The architects business is a competitive one where new firms come up very frequently. To maintain your place in the field and to forge ahead steadily, you should be geared up to place your best foot forward at all times. In a situation like the one we are facing now, with the world in different levels of lockdown, activities in all sectors subdued. But after all, it is still the best prepared businesses that will sail through.
Some of the Challenges that Architects Face
To be prepared, it is essential that you know what to be ready for and that is why you should stay updated with the challenges that you are likely to face as an architect in today’s scenario:
1. Convincing Clients about Cost
One of the biggest challenges, especially in the current situation, is that almost everyone is looking for ways to keep costs low. This reflects rather drastically on architects’ projects because clients with little understanding of poor design’s implications may simply harp on low-cost solutions.
As a competent architect, you know that this is not the right way to go about things, but convincing the client is a very tough proposition. You wish to deliver good value even if it takes time and effort but the client may not understand this and may insist on quick solutions. It takes patience and skill to achieve your goal here.
2. Competing against Bigger Firms
Big firms and more established ones offer a host of services that you may not with your smaller start-up. The bigger competitors have the advantage of a larger capital, more manpower, more connections, and a larger network too, most often.
All of these allow them to provide a variety of services or let them cut costs in a way that you cannot match. But you have your own value to add- a personal touch, greater attention to detail, and much more. It may be a challenge to make a client understand how you can offer a very different experience than the bigger firm but it is not an impossible task.
3. Building Relationships with Contractors
This can be a big roadblock if you are stepping into a project that already has a contractor involved from an earlier stage, for procurement, for example.
This means you have to build a quick rapport with the contractor so that the work on the project can proceed smoothly with no roadblocks. If you fail here, the whole project is jeopardized because smooth communication with contractors is essential.
The same problem may also arise with contractors who come in later after you take up the project, but to a lesser degree since by this time, you are already in charge.
4. Unrealistic Expectations from Clients
As you grow bigger and bigger, you will have clients walking in with a vague dream of what they want or a picture of a grand office or home that they have seen somewhere they want to recreate on their land.
While there is nothing wrong with clients having their own dreams, practical considerations have to be considered. One of the biggest challenges faced by architects is when they have such clients walking in with completely impossible designs they want to be built given the land they have, the regulations prevailing in their place, the practicalities, and their budget constraints.
Telling a client that their dream is impossible may be the most challenging and heart-breaking thing you ever have to do.
5. Protecting your Business from Potential Risks
When you start a business, the last thing you want to dwell upon is what all can go wrong. You hardly want to start thinking about the possibility of losing your office or assets to a fire or burglary right from the outset yet it is just the smart thing to do to factor all of these risks in.
Business insurance protects your firm from these typical risks but there is more to think about. When you are providing a service as an architect, there is always an inherent risk that you may be doing a project for a client who will be dissatisfied despite your best efforts.
In such cases, the client may file a lawsuit against you for delays or negligence or faulty service. As you are aware, a lawsuit takes a heavy toll on a business and your reputation may take a hit.
Professional liability cover can protect your business from such liabilities. You can To stay on top of your field, you have to be geared to take on and overcome challenges that can derail your business. By being prepared for these, you can take proactive steps that avert the challenge or mitigate its impact upon your firm.
Taking the right kind of insurance is one of the steps you should take in this endeavor that helps safeguard your business.