Finding a Great Accountant

Finding a Great Accountant

Years ago when I moved to Arizona, I contacted the only local resource that worked with Studio Designer.  I was restarting my business in Arizona and wanted someone to help setting up Studio and do my monthly bookkeeping.  Luckily, that resource was my business accountant and bookkeeper Denise Maxwell.  What is great about Denise is that she works almost exclusively with interior designers, she understands our business, she works in the program that works best for interior designers, and she is a great bridge between being a designer and accounting.  If you aren't as lucky as I am to have found a great accountant on your first try, read on for my interview with Denise about finding a great accountant for your interior design business.  

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How to Get Out of A Project With Grace

How to Get Out of A Project With Grace

Sometimes you begin a project and a few weeks or months down the road you realize this isn't the project for you.  Something isn't right, maybe there are red flags, maybe you have too much on your plate, maybe the client is Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde.  There are many great reasons that you should get out of a project.  And it is perfectly okay to get out of a project.  But, getting out of a project shouldn't be a decision taken lightly.  You want to honor your commitments, just not at the expense of your personal well-being.  

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Texting for Business

Texting for Business

A few weeks ago I received a question that inspired this post.  She wanted to know how I tracked my time when I was texting with clients.  She told me sometimes when she received text messages she wasn't in "work mode" and often forgot to write down that time to track.  This question originated from the article I wrote: How to Make Money as an Interior Designer.  In this article, I lay out how much money you may be leaving on the table by not charging for as little as an hour a week. 

If you're spending an hour a week texting clients and not billing them for it, you could be losing $6500 a year (based on $125/hr)!  AN HOUR A WEEK.  $6500 lost for not tracking your texting.

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Getting a Budget from Clients

Getting a Budget from Clients

Here is a secret from my business:  I don't meet with potential clients unless I first have an idea of their budget.  I don't need a spreadsheet with every penny accounted for (In fact, I really don't want that!) but I do need a starting number that they feel comfortable with.  

Here is another secret to getting this number: You ask.  Then if they don't know (many don't and this is okay!) then prob further.  Keep asking in different ways to get a number from them.  Don't waste their time or your own entertaining a project that is an impossible budget.  Usually there are two types of clients, those that have a number but don't want to share it because their afraid you'll abuse their money.  Or they really have no idea what it should cost.  If you're lucky you'll get a client that has an appropriate budget.  If you're unlucky you could get a client that has an unreasonable budget. 

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Interior Design Basics: Setting Up Trade Accounts

Interior Design Basics: Setting Up Trade Accounts

One of the most intimidating things to do for a new interior design business can be setting up trade accounts.  Unfortunately, despite being in sales, the trade reps aren't always helpful.  And the applications have spaces that a new business likely can't fill out.  

To apply for a trade account you just need to contact the vendor or sales rep and let them know you need to set up a new account.  Look online for your local rep or call corporate or just pick up an application at the showroom.  They can send the application straight to your email.  Then you fill it out and return it.  You'll get an email or letter back letting you know that your application has been approved and your new account number.  

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