3 Common Interior Design Business Problems and How to Solve Them



Being an interior design business owner comes with its own special brand of challenges. You’re both an entrepreneur but also a creative spirit, and merging the two worlds doesn’t always happen seamlessly.

There are three problems that I hear about most frequently including:

  •       Clients searching for lower prices
  •       Constant comparison
  •       Consistent workload

But don’t worry. There are easy fixes to all of these.

I’ve encountered each of these in my own interior design business. Keep reading to learn more about each of these problems and what you can do to solve them.


Clients Searching for Lower Prices


This is easily one of the most common and annoying challenges you’ll encounter. Chances are, you’ve already been there and done that at least once, and you’ll probably have it happen again. It’s so easy for clients to look at the design you’ve created, then search the internet for similar furnishings and finishes at a lower price point.

I don’t need to go through the consequences of this with you. Clients shopping outside of your agreement is financially detrimental, and it causes serious trust issues. So, how do you keep this from happening?

This has to be discussed at the beginning of your client/interior designer relationship. It’s the only way to ensure that there’s no miscommunication or misunderstanding. Be upfront with your clients and remind them that your design is more than just assembling lovely furniture. You also have to make sure that this is part of your contract. Many designers include a fee for any items brought into the design outside of your original agreement. 

Keeping the lines of communication open and going through the contract together will help prevent clients from going rogue on sourcing items and leaving you in the lurch with vendors.


Constant Comparison


Comparing yourself to other interior designers is so unproductive. It will literally crush your productivity and erase any chances of growing your brand. Letting negative thoughts of how you stack up against others is so limiting, so don’t do it.

Easier said than done, right? Just remember, what you’re seeing from other interior design business owners on social media and other marketing outlets is their highlight reel- not actual real life. You’re only seeing what they want you to see, so comparing yourself to someone else’s level of perfection is only setting yourself up for failure.

Instead of comparing yourself, focus on what you bring to the table and stay growth and goal-oriented. What’s your area of expertise? What sets you apart from other designers? Why do your clients love you? How can you grow in the next quarter? In the next year? When you focus zero on your own positives and your own success, you simply don’t have room for negative thoughts.

Worry about yourself… yes, it’s that same rule we all learned in kindergarten, but it still very much applies to our life as interior design business owners. Maintaining that millionaire mindset is everything.



Consistent Workload


The past few years have brought us tremendous highs and lows. There’s been uncertainty for some designers, while others have seen record-breaking profits. But inconsistent work has been a common challenge for many.

The solution here is two-fold. First and foremost, you have to plan ahead. Find a streamlined workflow and system that works for you and your business. Set aside time to meet with your team- or if you’re a solopreneur, make an appointment with yourself and outline your year ahead. Look at your budget and plan for any holes in your project calendar.

Part two of balancing your workload as an interior design business owner is marketing your brand to increase the number of projects you take on. Use your social media strategy and other marketing avenues to let clients know that you’re “now booking” for specific dates. This will create a little buzz when clients see you’re already booking ahead.


Final Thoughts


Don’t let any of these issues cause unnecessary roadblocks to your success. Each of these three challenges comes with simple solutions, so you can stay on track to grow and achieve your goals as a successful interior design business owner. 

Learning from fellow interior designers is a great way to gain confidence and share knowledge. I’ve created a welcoming space for interior designers to learn all about the business of running their interior design business, and you’re officially invited! Click here to join me in The Interior Designer’s Business Launchpad- let’s work together to make the world more beautiful, one design at a time. 

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