Interior design doesn't have a good handbook, for each residential interior designer or decorator there seems to be a different way of doing business. When I started my business in 2010, people were just starting to peek their heads above the recession and many designers who had been in business before were scrambling to learn how to adapt to changing clients. The interior design landscape was different than it had ever been.
Interior design is a competitive business and businesses keep their trade secrets hidden. Much of this is because there is no handbook, the trade secrets are refined and found through time and money on the designer's part and s/he doesn't want to just hand that information over. This is one of the reasons that I advocate working for someone else before ever starting your own business.
But even when you work for another company there are still things you probably would never have to do for your employer that you will have to do as the new CEO of your company. Things like accounting and financial reports, sales tax, marketing and advertising, website development, finding and signing clients, contracts, and publicity. It can be overwhelming.
But I slogged through all that information, spending hundreds of hours researching and learning as much as I could about running a small interior design business. I think that collaboration is always better than competition and there is enough for everyone to go around. Rather than watch new interior design businesses hit the stumbling blocks that I did, I think it is better for interior design clients to help those designers elevate their businesses from go to provide the best client experience.
So here's my special announcement. I am in the process of compiling all that I know and have learned about running a small interior design business. I am working on a way to best share what I know, because so many of you have contacted me asking for advice on various topics. So, I am taking fewer interior design clients, so I can focus on a new part of my business: consulting interior design professionals.
I have been batting around several ideas for the best method to provide this information and I would love to hear from you in the comments - would you like a book/workbook for self-study, one-on-one consulting, a guided multi-week class, a weekend retreat?