Client Confessions: J White Designs

Client Confessions: J White Designs

You very rarely hear about design from the design client unless it is in a shelter magazine or a bad review online.  But there are thousands of experiences in between.  Here is a perspective of different projects through the eyes of a client and the value they see in interior design.  This series is to help other designers understand design clients better and for clients to see the value of interior design.

What were your concerns about hiring a designer?

Since I don't have that "vision", I change my mind probably more frequently than the designer would want. I was afraid that the designer would be upset about not going with her "expert" opinion and not realize that I have to live in the house.  That being said, it's a fine line since I don't have the "vision". I do need to be told if something will not look good.  Also, I like working on an hourly basis versus working on a per furniture piece basis.  I do like to do my own shopping to get the best value. If it was not hourly, I would have been dropped by a designer a long time ago.

Read More

Sales Tax Basics for Interior Designers

Sales Tax Basics for Interior Designers

The first thing to know about sales tax is that if you're selling product (and sometimes services) to clients you'll have to pay it and the second thing to know is that every jurisdiction has different rules and regulations.  In other words, it is unavoidable and it is complicated.

Tax is required to be paid on goods sold, but some businesses can get exemptions to pass on this tax to the end consumer - the client.  The designer purchases a taxable item with the purpose of resale and at the time the designer charges the client they also must collect sales tax.  The purpose of resale is the exemption.  The sales tax is passed on to the client.

Read More

Designing Business Systems

Designing Business Systems

It is no secret that I love organization, so when I started organizing my business it came fairly naturally to me.  Coupled with my desire to make things as easy and automatic as possible, creating business systems was actually fun.  I realize that this is not the case with most anyone else. I enthusiastically recommend creating business systems and processes to every interior design business owner.  And not because I think it is fun.  Systems can help your business run smoother, more efficiently, and with minimal brain power.  You may even have some unofficial systems running already without knowing it.

Read More

3 Ways You May Be Sabotaging Your Business

3 Ways You May Be Sabotaging Your Business

In the orientation calls for my business training course this past week, I found myself giving the same advice to many of the designers: separate your business (e.g. Capella Kincheloe Interior Design) from your person (e.g. Capella).  Most of the designers I spoke to had trouble creating boundaries.  They had trouble saying no.  Clients were calling on weekends.

When you own a small business you and your business are inevitably entwined. However, your boundaries will be much easier to manage if you can separate yourself from the business.

Read More

3 Money Habits to Grow Your Biz

3 Money Habits to Grow Your Biz

Here's a little secret about me: I despise the financial/accounting parts of running my business.  So much so, there have been times that I try to ignore it altogether, forget it exists.  I just want to create!

Please don't do this.  This doesn't help your business grow.  And ignoring your financials does not make them disappear.

Here is where creating some money habits in your business is going to come in handy.  Because you are going to make them habits and habits by definition are something you do regularly.  You are going to be motivated because you know that keeping an eye on your money is going to help your business grow and run more smoothly.  Easier.

Read More