Using architectural terms and references in your marketing

Using architectural terms and references in your marketing

If you’ve been in or around the building and design industries for a while, you’ll know that some tight regulations bound the Architectural profession. Eligibility for registration, classes of registration and disciplinary proceedings for Architects are all heavily regulated and legislated under the Architect Registration Boards of each Australian State and Territory.
But did you know that the use of the word architect – in a variety of contexts – is also legislated? 
While it may be tempting to use descriptors like ‘architectural design‘ and ‘interior architecture‘ in your marketing, you could get yourself in all kinds of trouble if you’re misusing the terms in your jurisdiction.
While the following certainly can’t be deemed legal advice, it may help point you in the right direction to ensure you’re playing by the rules. If you require greater interpretation of any of the statements, we strongly recommend you seek advice from the relevant state Board of Architects or a legal practitioner.

New South Wales

The NSW Architects Registration Board investigates reports of person or entities illegally representing themselves or others as architects, as set out in Sections 9 and 10 of the Architects Act 2003. Examples of terms that fall under their definition of ‘representing as an architect’ include:
  • use of the title ‘architect’ or ‘registered architect’
  • use of the description architectural services, architectural design or architectural designer by an individual
  • use of any derivatives of the word ‘architect’ or ‘architectural’ by an individual or firm, and
  • use of the term ‘architectural design’ as a description of services provided by a firm that does not have a nominated architect
Learn more about the NSW Architects Registration Board and the relevant Act here:


The Board of Architects of Queensland sets out a long list of prescribed titles and words in the Architects Regulation 2019 (QLD). The Act declares that a person who is not a registered practising architect must not use ‘architectural services’, ‘architectural design services’ or ‘architectural design’ to advertise or otherwise promote their services. In addition, the Act outlines a very comprehensive list of additional titles and terms, including but not limited to:
  • architectural
  • architectural experience
  • architectural planning and design
  • interior architecture

South Australia

The Architectural Practice Board of South Australia states:
The title Architect is a valuable and prestigious one, earned only after demonstration of high levels of competence and knowledge. For that reason, use of the title is restricted by legislation. 
The Architectural Practice Act 2009 states that ‘a person must not, in the course of advertising or promoting a service that he or she, or a partnership in which he or she is a partner, provides, use a prescribed word, or its derivatives, to describe a person who is engaged in the provision of the service or the partnership if the person or partnership is not a registered architect or registered architectural business, as the case requires‘. 
[Note: according to the Act, prescribed word means (a) architect or (b) any other word or expression prescribed by the regulations.]
The act does not prohibit a person using the title of ‘landscape architect’, ‘naval architect’ or ‘computer systems architect’. With respect to interior architecture, the APBSA sets out the following FAQ and response in their Guidance Note:
Q: Can I use the title ‘Interior Architect’ if I have a Bachelor of Interior Architecture? 
A: No, this would be an offence against the Architectural Practice Act 2009. You can refer to yourself as an ‘Interior Designer’. 
You can read the full Guidance Note 2 (Use of the title “Architect” and its derivatives) here:



The Board of Architects of Tasmania makes their position very clear, stating:
Examples of titles and descriptions that should NOT be used by persons who are not registered as architects in accordance with the Act include:
  • “Architect”
  • Any other word or combination of letters that sounds or looks like the word “architect”.
  • Any derivative of that term such as “architecture” or “architectural” if used in a way that indicates or may indicate to the public that a person in respect of whom it is used is registered or entitled or qualified to be registered as an architect if that person is not so registered or qualified
  • “Graduate Architect” or “Architectural Graduate”
Learn more about this Board and its guidelines here:


In Victoria, the Architects Act 1991 (current as at 28 July 2020) states that a person must not represent himself or herself to be an architect and must not allow himself or herself to be represented as an architect unless he or she is registered as an architect under the same Act. It also sets out the following with respect to particular expressions:
Restriction on use of particular expressions 
(1)  A person or body (other than a person who is registered as an architect under this Act or an approved partnership or an approved company) must not use any of the terms “architectural services”, “architectural design services” or “architectural design” in relation to— 
(a)  the design of buildings or parts of buildings by that person or body; or 
(b)  the preparation of plans, drawings or specifications for buildings or parts of buildings by that person or body. 
The Act in its entirety can be viewed here:

Western Australia

The Architects Board of Western Australia stipulates clear regulations with respect to the protection of the title ‘Architect’. Their Info Sheet 22 (dated 9 October 2019) states:
Restricted Words 
In WA, the words “architect”, “architects”, “architectural”, “architecture”, and any abbreviation or derivative of these words are restricted words under the Act. This means that only individuals registered by the Board, and corporations licensed by the Board, can use a restricted word as part of their title, business name or description. 
The Info Sheet is a clear and concise document that would be a valuable resource for designers keen to ensure their marketing is not misrepresentative in any way. View the full paper here:


The Architects Act 2004 (effective 10 December 2019) defines architectural service as ‘a service provided in connection with the design, planning or construction of buildings that is ordinarily provided by architects’. The Act sets out several offences, including (but not limited to):
Firm offering architectural services without nominee 
(1) A corporation must not offer an architectural service unless the corporation has a nominee. 
Maximum penalty: 100 penalty units. 
(2) Each partner in a partnership commits an offence if— 
(a) the partnership offers an architectural service; and 
(b) the partnership does not have a nominee. 
Maximum penalty: 100 penalty units.
Unregistered individual advertising 
(1) An individual commits an offence if— 
(a) the individual advertises that the individual provides, or will provide, an architectural service; and 
(b) the individual is not registered. 
Maximum penalty: 50 penalty units. 
(2) An offence against this section is a strict liability offence.
Provision of architectural services by third party 
A person commits an offence if— 
(a) the person offers an architectural service to be provided by someone else; and 
(b) the provider of the service is not a registered architect; and 
(c) the person is reckless about whether the provider is a registered architect.
Learn more about the ACT Architects Board here:

As indicated above, this article should not be considered legal advice. If you’re unsure about how the relevant Act can be applied or legislated in your jurisdiction, we recommend you contact your State or Territory Board of Architects or a legal practitioner. 

Your post-sale strategy and why it matters

Your post-sale strategy and why it matters

A message from our Corporate Plus Partner, Cabinets by Computer

In such a competitive market place, you can’t deny the importance of a post-sales strategy. No matter the industry, a post-sale process guarantees you are continuing to meet the customer’s expectations well after the sale has been made. Providing a point of difference with your service and leading to a competitive edge over your competition is the goal. 

What are some of the benefits of using a Post Sale Strategy?

  • An increase in sales
  • The loyalty of your customers
  • An improvement in your performance
  • A point of difference from your competitors


Let’s take a quick look at some of the techniques you can implement as part of your post-sale-process.

Thank your Customer

After your customer has just made a purchase, they deserve a thank you by sending an automated email or a thank you note added to the delivered product. You make the customer’s experience more enjoyable and show they have chosen well by doing business with you or your company. In addition, with the name of a person to contact in case of questions, you reassure the customer that your company is doing everything they can.

Contact your Customer After 1-2 Weeks

One to two weeks after the purchase, it is advantageous to contact your customer to ask them if they are satisfied, received good service or if they have any questions. This contact serves as only a mark of attention, not to sell them more. The goal is to acknowledge the appreciation of the product or service sold.

Maintain Communication

You can continuously maintain communication with your customer’s by sending an e-newsletter to inform them about topics that affect them, or by offering information through articles, videos, guides and social media to help advise them on needs. You will show, by maintaining communication, your professionalism and expertise. If you give them all the information they need, they will be less likely to go elsewhere.


Ask for Recommendations

If your customer appreciates you, there is no reason not to recommend you. Happy customers will be eager to help you offer your services or products to those around them. 

Making assumptions

Making assumptions

Often in our lives we limit ourselves and our opportunities by making assumptions. Listening to our mind can be a very positive experience. Our mind can reveal innate wisdom to support us through difficult times, provide answers to concerning questions, and support us to move forward. 

When our thoughts become mind chatter and our mind is not being supportive, we can find ourselves making negative assumptions. These are unsupported opinions usually founded on negative or limiting beliefs. Our mind is trying to protect us, keep us safe from a disappointing outcome, and, as often is the case, prevent us from gaining a positive educational or life experience.

Let’s be honest. How often have we said to ourselves, ‘That’s not going to work, that’s not going to happen, I’ll never have that positive experience, this won’t be fun. It won’t be as good as everyone says it is’… and I could go on. But wait, I am making an assumption that you, the person reading this is not wanting to know more… or is that an assumption?

I would like to share a personal experience. 

A very good lifelong friend of mine (we have known each other since we were two years old) was recently diagnosed with a serious health condition. It can often be years between our last contact, yet we always connect as if it was only yesterday that we last talked or saw each other. 

At the time of a recent reconnection with my friend over this news of his health, I asked if he had heard from or been in touch with another mutual friend. His response surprised me. ‘No, we haven’t spoken for years, I think I may have offended him.’ Now these two had so much in common interest. They went to school together, they played sport together, had a passion for horse racing and many others… 

This assumption of my friend surprised me. I asked him if he would mind me trying to make contact with this mutual friend to update him. My friend agreed, however, in his response to me continued to believe his assumption that our mutual friend would have no interest in reconnecting. This couldn’t have been further from the truth. 

They have since reconnected, realising that busy lives, personal and work responsibilities, other priorities have been the only barrier to being in contact. No one had been offended. To quote the actual response, ‘Just slack’. 

Sometimes, we need to put aside the ‘assumption’ and take a positive step forward to gain a positive experience. 

For myself, I often reflect on being forced to go somewhere with my parents, resisting because I didn’t want to be there, it wouldn’t be fun, I won’t know anyone. My recollection is that that these experiences that I was going to deny myself often turned out the most memorable, the best time, ‘when can we go again?’ experiences. 😀

My friend is grateful for my intervention. There have been many memories shared, news updated and celebrated, laughter, and mutual understanding. 

Fortunately, on this occasion, I didn’t make the assumption that he was right. 

In business, one of our greatest challenges is to determine if an assumption is supportive, based on evidence or fact. Or is it a negative limiting belief assumption that will deny us a positive outcome?

If you would like to know more about negative and limiting beliefs or be supported to get back on track with positive drive and determination, visit our website at to make contact with us.

PD Thursday | Leadership in Crisis

PD Thursday | Leadership in Crisis

Thursday | 1 October 2020 | 4pm AEST

As small and medium business owners, we’re all aware that we have some challenges ahead of us. In this session, the Business Benchmark Group will be sharing some key takeaways to help us get through these challenges and come out the other side with a competitive advantage. You’ll learn the top five things you need to focus on today and discover why cash is king (and how to keep a hold of it!). Your coach, Stefan Kazakis, is renowned for his no-nonsense approach and energetic enthusiasm – be prepared to be motivated and moved to action, and ready to lead your team to better times.

About the speaker

Stefan Kazakis is the founding Principal of the Business Benchmark Group. With over 25 years of business experience across multiple industries, Stefan has a well-earned reputation as a leading business strategist for small business owners. He is a published author and a regular contributor to national publications like the Sydney Morning Herald, The Age and The Accountant, and is passionate about leading business owners to extreme profit growth, award-winning success and a greater quality of life.

Watch the recording

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Keeping your cashflow flowing

Keeping your cashflow flowing

When finances start to get tight, our first instinct is often to look for ways to increase our earnings. You can, however, improve your cashflow significantly by stopping leaks and spills in your everyday accounts.
Time and money are your most valuable business assets. In this feature, we’re looking at three ten-minute tips to help keep your cash flow flowing. 
#1 Don’t be late: automate
Have you ever tracked the late fees that accumulate on bills paid past their due date? While we all have the best intentions of paying accounts on time, our ‘real work’ (the fun stuff) often gets in the way. Both Telstra and Optus will slug you with a $15 late payment fee if you miss their due date. Missing your energy bill will cost you around $12, too, and late payments on credit cards can cost you up to $35! Maybe you’re ok with donating your hard-earned dollars to these hugely profitable players? If you’re not, though, taking ten minutes to set up an automatic payment system should be top of your list of to-dos.
#2 Track your Transactions
Studying your bank statements isn’t a particularly fun task. Still, it’s something all small business owners should get in the habit of doing. Allowing ten minutes to check your transactions at the end of each month can uncover all kinds of leakages, including:
  • Online subscriptions – how many times have you tested a new app or program with a ‘free trial’ lure. If you’ve handed over your credit card details to get the download, and haven’t cancelled the account when you discovered you wouldn’t need said app or program, a new sneaky debit could be an expensive long-term leak.


  • ATM and bank fees – withdrawing cash from random ATMs will typically incur a sneaky fee; a couple of bucks seems insignificant, but these ‘drips’ can certainly add up. The same goes for monthly bank fees – can these be negotiated with your bank? Will another bank offer a ‘no-fee’ account? What kind of interest rate are you paying on your credit card? Could you do better with another type of card, or perhaps another lending institution? 


  • Increased service fees – monthly payments for insurances and other services are super convenient and can help your cash flow. They can, however, make us a bit lax when it comes to comparing prices at renewal time. When you’re keeping a check on your monthly debits, you may be surprised at the increase in premiums and fees between one year and another. When you see an increase, take action right away and investigate your options (more about that below).
#3 Comparing Cover
We all gripe about paying insurance, but not having cover when you need it could cause a lot more pain down the track. Finding the best value insurance is essential: allow yourself ten minutes per week for the next four weeks to price check your business insurances (PI & PL, Vehicle, Office or Home & Contents and – while you’re at it – health insurance). Ask how much you’ll save by paying annually rather than monthly. Compare the savings you make to your hourly rate, and you’ll see it’s time well spent.
Note: when you’re looking at PI & PL, don’t forget our tailor-made group policy. This cover is designed for designers (so you know it’s a good fit), and with the benefits of a group buying power, it’s a hard-to-beat price. Learn more here.
Do you have a ten-minute tip that’s made a big difference to your bottom line? We’d love to hear it, so comment below.
Creating a ‘brief’ for your business

Creating a ‘brief’ for your business

Business strategist, Clive Enever, joined us once again this week, sharing some excellent food for thought with respect to sales and business in our PD Thursday videoconference.

Clive began his presentation with an exploration of ‘change’. As many of us are experiencing now, change can be a frightening thing. But, as Clive explained, when you take charge of change, it can be a catalyst for considerable improvement.

As designers, we’ve all honed the skills of preparing briefs for clients: before we begin to design a new space, we need to assess the parameters of the site (limitations, challenges, and potential), along with the needs of the client (how will they use the space?).

Like a well-designed kitchen or bathroom, a business needs the same assessment and ‘wide-angle view’ to be a success. A business plan is essentially your ‘brief’, and it should set out the following clearly and cohesively:

  • What service or services do you deliver?
  • How do you provide these services, and to whom?
  • What activities are essential to ensure success?
  • What challenges are you likely to encounter?
  • What additional learning may be required to achieve your goals?


When you’ve mapped out the above, you’ll be better placed to work on the four items Clive believes are crucial for business and sales success:

#1 Qualifying Statement

When you know who you want to work with, you’ll become proficient at identifying your prospects quickly and efficiently. Time is precious, and you need to make sure you’re focussing on the right people at the right time.

#2 Mission Statement

When you’ve developed and honed your mission statement, explaining who you are, what you do, for whom and why will be a breeze.

#3 Statement of Intent

If you’ve ever struggled to explain your services and processes to unknowing clients, a Statement of Intent is what you need. By summarising what you do clearly and concisely, you’ll be better placed to sell your services without the ‘ums and ahs’.

#4 Goals, goals, goals

Clive believes that identifying goals, tracking their progress and celebrating the wins are all essential to business and personal growth and success. Knowing what you want is as important as knowing what your client needs – make your ‘rewards’ your starting point, and you’ll be well on your way to getting what you want from life.

I bargained with Life for a penny,

And Life would pay no more,

However I begged at evening

When I counted my scanty store;

For Life is a just employer,

He gives you what you ask,

But once you have set the wages,

Why, you must bear the task.

I worked for a menial’s hire,

Only to learn, dismayed,

That any wage I had asked of Life,

Life would have willingly paid!  

Jessie Belle Rittenhouse


Clive has generously offered KBDi Members access to his business plan template and a free call to help you discover how you can better move forward. You’ll find the template here.      

Missed this videoconference? KBDi Members will find a recording of this session in their Members Portal on Friday, 28 August.