Why do you want to start your own firm?
It was the year 1974.
… Global population had reached four billion
… Richard Nixon announced his resignation
… Leftist revolution ended almost 50 years of dictatorial rule in Portugal
… India became a sixth nuclear power by testing a nuclear bomb, nicknamed "Smiling Buddha"
… and I graduated as an architect.
In the middle of a happening world, I came out of college with an architectural degree, a lot of confusion and high ambitions. I began to work as an architectural assistant for a well-known architectural firm. Like most of my colleagues during that time, the salaries were meagre. In search for a good salary, I opted to work in government service. I realized that no matter how much input did I give in the design, the contractors and the clients had tremendous influence on changing and twisting my design at the time of execution. And I could not do much, but only watch my vision being shaped very differently than I had visualized.
At some point, my friend and I decided to leave the job and with a young spirit in the mind, we set out to try something new. One fine morning, one good friend of ours came to us asking for re-designing his interiors. Both of us jumped on that offer. Later, we made a decision to start our own firm. By starting off as entrepreneurs, we didn't only realize that we could do a lot more as individuals, but we began to understand the “commerce” side of architecture too. In 1984, along with my wife who is a structural engineer, we started our own design-build firm called “Urban Development Group (UDG)”.
Our first project was a housing project for young couples. This was a project in which we gained full control over our design, construction as well as users. It was like a dream come true. The success of this project not only made me a better architect, but it also taught me a lot more about office management, financial planning, time management. Many architects believe that business planning is just a formality to get a loan from the bank or to get someone to invest in your firm. But after doing more than 35 years of business as a project developer and an architect, I have realized that the key to start your own firm is to be clear about why, how, when and where do you want your firm to be. Planning is the key.
“The person who knows how will always have a job.But the person who knows why will be his boss.” - Carl C. Wood
Different people start their own firms with different intentions. Some reasons I came across among my entrepreneur friends were:
Lack of recognition in current job.
Need for better growth opportunity.
A wish to take control over the design and make one’s own decisions.
Another person already has been passed over for promotion.
Revolted by the idea of working for someone and a desire to be one’s own boss.
Disillusioned by official procedure and politics.
Finding potential to earn more money.
What is your reason?
Your motivation to start your own business impacts on how you will go on to run your firm. Your personal driving force becomes the foundation of company goals, you will create. And thus, it is important to ask yourself, “Are you ready to start your own firm?”
Next >> Take advantage of this CHECKLIST that I have developed so that you can make your own judgment whether you are ready to start your own firm or if you need some more preparation before you break the ground. It takes only 10 minutes of your time !