architect + entrepreneur : resources
Most new businesses cobble together systems ad hoc – on an as needed basis. What if the systems, tools, templates, and worksheets were done for you, available and at the ready when you needed them on day one? To save you time and the hasI’ve bundled the most useful resources from my business into a single toolkit. You can download it here. For a full description of what’s included, please refer to this video unboxing
The Architect + Entrepreneur: Startup Toolkit – Volume 1 is the foundational resource every startup practice needs. Here's what' included in the toolkit:
Naming Guide Resource (PDF) – 3 pages
Branding Resource + Links (PDF) – 3 pages
Business Card Template (Images, PSD)
Sample logo (PSD, JPG)
Social Media Icon Pack – B&W (PNGs)
Lean Canvas (PNG)
Business Structure Cheat Sheet (PDF) – 5 pages
Revenue Model Guide (PDF) – 5 pages
Passive Income Cheat Sheet (PDF) – 3 pages
Email Marketing Tools
Email Capture Resources (PDF) – 3 pages
(15) Email response templates (Word) – 5 pages
Process Tools + Documents
New Client Design Process Guide (Word) – 13 pages
New Client Standard Operating Procedure (SOP) – (Word) – 2 pages
New Client Interview Questions (Word) – 4 pages
Draft Fee Proposal (Word) – 6 pages
New Client Welcome Checklist (Word) – 2 pages
New Client Programming Worksheet – (Excel) – 1 page
New Client Questionnaire (PDF, Word) – 12 pages
Client Authorization Letter (Word)
Project Fee Tracking Worksheet – (Excel) – 1 page
Shop Drawing Stamp (PDF, PSD)
General Project Information Document (Word) – 1 page
Meeting Notes Document (Word) – 1 page
You can download the Architect + Entrepreneur: Startup Toolkit today on Gumroad.
Getting Started Instructions (PDF) - 5 pages
AutoCAD Floor Plan Template (.dwt) - **UNITS ARE IMPERIAL**
Arch D (24" x 36") size title block
Line weights + line types
Text + dimension styles
Basic layer setup
Shading styles / colors
Typical annotation blocks
Small sample floor plan
Small sample elevation with treeline layout
Sun path diagram (must modify per your site location + latitude)
Title Block (.dwg)
Template Drawing (.dwg)
Color table (.ctb) with preset pen settings, widths and colors
Sample Floor Plan Drawing (PDF)
Watch this video to see how Eric uses this template to create his signature drawing style.
Outline Specification Template
Save time by starting with the right template for your residential project specification. A specification is a simplified listing of all the materials, expectations, standards and performance criteria for your project. It lists, in detail, all the information that the drawings aren't able to. This is the outline specification I use as the starting point for all my residential architecture projects at 30X40 Design Workshop.
27-page Residential Architecture Outline Specification Template
Microsoft Word (.doc/.docx) Formats Included
Template includes Embedded Styles so it's easy to change fonts + formats
Swap in your Logo for the Placeholder in the Header
Fully customizable + editable to your standards
A dedicated page to the photography gear I use to document my projects and record my YouTube videos.
The Four Hour Work Week by Tim Ferriss - this book changed everything for me. It's an easy read and it will rewire the way you see the world.
Atomic Habits by James Clear - systems vs. goals and how 1% better equates to an unfair advantage everywhere.
Daily Rituals: How Artists Work by Mason Currey - this may inspire you to follow the lead of many in the book who drink heavily and/or wantonly abuse drugs. Fascinating read, easy to pick-up anytime.
Steal Like An Artist by Austin Kleon - a manifesto for creatives.
The War of Art by Steven Pressfield - motivation to overcome internal RESISTANCE, inspired by Sun-Tzu's Art of War
The Obstacle is the Way - Ryan Holiday - motivational and accessible; a primer on Stoic philosophy.
The 22 Immutable Laws of Marketing by Al Ries and Jack Trout - examples are slightly dated, but the fundamentals are rock solid.
Getting Everything You Can Out of All You’ve Got by Jay Abraham. The title says it all; how to put all your assets to use to build wealth and success in your business and personal life.
The Lean Startup - of course.
The 7-Day Startup by Dan Norris - quick read, inspiring template for launching a business.
#Ask Gary Vee: One Entrepreneur's Take on Leadership, Social Media, and Self-Awareness by Gary Vaynerchuk. From the founder of the world's fastest growing social media agency, this is a collection of short lessons in 21st century marketing.
Money: Master the Game by Tony Robbins - tax strategies more than anything else.
How to find design clients
LegalZoom - LLC, Partnership, & Corporation forming help.
IRS Deduction List - keep track of these during the year and your startup expenses too.
IRS Online Tax Payment Center - enroll for easy payment of your quarterlies online. Each state has an online tax payment portal too.
Contracts + SOP Documents
Small Project Contract Guide - AIA resource for small firm practitioners
Documents on Demand - AIA digital contracts
AIA Trust - Insurance and financial programs for Architects
AIA LegaLine - Legal advice for members of the AIA (they offer very affordable introductory membership rates)
Foundations Documents (from EntreArchitect) - $69, more than 50 forms and checklists for small firm architects
EntreArchitect Academy - "A community of like-minded Entrepreneur Architects seeking to take their small firms to greater success," run by Mark R. LePage. Specialty business coaching for design professionals.
EntreArchitect Profit Workshop - ‘Path to Profitability’ Method of Financial Management for Architects
4C's & 4P's - Marketing Mix - learn marketing parlance
PickFu - Crowd-sourced instant market research (instant polling). You ask a question, PickFu surveys, you get instant responses and demographics.
Internet Marketing + Website Creation
SEO: WordPress SEO (must-have WP plug-in), MozBar (analyze your site for performance), Google Keyword Planner (target high volume, low competition search terms), Übersuggest (enter a keyword receive suggestions for highly searched terms)
Image Resizing: TinyPNG - maintains the quality of your screenshots/images but optimizes their file size (aids with SEO minimizing download time)
Social Media: Buffer (scheduling for social media posts), Simple Share Buttons Adder (share your content easily out to all of your social media profiles with a single click), Houzz.com (required social media platform for design pros)
User Testing: Peek - enter your website URL and you'll receive a video back within a few hours of someone surfing your site. Can help determine if you're achieving the desired results from your website.
HARO (Help A Reporter Out) - sign-up to receive notifications from reporters looking for expert opinions on a variety of subjects. Great for organic backlinks and for defining yourself as the expert.
Accounting / Timesheets / Time Tracking:
Freshbooks (Time Tracking, Project Management, Invoicing - PAID)
Wave (Accounting/Invoicing - FREE)
BimAfterDark.com - comprehensive library of BIM video tutorials by Jeffrey A. Pinheiro
Integrated Project Management Software (All-in-one tools):
Start here: Arch Smarter flow chart
Virtual Staff Finder (Chris Ducker)
Fancy Hands (set fee for 15 min tasks)
Productivity / Integrations
IFTTT: IF This Then That is a collection of "Recipes" designed to carry out a specific task following a trigger event.The program creates powerful integrations between web-based applications and is composed of IF recipes and DO recipes. An IF recipe might be: IF I post an Instagram photo, then post it as a native Twitter photo to my stream. Or, IF I receive an e-mail from X-client, THEN send me a text. The DO recipes create buttons to automate certain tasks - posting all photos to an album in Facebook for example. Their site is filled with "Recipes" to explore for home and office use.
50+ Sites for free images, fonts & icons - I use this blog post/resource all the time. Insanely useful, beautiful stock images, fonts and icons - free!
Wordswag - add any text over an image, quick, easy...beautiful results.
Use these to earn your mobile MBA. Bring the with you as you commute or when you exercise or grocery shop. Invaluable business ideas, case-studies and tips. Some from the architecture world, some not. I've actually found the non-architecture ones to be even more enriching.
Smart Passive Income with Pat Flynn - my life-altering equivalent in the podcast world. Pat was an architect in a former life and an inspiring figure.
Tim Ferriss Show - compelling long-form interviews with interesting, successful entrepreneurs.
Seth Godin's Startup School - brilliant 15-part series which uses the "architect" as metaphor.
Seth Godin’s Akimbo - marketing ideas packaged in a consumable format.
Design Matters - Debbie Milman’s award-winning podcast on all things design.
Gary Vee Show - Gary Vaynerchuk teaches you how to: Jab, Jab, Jab, Right Hook.
Chase Jarvis Live Show - Founder of Creative Live interviews creatives.
Startup - the founding of Gimlet media by Alex Blumberg (formerly of This American Life)
The Fizzle Show - bootstrapping a business. Honest, hilarious and actionable.
The Futur podcast - Chris Do teaches no-holds-barred, raw and uncut.
Hustle and Flowchart - Business + marketing, super-actionable, current + relevant.
Tropical MBA - how to build a lifestyle business one cold call at a time.
Entrepreneur Architect - business talk, inspiration, entrepreneurial topics.
The Business of Architecture - Case studies and interviews with a range of entrepreneur architects.
99% Invisible - excellent architecture-centric podcast, range of topics.