What other services does your design firm offer besides LA? Graphic Design? Marketing? Landscape Photography?
I dream of going out on my own one day. What other similar services can I add to my future company to produce more income so it does not depend strictly on LA?
I'd say it would need to be something you truly enjoy and excel at. If it's something that needs a lot of your effort and time, it has the potential to distract you. Winning (and then producing) LA projects will be enough of a challenge. If it's not a hobby you can also make money at, I'd steer clear... Just my thoughts,
If you're concerned about paying bills until you have a work stream, build a X-month cash buffer that's enough to let you sleep at night and focus 100% on getting new work like a madman.
I was thinking services that relate to your landscape architectural work more than just a hobby under the same company. For example, after you design a subdivision for a developer, you can offer marketing and advertising material for the developer to sell lots or offer real estate photography of the property to sell pictures to real estate agents.
Most LA's I know are very creative and could do these things well, creating a diverse company.
I see potential there, though being stand-alone professions in their own right suggest there's a considerable amount of time of time and effort put into both things. If you're talking about bringing in a team to accomplish this, it makes good sense to me (aside from 3 paychecks needed every week instead of just yours). If it's you wearing 3 different (really big) hats, it sounds like a herculean effort 24/7. Sorry if I'm sounding contrarian, what matters is if you believe you can make it happen!
A couple of ideas we have done or in the process of doing.
1. Irrigation management on large scale projects: Alot of maintenance contractors do not understand how to program some of the newer clocks. With the introduction of online management it makes working from one location to several over a large distance very manageable.
2. Landscape management: Act as a consultant to the owner on the project as the site matures. As stated above alot of maintenance contractors do not understand plants, irrigation, or the relationship but your knowledge of both needs to be extensive.
3. Plant Brokering: Historically the LA would tag and locate the majority/all of the plants for a project. Currently alot of contractors go through plant brokers (at least in the west) to secure there plants. You could have as a part of your fee the brokering side of things but it would mean your client will need to be on board and supportive if and when issues arise. You could also offer that service to other contractors as well.
But as Dave mentioned adding any additional service takes time and patience.
What is not landscape architecture?