Are you thinking about starting an architectural visualization business? If your answer is yes, you’ve come to the right place. Starting any business is a huge challenge that can be pretty nerve-wracking. However, despite it being a tricky endeavour that requires a lot of investment, time, and effort, you can make it work if you do things the right way.
First of all, you should know that architectural rendering and visualization is still a growing industry, despite it being quite popular and high in demand across numerous different industries. It is undoubtedly growing and expanding, with more and more small companies making appearances almost every day.
You can consider doing everything DIY-style as a freelance 3D artist and mastering all those management, marketing, and PR skills, but your business success eventually comes down to sheer experience and knowledge, especially in the formative years.
There are many different ways to run a successful visualization company. If you’re completely new to this business niche and you don’t know where to start, our short guide will help you navigate the overwhelmingly competitive and crowded industry.
We’re going to cover the pros and cons of starting a company over taking the freelance path, things you should know about starting your own company, how to find your niche, and more.
When it comes to either becoming a freelancer or running your own company, both solutions have their advantages and disadvantages. Most of the time, companies have a hard time choosing between full-time 3D artists and freelancers because both can benefit their cause.
Let’s see the advantages of having a full-time company over working as a freelancer.
If you’re trying to find the biggest architectural visualization projects, you will do much better as a company than as a freelancer. Freelancers may be cost-efficient, flexible, accessible, and available, but they also have a restricted technical capability and will work without a contract.
They are much less organized and offer no guarantee of quality. Companies, on the other hand, offer the advantage of sheer professionalism. They can guarantee the highest quality service that usually exceeds the client’s expectations.
When you present your services as an architectural visualization company, clients expect professional assistance, guidance, expertise, and everything else needed to visualize their construction projects in the best way possible.
Companies are far more customer-centric than freelancers. More importantly, they know communication is the key to completing projects with success. Visualization studios are quite effective when it comes to maintaining efficient communication.
They will quickly respond to emails, phone calls, or any other communication channel their clients prefer. This level of personalization and service is what modern clients expect from any business today.
Finally, the most significant disadvantage of working with freelancers is their inability to handle the entire project from beginning to end. Companies offer thorough project management services to manage each stage of a project, regardless of its size and quantity. That’s how they ensure they deliver the expected results quickly.
Starting any type of business in any industry comes with certain challenges. Let’s see what some of those challenges are.
Starting a company with success requires you to see things that others can’t. Where others see obstacles, you need to recognize opportunities. However, you should not stop there.
One of the biggest challenges that fresh business owners encounter regularly is finding a way to harness the potential of business opportunities and turn it into a sound business idea.
Start with identifying a pain point and turn it into a business idea by coming up with a way to solve that problem. Integrate your solution into your business plan and start driving results.
The next challenge is finding the right business team for your company. It’s a process that requires resources, effort, and time. As a company, you have your strengths and weaknesses.
You need a team that will know how to use your strengths and complement your weaknesses. Fortunately, the internet offers a wide range of excellent platforms for finding top talent today. Choose your team members wisely and make sure they share your vision and passion.
The only way to solve the problem of raising capital is to find the best way to sell your vision and idea to potential clients. That includes mastering the art of presentation and communication.
3D visualization is an excellent way to master both communication and presentation as they are so photorealistic that they mostly do the selling on their own. Persuasion skills, your team, a smart business plan, and storytelling are essential elements of raising capital.
Additional challenges include:
Building a portfolio is the first thing you should do to find your niche and specialization and start driving traffic to your website to start making revenue. Start by choosing the industry or industries that best match your visualization capabilities.
Whether you want to work in the architecture, construction, engineering or real estate, or the golf industry, the trick is to understand what makes it tick to find the niche that works for you. That’s the most effective strategy for building your architecture visualization business.
It will help get your business noticed, but the biggest advantage of having a niche is getting recognition for offering unique services in the market.
While many business owners think the key to success is to do mainstream work competently, the key is to find a niche market for your visualization to provide your clients with real value and social proof of your customer-centricity. Aside from helping you launch your business in the right way, this will also help keep your competition at bay.
Building your network is something that you should start doing while studying. Colleges and universities provide the right academic background that can serve as the foundation for networking with mentors, professors, experts, and professionals worldwide.
That’s how you gain insight into new practices to develop your own and create meaningful connections that can lead to lucrative business opportunities. Once you have the right connections, use them to get your business going by attracting top clients in your niche.
Even if you manage to develop your business beyond your expectations, you should not stop building contacts. Look for side projects to work on while looking for bigger fish to fry – the more projects you get done, the more social proof you create for your portfolio.
Every contact you create is a valuable addition to your network. The more extensive the network, the more work you get. It will be much easier to dive into the archviz industry once you have established yourself as a trustworthy authority in the market, with an army of satisfied clients under your belt.
More work means more experience, and experience is the best way to get ahead of the competition curve and offer something that your competitors can’t match.
The best way to find out what makes the archviz industry tick is to take a peek at what the best archviz agencies are doing at the moment. It should provide you with valuable insights on how to start your own business off the right foot. You should also consider working for an agency before you decide to go their separate way.
Working for a large 3D agency will show you how the industry works and help you earn invaluable experience and knowledge that might be your most competitive weapon in the arsenal. Leading creative studios are known for pushing the limits far beyond their comfort zone.
They are harbingers of innovation and can offer the most competitive business practices you need to launch your business sky-high. Before you start your own business, gather all information you can about the industry, the market, the niche, the audience, and the competition to create a business plan that will ensure your business idea comes to lucrative fruition.
The success of your company depends on your business plan. It helps you gather the resources you need to start your business. In addition, once your business starts bringing in profit, your business plan will serve an even greater purpose, such as securing your private investments and lines of credit.
Creating a business plan is a lengthy process that requires thorough planning. It should include the most vital elements and aspects of your business, such as details about your services, target audience, additional capabilities with architectural visualization, previous experiences with animation studios and software companies, and the market opportunity in your business niche and industry.
Include the following elements in your business plan:
You can try to discover skilled 3D talent by relying on Google, but we recommend taking your time to consider what kind of talent you need. Pay special attention to things like:
Check top hiring platforms such as Easy Render, ArchiCGI, and UpWork, as these are the best hiring and job-finding platforms on the internet.
When starting a business, it is paramount to acquire initial brand exposure and establish an authoritative brand presence. We recommend that you get your website going as soon as possible. Set up your social media accounts on all platforms your clients are using, upload videos on Vimeo and YouTube, and start building a community to increase your visibility online.
That’s how you get other industries to find out about your business. Marketing your business depends on how well you know your target audience and the geographical area where you plan on running your architectural visualization business.
Finally, we come to breaking down rates to create a pricing model. You need appropriate rates to beat your competitors, but that doesn’t mean that you should sell your work short. Pricing is crucial for your success, but there are many external factors that impact your calculations and commissions. Start by gathering information on the standard prices in your line of work.
Estimate your monthly expenses, note down every cost that you have, even small ones like the one you'd have with a WordPress booking system that's keeping your schedule, practice price monitoring, and learn what to look for when calculating your rates. Your pricing model should be based on the number of drafts your clients expect, the time it takes to talk to your clients, how many edits they expect, etc.
This guide is meant to give you a few quick tips on how to get your company started, but there’s a long way to go before you come to launching your business. Use these tips as a foundation for doing thorough research on what it takes to start an architecture visualization company today.
These are the essential things to worry about, but many tiny details also fit into the bigger picture. Keep in mind that your business plan, skills, experience, expertise, and knowledge make all the difference. Find your business niche, master modern marketing techniques, discover top talent, and start your business like a real professional.