Diversify to Meet Changing Market Forces in the Design Business

Design BusinessIf there is one thing we can all count it’s this: things change. This includes market forces in the design business as much as any other. Those who do not respond to such changes tend to get left behind, while others prosper. How to be among the latter?As proof of the changing times, we’re in, an interesting article at MultiBriefs.com recently caught our eye. Titled, Diversify to grow your revenues, and written by design consultant Lloyd Princeton, a strong argument is made for diversification of income streams to meet the changing needs of the marketplace.As Princeton argues, while the design business has experienced nice growth in the second half of this year, and is expected to continue to do so into next year, “Many designers are not benefitting from the increase in demand, or they may be getting more business but are not realizing the revenues or profits they had hoped for at the beginning of the year.”“Clients are more frequently seeking design consultations and advice, rather than hiring designers to design and manage projects, often resulting in lower fees and fewer billable hours for the designer. This is making it tough for sole practitioners and smaller firms to remain profitable.“In the past, when designers wanted to increase their revenues, they would focus on selling clients more products. Those opportunities are becoming harder to come by now, as more and more clients choose to go online and do their own purchasing.“Designers need to be looking for other sources of revenue to sustain their businesses and maintain their incomes. I am not talking about diversifying your interior design practice or menu of services. I am talking about diversifying your sources of income.”Diversify Income StreamsWhile the big “Go-to” for most designers looking to diversify has always been product development, Princeton argues against this trend in the current market. Explaining that it is simply too competitive to expect enough market share to sustain a profitable business model, he suggests looking for income streams outside the design industry, instead.What those streams may be depends, of course, on your location and the vagaries of your particular market. However, an old reliable jumps to the front of the list for him, real estate investment.He closes with this advice: “If you have some cash available to invest in an opportunity outside of interior design that could serve as a hedge against the current volatile conditions in the industry, I advise you to talk with reliable counsel and explore it. It could be just the edge you need to keep your business going and provide you a more secure future.”Looking for more new design trends, marketing tips, and ideas? Get in touch with TD Fall today.