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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how to budget interior design photo credit: dttsp

Today we're talking about interior design budgets.  If you missed yesterday's Part 1, What Will it Cost to Decorate My Home? read that first.

Ever wondered how much it would cost to redo your living room?  I often meet with clients and when I ask, "What do you want to spend on this project?" or "What is your interior design budget?" I usually get blank stares and not-sures.  There are a few reasons for not sharing your budget with an interior designer.

1) You really don't know what you should spend.  

Though if I really press there is usually an amount clients don't want to exceed.   Do you want to spend one million?  Or maybe $10,000?

2) You have an amount in mind but are unsure if it is feasible.  

You'll want to use the budget worksheet below or just throw the number out to your designer.  She'll be able to tell you if the amount is reasonable.

3) You have an amount in mind but don't want to show your cards. 

The right designer cannot give you what you want without knowing what you want to pay for it.  She can't do her job without knowing  what your number is.  Read yesterday's post, What Will it Cost to Decorate My Home? to see the pitfalls of not showing your cards.