If you run an interior design firm, you probably find yourself doing a lot more “business” and a lot less “design” than you wanted. You’re not alone in this struggle. But a business coach for interior designers can alleviate a lot of the stress that the business part of running a business can bring.
Do you ever think back to when you decided you wanted to be an interior designer? For many it goes all the way back to when you were young children and you drew floorplans. Or maybe you loved the doll furniture even more than the dolls. Or perhaps you were always rearranging your room, or loved wandering through consignment, second-hand or antique stores. These tendencies may have influenced your decision to pursue interior design as a profession.
Whatever led you to become the CEO of your interior design firm, it’s safe to say that most of you were drawn to the industry by the artistic and creative aspects of owning an interior design firm. It’s doubtful that there are many of you who spent much time thinking about the numerous aspects of running a profitable business until after you jumped in and got started. Even those interior designers who attended an interior design school were lucky to get even one interior design business class! And that’s why interior designers often need a business coach to guide them through their journey of business mastery.
The Unexpected Lows of Interior Design
I’m sure all of you can list many “highs” of being an interior designer, but let’s address some of the “lows” that you may not have planned for.
Too often the “lows”, or challenges, of running an interior design business overwhelm the “highs”. Sometimes they force designers to question if they should stay in the business, draining all the enjoyment. But if like many interior designers, you are a lifelong learner and are offered the opportunity to learn how to again fall in love with your business, I imagine you would jump at it.
Here are some of the major challenges and questions that surround running an interior design business:
Managing the business
- Do you have an annual budget/business plan?
- Do you have an annual marketing budget/plan?
- Do you have processes and procedures in place to manage your business effectively and efficiently?
- How would you describe your firm’s culture?
- What is your USP (Unique Selling Proposition)?
Working fewer hours and tracking your time
- Do you really know how you’re spending your time?
- What is your job description?
- What should you NOT be doing?
- How to remove unnecessary work.
Making a profit
- Hiring a bookkeeper to work with you to help manage your cash flow, help you manage the current health of your business, and help you learn from the past and plan for the future.
- Hiring a business coach for interior designers and their firms that can help with pricing and marketing strategy.
Finding and attracting clients
- Do you know who your ideal clients are?
- Do you have a clear client onboarding process?
- How do you manage your clients for happy endings and referrals?
- Have you identified referral partners?
When and how to hire
- Do you know who to hire first?
- Where to find “ideal” hires?
- Do you have job descriptions and a clear onboarding process for new hires?
- Do you have an effective interview process?
- Are you an effective leader?
Why Work with a Business Coach for Interior Designers
Gail Doby and Erin Weir established what has become The Pearl Collective as they became aware of the challenges faced by creative entrepreneurs trying to run profitable businesses. They have created a variety of programs, events and resources to help designers build effective profitable businesses. All while restoring the passion for interior design that first led you to pursue the profession. Some of those are listed below.
- Circle is for emerging designers making less than $250,000 in revenue who want to learn how to effectively grow their business. Learn more about Circle here.
- Alliance is for rising design firms making $250,000+ to $1 Million in revenue, who want to unlock the potential in their business. Learn more about Alliance here.
- Boardroom is where established design firms earning more than $1 Million in revenue become inspired to transform their growing business to achieve financial freedom, joy and happiness. Learn more about Boardroom here.
The Pearl Collective regularly hosts private events for members of our programs. We also offer webinars and masterclasses that have open registration. Check our events calendar for upcoming events and their registration information!
If you wish to put the passion back in your business and are willing to make necessary changes, The Pearl Collective offers a number of options no matter the current size or profitability of your company – and also offers a wonderfully supportive community who will cheer you on. Consider the advice of John F. Kennedy: “Change is the law of life and those who look only to the past or present are certain to miss the future.”