Independence Day: Starting My Own Architecture Firm


Today in the US we are celebrating our nation's Declaration of Independence, which we commemorate yearly on July 4th.

I thought it would be appropriate this day to issue my own declaration of independence.

Those of you who have been following Business of Architecture know that my intent with this blog has been to research and share as much information as I can about starting and running a successful architecture practice.

The more information I can share with you to help you run a better firm, the less time you can spend worrying about paying the bills and the more time you can focus on bringing great design to your part of the world.

One of the reasons I chose architecture as my profession is because it offers the potential to run my own business. Ever since I applied to architecture school, I've wanted to start an architecture firm. I have gone the solo route in the past, but it was more what I would term freelancing. This time it is “for reals”.

I'll be putting my research into practice over the next few months as I lay the foundation for starting an architecture firm. I currently have a great full-time job, but I've decided to share publicly on the blog the steps I go through, successes I have, and most importantly perhaps, the mistakes I make as I prepare to start my own architecture firm. There is a lot to consider, including finances, marketing an architecture firm, and getting the work done.

It will take a bit of extra effort to report on my progress here on the blog, but I think it will be worth it to create a resource for other architects to follow.

We all have a personal declaration of independence. What is yours?



Enoch Bartlett Sears is the founder of the Architect Business Institute, Business of Architecture and co-founder of the Architect Marketing Institute. He helps architects become category leaders in their market. Enoch hosts the #1 rated interview podcast for architects, the Business of Architecture Show where prominent guests like M. Arthur Gensler, Jr. and Thom Mayne share tips and strategies for success in architecture.

10 Responses

  1. I didn’t realize that when you start your own architecture firm, you need to consider finances and marketing as well as just doing the work. Personally, I really admire those who do work for an architecture firm. It seems like it’s a lot of work and like you have to be really creative.

  2. Good luck! I plan on starting a part time firm soon as well. I appreciate reading about your experiences.

  3. Our profession is competitive in nature, so I applaud your openness with sharing your beginning struggles of starting an architecture firm with the public. Good luck Enoch and I will be following closely because I am currently in that state of mind where I would like to venture out on my own.

    1. Thanks Jordan, stay tuned. Be sure you sign up for the Business of Architecture email list so you can get all the updates.

  4. Enoch-

    I look forward to following your progress. Would you be open to the AIA (National) sharing some of your content with our members down the road? We leverage Mark LePage’s great content, and we are fans. Small firms need all the insights we can find, so just wonder if you open to the idea? Thanks and good luck! -Kyle

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