30 Profitable Business Ideas for Architects

by Fikayo Moronkola
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Are you an Architect looking for a profitable architectural business idea, a student of Architecture, or a graduate student of Architecture looking for architectural business ideas you can balance with your studies? This article is for you. If you are an Architect with little capital for a small or side architectural business, you are also in the right place; we have covered you.

Architecture is all about creativity, technicality, innovation, and problem-solving. As an Architect, being adaptable is a significant skill as you blend passion with function. Hence, starting a profitable architectural business requires you to find the right fit for you to be able to achieve your goals while also making a profit. This article is crafted to help you start a profitable architectural business that fits your uniqueness, creativity, and niche.

Therefore, this article covers architectural business ideas that architects can use to make more profits alongside their core skills. Architects! Get your papers, ink, and pencils ready to draft fantastic information from this article for your particular architectural business idea to bring you profits!

What We Covered In This Article

Can Architects start their own business

It is a sound decision to start your own business as an Architect. To make it more convincing, here are a few benefits of starting your own business as an Architect, As an architect, you do not necessarily need a large office to start your own business; you can create your own business in the comfort of your home and still attend to your major architectural projects at your convenience.

Advantages of online business

Profitable

Starting your own business helps you gain additional profits and enables you to use your skills to solve problems common in your environment and the World. You would have the advantage of killing two birds with one stone and becoming the successful Architect that you are.

Networking

As an architect, your work relies mainly on meeting the client’s needs, and if your work gets so many thumbs up, your work begins to speak of you. Think about the famous buildings around the World and how they are still recognized today, such as Burj Khalifa, The Eiffel Tower, and Taj Mahal, among others. The success of each building led to another. Engaging in other profitable architecture businesses would help you as an architect gain more connections, which could balance with your major architecture projects while still getting referrals.

Variety

Architecture has domestic, religious, governmental, recreational, welfare, educational, commercial, and industrial varieties. Architects are all-rounder. Starting your own business comes with the advantage of choosing from a variety of significant influences all over the World. Hence, you will not lack profit and recognition in whatever field you focus your business on.

Influence

A profitable business makes an impact. Starting your own business as an Architect would help you become an inspiration through your business value. Architects are often considered community shapers; this fact alone is mind-blowing. Why don’t you get on the train and start your own business, not just any business, your own profitable architectural business?

How much does it take to start an architectural business?

It’s a no-brainer: there’s no definite answer to this question; the cost, in general, is based on your decision as an Architect. Several factors are put in place to decide how much it would cost, but on average, it would cost $35,000, according to The American Institute of Architects. Wow! That’s a lot in certain countries; you are still in the right place; this article will help you select architectural business ideas that are profitable.

When starting your own profitable architectural business, you must consider the size and scope of your business. That is the primary determinant, as it would help determine the cost. But with strategic planning, you can start your profitable architectural business from the comfort of your home! Let’s dig deeper to consider the various scopes of architecture.

How to find the right niche for starting an Architecture business

Having an understanding of the various scopes of Architecture would help filter questions surrounding starting your own architectural business. Your decision to create your own business as an Architect is a fantastic idea. Yes, there are doubts, but take a look at the various scopes:

Residential

If you are passionate about creating living spaces that are both functional and aesthetically pleasing,  this is the right field for you. Starting a business with a niche covers a wide area, such as real estate, interior design, and many others. Hence, it allows flexibility and profitability.

-Commercial

The World of finance keeps increasing daily, involving a lot of technical thinking with a flair for creativity. If you have skills in organizing spaces that would help better organization functionality and user conformability, this is the right niche for you to start your own business. You can create your business with this niche with retail, industrial spaces, office buildings, hotels, and special-purpose buildings. These are all at the forefront of the World’s significant revenues.

Landscape

This architecture involves the design of outdoor public spaces and landmarks. If you engage in this field, you could start a business in landscape design, environmental restoration, stormwater management, green infrastructure planning, and residence landscape.

Interior Design

If you have a spark in redesigning spaces to accommodate changes purpose, this scope is for you. You get to engage in adaptive reuse linked to a sustainable practice. In this scope, you get to work on the interior of a space that requires you to work on the walls, floors, and furniture and play with colours, but only a little!

-Urban  Design

This design style is your right niche to create a better relationship between elements surrounding your cities, towns, and villages. With this scope, You can start your business with skills such as making features functional, attractive, and sustainable. This field is also interdisciplinary; you can work with other professionals and build networks to make your business more profitable.

Green Design

Are you an Architect interested in impacting the built environment, human health, and the natural environment? Then, this niche is the right one for starting your own architectural business. You can base your business as a consultant or researcher while working with building materials, energy, water, and other resources.

Industrial

This type does not require skills that use large spaces to accommodate labour and distribution of goods; this is the right sign that you can start your own business. In creating your architectural business idea with this niche, you can work with the market gap, warehouses, factories, processing plants,  commercial facilities, and more.

Well,  with all said, let’s pump our energy packs and get that profitable architectural business idea started; what are you waiting for? Move on to the next step: discover good architectural business ideas based on your country.

5 Countries with Growing Architectural Business and Industry

As an architect, I understand that a building design works with various building codes and country standards. Here, we discuss profitable architectural business ideas based in five different countries.

1. UAE

In the UAE, architecture is considered to be a piece of art serving both aesthetic purposes and a tool of economic development in the region. Architecture also serves as a marketing tool that creates a financial, competitive advantage in the UAE. UAE is a city with a strong economy, which is very beneficial for architects as the lowest salary for Architects in UAE is AED 2,500.

Being home to some of the World’s most innovative projects, the demand for Architecture jobs comes with a high-paying salary. The size of the architectural industry is significant, as the UAE is home to many large architectural firms and design studios. UAE offers 100 per cent repatriation of capital and profits, no corporate tax, no current restrictions, and 100 per cent foreign ownership.

Popular Architectural Business Ideas in UAE

Online Real Estate Agent

In the next five years, the real estate sector in the UAE is estimated to grow up to 111% more than the existing market.

With the fast pace of technological innovation every day in UAE, starting an online real estate agency quickly for your clients would be the perfect fit for creating your own profitable architectural business.

Tour guide Agency-

UAE is known for its popular modern high-structure buildings with famous landmarks, such as Burj Khalifa Burj Al Arab, which cause people to travel all over the World to look at these famous buildings all year round. The government considers tourism one of its most significant sources of revenue.

Hotel Designer and Consultant

With 9 per cent of UAE’s total GDP obtained from the contribution of the travel and tourism sector, start your own business that offers advice and management of investments and hotel projects.

Starting a profitable architectural business idea in the UAE has benefits such as high-luxury living, career advancement, and exposure to new ideas and technologies. If you want to start your own profitable architectural business in UAE, look out for competition, work cultures, cultural differences, and hot weather conditions.

2. USA

As stated by the Bureau of Labour Statistics Projects, there has been a 2.7 per cent employment growth for architects between 2021 and 2031. The USA is known to be a country of identity which Architects are known to create through their design, which helps improve the quality of life for citizens and contributes to economic development.

In the US, the high demand to rebuild the country’s transportation and infrastructure provides an opportunity for architects to gain access to federal transportation grants.

Popular Architectural Business Idea in the USA

-Preservation Architect

You can start a business as a preservation architect, which helps to redesign and restore famous structures while offering expertise in form, material, and design. This type of business comes with a grant the government provides to preserve historical landmarks.

-Transport Design Agency

As an Architect, you can start a profitable business that involves designing transportation facilities such as roads, railways, and bridges. These facilities are vital for any country, especially in the USA, with a daily increase in population and expanse in land.

-Outdoor Recreational Designer

Starting a business as an outdoor recreational designer comes with a grant from the National Park Service. If you have skills that involve creating aesthetically pleasing parks and spaces that offer inclusiveness and functionality,

The advantages of starting your own profitable architectural business idea in the USA include no VATs or GSTs for your online businesses, low maintenance and setup fees, and a good reputation. Be on the lookout for individualistic culture, insolvency, and paying taxes if you want to start your own profitable architectural business in the USA.

3. Norway

Norway is one of the best places for young architects to find jobs. The demand for skilled professionals in the country is high. Architects are highly favoured in this country because it has a shallow level of unemployment with a high demand for housing. According to SRI Economic Research Institute, the average salary for Architects in Norway ranges from NOK 613, 392 and NOK 1, 082, 978.

Popular Architectural Business Idea in Norway

Cultural Heritage Conservationist

Suppose you are an Architect with a flair for restoring historic buildings, passing on an ancient craft, and recording traditional tales with your creativity and eye for detail skill. In that case, this business idea is your right fit.

Marine and Aquarium Architect

Norway is famous for its long coastline, offshore islands, fjords, and its diverse range of marine life. You can start a business as a marine and Aquarium Architect, which helps design spaces to showcase the diversity of Norway’s underwater World while making profits.

Architect Finance Consultant

Do you have knowledge of all things money investment and an in-depth passion for designs and buildings? You can combine your skills to help offer advice on building assets to other Architects, clients, and government bodies in Norway.

The Norwegian government offers a lot of incentives to help businesses get started, and it has a thriving economy with low tax rates for business owners. Let’s remember its favourable climate all year round to fit your comfort. If you are starting a business in Norway, look out for its high cost of living and rigid regulations regarding entrepreneurs starting their businesses. Thanks to technology, you can begin your profitable architectural business from your home.

4. UK

The UK is a country known for preserving its rich history and innovation. Also, various government incentives are in place for architecture, such as R&D Tax Credits, which are based on research and development set to encourage innovation. In 2022, the market size measured by revenue for architectural activities was £8.9bn. Massive! That’s not all; the global market size is said to hit USD 549.6 billion by 2032. This is a lot of potential architects.

Popular Architectural Business Idea in the UK

Airbnb Designer

A typical UK host can earn over £6,000 annually. You can combine your knowledge in residential design to create Airbnb spaces that meet the user’s requirements. You can partner with a housing estate and the government to develop budget-friendly Airbnb spaces that still deliver functionality.

Senior Living Home Architect

The World is affected by the significant growth of the senior population, and the UK is rated to be among the top countries facing this problem at the worst. Why don’t you become a problem solver and start your own profitable architectural business focusing on designing senior living homes/complexes?

Architecture Retail E-commerce Store

Utilize your skills in online platforms supporting the multi-channel buying and selling of architectural goods, materials, and facilities with significant national and international reach in the UK.

Starting a profitable architectural business in the UK comes with easy access to regional and European markets, robust infrastructure, and favourable tax laws, and it is the fourth best-ranked country for entrepreneurs in the World. As lovely as the advantages are, there are challenges, such as different cultural barriers, difficulty registering a business, and complex tax systems.

5. Canada

Canada has its largest industries in real estate, mining, and manufacturing, all of which an Architect plays a vital role in all three. Due to its population growth, urbanization, and government investments in infrastructure projects, the construction industry is progressing steadily, with an annual rate of 2.9 per cent by 2025.

Popular Architectural Business Ideas in Canada

Automobile Factory Architect

Are you an architect who loves to deal with cars and all things automobile? You can include your architectural background to design automobile factories, as Canada’s leading manufacturing industries are motor vehicles and parts, with $103 billion on the lead.

Real Estate Consultant

An architect knows about the codes and norms of the building authorities. If you have this in-depth knowledge, take a step further and set up a consultancy form to help real estate agents and developers make sensible decisions about authorities’ guidelines in the building industry.

Canada is known for cultural similarities, low corporate tax rates, broad trade networks, and intellectual property protection. It is essential to note challenges such as – Canadian industry restrictions, contract enforcement challenges, and differential provisional rules, among others.

Still, I am sceptical about starting your own profitable architectural business due to challenges occurring in countries or vast amounts of costs. Don’t worry; there are profitable small architectural businesses you can start at your own pace. These business ideas would meet you where you are.

Profitable Small Business Ideas for Architects

Are you looking for an architectural business with small capital? This article has got you covered with small business ideas for Architects. They include,

Architecture animation services

Provide visualization of prospective buildings in a 3D environment with the aid of your computer-aided design software. You do not have to spend much on making changes, which tends to increase business costs as you have it in the comfort of your software while being able to meet Clients’ demands.

Building Material Consultant

As innovations, building materials, and technology are in high demand, start your consultancy firm, which would engage in research that provides the building industry with the latest technology innovation and sustainable materials for buildings and infrastructure.

Development of Architecture Software Program

Suppose you have a brain-tasking idea to create architectural software ideas that fit categories such as various forms of built professionals, varied climatic conditions, or different architectural designs. In that case, this business idea is for you. With your particular skill, you would contribute to architectural software’s already ranking in the World.

Interior Designer Online Course

It’s a no-brainer that interior design is fast-moving and in high demand because people love to balance their comfort with their style. If you have an in-depth understanding of the internal design world, implement your background knowledge to create online courses that would inform keen learners on principles and elements of interior design with a background in architecture, too.

 

Profitable Architectural Business Ideas for Architecture Students

Balancing school and work can sometimes be daunting to think about, not to mention taking architecture, one of the most challenging courses at Harvard. Yet, making profits or becoming a millionaire as a student is a good idea, too. How, then, can we integrate both?

This section offers exclusive profitable architectural business ideas that you can start as a student of architecture without spending too much on costs and without affecting your school schedule. The best part is you get to enjoy what you love doing and earn more money as a student to buy those architectural materials you have been dreaming of. These include- 

Architecture-related blogging/vlogging

As a blogger and vlogger, you can combine both, share your architectural journey with others, and inspire them with an accurate view of the architectural World and life as an architecture student. You are sure to get more likes, posts, and viewers with your funny and skilled architectural story.

Architecture and Real Estate podcast

If you are passionate about entertaining the audience with good communication skills and content creation that draws many audiences, then engage in a podcast where you discuss architecture and real estate as an architecture student. You would help break down events all over architecture and give current updates in the real estate industry.

Architecture Magazine and Journal

As an architectural student, you can be a magazine writer or editor with your eyes on exciting details and spaces. You can help tell architectural history, from traditional to modern architecture, with captivating stories and photographs.

 

Profitable startup ideas for Architecture Graduates

Handyman Owner Business

A building requires the hands of many skilled artisans, from carpenters to painters, to help bring out the Architect’s design. However, finding skilled handypersons in one company can be challenging. Why don’t you take the first step and create a company that employs all the skilled handypersons needed for a building project and be sure to make a mark of success in your business as an Architect graduate who understands how to find the solution to this problem?

CAD and 3-D architectural rendering services

Use your knowledge of all things rendering from – still renderings, panoramic renderings, virtual tours, and renovation renderings with CAD designs to display the intended architectural designs. With your in-depth knowledge of shadows and light, create a story through your renderings that will bring clients calling you all year long in the comfort of your home.

Architecture Researcher

Nothing goes throughout evolution if you are passionate about finding new facts, innovations, and theories that you can combine to solve building challenges in the form of books, journals,  and published articles. You can engage your skills and start a profitable architectural business as an architectural researcher.

Unique, Creative, and Profitable Side Business for Architects

Architecture is all about “expression” and “uniqueness”. Are you looking for that extraordinary business idea that no one seems to think of yet sets to make a bountiful profit without wasting your time, energy, and efforts? Check out these unique, creative, and profitable side businesses drafted out for you. They are:

Restoration Architect

As a restoration architect, you would return a building from its former position to an improved condition. You would engage in sustainable practices that contribute to SDGs while implementing the knowledge of “circular economy”, a most sought-after topic in the building industry.

Architecture Lightning Designer

Architectural lighting designers engage in tasks such as developing concepts, plans, and specifications for both outdoor and indoor spaces in the built environment. This business requires skills and knowledge of interior design, light, and shadows to deliver your projects effectively and successfully. You can make good profits by designing spaces with lightning that creates the right ambience for your clients.

Acoustic Engineer and Consultant

Suppose you love to know how sound influences the people living in a space and how good projection is vital in determining the users’ experience. In that case, you can take a step further as an Architect who offers advice on how sound works and various decibels required in multiple spaces ranging from the bedroom to an area as large as an auditorium. You would join hands with other professionals and engineers for this type of profitable business and offer vital advice on acoustic materials for spaces.

Textile and Fashion Designer

Architects are creative, but their eye for detail helps them understand the importance of patterns and texture. With this knowledge as an Architect, you can venture into the World of fashion and use your unique and creative style to create new, world-changing textile and clothing designs as you understand various shapes, colours, and sizes.

Architectural Video game designer

Who says Architects can’t play games? If you have a passion for fun but the busyness around architecture keeps you from pursuing your love for games. Why not strike the balance and create video games that evolve around buildings and spaces? You can take the gaming world to the next level by creating video games that display various architectural landmarks in different countries around the World. That’s mind-blowing and unique, with a promise of making bogus profits.

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

What skills do I need to run a profitable architectural business?

Starting a profitable architectural business requires that you have the following skills,

Design Thinking

To start a profitable architectural business,  you must think deeply and balance your creative ideas with functional ones.

Communication

Communicate your ideas effectively and receive constructive criticism from people in your field with good ratings for business ideas like yours.

Project Management

Every business requires management to keep the business in shape. Use your project management skills to achieve your business objectives according to project-acceptable criteria.

Financial Planning

Whether it’s a large or small business idea, your knowledge of financial balance would help your business meet your short-term and long-term goals.

Team Leadership

If you have people working with you, your business will not just be profitable. It will also be successful if your team engages in cohesiveness and productivity, which requires your support.

What is the best way to market the architecture side of the business as an architect?

This article offers tips for starting that excellent, profitable architectural business idea!

  • Social media is your friend, from YouTube, Instagram, and LinkedIn. Make sure to choose the suitable social media that fits your business idea.
  • Set the proper Branding.
  • Build your network skills.
  • Engage in exciting newsletters that speak about your business.
  • Keep your clients happy always.

Conclusion

Starting a profitable architectural business can be straightforward. Still, clients are more concerned about the values and how long your business would be able to offer them the services they are paying for. The Architect also worries about the business profits to ensure their investment pays off. Don’t be afraid; here are a few tips to keep that profitable architectural business running,

  • Get your finances under control, and invest in things that will return profits in the long run.
  • Engage in reviews and feedback. Businesses run out because they need help understanding what the customers are looking for.
  • Network for success: your business should help you get referrals that would bring in more clients and boost your profit.
  • Start saving money for your business right from the start.
  • Invest in social media and technology
  • Make your employees happy if you are not in a sole business.