Architecture Firm Business Plan for Starting Your Business

Do you want to start an architectural firm? An architecture firm provides interior and exterior designing services varying from small works like designing a room, to larger projects such as designing a complex structure. Whereas, several tasks can also require expertise in the latest architectural software.
So, if you have decided to enter this venture, you are required to make a business plan for architecture firm. By doing so you can avoid certain problems that can come up with the initiation.
In case you are confused about how to start an architecture business, read the following sample business plan for a startup named, Michael Architects, based in New York.

Executive Summary

To give you a summarized view on how to start a business architecture and take the decisions appropriately we are sharing details about Michael Architects startup. So, if you want to know how to run an architecture firm efficiently, you can get a lot of help from here.

2.1 The Business

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Michael Architects will be a registered and insured architectural firm based in Buffalo, New York. The company will work for improving and enhancing the structures and communities in which we live – utilizing proper technical approach to plan and design big and small structures

2.2 Management of Architectural Firm

Michael Architects will be owned by Michael Craig. Craig will be managing the firm by himself. Craig wants to use his skills to run his business as he acknowledges that starting an architectural firm is a much easier task than running it.

2.3 Customers of Architectural Firm

Target customers of Michael Architects will be the homeowners, government agencies, construction company business, and contractors. Knowing the importance of marketing for architectural firms to attract the desired community, our company will be taking effective steps to attract these target groups.

2.4 Business Target

Before you even think about how to start an architecture firm, set your goals for your business as it can help you a lot in taking major decisions.
Michael Architects aims at providing the best experience to both its customers and workers. Moreover, becoming a renowned company and recovering the investments within one year of the launch is the company’s main goal.

Architecture Firm Business Plan - 3 Years Profit Forecast
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Company Summary

3.1 Company Owner

Michael Craig will be the owner of Michael Architects. Craig has an MBA degree from Stanford University. Besides just a degree, Craig has exceptional managing skills along with 6-year experience of working as a manager in a famous architecture agency, Perkins and Will.

3.2 Why the Architectural Firm Business is being started

Based on his experience in an architectural firm, Craig had realized that the architecture business is a business which had a never-ending scope. From the small task of deigning a corridor – to a larger one such as planning a road, people will always need the services of architects.
So, to invest his and his employee’s energies into a work that the world needed frequently and to make a profit in this domain, Craig had decided to start a business in the architecture domain.

3.3 How the Architectural Firm Business will be started

Architecture Firm Business Plan - Startup Cost

A building owned by Craig himself in Buffalo, a city of New York, was supposed to be interiorly decorated and designed to convert it to an extremely beautiful artifact. The building will serve as a sample to attract target customers. Moreover, Craig has decided to hire the required crew 2 months before the launch so that he could get the work of engineering his firm’s building done by the professionals of his own company.
Michael Architects will be financed by the owner himself. The firm will be ensuring a strong web presence to show its work and expertise to a wider audience. Moreover, effective steps will be taken to make an influential architecture marketing plan.

The detailed start-up information is given below:

Start-up Expenses 
Legal$143 200
Insurance$54 000
Rent$54 000
Research and Development$32 000
Expensed Equipment$35 000
Signs$5 300
Start-up Assets$322 000
Cash Required$344 000
Start-up Inventory$54 000
Other Current Assets$376 000
Long-term Assets$412 000
TOTAL ASSETS$1 508 000
Total Requirements$1 831 500
Start-up Expenses to Fund$310 000
Start-up Assets to Fund$1 342 000
Non-cash Assets from Start-up$653 000
Cash Requirements from Start-up$423 000
Additional Cash Raised$38 000
Cash Balance on Starting Date$42 000
TOTAL ASSETS$1 156 000
Liabilities and Capital 
Liabilities$37 000
Current Borrowing$0
Long-term Liabilities$0
Accounts Payable (Outstanding Bills)$46 000
Other Current Liabilities (interest-free)$0
Planned Investment$1 652 000
Investor 1$0
Investor 2$0
Additional Investment Requirement$0
Loss at Start-up (Start-up Expenses)($579 000)
Total Funding$1 652 000
Any questions? Get in Touch!

    Services for Customers

    Before starting your own architectural practice, it is essential to know how does an architecture firm work. Deciding your services even before the launch can help you in exploring the ways through which you can facilitate your customers. Moreover, it can help you in devising an effective architecture marketing plan for marketing architectural services.
    To give you a notion of services that an architectural firm provide, we are enlisting some from the plan of Michael Architects.

    • Interior Design: Our architects will be using their brainstorming ideas to add beauty and value to your roofs, floors, doors, windows, corridors any other space interior design business to your building.
    • Restoration of old buildings: Our workers will repair the defects and will do more than just ‘restoration’. We know which antique structures, doors, and windows have to be replaced to modernize your existing property.
    • Modern Architecture Design: We will be using innovative techniques to design your buildings according to the modern world. Using the high-quality glass, steel, wood and reinforced concrete we can give your property a view that you had only imagined.
    • Landscape Designing: To give your property a complete, natural, look, our architects will be working on any outdoor area. Our workers can transform any piece of land for environmental or aesthetic purposes.


    Along with these services, we will also open a small store for selling pet-related products like shampoos, foods, medicines, ties, chains, and clothes for the dogs.

    Marketing Analysis of Architecture Firm Business

    A common component of all successful business plans for architects is an accurate marketing analysis. Analyzing your market before the actual launch can help you in making major decisions such as what quality you will have to provide to your customers to make them come again – and which sort of architectural design ideas you have to offer to keep pace with the demands of your community.
    Though for a fresh architecture startup, it is hard to recognize the things which must be noticed to analyze the market properly. So, to give you an idea about which things should be under your vigilant observation, we are providing a detailed sample of the marketing plan of Michael Architects.

    5.1 Market Trends

    According to a report by IBISWorld, more than 71 thousand architecture firms are currently operating in the United States. The outlet also revealed the exact stats showing the revenue generated by architecture firms on an annual basis in the United States this year – which is $46 billion. The amount is no doubt, more than that anybody could expect because this is the sort of business which can earn great profit even from a single project if done properly
    Though more than 233 thousand people are servicing in architectural firms, there is still demand for many. IBISWorld has reported a 4.1 percent growth rate in the business of architecture firms this year, which means more people can still enter the domain. These satisfying stats and figures demonstrate that one cannot be at a loss if they prepare well before starting their firm.

    Operational and Strategic Planning

    5.2 Marketing Segmentation

    Architecture Firm Business Plan - Startup Cost

    As an entrepreneur the biggest question on your mind would be, how to find architecture clients? It can easily be figured out by you, yourself if you divide the wide range of people into three and four groups. Such segmentation will help you to recognize their demands and devising your marketing strategy according to them.
    The groups which can become our potential customers are:

    The detailed marketing segmentation comprising the company’s target audience is as follows:

    5.2.1 Real Estate Owners

    The people who own any sort of building for public and personal use will be our topmost target. Such as a person running a restaurant will need our constant services to make their place attractive for their customers. Several homeowners also require architecture firm services for implementing a new staircase or installing modern flooring.

    Any questions? Get in Touch

    5.2.2 Contractors & Construction Companies

    The second group of our target customers will comprise of the construction companies and contractors who will need our services whenever they get some project. A constructor just builds the idea of an architect, so in collaboration with our architecture firm they can build the designs which can amaze everyone.

    5.2.3 Government Agencies

    To maintain and preserve the art in old historic buildings, government agencies will be needing our services of restoration. Moreover, our services will be a permanent requirement for them to keep the city’s structures appearing as maintained architecture models.
    The detailed market analysis of our potential customers is given in the following table:

    Market Analysis       
    Potential CustomersGrowthYear 1Year 2Year 3Year 4Year 5CAGR
    Real Estate Owners36%13 49115 74619 53322 11924 24312,43%
    Contractors & Construction Companies42%26 35438 16651 52562 00278 39012,00%
    Government Agencies22%15 18317 03118 87920 72722 57513,32%
    Total100%55 02870 94389 936104 848125 20710%

    5.3 Business Target

    Michael Architects aims at providing the best services to its customers and the best environment for its workers. Within the next three years, we want to be a renowned figure in the world of architecture firms.

    Our financial goals are:

    • To balance the startup costs with earned profits by the end of the first year
    • To get the net profit margin of $10k per month by the end of the first year, $15k per month by the end of the second year, and $25k per month by the end of the third year

    5.4 Product Pricing

    Although the market demands for new architecture firms is high, we still have priced our services low for the first eight months of our launch. Our pricing will also be used as a tactic for marketing architecture firm and it will also be helping our startup to get introduced to the people who can become our potential clients in future.

    Any questions? Get in Touch!

      Architecture Marketing Strategy

      If you are passionate for creating an architecture firm, the part you must focus on is the sales strategy. In define a strategic plan, you have to look up for architectural marketing ideas and decide which would suit your startup the most.

      From this sample business development plan for an architecture firm, you can get the idea of how others are publicizing their architectural services.

      6.1 Competitive Analysis

      Under the extensive experience of our staff and architects and managing skills of our firm owner, we will be ensuring top quality work even in limited resources.

      Our workers are highly collaborative and will keep in touch with you during the project so that you can get exactly the work which you want. Moreover, using design software like AutoCAD, Revit, etc. we can give you a view before implementing your idea so that you can introduce any changes.

      Lastly, our prices are extremely low in the first year providing a golden chance for you to try our services even if you require small works like modernizing a corridor or a balcony.

      6.2 Sales Strategy

      To get introduced to our target customers, we will:

      • Keep our prices low in the first year
      • Advertise our services through local newspapers, magazines, and social media
      • Display various views of our own-designed firm as proof of our experience and skills
      • Use SEO techniques to ensure a strong web presence

      6.3 Sales Monthly

      Architecture Firm Business Plan - Sales Monthly

      6.4 Sales Yearly

      Architecture Firm Business Plan - Sales Yearly

      6.5 Sales Forecast

      Architecture Firm Business Plan - Unit Sales
      Sales Forecast   
      Unit SalesYear 1Year 2Year 3
      Interior design1 9142 7163 784
      Restoration of old buildings774834830
      Modern architecture design576660518
      Landscape designing440522756
      TOTAL UNIT SALES3 7044 7325 888
      Unit PricesYear 1Year 2Year 3
      Interior design$1 000,00$1 200,00$1 450,00
      Restoration of old buildings$1 430,00$1 560,00$1 650,00
      Modern architecture design$2 000,00$2 200,00$2 400,00
      Landscape designing$1 200,00$1 300,00$1 400,00
      Interior design $1 914 000,00$3 259 200,00$5 486 800,00
      Restoration of old buildings$1 106 820,00$1 301 040,00$1 369 500,00
      Modern architecture design$1 152 000,00$1 452 000,00$1 243 200,00
      Landscape designing$528 000,00$678 600,00$1 058 400,00
      TOTAL SALES$4 700 820,00$6 690 840,00$9 157 900,00
      Direct Unit CostsYear 1Year 2Year 3
      Interior design$750,00$1 050,00$1 100,00
      Restoration of old buildings$860,00$1 050,00$1 150,00
      Modern architecture design$950,00$1 200,00$1 250,00
      Landscape designing$770,00$850,00$1 000,00
      Direct Cost of Sales   
      Interior design $1 435 500,00$2 851 800,00$4 162 400,00
      Restoration of old buildings$665 640,00$875 700,00$954 500,00
      Modern architecture design$547 200,00$792 000,00$647 500,00
      Landscape designing$338 800,00$443 700,00$756 000,00
      Subtotal Direct Cost of Sales$2 987 140,00$4 963 200,00$6 520 400,00


      If you are thinking about how to set up an architectural practice which will not end up as a failure you must focus on the staff you hire.

      Personnel plan

      After all, it is the personnel that decided the future of a startup.

      The same can be applied for if you are worrying about how to manage an architecture business because the construction management business can be effective only if you hire the right person for the right job.

      7.1 Company Staff

      Michael will be the owner and manager by himself, however, he will hire the following people:

      • 1 Accountant to keep financial records
      • 3 Architects to work on the projects
      • 5 Field Employees to work as laborers
      • 1 Technician to upkeep the machinery
      • 1 Structure Engineer to help in providing sustainable solutions
      • 2 Drivers for transportation works
      • 1 IT Expert to manage the company’s online record, website and social sites

      7.2 Average Salary of Employees

      Personnel Plan   
       Year 1Year 2Year 3
      Accountant$35 000$38 500$42 350
      Architects$30 000$33 000$36 300
      Field Employees$65 000$71 500$78 650
      Technician$25 000$27 500$30 250
      Structure Engineer$40 000$44 000$48 400
      Drivers$30 500$33 550$36 905
      IT Experts$29 500$32 450$35 695
      Total Salaries$255 000$280 500$308 550
      Any questions? Get in Touch!

        Financial Plan

        The final part in developing your <strong>architecture firm business plan<strong> is to make a financial plan. A financial plan must cover the details about how much money will be spent by you in certain situations and on which portion of your startup you will be spending the most. It must also contain the details about your plans to balance your investments with the earned profits.

        Though, Michael himself was a person of this domain, yet, he had decided to have this task done by a person who was a professional financial expert and had much more experience than him. The sample financial plan of Michael Architects is given here for help.

        8.1 Important Assumptions

        General Assumptions   
         Year 1Year 2Year 3
        Plan Month123
        Current Interest Rate9,00%10,00%11,00%
        Long-term Interest Rate8,50%9,50%11,00%
        Tax Rate27,43%28,54%29,65%

        8.2 Brake-even Analysis

        Architecture Firm Business Plan - Brake-even Analysis
        Brake-Even Analysis 
        Monthly Units Break-even4300
        Monthly Revenue Break-even$165 030
        Average Per-Unit Revenue$287,50
        Average Per-Unit Variable Cost$0,84
        Estimated Monthly Fixed Cost$189 950

        8.3 Projected Profit and Loss

        Pro Forma Profit And Loss   
         Year 1Year 2Year 3
        Sales$4 700 820$6 690 840$9 157 900
        Direct Cost of Sales$2 987 140$4 963 200$6 520 400
        TOTAL COST OF SALES$2 987 140$4 963 200$6 520 400
        Gross Margin$1 713 680$1 727 640$2 637 500
        Gross Margin %36,45%25,82%28,80%
        Payroll$255 000$280 500$308 550
        Sales and Marketing and Other Expenses$90 000$105 000$145 000
        Depreciation$2 300$2 540$2 750
        Leased Equipment$0$0$0
        Utilities$3 500$3 800$4 000
        Insurance$2 000$2 200$2 400
        Rent$4 800$5 000$5 400
        Payroll Taxes$35 000$40 000$45 000
        Total Operating Expenses$392 600$439 040$513 100
        Profit Before Interest and Taxes$1 321 080$1 288 600$2 124 400
        EBITDA$1 321 080$1 288 600$2 124 400
        Interest Expense$0$0$0
        Taxes Incurred$264 216$257 720$424 880
        Net Profit$1 056 864$1 030 880$1 699 520
        Net Profit/Sales22,48%15,41%18,56%

        8.3.1 Profit Monthly

        Architecture Firm Business Plan - Profit Monthly

        8.3.2 Profit Yearly

        Architecture Firm Business Plan - Profit Yearly

        8.3.3 Gross Margin Monthly

        Architecture Firm Business Plan - Gross Margin Monthly

        8.3.4 Gross Margin Yearly

        Architecture Firm Business Plan - Gross Margin Yearly

        8.4 Projected Cash Flow

        Architecture Firm Business Plan - Projected Cash Flow
        Pro Forma Cash Flow   
        Cash ReceivedYear 1Year 2Year 3
        Cash from Operations   
        Cash Sales$45 000$50 210$54 390
        Cash from Receivables$6 500$7 030$8 700
        SUBTOTAL CASH FROM OPERATIONS$47 143$53 651$59 359
        Additional Cash Received   
        Sales Tax, VAT, HST/GST Received$0$0$0
        New Current Borrowing$0$0$0
        New Other Liabilities (interest-free)$0$0$0
        New Long-term Liabilities$0$0$0
        Sales of Other Current Assets$0$0$0
        Sales of Long-term Assets$0$0$0
        New Investment Received$0$0$0
        SUBTOTAL CASH RECEIVED$47 143$53 651$55 359
        ExpendituresYear 1Year 2Year 3
        Expenditures from Operations   
        Cash Spending$33 200$35 000$36 500
        Bill Payments$15 430$17 400$18 340
        SUBTOTAL SPENT ON OPERATIONS$35 296$39 549$43 582
        Additional Cash Spent   
        Sales Tax, VAT, HST/GST Paid Out$0$0$0
        Principal Repayment of Current Borrowing$0$0$0
        Other Liabilities Principal Repayment$0$0$0
        Long-term Liabilities Principal Repayment$0$0$0
        Purchase Other Current Assets$0$0$0
        Purchase Long-term Assets$0$0$0
        SUBTOTAL CASH SPENT$35 296$35 489$43 882
        Net Cash Flow$12 430$13 760$14 330
        Cash Balance$20 550$21 550$25 640

        8.5 Projected Balance Sheet

        Pro Forma Balance Sheet   
        AssetsYear 1Year 2Year 3
        Current Assets   
        Cash$176 200$198 000$221 100
        Accounts Receivable$15 400$17 600$19 800
        Inventory$2 670$2 980$3 550
        Other Current Assets$1 000$1 000$1 000
        TOTAL CURRENT ASSETS$201 259$237 468$273 677
        Long-term Assets   
        Long-term Assets$10 000$10 000$10 000
        Accumulated Depreciation$12 350$13 760$14 860
        TOTAL LONG-TERM ASSETS$980$610$240
        TOTAL ASSETS$198 839$232 978$267 117
        Liabilities and CapitalYear 1Year 2Year 3
        Current Liabilities   
        Accounts Payable$10 870$11 500$14 950
        Current Borrowing$0$0$0
        Other Current Liabilities$0$0$0
        SUBTOTAL CURRENT LIABILITIES$9 482$10 792$12 102
        Long-term Liabilities$0$0$0
        TOTAL LIABILITIES$9 482$10 792$12 102
        Paid-in Capital$30 000$30 000$30 000
        Retained Earnings$56 000$65 000$87 000
        Earnings$112 300$134 000$156 000
        TOTAL CAPITAL$189 360$222 190$255 020
        TOTAL LIABILITIES AND CAPITAL$198 839$232 978$267 117
        Net Worth$189 000$213 000$245 000

        8.6 Business Ratios

        Ratio Analysis    
         Year 1Year 2Year 3INDUSTRY PROFILE
        Sales Growth5,65%5,65%6,43%3,00%
        Percent of Total Assets    
        Accounts Receivable6,43%7,54%8,54%9,70%
        Other Current Assets1,98%2,32%2,45%24,54%
        Total Current Assets129,40%135,60%140,60%65,33%
        Long-term Assets-8,51%-9,12%-10,21%12,20%
        TOTAL ASSETS100,00%100,00%100,00%100,00%
        Current Liabilities3,75%3,98%4,23%24,30%
        Long-term Liabilities0,00%0,00%0,00%28,30%
        Total Liabilities4,86%3,86%5,42%45,30%
        NET WORTH99,32%101,04%102,76%44,90%
        Percent of Sales    
        Gross Margin95,42%96,40%97,43%0,00%
        Selling, General & Administrative Expenses86,20%87,64%89,30%76,40%
        Advertising Expenses1,60%1,70%1,80%1,50%
        Profit Before Interest and Taxes30,43%34,33%38,43%34,50%
        Main Ratios    
        Total Debt to Total Assets2,68%1,04%0,76%56,32%
        Pre-tax Return on Net Worth65,30%68,53%72,32%4,64%
        Pre-tax Return on Assets67,42%63,32%76,32%9,87%
        Additional RatiosYear 1Year 2Year 3 
        Net Profit Margin20,32%29,32%32,23%N.A.
        Return on Equity56,32%57,32%58,32%N.A.
        Activity Ratios    
        Accounts Receivable Turnover4,545,326,4N.A.
        Collection Days100100100N.A.
        Inventory Turnover34,335,436,5N.A.
        Accounts Payable Turnover12,3113,4114,32N.A.
        Payment Days272727N.A.
        Total Asset Turnover2,32,42,5N.A.
        Debt Ratios    
        Debt to Net Worth0-0,02-0,03N.A.
        Current Liab. to Liab.111N.A.
        Liquidity Ratios    
        Net Working Capital$176 000$187 000$196 000N.A.
        Interest Coverage000N.A.
        Additional Ratios    
        Assets to Sales0,560,670,76N.A.
        Current Debt/Total Assets4%4%3%N.A.
        Acid Test24,3126,6428,32N.A.
        Sales/Net Worth1,81,92N.A.
        Dividend Payout000N.A.

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