MoA Business Academy
& Key Advice
MoA Business Academy helps architects and practices run better businesses, collaborate with other industries and find new revenue streams for their skills and knowledge. MoA Academy offers a series of courses to help architects think differently about the way they work. The courses involve experts in the industry and experts in other fields sharing knowledge to foster new business opportunities. We also offer memberships and courses specifically designed for practice owners, directors and associates.
We’ve also gathered some of the top tips taken from our workshops and conversations with architecture practice owners and business development professionals and collated them for you at the bottom of this page.
Upcoming Events: Associates’ Leadership Series
A leadership development programme for architects with people-management responsibilities to help them meet their responsibilities to their team and practice.
The anticipated next cohort will commence in May 2023. Register your interest to receive more information.
The Associates Leadership Series is an initiative by the Museum of Architecture that provides leadership and business skills training for Associates of architecture practices. It is also a forum to share experiences and learn insights from industry peers.
This educational opportunity is designed to connect participants with knowledge and resources to better understand their leadership style and improve how their leadership serves their practice and colleagues. It is designed specifically for the essential role of the Associate, or the mid to senior level architects and professionals in the built environment industry. Each session includes presentations and activities to introduce leadership, communication and business concepts to participants. It includes industry-specific research and examples in each session. It will also include discussion amongst participants to learn from each other’s experiences at different practices.
The programme is developed and delivered by Russell Pollard, a leadership development and workplace culture consultant for architecture practices.
This initiative is now in its fourth year and is inviting registration for the fourth cohort of participants.
- Leadership and the Associate Role
- Personal Leadership and Self Awareness
- Supporting Colleagues’ Learning and Development
- Team Culture and Inclusive Leadership
- Leading Remote and Hybrid Teams
- Business Development and Networking
Engaged and motivated employees can make a huge difference to the performance and culture of a practice. If this isn’t treated as a priority, the impact can be costly: low productivity, high staff turnover and a lack of commitment to meet the practice’s business goals. This workshop explores the key elements for employee engagement with opportunities to share best practice solutions and ideas.
Lecturer: Sue Austin, Sue Austin Consulting
PR for architects was a two-part workshop about public relations in the built environment and how good communication can serve the business of architecture. These key skills are not often taught in architectural schools and so practitioners end up trying to figure things out for themselves, which can leave projects without a home in a competitive media landscape.
Lecturer: Rob Fiehn, Architectural Communication
This program prepared participants to be successful team and business leaders in their firms. It helped them recognize and nurture leadership skills within their teams to build a strong culture, and achieve strategic goals.
Lecturer: Rowley Mossop, Innovia Partners
In this two part workshop, we guided participants through the foundations, science and techniques of a range of presentation skills. Our main focus throughout, was a series of creative exercises – designed to bring out the best in each person – is for everyone to try their hand at improving confidence, narratives and delivery of what makes a presentation captivating.
Lecturer: Amanda Yensa Manor
How you set up a new practice is vital to the success of the business. There are business, legal and personal decisions that must be considered and planned for. Whether you are thinking about starting your own practice or would like to learn more about the business of setting up a new practice, we have compiled a list of resources that you might find helpful. We will continue to update this page. If you come across useful resources that is not here, please let us know and we will add it here and credit you.
Tips From established Architects
1. Find a mentor
2. Take business classes to learn how to run your business
(yes, you really need this help)
3. Talk to experts in PR, marketing, accounting, legal, etc. and find out who is right for you.
4. Understand your niche (don’t try and do everything initially)
5. Do market research (what work is out there now)
6. What kind of practice do you want to be and what is your company culture?
7. Find software that helps you (accounting software, project management software, etc.) Talk to others to find out what they use.
8. Get out there and market yourself.
Reference Articles with good advice
Tips from architect Craig Applegath
Should you start your own practice?
An interview about how one architect, Michael Hsu, did it
40 top tips (the long read)
Business of Architecture Interviews:
– James Butterworth
– Lee Calisti
Here are books that we found to have very useful information for those thinking of starting out.
Simon Foxell’s Starting a Practice is a good first place to begin.
Instant cashflow sheds some light on various methods to try increasing cashflow and ways of doing things right from the start.
It’s not architecture specific, but a helpful read.
Is a Workspace Worth it?
Taking on a workspace is often one of the biggest steps for anyone setting up a business, a good place to start is finding space at a co-working office, like Build studios, to meet potential future colleagues and collaborators.