Creating your own signature interior design process will all you to work with perfect clients and make a shit ton of cash.
Clients will become your brand ambassadors when you treat them right.
You'll make a shit ton of cash when you manage your process because time is money.
If you waste time, you don't make money.
See, if you are wasting a bunch of time be reinventing the wheel with every client, you're losing money. You can't bill them for your time learning on the job. And when you have a process in place, you'll be able to deliver the same fantastic experience to everyone.
No matter how different you think every project is, it isn't. You need to do 99% of the same things for every client.
Interior Design Process Step #1: Meet 'N Greet Routine
Because interior design is so personal, most of us hop on the phone to chat with the prospective client to see if we can determine if they are awesome or completely bat-shit crazy. Before you hop on this call, you'll want to eliminate 50% of the bat-shit crazies by making them fill out an application.
I don't care if you're going through a client drought... you can't afford to be a cheap hussy and not put this into place. A bat-shit crazy client will rob you of your joy and your profit. every.damn.time. Weed them out with an application to talk to you. Make them jump through a couple of small hoops.
- What kind of help they are looking for or what room they need help with?
- How much are they ready to invest in their project?
- What is their timeline to complete their project?
- Have they worked with an interior designer before and how did that go?
- Is the budget or the result more important to you?
After you get the answers to your questions, it's up to you to decide if you want to move on to the next step. If you do, schedule your appointment and get ready to move them into being a client.
Interior Design Process Step #2: Get It In Writing
When they want to work with you, get it in writing. Even if it is over email, you need to make sure you're both on the same page. You need to both agree to what is to be delivered and what will happen if something goes wrong. This is your opportunity to spell it all out and be very clear about what they are (and what they aren't) getting before they give you a dime.
If you don't have a contract or letter of agreement, you can get one online. Here are some things you'll want to cover in your agreement. *I am NOT a lawyer. This is NOT legal advice. Contact a legal professional to make sure your business and ass are covered.
- Party's Names + Addresses
- Make sure it covers both parties responsibilities
- Go over the scope of the project
- How purchasing is going to be handled
- Charges for extra services
- Designer disclaimer
- Photography + publishing rights
- Contract termination
- Client responsibilities
- Timeframe for completion
- Arbitration details
- Your retainer to get started
Do not pass Go and do not collect $$$ until you get a signed contract. EVEN IF you're just selecting paint colors.
Interior Design Process Step #3: Welcome Package
Your "Welcome Package" or your "Kick Off Packet" as I call it in the Toolbox helps you to get your clients on board with your process right from the beginning.
A welcome message of what your client can expect and what homework you need them do will make everyone happy campers. This process should become a template that you can customize for every client. Just like your legal agreement.
Your Signature Interior Design Process Will Save You Time + Money
Invest your time to create your own signature design process from beginning to end because it will pay off BIG time when you've got a waiting list of clients banging on your door. You'll have a system that will make you money.
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.