LeeAnn Baker Interiors
Business was good, we still had a lot of clients, we had a lot of repeat business. But I just felt like my income had been going down. And I didn’t quite understand why; didn’t understand what was going wrong. I just knew it didn’t feel sustainable to me. And I signed up for a VIP Day. A few tears were shed, because I had to talk about finances. I think as a designer I started off in this business just kind of thinking I could do it all on my own, and felt like I had to do it all on my own, and didn’t know where to go to ask questions – didn’t even know what questions I needed to be asking. To sit down with Gail and be introduced to Gail’s community… First and foremost, that’s really what Gail offers. She puts forth this community of people who will share and give and trade, and as a solo entrepreneur, you realize you’re not alone, and that you’re in this together, and it creates this community. I just wish I’d had that so many years earlier.
I always thought it would just be me, an assistant designer, and a bookkeeper. That took me — as long as I was willing to do everything all the time and know about everything — that got me to a certain place. And that wasn’t working for me anymore. Working with Gail, it’s just kind of learning about organizational charts and how many pieces of that puzzle I wanted to fill out for myself. I’ve now got three designers that work for us. We have an assistant designer, I have a business manager, and I have an office administrator. Positions that I would have never dreamed of having filled before. The biggest thing is learning how to delegate and learning that having other people be in charge of other things is a good thing. I used to think I had to do everything for my clients in order for them to be fully serviced. And the reality of it is that none of us can do all of these things. And when we set some of this stuff aside and are willing to sit back and look at the big picture, it’s healthier for us, it’s healthier for our teams, and our clients are much better served.
In my first VIP Day, my husband left halfway through the day and went and started his own law firm after listening to Gail talk about how important it was to capture every hour. Gail can service a lot of different businesses that way.
It’s okay not to know everything. They don’t teach any of this business stuff in design school. Putting together a purchase order and putting together an invoice is not all there is to the business aspect of running a business. You will go so much farther so much faster if you have a community that can support you, and a business coach. Business coaching has become such a big thing for a number of different industries. And Gail knows this one. Her team and the community of designers she has pulled together and that have been attracted to her, it’s so invaluable.