Many interior designers operate without a contract, or just use a simple one-pager.
To put it bluntly: That is just a huge, massive mistake.
With the amount of money we spend, the amount of time we’re in clients’ homes and the amount of things that can go wrong during a design or renovation, you need to cover your … let’s just say, assets.
A contract not only protects you, it also protects the client: A good one clearly spells out the responsibilities on both sides, boiling down the specifics of what the client is getting, how much it will cost and when everything will be finished.
And if you make a whoopsies and forget to deliver something that is in the contract, the client can easily refer back to it and say, hey, you forgot this, allowing you to make it up to them by either providing that detail ASAP or even writing them back a check for the applicable portion of the design fee.
This visit is the opportunity for both parties to be sure the personalities align and also watch for any red flags. Interior design is such a personal service, it is imperative to ensure everybody involved has a mutual respect and trust. We encourage our prospective clients to ask questions, and we also pepper the conversation with our own. Amongst the many, there are 5 questions you must ask a potential client to ensure expectations are set and met.
Or where did you hear about me? I always want to know if it is a referral, so I can thank the person who pointed them in my direction. If not a direct referral, I want to know what marketing efforts are...
I wrote a blog about what the actual Interior Design Fee includes HERE, and walked through the design process, but left off when we got to the Procurement Process as it relates to interior design.
The actual procurement (purchasing) of the items happens after the custom design is created, presented and approved by the client. This is a very time intensive step in the process – often filled with many obstacles.
So many people think that an interior designer’s job is to just “make things pretty”. And while the end result IS very pretty, there is so much that goes into the overall project. The interior design fee includes not just the time it takes, but the intellectual property and design genius a good design firm brings to the table.
But our job goes way beyond that. A good interior designer learns all about their client’s wants, needs, and how they live. The designer has the vision for the space, tailors it to the...
I’m in the process of creating a digital course for interior designers about the BUSINESS of running an interior design business. They don’t teach these details in design school, so I’m hopeful it will be of use to many creatives who are incredibly talented designers, but have no idea how to build a business that is fun to run.
But, back to the point. This content creation actually got me to thinking waaaaay back to when I started my business. There are a lot of things I wish I would have known when I started because I am sure I would have saved a LOT of time and money on useless items or endeavors. So – if you’re thinking about starting an interior design business, here are a few tips that might just save you some gray hair and sleepless nights:
I thought for sure I would be able to set my own schedule and make a bucket of money with less work than I was putting in at my...
So I’m not going to try to “fix” what I haven’t been doing in this post. I’m pretty happy to get it written at all this week, considering I’m traveling and trying to keep up with all the conference content…and believe me, the speakers are rich.
I mean, really, if you’re an interior design enthusiast, you will recognize some of these names. And in addition to these rock stars, there are “every day” designers who have found some great success in various niches. These very approachable experts share their experiences with us from the same stage as the big names.
When you are a...
Going through the process of selecting a professional with whom you will be working for an extended period of time can sometimes feel like dating. “Is s/he the right one for me? Do we have the same long term goals? What if it doesn’t work out?” I’m only partially kidding. It’s a good analogy though. So here are a few opening questions to as an interior designer as you meet with them:
Posing this question, you are looking for a little bit of discrimination. Not every project is a good fit for every firm.(Just like dating, right?) Even if the designer does not have years of experience, the designer should be able to narrow down where...
First of all, interior design is a very personal service. One that requires quite a bit of trust – from both parties. When exploring how to pick an interior designer that is right for YOU, all of the following points are moot if there is no trust. The client must trust the designer will be able to interpret their style and translate it within budget – and the promised timeframe. And the designer needs to trust the client to speak up, share their honest thoughts, likes, dislikes, budget, and so forth – and then allow the designer to express creativity in the design delivered.
So, without further ado, here are a few key points to...
When I first started my interior design business, I believed I would be working flexible hours, wearing fancy outfits and making a bucket of money.
Sure, there are days that I get dressed up for a meeting, and my hours are flexible. But as a Creative, you’re working even when you’re home making dinner (because a certain vegetable color combination just inspired you). And while I still haven’t had a martini on a private jet, I am optimistic that’s in my future.
Starting an interior design or decorating business can be full of mystery. And in my experience, there are 4 major myths of owning your own interior design business:
There is a belief that Interior Designers and Decorators sit around in stylish design studios, in their fancy clothes, scrolling through Instagram and flipping through interior...