How Do Successful Designers Stay That Way?

While the news for designers is good nationwide, as we recently shared in our recent post on market trends, it is not the case that every interior designer or design firm is thriving. So, if the economy is on the uptick, along with housing sales, how is it that some designers continue to be successful while others are barely getting by?After all, according to reports from a variety of professional associations, the interior design industry is experiencing one of its best years since the recession. Even the American Institute of Architects just announced its Architectural Billings Index has remained in positive territory for the past five months, and it expects to see momentum continue in the months ahead. Several recent surveys show demand for remodeling and renovation, especially kitchen and bathroom design, spiked last year and has been robust this year as well.Now, no one enjoys sharing bad news but, it must be said that, if there are designers out there with more work than they can handle while others are struggling, we can’t simply blame it on the “economy” or some nebulous “market forces”. Indeed, something else is going on; something that certain designers have twigged to, yet others have ignored.Interior Design Clients Are Looking for MoreAs we’ve mentioned many times in the past, design clients have become far more savvy over the past decade. They’ve begun to “know what they want” in ways that we hadn’t seen in decades’ past. Among the things they seek from their designers today, creativity, sustainability, and technology lead the way – not to mention improved customer service combined with a sense of real caring for their needs and wants.In our experience, successful designers stay that way by creating a positive experience for their clients, developing spaces not merely for show, but that evoke a sense of home.To do this, successful designers possess certain characteristics that are timeless and effective in any economy:

  • They regularly update and upgrade their skills and knowledge base
  • They constantly seek, or create, opportunities for themselves
  • They are always developing and expanding their client base
  • They employ a marketing plan and budget, and work at it year-round
  • They find innovative ways to promote themselves and their firms
  • They adjust their schedules to maintain a steady flow of projects in the pipeline, regardless of how busy they may be
  • They stay active in professional associations, attend markets, network with other designers
  • They work hard to keep up with trends and developments in the design industry

Successful designers stay ahead of the marketplace, instead of letting it determine their level of success. If you're struggling in your design business, it may be time to leave your comfort zone and take a chance at improving your chances for success, by trying a few of the things listed above.Looking for help to be more successful in your marketplace? Get in touch with TD Fall today.