Consider five common mistakes in a business organization that expose an interior designer to harm and prevent them from earning more.
Communicating with colleagues in the field of interior design, we have noticed many times how the same mistakes lead to a dead end and a crisis for those who build and develop their business. The saddest thing is that these mistakes go unnoticed in the daily routine. However, when a problem is discovered, the designer feels confused and defenseless against the blow of fate.
Today, firstly, we want to support you: you are not alone! Mistakes are made not only by beginners but sometimes by experienced specialists. Secondly, having found this or that error, you already see the light at the end of the tunnel. After all, you understand what can be corrected and improved in order to come to new results already next year.
Mistake number 1 – Taking on unnecessary functionality and load
Designers often don’t understand or forget how the responsibilities of a project manager differ from their own. How often have you overestimated your capabilities and tried to pull the whole project as a whole? Naturally, at some point, you start to get bogged down in organizational minutiae instead of doing the part of the job that you do best.
We recommend that you differentiate between roles in the project. Delegation and a correctly written job description for the project manager will help in this.
Mistake # 2 – running without a system
Remember how often your working day ended with the fact that you were distracted by some secondary business, and most importantly, you did not get off the ground. A huge amount of a designer’s personal time is spent on unplanned actions.
Systematization of all work processes will help you save time and resources: from the first contact with the client to his housewarming. By the way, only by registering the processes you will understand that you can delegate now.
Mistake number 3 – working without a contract
Legal ignorance, let’s not be afraid of this word, is the cruelest scourge of interior designers. Without a contract or with an incorrectly drawn up contract, designers take on an unreasonably high risk. A relationship with a client can start out just fine. It will seem to you that you have found the customer of your dreams, that you understand each other perfectly.
How painful it will be later when the customer abruptly interrupts the work, you do not receive full payment for the project, and, of course, we are not even talking about photography. Let us remind you that all your relationships, including with contractors, should be closed by contracts and acts.
Mistake number 4 – blurred boundaries of architectural supervision
Sometimes designers themselves refuse this service, although experienced specialists perfectly understand: without the supervision of the author of the project, builders will implement it in a different form than originally intended. Expectations will not converge with reality. Things won’t look like this. Out of false economy, perseverance, or unknowingly, the customer may refuse supervision. Your task is to make a firm decision on this issue and stick to your position.
The other extreme of designers is to confuse field supervision with general contracting. Designers again assume no responsibility, which ultimately leads to disputes and conflicts with the customer and contractors. Our advice is to study what is included in architectural supervision, what the studio is responsible for, and what the general contractor is responsible for.
Mistake # 5 – not investing in your professional development
If you think about it, then all of the above errors stem from this one – from a lack of knowledge in the field of organizing an interior design business. After all, creating a functional and aesthetic project is one thing, but bringing together all the parts of the story: finding a customer, negotiating with him, delegating tasks, and managing employees, effectively and intelligently building all business processes in your studio is a completely different skill. He is practically not taught in design schools, leaving everything at your mercy: “Start practicing and figure out what’s what.”
We are convinced that many mistakes can be avoided if you borrow solutions, learn, gain knowledge from someone who is an order of magnitude more experienced than you in many issues. The design community, unfortunately, is in places a closed and fragmented environment. Therefore, both beginners and experienced professionals often feel lost and lonely.