After receiving the necessary education from either a good technical school or from apprenticing under a professional drafter, architect, or engineer, many people venture out to open their own drafting office. Make sure though that you do have enough training and experience to venture out on your own. Drafting is a highly specialized field, which if practiced poorly, can damage your professional reputation and credibility.
With technology the way it is, very few people produce drawings using a drafting board, thanks to the invention of computer generated drawings using a CAD program. The CAD program not only makes it easier to open an office but also makes it much less expensive. Most drafting offices can be run out of your living room or den with nothing more than your laptop or desktop computer and a professional cad program. There are however certain other considerations before going into this type of business.
One of these, I would think would be the necessary library of reference books that are not available online. This would be books like “Architectural Graphic Standards” or “ANSI Standards for Mechanical Drawing”, although certain portions of both of these books are available on line on the Internet. If you are doing architecture, a good selection of plan books would be a handy resource. Not to copy from however, that would be a bad thing, but as a fresh source of ideas you can suggest to your clients.
A good electronic symbols library would be great too. It always saves time, which is precious by the way, to not have to re-draw the same thing over and over. There are several websites offering these for sale and quite a few free download sites also.
Another thing would be a website where you can advertise your services and also display drawings at certain stages to your client from the comfort of their home. I’ve been using this process for at least ten years and the clients love it. They have access to their drawings any time of day or night. And instead of waiting on the mail, the changes you make to their drawings can be reviewed almost instantly after you upload them.
You might also consider talking to your local insurance agent about some sort of malpractice insurance. Better safe than sorry. And with any new businesses it is always good to hire a bookkeeper to help you keep up with your taxes.
If you want to learn to draw mechanical drawings, including survey and architectural, go to http://draftingschool.net and learn online.