While it would be unethical to copy the work of a more successful interior designer, learning from a successful designers business model makes perfect sense – and does not present the question of ethics.In his latest article for BusinessOfHome.com, columnist Maury Riad presents a glimpse of just such a business model and offers it as a guide for both fledgling and established designers to follow on the path to lasting success.While it should go without saying that clarity of focus and organization are two of the most crucial business principles every design business should follow, many designers struggle to achieve them. If profitability depends on performance at every level, and it does, then building a cost-effective process for implementing the work you do is crucial.3 (+1) Characteristics of a Successful Design BusinessSo, where does Mr. Riad focus his attention?
Operational Procedures – “The big difference that I’ve noticed between a designer who is just starting out and a more established studio lies in their operational procedures. It may sound obvious, but a major key to any design firm’s success is business practices that are organized, efficient, and thorough. Where working with a new designer may require a lot of back and forth about a handful of purchase orders or invoices, an established, profitable firm can juggle thousands of these processes at any given time.”
Vendor Relationships – “Profitable designers know how to leverage their vendors as extensions of their teams to get their work done. Any given design firm works with a wide range of vendors – whether they provide fabric, furniture, or flooring – and knowing what their vendors can do for them is crucial to their success.”
Elevated Design Opportunities – “The whole impetus behind hiring an interior designer – besides having someone else do the legwork for you – is the idea that they can find the decor that clients can’t achieve themselves. This ties back into maintaining good relationships with your vendors… [and] involves knowing who to go to and what to ask for. The right pieces or components elevate your design above the ubiquitous DIY aesthetic that is so popular today – and are the reason your clients will seek you out.”
What’s the +1 Design Business Characteristic?While each of these business characteristics of successful designers is vitally important to your success, we would add:
Contractor Relationships – The contractors and subs you work within any design project can make or break your business. These folks will often have more direct contact with your client than you do, which makes the relationship you have with them critically important. Building positive relationships with talented and committed contractors foster loyalty toward you – investing them in the success of your design business because they know that their success is dependent on yours.
While most of these characteristics of aa successful design business may seem obvious, the truth is that many designers struggle to craft and implement something that matches the most successful designers business model. By focusing on these four areas of your business, you are far more likely to enjoy long-term success.Are you looking for more tips on designing your design business, new home design trends, designer marketing tips, and product ideas? Get in touch with TD Fall today.