Do You Enjoy the Hunt for Interior Design Clients? Part 2

In the first part of the series, I asked if you enjoy the hunt for interior design clients.

Here are some questions to contemplate whether you are a seasoned veteran, or you are thinking of being an interior designer:

  1. What is your real reason for being an interior designer…what is your why?
  2. Do you have people supporting you in your efforts to be a business person and design firm owner?
  3. Do you accept that you need to be the CEO of your business and that is your primary role…your product and service you deliver is interior design?
  4. Do you want to be a solopreneur or small firm owner long-term?  (I hope it is the latter because it is impossible to do it all yourself, and you shouldn’t)?
  5. How will you learn to do the things that you don’t know how to do – specifically business and marketing?
  6. What skills do you need to be successful, and which ones are most important to your success and survival?
  7. Are you willing to learn and invest in yourself to be good at this business?
  8. Do you have the perseverance and determination to overcome adversity?
  9. Do you have a plan for your business?
  10. Where will your business be in 12 months, 5 years, 10 years?
  11. Do you have the ability to survive financially for at least six months and invest in yourself and your business to market for clients?
  12. Do you feel confident about your marketing and sales skills?
  13. Do you enjoy marketing and serving people (sales)?
  14. Why should clients want to work with you over other designers?
  15. How are your design skills special? (Key to your marketing)
  16. How will you market your business?  Specifically – every single month and every single day you should be marketing your services…2 – 2 1/2 hours per day if you’re already busy, and full-time if you don’t have clients.  Your job is to bring in business first.
  17. Do you feel at ease talking about what you do for people no matter where you are?
  18. Do you think constantly about the best way to market yourself and your business…what to say and how to say it?
  19. What is your budget for marketing?
  20. Do you have a website that has a way to collect names and email addresses so you can market to your prospects?
  21. Does your website show professionally photographed work?
  22. Did you have a copywriter create text that interests the prospects enough to call?
  23. Do you know how to drive traffic to your website?
  24. Are you active in your local community?
  25. How will you charge your clients – fee structure?
  26. Do you have a contract for your business?
  27. Do you have insurance for your business including errors & omissions (Don’t work without it!)?
  28. Do you know what systems and processes you need to serve clients?
  29. Do you have software that is specific to this industry to help you manage your business?
  30. Do you have a bookkeeper that can help you with the accounting for your business?
  31. Do you understand the financial model for your business?
  32. Do you feel it is right to bill for your services?
  33. Do you feel as if you deserve to succeed?
  34. Do you know where you will run into problems based on your current skill set and what do you need to learn?
  35. Do you have a team of advisors to turn to when you are stuck?
  36. What is the shortest route to success in interior design?
  37. So many people get excited about going into interior design because they love color, creating, fabrics, etc.  But, since 90 – 95% of the profession is about getting the job and making your clients happy, how do you plan to spend 90 – 95% of your time doing just that?

As an interior design business owner, you are an orchestrator, assembler of teams, psychologist, marketer, sales person, manager, creator, process developer, researcher, detail manager, interviewer, problem-solver, analyst, budgeter, time keeper, contract writer, specification writer, document creator, editor, public relations specialist, speaker, promoter, scheduler, librarian, errand-runner, bookkeeper, financial planner, paperwork or bits and bytes pusher, cat herder (getting people to do what they are supposed to do when they are supposed to do it), shopper, sketcher, drafter, organizer, networker, planner, CEO, etc.

When you work alone, you have to do everything, and if there is one thing in the list above that you don’t enjoy doing, then someone else should be doing that role. That’s why most designers fail at the business…they try to learn to do or be better at things they don’t enjoy or don’t do well.  That’s a waste of time and energy.

  • It takes about three to five years to get a steady clientele and referrals on a regular basis.
  • It takes 5 – 10 years to be proficient at serving clients well and have systems and processes that work in your business.
  • It takes 10 – 20 years to be a great CEO & design professional at the same time.

It doesn’t have to be that hard.  If you still want to be an interior designer or stay in your own interior design business, then get the business education and coaching you need as soon as you can. You can’t afford to take years to learn by trial and error.  Besides, why should you?  It costs you more time and money in the end.  Coaching can save you as much as 30% on your learning curve.

Please contact us at info(at) at any time and one of our team members can guide you to the appropriate classes and coaching for where you are in your business right now.  We’re here to help you get there faster!

You deserve it!

Gail Doby

Gail, with her team at Gail Doby Coaching and Consulting, has helped more than 10,000 designers in 76 countries. Many of them have achieved amazing results... doubling, tripling (and more) their revenue and profit... with clarity and confidence. Gail and her team build one-of-a-kind experiences, walking beside Interior Designers to help them create and implement their plans.
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1 Comment

  1. Susie on August 31, 2015 at 1:59 pm

    glad I saw your blog. Will read later today. Looks interesting thx susie

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