two types of carpentry – structural carpenter who ensures that the structural integrity of buildings adhere to community safety; and the finish carpenter who contributes to the environmental beauty of the community and ensures that real estate values in the community are increased. If you are one who enjoys working with your hands and also building things, then this is the kind of business that you should take into consideration.
- Run an Online Architecture Forum
Running an all-purpose forum can be time consuming but running a niche forum will enable you to concentrate on your intended target market as well as general stakeholders. While starting an online architecture forum might not be capital intensive, ensuring that the forum stays on and is able to attract your target market will take time and resources.
Ensure that you get a website developer to design an easy interface for users and you might need to deploy an SEO to ensure that there are target words that will enable your forum rank tops in different search engines.
Graphic designers use their hands or computer software to create visual concepts that will inspire and inform people. As a graphic designer, you are expected to develop the overall layout and production design that will be used for various applications. Graphic designers make use of art and technology, text and images to communicate the intended idea.
There are different niche areas for graphic designers and so if you intend to be one, ensure that you know which area you intend to focus on and that you also are updated as regards industry trends and latest computer technologies as well as software.
- Urban and Regional Planning
If you are looking to go into the business of urban and regional planning, you should know that you will be expected to develop plans and programs for the use of land in order to be able to create communities and revitalize physical facilities in whatever location for your clients.
Urban and regional planners have to work with developers, public officials as well as the general public in order to be able to carry out their tasks. Other tasks that you will be expected to engage in are conducting field investigations, reviewing site plans, assessing the feasibility of proposals in order to identify the needed changes.
- Industrial Designer
As an industrial designer, you will need to develop concepts as well as designs for products that have already been manufactured. You might need to engage in one product category such as house-ware, furniture, medical or automobiles etc.
Before you can become an industrial designer, you will need creative, drawing and technical skills in art and engineering. You might need to start small and also have an understanding of quality assurance, project management and marketing in order to be able to build your portfolio before looking to start attracting huge clients to your business.
- Eco-friendly Architectural Salvage Yard
Many home and business owners are now practicing green building as well as remodeling techniques, which means the market for reclaimed building materials that are of high quality are increasing.
Before you can however start an eco-friendly architectural salvage yard, you must have the skills as well as the knowledge necessary to reclaim as well as restore building materials that have been used for reuse. In starting your eco friendly architectural salvage yard, you might need to focus on one or more of the several niches that are available in the business depending on your budget.
Instead of the generalist interior designing where spaces are made to look good, a green interior designer specializes in eco-friendly and sustainable functions and ensures that the space not only looks good but that only environmentally sustainable materials and practices are used.
In order to be successful in this business, you should pay attention to all details especially the little ones. You must also be one that is not only flexible but also is able to think outside the box in order to meet the needs of your various clients.
- Sustainable Landscape Architecture
This is a category that takes a step further from the general landscape architecture by ensuring that all the aspects that are used such as ecology, social, political and economic are all aspects that will project sustainability.
Under the sustainable landscape architecture, the project must not only be seen to be solid and beautiful but also useful to the users as well as the environment. There are several niches in this line of business so ensure that you choose the niche that you will be able to focus more on.
- Green Architecture Firm
A green architecture firm is that which specializes in creating designs that will not only suit the lifestyle of the client but that will have a positive impact on the environment, which means that even though there will be optimal use of space, less energy will be used in comparison to regular architecture firms.
In order to be able to run a green architecture firm, it is important that you have a thorough knowledge of industry trends as well as the general industry so that you can give your clients the right information and advice as regards their needs.
- Architecture Listing Website
Every now and then there are architecture firms and other related services cropping up and they require a platform that they can use in boosting their brand, which is why many make use of listing websites in addition to other platforms.
If you are looking to start your listing website, ensure that you have the means to project it in order that those on your platform might be able to achieve their goals and objectives because anything less will ensure that you lose clients.
As one looking to run a property management business, you will be required to handle the daily operations of a real estate investment from single family homes to huge apartment complexes. Property managers engage in a variety of activities such as setting of rent, rent collection and adjustment, finding and screening tenants, handling leases, complaints and evictions.
A property manager is also in charge of maintaining property and carrying out repairs as at when due. Sometimes, a property manager can look after properties that are vacant in order to ensure that no vandalism occurs and that routine maintenance is conducted every now and then.
- Business Architect
As a business architect, you are expected to not only analyze the activities of a particular business but also to make recommendations as regards the projects that the business units will need to perform in line with the structure of governance and business information as well as business processes.
- Project Management
Project management involves the process of initiating, planning, executing, controlling and then closing the project done by a team by applying knowledge, tools, skills and techniques in order that specific goals are met at a specified time.
Project managers usually handle projects that are unique and temporary in nature. If you are looking to become a project manager, ensure that you have experience as this will inspire confidence in your clients; you can start small and then grow your portfolio with the number of customers you have done jobs for.
- Architectural Engineering
This is usually the application of engineering principles as well as technology to a building design and or construction. Even though in certain countries, an architectural engineer is also seen as an architect, in many parts of the United States, the architectural engineer is actually a licensed engineering professional.
As an architectural engineer, you are expected to have thorough knowledge of mechanical, structural or electrical fields in building design but with an appreciation to integrated architectural requirements and depending on the jurisdiction which you intend to operate in, you might not be able to practice as an architect except you are licensed as one.
- Land Surveyor
This is usually the technique of determining the three-dimensional positions of points on the surface of the earth and the angles between them in order to be able to establish maps as well as boundaries for locations, ownerships or any other purpose as determined by civil law or by the government.
Land surveying is very useful when planning and looking to execute most forms of construction. You will need to have skills in the usage of certain equipment as well as remain updated about industry trends.
- Civil Engineer
A civil engineer is involved in the process of planning, designing as well as overseeing construction and maintenance of building structure as well as facilities. A civil engineer may sometimes perform construction or land surveying depending on the jurisdiction. As a civil engineer, you will need to work in a variety of locations and under different conditions as well. Having a thorough knowledge of the business is very necessary.
- Building Inspector
A building inspector is one that makes professional judgment as to whether a building is in line with the building code requirements. A building inspector which can be engaged by the city, county or township has to be certified in more than one discipline in order to be able to make the right judgment.
A building inspector can decide to focus on residential/commercial buildings, electrical/mechanical inspection, or become a specialty inspector inspecting structures that are at different stages of completion. You might have to bid for the job and in order to stand out must have an attractive profile.
- Surveying and Mapping Technician
As a survey and mapping technician, you are to assist surveyors, cartographers and other specialists in gathering, performing calculations as well as entering geographical data in order to be able to create an image for an area or region.
You will need to be skilled in the usage of a unique set of tools and measurements. Ensure that you are physically fit because this is a job that will require you to stand on your feet for long periods of time or to haul and set up heavy equipment on survey sites.
- Furniture Designer
A furniture designer is one that must be proficient in designing and then creating furniture that can meet with fashionable purposes whilst still maintaining functionality. A furniture designer designs both interior and exterior furnishing while ensuring that they meet the preferences of the customer, ergonomics, sustainability and practicability purposes.
As a furniture designer, not only must you be creative and practical but you must also have an excellent knowledge of computer design software as well as drawing skills. You must also have an eye for patterns and grids and be able to understand layout and plot plans and drawings.
- Freelance Architect
Most architects have a firm which they have established or work for, thereby limiting their tasks to the directions of the firm which they are aligned to but a freelance architect is one that can offer services to as many and varied firms. As a freelance architect, you will be responsible for designing and carrying out developmental projects on residential and commercial buildings. As a freelancer, you are independent and could pick the jobs you want.
- Art Director
An art director is responsible for the visual styles and the image projected in several print and visual productions. Even though an art director can work in several industries, for the purpose of this article, being an art director in a specialized design services firm will be just apt for you. As an art director, it is expected that you understand the elements of the project at hand.
- Salesforce Technical Architect
As a salesforce technical architect, you are expected to not only understand the requirements of the business but also to translate them into technical solutions based on the platform that has been chosen for the purpose. You might also need to model and migrates data based on the API and user interface development.
- Quantity Surveyor
A quantity surveyor is one that has expert knowledge regarding construction costs and contracts. A quantity surveyor also engages in cost planning throughout the life cycle of a project as well as offers procurement advice and assistance during the tendering procedures.
- Architect Researcher
As an architect researcher, you are expected to engage in researches that will provide design and development solutions to issues that are technical or complex in nature. The task is a simple one as no extraordinary skills are required except the ability to try and gain extensive insight into past architectural practices and the new one.
- Medical Illustrator
A medical illustrator is one that has advanced education in life sciences as well as visual communication in order to be able to transform complex information into visual images and use this in communicating to a larger audience. The medical illustration field is a diverse one where there are several specialties from the medical industry to media, design, engineering and architecture industry.
- Demolition Operator
As a demolition operator, you are expected to destroy old structures which can be high-rise apartment buildings, factories or even bridges. Demolition usually includes the use of explosives to blast and then machinery and equipment in order to wreck. You will be expected to work with professionals such as heavy equipment operators and hand laborers.
You are however expected to have a thorough knowledge on demolition as there are so many factors that have to be taken into consideration when destroying a structure, which will then determine the kinds of equipment that will be used.
- Architectural Conservation
Conservation refers to the efficient use of resources in a manner that is both efficient and ethical. Conservation may be carried out on the environment and natural resources in terms of protection and management or in the restoration and protection of cultural heritages that have been built by humanity such as architecture or works of arts. Before conservation is carried out, the work has to be thoroughly accessed first before it is then cleaned, rebuilt or restored.
- Theatre Architecture
This is referred to as the art and technique of designing a space that is intended for drama and allied arts by live performers. Even though theaters do not require specific designs, but every theater except for few are usually very unique. When designing a theater, the purpose is to ensure that the experience of the audience can be enhanced.
In conclusion, even though all the above listed businesses are profitable, it doesn’t mean that you shouldn’t conduct a thorough survey into the business in order to have a more in-depth knowledge about the business such as how much you will need to run the business and how long before you recoup your investment.
Also, you can decide to run a collection of the businesses together or just one depending on how much your budget is. Aside from knowing how much you will need to start the business, you should also find out what other essentials – such as licensing and certification – are required from you before you start the business.