10 Best Business Books For Architects
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10 Best Business Books For Architects

Thinking of starting your own design firm? Today I want to highlight the top 10 business books that have had the biggest impact on my career. Weather you’re an Architect, Interior Designer or Design Professional there is something for everyone in this list… so let’s get started.

Ohh… and don’t forget – if you are thinking of starting your own firm your ability to win Clients will be the key to your success. So we’ve created a free starter kit that’s packed full of useful resources to help you achieve just that: 

Fee Proposal Starter Kit

10 Best Business Books for Architects:

#1. Priceless: The Myth of Fair Value (and How to Take Advantage of It)

This book is a must-read for anyone who is involved in price setting and selling design services. 

Based on a series of events and research, Priceless reveals the hidden psychology and irrational behavior behind the process of fee setting and decision making in the financial arena.  

Whether you are new to the industry or a seasoned Design Professional, Priceless will leave you thinking about price setting in a whole new way.

#2. Made to Stick: Why Some Ideas Survive and Others Die

In today’s highly competitive and fast paced world very few of us know how to communicate effectively, capture the Clients attention and leave a positive, lasting impression.

Made to Stick, seeks to change that by revealing the anatomy of ideas that stick and providing a step by step formula for success. Based on a series of eye-opening, and humorous anecdotes, Made to Stick shows readers the foundations of a winning idea and the rules that make it ‘sticky’.

A must read for anyone who is involved in pitching design ideas and selling design services.

#3. Never Split the Difference: Negotiating As If Your Life Depended On It

Based on the experiences of a former international hostage negotiator for the FBI, Never Spit the Difference reviews the human side of this frequently misunderstood subject.

While many negotiation books focus on a series of rational and logical steps for a successful negotiation, this book takes a less conventional approach by appealing to our human biases.  

Whether you’re looking to negotiate design fees or scope creep issues this book will give you a fresh look at the negotiation process and the tools required to achieve success in any negotiation situation.

#4. Getting to Yes: Negotiating Agreement Without Giving In

Getting to Yes is based on the work of the Harvard Negotiation Project, a group that deals with conflict resolution. This book is perhaps the most popular negotiation book of our time.

Originally published in 1981, and republished many times since, Getting to Yes holds the title of one of the longest running, bestselling, business books. In fact it’s so popular that it features in many business school classrooms and negotiation training sessions around the world including the Fee Proposal Workshop.

Based on a series of 4 principles for a successful negotiation, Getting to Yes is a no nonsense, common sense approach to the negotiation process that seeks to provide readers with the solid foundation upon which to build a well-rounded set of negotiation skills.

I would consider this book a must-read for all Architects, Interior Designers and Design Professionals.

#5. Predictably Irrational, Revised and Expanded Edition: The Hidden Forces That Shape Our Decisions

As a Fee Proposal Writer and Firm Owner, you’ll experience many situations that leave you wondering “why?”

Predictably irrational seeks to provide answers by exploring the world of decision making and the many irrational factors that influence our behavior.

Based on a series of research studies and anecdotes, Behavioral economist and New York Times bestselling author Dan Ariely examines how previously ignored and misunderstood forces (such as emotions, relativity and social norms) are shaping our economic behavior.

A must read for anyone who would like a deeper understanding of why people sometimes make irrational (but predictable) decisions and how to address them.

#6. The Art of Pricing, New Edition: How to Find the Hidden Profits to Grow Your Business

The Art of Pricing is a practical guide to pricing strategies and how small strategical changes can reap big rewards.

Based on examples from a range of different industries the Author (Rafi Mohammed) explains how a multi fee approach can help all businesses develop a winning pricing strategy that allows them to:

  • Find the right price for their product or service,
  • Increase market share, and
  • Activate dormant Clients.

I consider the Art of Pricing a must read for all fee proposal writers and design firm owners who are involved in price setting and selling design services.

#7. The E-Myth Architect: Why Most Small Architectural Firms Don’t Work and What to Do About It

This is perhaps the only book in the top 10 that’s not focused on the art of communication and/or pricing, however in an industry that’s flooded with self-employed, and small business owners, I thought it was imperative that we include the E-Myth Architect on our reading list.

The E-Myth Architect is based upon the E-Myth Revisited which is a business book classic, an international bestseller and something that all self-employed professionals shouldn’t be without.

The author (Michael E. Gerber), is a small business consultant, who takes an uncompromising look at how many small business owners frequently let expectations and industry conventions prevent them from making the right decisions.

The E-Myth Architect will help you recognize the difference between working ‘on’ or working ‘in’ your business, while giving you the tools required to grow your own Design Firm in a productive and confident way.

#8. Influence: The Psychology of Persuasion (Collins Business Essentials)

Influence, as the title implies, is a book about persuasion, and the psychology of why people say “yes”.

Based on a series of research examples the Author (Dr. Robert Cialdini) discusses six universal principles, that have a subtle, yet powerful effect over the decisions that we all make.

Whether you’re looking to have a better understanding of the forces that influence your behavior, or if you’d simply like to play a more influential role in others people lives, this book will prove to be an invaluable resource.

A must-read for all business owners, leaders, and employers, including Architects, Interior Designers, and Design professionals.

#9. Nudge: Improving Decisions About Health, Wealth, and Happiness

Nudge is a positive look at how decisions are made in our everyday lives and the important roles that delivery, framing and presentation play in the decision-making process.  

Based on dozens of fascinating research studies and decades of behavioral science research, Nobel Prize winner Richard H. Thaler and Harvard Law School professor Cass R. Sunstein argue that by understanding how people think, we can all present arguments in a more effective manner. This book shows you how to nudge the decision making process, without restricting an individual’s freedom to choose.

A must read for all Architects, Interior Designers and Design Professional who are interested in helping their Clients make more informed decisions for themselves and their community.

#10. Selfish, Scared and Stupid: Stop Fighting Human Nature And Increase Your Performance, Engagement And Influence

This is another book that discusses human behavior in the financial arena and the fundamental psychological principles that influence the decision-making process. 

According to the Authors (Dan Gregory and Kieran Flanagan) human behavior is derived from a need to survive which can be grouped into 3 core areas: fear, self-interest, and simplicity.

Examples of these three basic behaviors are all around us in both our personal and business relationships.  Selfish, Scared and Stupid investigates how these behaviors impact us and the decisions we make helping to shed light on why some ideas fail while others succeed.

A must-read for all Architects, Interior Designers and Design Professionals looking for ways to communicate more effectively with both their peers and Clients.

Let us know what you think:

Do you agree with our top 10 business books for Architects, Interior Designers, and Design Professionals? Let us know in the comments section below by saying “Yes” or “No”. Alternatively let us know which business books you’ve enjoyed and benefited from reading.

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