So, you’ve been either going it alone, or, you have a small team for your interior design business, but your business is growing and it’s gotten to the point where you just don’t have enough time in the day to get everything done anymore. It’s time to bring in another person into the fold.
But if this is the first time you’ve brought someone on, or, you’ve had bad experiences in the past, it can feel like a daunting and nerve-wrecking process. How do you find the right person? How do you ensure it works? And ultimately, how do you provide them an environment that allows them to succeed?
No to worry, we got you! Here’s how you hire an interior design assistant for your growing business.
Nothing can make for a bad matchup more than hiring someone to fill some sort of nebulous role. Knowing you need a person, but not knowing where to best apply them is a recipe for disaster.
So ask yourself, where do you need the most help? What parts of the business would you like to remove yourself from so you can free up more time? And ultimately, what kind of tasks will this person be doing and how does that list look when paired against the answers of those first two questions?
An interior design assistant sounds great, but if the things that are slowing you down the most are things like keeping files up to date, following up with vendors, returning samples, or replying to inquiry emails, you might actually need an administrative assistant first.
So take a critical look at where you’re spending your time the most, and dissect where the time sinks are happening – and which ones you can remove by putting another person there.
Now that you know where you need the help, you need to find the person to fit the bill. While you want to make sure they have the proper education, accreditation, or experience for what you need, it’s also important to enjoy being around them.
If you go to events like High Point Market, or KBIS, you’ll be spending a lot of time with this person, both at the event, but also on a lot of (potentially long and challenging) plane, train, and car rides. So it’s important that you get on well with this person, and, that spending time with them can make these events more enjoyable!
So think about your friends and colleagues that you get on well with. What are things about them that you like? What qualities do they embody that you admire, or make you gravitate to them? Asking yourself those questions can help you nail down the kind of person you’re looking for, and ensure that they can make those harrowing trips lighter!
Then pair that with the education, accreditation, or experience for what you need.
For a interior design assistant, take a look at their experience or education, but also make sure they have a style that mirrors or compliments your own. Nothing makes the day-to-day more awkward than having to continually shoot down someone recommending product or designs that just don’t embody your firm.
For an admin assistant, you want to make sure that they can use the tools and platforms you use (or have used similar ones) to prevent yourself from having to train this person on both your business and processes AS WELL as the tools that you run them on.
Just as your interior design assistant has a responsibility to deliver work that does your brand justice, you have a responsibility to set them up for success and ensure you’re giving them the support they need to crush it!
And the best way to do this is by having standard operating procedures. This means having documented methods of how you do the tasks you’re assigning them. While you can type something up, you could also just simply create a series of videos as you go about your daily activities. Talk out-loud as you do them, giving the standards you expect, and the reasoning behind what you’re doing while you do it.
For computer-related tasks, Loom videos are a great way to go. The paid version will also let you get transcriptions of your videos so you can easily turn them into text-based documents. You can also use YouTube to accomplish this, because videos uploaded there auto-generate captions that can then be copied and pasted into a document. Having your new hire go through and create the documents themselves from the videos also isn’t a bad idea, and lets them get more familiar with your processes!
You might also consider creating templates for everything they’ll be doing. Templates make it super easy for your new interior design assistant to respond to emails, set up new projects, get orders or invoices ready to send, etc. They’ll also give you peace of mind because you won’t have to worry about them getting your brand voice wrong, or skipping something important!
Bringing in someone new to the fold can be a scary prospect (especially if it means giving up control of your business!) but by having a clear idea of where you need help, the kind of person you need, and, how you’re going to make them be successful in their new role, you can ensure you’re at least on the right path.
And, if you’d like to see how one platform can help you run and execute everything you need for the day-to-day of your interior design business, ensure everyone is on the same page and is organized, and, provide your clients with an exceptional experience during it all, then we’d love for you to come check out Mydoma. Join us for a demo, or if you’d like to just go ahead and get your hands dirty, sign up for a free 15-day trial!