architect + entrepreneur : resources

I’ve curated a group of the most valuable tools I use to run my residential architecture practice. My hope is that sharing these will allow new Architect – Entrepreneurs to implement systems grounded in proven best practices from the outset, shortening the long to-do list every new business owner faces.
— Eric Reinholdt, Author/Architect

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:

Brand Tools

    • 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)

Organizational Tools

  • 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.

 
 

Photography gear

A dedicated page to the photography gear I use to document my projects and record my YouTube videos.

books

The Four Hour Work Week by Tim Ferriss - this book changed everything for me. It's an easy read and it will change the way you see the world.

$100 Startup by Chris Guillibeau - inspiring entrepreneurial stories of businesses birthed for less than $100 (+/-)

The Lean Startup - of course.

The 7-Day Startup by Dan Norris - quick read, inspiring template for launching a business.

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.

Book Yourself Solid - Michael Port

The 22 Immutable Laws of Marketing by Al Ries  and Jack Trout - examples are slightly dated, but the fundamentals are rock solid.

#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.

The Unofficial Guide to Houzz.com - my guide on how to hack Houzz to rank your profile and secure the right clients.

 

Business basics

LegalZoom - LLC, Partnership, & Corporation forming help.

Taxes

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

Hybrid Contract Proposal, Templates and Video Course (from EntreArchitect) - $97, Mark R. LePage's (FiveCat Studio) contract and video course on how to implement it.

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.

marketing tools

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

Hosting: Bluehost.com (reliable, affordable), Squarespace (well-designed, easy setup, more expensive), Houzz.com (free, not a long-term solution)

Themes: ThemeforestWooThemesBeginners Guide to SEOWordPress.org (many free themes for WordPress available)

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.

Analytics: Google AnalyticsGoogle Webmaster ToolsBing Webmaster ToolsAnalytiks - monitoring tools and dashboards for site traffic.

E-mail Marketing: MailChimp + AWeber (e-mail marketing), SumoMe (free tools to grow your email list), LeadPages + Optin Forms (squeeze pages)

Affiliate Marketing: Greenaffiliateprograms.netSmart Passive Income - an excellent resource describing affiliate marketing strategies

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:

QuickBooksFreshbooksXeroWave (Accounting/Invoicing - FREE), TogglTSHEETSHarvestTimelyNutcache (integrated time tracking/invoicing - FREE)

 

Software

CAD:

Far too many to list, begin by checking ArchSmarter's flowchart, or try this CAD Comparison Chart for all of your options.

BimAfterDark.com - comprehensive library of BIM video tutorials by Jeffrey A. Pinheiro

Visualization:

Free 3D ApplicationsSketchUp3DS Max, FormZMaxwell SketchUp plug-inAdobe Creative Cloud, GIMPPixlrPixelmator

Backup:

DropboxBoxCarboniteOneDrive

Integrated Project Management Software (All-in-one tools):

ArchiOfficeStudio Designer (Studio Webware), Studiometry

Project Management:

Start here: Arch Smarter flow chart

Apps: AsanaTrelloNozbeEvernoteOneNoteToDoist

Virtual Assistants:

Virtual Staff Finder (Chris Ducker)

Fancy Hands (set fee for 15 min tasks)

Task Rabbit

Team Collaboration:

Slack (Free!)

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.

 

Miscellaneous

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.

Podcasts:

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.

Seth Godin's Startup School - brilliant 15-part series which uses the "architect" as metaphor.

Startup - the founding of Gimlet media by Alex Blumberg (formerly of This American Life).

The Fizzle Show - bootstrapping a business. Honest, hilarious and actionable.

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.

Archispeak - insider talk about architecture topics from three seasoned pros

Archinect Sessions - more intellectually focused architecture discussions

Competitions:

Archdaily

Death By Architecture