Starting Your Career as an Interior Designer: The Business of Interior Design
I am always amazed at how many “ladies” spend every work day having lunch with their clients. Not only are they in the design center working with the client in tow they stop for an hour or more to have a bite. Is that a good way to use our very valuable time? Is it a good way to spend our clients design time dollars? Well, I think not. Interior design is a business, not an avocation. We, as professionals, should use the design center to source our projects, not as a testing ground for clients reactions to certain furniture and fabrics. We should be secure in the knowledge our decisions will meet the design criteria for the project and we need not produce more than two, three or four selections for any given element. As the “ladies” spend hours in a social whirl with Mrs. GotRocks instead of producing the given project it becomes evident to all concerned the project will probably drag on forever. Decisions are delayed and selections not made. For the client, who generally doesn’t know any better, frustrations may build to a point that a confrontation is inevitable. For the “lady” designer profit slips through her fingers and she just can’t understand why the bills aren’t getting paid. I would advocate this “lady with taste” move on to the bridge table and let some of the very talented young designers show her how it’s done. As a teacher of Business Practices for the Interior Designer I find more and more young designers getting the message about business. Yes, Green Design, is all the rage but without a profitable business none of that “green” is going to grow. So stop having lunch with every client that comes down the pike and produce the project in a timely and profitable manner.
Repeat after me, Interior Design is a business.