Anyone who knows me, knows that I am a very process oriented person. I'm a firm believer that a strong, repeatable process is the difference between an interior design firm that is profitable and one that is not.
Pop quiz time! Do you always stick to your process? Do you ever catch yourself doing the following? (be honest with yourself):
Guilty? We're all friends here; you can be honest with me. I will fully admit that when I was running my own design firm- I was guilty of all of the above at some point or another.
How you handle things like your contract, payment acceptance, delivery of renderings to your client, product selection, revisions, etc. are all a part of this process. However you decide to manage this for your interior design business- you need to stick to it.
Work smarter, not harder
Interior design professionals are expected to wear many hats- from marketing expert to marriage counselor. It's exhuasting. By not having a set interior design process in place for your business, you're wasting time- which means you're probably under-billing.
Example: Revisions- even if you've moved on from the design binder system, sending back-and-forth emails about revisions can be very time consuming. It can also create confusion around what the latest version of something is, the wrong attachments can get referenced.
Did you nod along when reading bullet #3 in the pop quiz above? Charging extra for revisions is an area that designers commonly feel uncomfortable about because we feel like we can't justify the extra time those revisions took. This leads to not charging enough for your time. By having a proper system in place for your revisions, you can reduce or eliminate back-and-forths, preventing you from under-billing.
Pro-tip: Moving to something cloud-based (like Mydoma Studio) to handle your revisions you can eliminate back-and-forth, ensure any changes are updated for everyone involved and that revised items are also updated everywhere else in the project (mood board, shopping lists, cost estimates, etc.)
Land more ideal clients
When we live everyday in our design bubble- it can become difficult to take a step back and put ourselves in the shoes of our potential clients (hard as we try). We often forget that they don't know all our design lingo and they don't know exactly what we do. Sharing your process with a potential client can reduce anxiety and uncertainty about whether or not they should hire you. Walking your potential client through a very clear process in the early stages closes more business, period. This is something we hear time and time again from our designers.
The interior design process is something very near and dear to my heart. Truthfully, it's a part of the story of how Mydoma Studio came to be. Maybe, I'll share that story with you in a future blog post ;)
For now, I hope you've taken what I've said to heart and start looking deeper into your own process. I know that change can be scary. Moving from full-time designer to full-time tech CEO was certainly a shift for me, but if you're serious about succeeding you really need to give it your all (as corny as that sounds).
Until next time,
P.S. If I've piqued your interest about Mydoma Studio, click the button below to join in on one of our demos :)
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CEO of Mydoma Inc. former full-time kitchen/bath designer, tech-obsessed, DIY enthusiast, soccer player extraordinaire.