Unread emails: 1
What is this? Oh it's an email from my client. They finished the homework I requested. Yay!
I used to waste a shit ton of time by starting on a project before I had my clients complete homework. Wasting time meant I was losing money. And no one wants to do that!
You and I both know that we don't like to adhere to processes. It's just so constricting but let me tell you, profits go up when you put them in place. And we want more money, so let's start with our client process that involves giving your interior design client homework.
Interior Design Client Homework Step 1:
Know what your process is from start to finish
You can't ask your clients to complete their homework efficiently if you don't exactly have your process nailed down. Get out the Google Doc or a pen and paper to write down your process.
The bonus to doing this is you can then include this in their Kick-Off packet you send to them at the beginning of the project.
Interior Design Client Homework Step 2:
Where does the client fit in?
Each part of the process you need to let the client know where they fit in. When I was designing I needed a lot of information up front, but let them know after I collected their homework it would be about a week until they heard from me while I started the project. They knew what to expect so I didn't have to deal with 43 emails from them asking me where I was on the project.
Interior Design Client Homework Step 3:
How do you get the information?
- Your clients could be filling this homework out by hand and could photograph/scan the documents.
- Via a form on your website.
- If you have a Squarespace website, you can use the built in form function to get the information from them via your website.
*Bonus points if you create a Template in Trello so you don't have to reinvent the wheel with every project and you and your client can see the project progress.
Giving clients this homework gets them invested and accountable. They need to know what is required of them, and that the project doesn't start until they complete their work.
I had a couple clients who didn't complete their homework and told them that they needed to have the homework completed by a certain date. If they couldn't do that, I would have to put their project on hold until a future date (I have an email template in the Toolbox that you can use my words if you're stuck with how to word it and not come off sounding like an a-hole). This way you take back control and don't let them dictate the process.
What do you include your client homework? What programs or apps do you use? If you want to save a butt-load of time, get the Toolbox.
Alycia Wicker is an interior design business coach specializing in online marketing strategies.Her clients land more of their own dream clients and make more cash, period. Celebrity gossip whore. Elvis-obsessed.