When it comes to your design projects, we know there are some things you love and other things that give you a headache. You love conceptualising a space and bringing it to life – it’s probably what got you into design. But you may have less love for the nitty-gritty detail – placing orders, checking on lead times, managing installations.
At FCI, we are excited to introduce you to our one-stop-shop solution for all your projects and an expert team who will manage everything for you. Here are some tips on how to grow your interior design business and the ways in which we can help you.
1. Spend time on your strategy
Many of our designers have told us how difficult it is to focus on strategy once their business is up and running. You get so caught up in doing that you don’t have time for thinking. But strategy is what sets a good business apart from a great one. You can be brilliant at what you do, but unless you have a clear direction for your brand, it’s easy to go off course and face unnecessary setbacks.
You’ll need a business plan that includes elements such as your objectives, how you plan to achieve them and how you’re going to promote your brand. The latter is your marketing plan and is perhaps the most important piece. If you market your business well, you’ll solidify your reputation in the industry and stand out from your competitors.
2. Get organised
We can’t stress this one enough. For many creatives, the organisational piece of a project is the one they look forward to the least. This is where we can help. We have created a project management system in collaboration with our designers, so we know it does what you need it to.
You can create mood boards and select furniture options for your client including specs, prices and lead times. You can share your projects with your clients, other teams and suppliers to ensure that everyone is aware of deadlines, thereby keeping your project on track. This project management system allows you to be 100% on top of every detail, which in turn will help you to maximise your profits. Intrigued? Click here to find out more about our one-of-a-kind project management software, Projex.
3. Treat your business like a client
You wouldn’t forget to send a client an invoice or not bother with a site visit to understand the space. Every detail of your client process needs to be above reproach. We have a secret tip for you – so does your business process. If you neglect the admin side early on, you’ll find yourself fighting so many fires that you won’t have time to be creative or to increase your client base. Remember that you’re not just a designer, you’re a business owner. Think about how you would treat a client and replicate that for your business.
4. Find your niche
It’s a tough question: should you specialise in something or do a little bit of everything? The answer is different for everyone depending on your circumstances and skills, but it’s a question worth keeping in mind as your business grows and you’re aiming to stand out from the crowd.
If you’re really good at one thing and you own that niche, you can charge higher prices and ensure success. On the other hand, if you’re good but you don’t have the reputation or skills to really own that sector, you may find yourself floundering as your more respected competition monopolises your audience.
5. Be yourself
When you’re first starting out, it can be tempting to look at a brand you admire and try to emulate that. There’s nothing wrong with taking inspiration, but the most successful businesses are ones that are authentic. People can see through posers and copycats. There’s a hunger for honesty and realism, perhaps more so than ever in our photoshopped, filtered world. Think about the qualities that you admire in yourself as well as what makes you gravitate towards others and incorporate that into your messaging.
We’re around to chat anytime about your design project needs. Speak to your account manager who will gladly guide you through the Projex process or simply assist you with queries.