As the owner of an architectural firm, you want to build a reputation for your business as a trustworthy, skilled service provider. At the same time, you also want to ensure that you make a healthy profit. You cannot compromise on your work quality, and you cannot afford to ignore cost-cutting at any point either because only when you efficiently use capital and ensure that every dollar spent is worth the expense can you maximize your profits. While the two goals seem to be contradictory, thankfully, they are not quite so. Here is how you can cut costs in your architecture business without denting your reputation as an impeccable service provider.
Get efficient suppliers
When you start working on project design, you have materials coming in from your suppliers. The chances are that you have been using the same suppliers for years, and you have a great equation with them. While that is important, what is more, important is that you ensure they are giving you the best price. Periodically, check how market rates compare with the rates that your regular suppliers are offering. You may be surprised to see that you can get the same materials for a lower cost from a smaller or newer supplier. Do not hesitate to switch if that is the case. Remember that with each project, you save money if you are getting your materials at a lower rate. You can even start by negotiating with your current supplier quoting the lower price that their competitor is offering you. You may be pleasantly surprised to get a discounted rate from your regular guys.
Charge additional for extra services
Many architects, especially new entrants, make the mistake of packaging all their services under one description and having one blanket rate for it all. Instead of adopting this strategy, identify your main services, price them. If your client needs extra services, charge extra. For example, you can charge for the delivery of materials to the site instead of absorbing these costs on your own. This way, you cut the cost of delivery because it is the client who is bearing the expense, not you. Some services that you can charge extra for include existing condition surveys, kitchen design, estimations, and 3D modeling. Make it clear to the client that these are not included as part of the basic services package, but you can provide these to them at an extra charge.
Trim down your office space or move to smaller offices
This can result in a major cut in your costs, especially if you have been working out of space that is located in a premium office address. Look for office spaces nearby that may not have such a grand address but serve your purpose perfectly in every other way. You can also opt to contain your offices within a smaller rented space, thus cutting down your rental cost or letting out the rest of the office, if you own the space. If you have a small set up and few staff members, you can even consider moving into your home and setting up a home office.
Avoid waste at all stages of a project, no matter how minor the value of the item may be. Starting from office supplies, maybe stationery, clips, binders to things like nails, tools, tapes, or bigger project materials like tiles, pipes, fixtures, wiring, etc.- make sure you get only what you need. Remember that if you overstock, you may not have an opportunity to use the stocked material in another project at all. And meanwhile, the content will need space for storage as well, which could result in more costs. Meticulously check all the materials being used for each project, see where you can cut down costs without compromising on output quality.
Protect yourself from risks
Another common mistake that newcomers make is to cut corners on insurance, assuming that they are cost cutting. This could turn out to be a very expensive mistake, if a client files a lawsuit against you for negligence or error during the course of providing your service. Remember that you may have provided flawless service, yet the client can still file a claim for damages, and you would end up paying through the nose for your legal defense, just to ensure your reputation is not tarnished. With a proper professional liability insurance plan in place, you address this risk and its financial impact effectively. BizInsure offers comprehensive professional liability insurance that can cover your business and safeguard it from the financial implications that attorney fees, damages, legal paperwork can devolve upon your business.