You do have an interior design contract that you use for every.single.project. Right?
Are you thinking that an interior design contract sounds so constricting and kills whatever good vibes between the clients that could have been. Yet, the designer who doesn't get her interior design contract signed is the one who will be bitching like it's the end of the world when she's getting bent over. And not in the sexy "Fifty Shade of Grey" way (not that I know, I haven't read the book. I just assumed they did that in there).
Would you like to hear a story? Good.
Once upon a time, there was this interior designer let's call her Holisha. She had just started her business and thought people were filled with gummy bears and shat glitter.
She got her first client off of Craigslist, pre-serial killer days. And they lived close by, score!
Back in the day, Holisha didn't have an interior design contract. First she didn't have the dinero to consult a lawyer. Second, she figured that a handshake and someone's word was all she needed. After all, she was an honest person and her word was her bond.
She intended to go to the her free 30 minute consult (another dumb idea) and sell the job with her winning personality all the while using her spidey senses to guage the client's ethics.
Two effing hours later, Holisha was still there. Measuring and laying everything out. Being put off in the courner like Baby from "Dirty Dancing" when someone else called the "client", but ever the eager beaver, Holisha took it. After all, it was her first client and she wanted to make a good impression.
Three hours left, Holisha left the client's home. She had a bunch of sketches, no money for the project deposit and no contract. So, what did Holisha do? She got right to work.
This Holisha is a bright one, huh?
Being naïve isn't an excuse.
What Holisha did was called pure desperation.
She was so eager to have the client like her.
She was so eager to over-deliver so the client would rave.
She was just so eager.
Except that client wasn't going to be delighted.
That client didn't even pay.
Holisha went back to her office, did all this design work and THEN sent over a quote for the project with a contract to sign.
Guess what? The client said it cost too much and she wasn't going to hire a designer after all.
And why would the client hire Holisha? She just gave her the entire design at the client's house for free.
Don't give it away. And get it in writing.
While Holisha really effed up her first project - er first wannabe project, she doesn't want you to.
Yes, I'm Holisha. The name came after a botched Starbucks cup naming. I digress...
You need a contract and I know you'd love for me to provide you one, but I'm no lawyer and it's not my bag. BUT, I recommend you check out this book: Business & Legal Forms for Interior Designers. It could really help you out and keep you from being a total dweeb like Holisha was.
Alycia Wicker is a business coach for creative entrepreneurs. Her clients land more of their own dream clients and make more cash, period. Celebrity gossip whore. Elvis-obsessed.