By Oyeladun Ajayi
Architecture as a profession in itself is lucrative! However, a lot of us know that sometimes and most times there are drought periods. At these times, no projects are ongoing, no design concepts on the drawing boards and no site works. At times like these we wonder what to do and if we are fortunate enough to have savings from the last project we did, this may sustain us for a while.
The period described above is a time to bring your creativity to the fore.
The first step is to agree that you need additional income, the next will be to identify which vocation you want to engage in and lastly getting requisite knowledge about your choice. Please, note very carefully that unless you have plenty cash stashed in your bank account, it will be wise to start with something that requires very little capital to get started.
Architects nowadays are known to undertake building construction projects from start to finish. Selecting various finishes and appointing/supervising sub-contractors and artisans. Now, this is where it gets interesting, to supervise an aspect of work or task only means you have proficiency in that area. So, why is it that only the subject-matter master earns income from that task? Why is the architect not earning?
- Itemize all complimentary building services that you know.
- Prepare a scale of preference
- Pick any five trades of your choice.
- Schedule meetings with dealers/suppliers/wholesalers etc
- Familiarize yourself with prices/varieties and manufacturers.
- Identify and nurture skilled installers.
- Design and print beautiful Handbills and leaflets listing all your chosen service offerings.
- Identity key developing estates/neighbourhood/areas
- Hire two marketers on short/long terms to distribute the flier (Train the marketers to engage/direct clients).
- Undertake jobs and deliver value before money.
- Make customer satisfaction a priority.
- Provide milestones and meet deadlines. Envision and plan for delays ahead.
- Listen to your clients and be flexible yet assertive.
- Ensure that payments are made to the company accounts and receipts provided.
Following the steps above may help you carve a niche for your company in the area of finishes and provide you additional income.
Arc. Ajayi is the Lead Consultant at Weatherhouse Group Nigeria
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