Professional Practice

Business Toolkit

In a competitive market, many landscape architecture firms are working to develop and grow their businesses, and ASLA is here to help. ASLA’s Professional Practice Committee has compiled business resources in one place to help you locate the information you need, from ASLA’s Standard Contracts to project management resources and places to seek out new opportunities for business development.


Business Management

SKILL | ED: Business Development, Proposals, and Contracts
A virtual event designed for landscape architecture professionals looking to learn how to build their leadership capacity, add value to their firm, and develop transferable business development skills, SKILL | ED: Business Development, Proposals, and Contracts took place June 2021, and is now viewable on-demand. Explore all ASLA SKILL | ED content.

SKILL | ED Workshop: Thoughtful Connections and Growing Impact
Join us for a 3-month SKILL | ED workshop series that coaches professionals on how to build business relationships with purpose and intention. The deadline to apply was February 28, 2023, with virtual workshop modules taking place March-May 2023.

COVID-19 Business Impact Snapshot
Gain insight into which factors are having the greatest impact on the business operations of ASLA members and how businesses are responding to the crisis. Download report

Salary Information
PayScale offers information on salaries, bonuses, total compensation, and benefits for landscape architecture positions in the private, public, and academic sectors. General salary information is also available from the Bureau of Labor Statistics and salaries for landscape architecture program graduates just entering the profession may be found in the ASLA Graduating Student Survey results.

QuickBooks for Small Business Owners in Landscape Architecture
Informational webinar on QuickBooks and accounting best practices for small business owners. Topics include basic QuickBooks Online know-how, project billing, payroll and time tracking, apps, and more. Tips throughout the webinar will offer landscape architects ideas on how to streamline through the use of this well-known accounting software. You can also review the handout that includes information discussed in the webinar, additional ASLA resources, as well as responses to the questions asked during the webinar.

QuickBooks for Project Management: A Deeper Dive
Follow-up webinar providing more in-depth information on how to track time and reimbursements, project billing, streamlining business financials, and more. The presentation also touches on the CARES Act and accounting tips for the Paycheck Protection Program and Emergency Economic Injury Disaster Loans.

Software Discounts
Members get discounts on landscape architecture and planning software provided by firms such as Keysoft, Land F/X, and Vectorworks. ASLA has also reviewed free and open-source software available to landscape architects, and provided links to download.

Business Quarterly
ASLA's Business Quarterly survey documents landscape architecture firms' quarterly benchmarks on key statistics including billable hours, inquiries, and hiring plans. The survey is not intended to be statistically significant but instead provides a snapshot of the landscape architecture industry.

ASLA Online Learning
ASLA Online Learning offers access to hundreds of Landscape Architecture Continuing Education System™ (LA CES™)-approved webinars, including ASLA SKILL | ED content and webinars on the Business of the Business.

Firms can search resumes through ASLA’s JobLink, an important recruitment tool. Members save 50 percent on new job ads on JobLink and can post internship ads for FREE. Members also can post their resumes for FREE.

Affinity Partners, Insurance, and Other Discounts
Members can save time and money by using one of ASLA’s many affinity partners covering personal and professional services.

LegaLine Legal Information Service
ASLA members may access practice coach services through AIA Trust's LegaLine service by following the instructions to subscribe exactly as if they were AIA members.

Education Session Guides
ASLA conference speakers create session guides to support their presentation, document the major themes from the session, and serve as a tool for future reference. Links to guides from the 2016-2021 conferences can be found on the Conference on Landscape Architecture webpage, including:

ASLA Codes and Policies

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Project Management

SKILL | ED: Lean Project Delivery in Design and Construction
A virtual course series focused on Lean Project Delivery to help design, document, and build projects on time and on budget, SKILL | ED: Lean Project Delivery in Design and Construction took place June 13-15, 2023, and is now viewable on-demand. Explore all ASLA SKILL | ED content.

SKILL | ED: Project Management for Landscape Architects
A virtual event designed for landscape architecture professionals looking to learn how to develop core project management plan components to bring you, your clients, and the project team into alignment on resources, milestones, and budget, SKILL | ED: Project Management for Landscape Architects took place June 21-23, 2022, and is now viewable on-demand. Explore all ASLA SKILL | ED content.

Standard Form Contracts for Professional Services
Standard Form Contracts are a business tool developed to meet the needs of the profession by incorporating up-to-date critical elements of instruments of service. Contracts are tailored for landscape architecture professionals and the clients they serve.

For more information on the structure and use of the ASLA Standard Form Contracts, the importance of a landscape architecture consultant-client contract, the essential elements of a contract, the reasons the contract is needed, and liability issues for landscape architects, see the session guide for ASLA Standard Contract – In Practice

The Landscape Architect's Guidelines for Construction Contract Administration 
The American Society of Landscape Architects has developed these guidelines to assist practitioners in the development of procedures to administer contracts for construction of projects designed by landscape architects.

The Sustainable SITES Initiative® (SITES®)
SITES® is a set of comprehensive, voluntary guidelines together with a rating system that assesses the sustainable design, construction, and maintenance of landscapes. It is used by landscape architects, designers, engineers, architects, developers, policy-makers, and others to guide land design and development.

ASLA Online Learning
ASLA Online Learning offers access to hundreds of Landscape Architecture Continuing Education System™ (LA CES™)-approved webinars, including webinars on project management.

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Business Opportunities

RFQs, Events, and Opportunities
Find business opportunities, design competitions, events, and educational offerings. Explore opportunities.

Conferences for Landscape Architects
Find upcoming conferences of interest to landscape architects, many of which are presented by LA CES™-approved education providers. In addition to opportunities for landscape architects to attend for professional development, conference calls for proposals provide one way for landscape architects to share their expertise and thereby promote their businesses.

Every landscape architecture firm that employs ASLA members receives a free FirmFinder profile. Create your profile today.

Other Resources

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Additional Resources and Reading

Management / Business Books by ASLA Members

Design Workshop, Inc., Landscape Architecture Documentation Standards: Principles, Guidelines and Best Practices, ASLA 2016 Professional Honor Award.

Leonard J. Hopper, Landscape Architecture Graphic Standards (Hoboken, NJ: Wiley, 2007).

Walter Rogers, The Professional Practice of Landscape Architecture: A Complete Guide to Starting and Running Your Own Firm, 2nd ed. (Hoboken, NJ: Wiley, 2011).

Bruce G. Sharky, Ready, Set, Practice: Elements of Landscape Architecture Professional Practice (Hoboken, NJ: Wiley, 1994).

Owen E. Dell, How to Start a Home-based Landscaping Business, 7th ed. (Lanham, MD: Taylor Trade Publishing, 2015).

Landscape Architecture Magazine

LAM online: Practice category

Got the Job by Jennifer Reut

In the Mix by Wendy Gilmartin

Right Sized by Jennifer Reut

Start Your Engines by Kevan Williams

Other Resources

Landscape Architecture Professional Practice
A bibliographic research guide to UC Berkeley resources in the practice of landscape architecture

AIA Billings Index and Business articles

Housing Economics, National Association of Home Builders

Emerging Trends in Real Estate®, Urban Land Institute

Landscape Architects Occupation Outlook, Bureau of Labor Statistics

Financial Management for Design Professionals: The Path to Profitability by Steve Winter

How to Market Design Consultancy Services: Finding, Winning, Keeping, and Developing Clients by Shan Preddy

The Professional Practice of Landscape Architecture: A Complete Guide to Running and Starting Your Own Firm by Walter Rogers

Risk Management for Design Professionals by William Ramroth

SCORE Association
Business mentoring and education, U.S. Small Business Administration

Social Media in Action: Comprehensive Guide for Architecture, Engineering, Planning, and Environmental Consulting Firms by Amanda Walter and Holly Berkeley

Truby Achievements Business Development Program for Small Firms

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Professional Practice: 

Library and
Research Services:
Ian Bucacink

RFQs & Opportunities:

Historic Landscapes (HALS):