Running a business is always a challenge. So if you’re an interior designer (or any creative business owner), how are you going keeping your interior design business in business?
It’s a much lauded idiosyncrasy about “creative types”. How you’re great at being creative, not always that good at running an interior design business. Like so many “black and white” statements of our time, not necessarily true.
Creative people can often make very good business people. However, it does take a smidge more effort from us (at times) to make sure we’ve read the fine print.
You’re out there turning your passion for innovative design and aptitude for spatial reasoning into dollars and cents. So here’s a quick guide to remind you to take a fresh look at some of those business processes to ensure that you stay, on top.
HAVE YOU DONE YOUR HOMEWORK?
If you’re relatively new in the game, it makes sense to heed this advice from seasoned industry professionals: If you’re not the “go to” choice in your local community and amongst your personal network, get to it. No one will give you as much real-time and real-world feedback as your friends and acquaintances.
As your interior design business grows, you’ll want to keep your finger on the pulse of you’re progress, style wise. So offer to redo an old client’s home or office, or one of your family’s. Charge mates-rates and invite the feedback.
TAKE YOUR Interior Design BUSINESS ONLINE
It seems strange to even have to remind business owners of this caveat. However, if you’re not doing business online, you’re not doing business. Remember that in the creative industry, and design falls squarely into that sphere, there is a finite amount of real business in your immediate locales. This is certainly true if you’re based in a big city where there is more potential business. Therefore, also exponentially more competition.
Making sure that you have an ongoing, current portfolio of work that’s instantly accessible to decision makers is a no-brainer. But, you must get it right. So if you don’t have the aptitude to manage websites, SEO and all of that jargon on your own – find the right agency. If you need more convincing why this is important, have a read here.
THE KEY PARTNERSHIPS YOU REALLY WANT
When you’re starting out it’s all about landing clients one at a time. Although, as your business grows think of ways to expand on your potential reach and workload. This means looking at partnering with architects, property developers, estate-living home builders, and hotel operators.
Lately, a great interior design business nichè with lucrative possibilities are owners and operators of AirB ‘nb venues and instant hotels. This is a seriously good read.
STAYING AHEAD OF YOUR GAME
Sure, it’s important that you measure yourself against your competitors to see where you can compete more effectively in terms of style, pricing and skill. However, don’t take your eye off of the prize when it comes to running your interior design business. This is especially true if you’re not one of the creative types that can be good at business nuts and bolts. Ensure that you partner with a good financial planner. Also, make sure that your design concepts and ideas are well protected (especially online), consider intellectual property lawyers.
You’re in one of the most exciting games there is. The way that you innovate spaces and trends has a direct impact on the quality of living and working that your customers are going to enjoy. Focus on that – but cast a glance on the other stuff from time to time too.