As an interior designer, you strive for beauty and precision in all that you do. You’ve worked hard to build a reputation for creating striking interiors on time and on budget, and your clients expect nothing less than perfection as a result. As easy as you make it look, Design Manager knows how much effort it takes to make work a streamlined process for your clients, and how much time it can take away from your passion for creativity. That’s why Design Manager, the accounting and project management software created specifically to meet the unique needs of interior designers, was built with the bonus capability of producing professionally formatted and branded client documents such as proposals, invoices, purchase orders, and statements.
Instead of spending countless hours designing templates, then manually entering and re-formatting data each time you have to produce a client-facing document, Design Manager will simply pull the necessary information that you have previously entered into the system for your accounting and project management needs, then populate the data into one of three sleek, easy-to-read, customizable templates. Not only will you save precious time creating documents, but you will also benefit from the peace of mind that comes from automatic data population, meaning you only have to upload images and cross-check your data the first time you enter it into Design Manager, instead of every time you put it on paper.
The Importance of Branded Documents
Taking a step back, it’s important to understand the benefit of providing your clients and vendors with branded, consistently formatted proposals, invoices, purchase orders, and statements. For interior designers, establishing an authentic brand is an important first step to building a sustainable business, as it communicates honesty, transparency, and trustworthiness to your target audience.
A fundamental part of every memorable brand is a professional logo and a consistent visual presentation. Presenting a uniform image in your business documents and communications, whether sending a formal contract or a casual greeting via email, helps reinforce your brand of professionalism and trustworthiness. Applying your logo and preferred standard formats is easy in Design Manager, which after a one-time upload into your company profile, allows you to easily add your logo to any client document.
To see all of the many customization options for using your logo, once you are logged in to Design Manager, open the “Company Information” menu and you will see a sub-menu specifically for managing this almighty graphic. Here, you can choose to add or remove elements that may conflict with your logo. For example, if the graphic already includes your contact information, you can simply check a box in the logo menu to ensure Design Manager doesn’t automatically populate your contact information to your header, therefore duplicating the information.
A Closer Look at Layouts
Design Manager offers three main template styles for proposals and invoices. Purchase orders and client statements then have a choice between two main template styles and the two remaining documents, spec sheet and bid specifications, are each used for specific purposes not to be addressed here. Additionally, three templates — residential, commercial, and modern — have the option “with deposit” or “without deposit.” You can apply a different format for each type of document, all within the same client profile. For example, you have the ability to format invoices using the commercial template and proposals in the residential template. You can always switch the format for proposals and invoices before printing, meaning you can create a document in one format, then change your mind, and within seconds the same information will be produced within the newly chosen template. While making that change, you can choose to apply the new setting globally, or just to that one document.
The Modern Template
The Modern template uses Calibri font. Your company information is shown at the bottom and the logo is at the top, maximizing space on the page.
The Commercial Template
The Commercial template uses Arial font, classic grid columns, and is designed to communicate a business-to-business tone.
The Residential Template
The Residential template uses Times New Roman font and has a soft, correspondence oriented appearance. Your logo and company info are included on the top left margin of the document.
Working with Deposits
For proposals and invoices, if you choose “with deposit” for any of these three templates, a menu of options will become available to you. This will allow you to show how much you’ve asked for and how much you’ve received, essentially showing a de facto balance due on a proposal. You can also show payments, making a statement version of the invoice.
Customize to Suit Your Needs
With specific needs that change by project or client, Design Manager understands that you need flexibility in formatting and in what information you include on your various client and vendor documents. Some documents need granular detail, while for others, a top-line view may be more appropriate.
In Design Manager, you can set different types of documents to follow different types of format customization beyond template choice. Some of the choices include a setting to print a document on letterhead or abbreviated letterhead, and to include organization aiding details such as page numbers and reference numbers.
With the Professional version of Design Manager, you can customize even further, choosing whether or not to show information such as location name (i.e. Master Bedroom, Entry Powder Room) or remarks on a new page, which is useful if you have lengthy comments or legal disclaimers on your client and vendor documents. You can also choose to customize how you show sales tax and freight.
Always Put Your Best Foot Forward
As you know, everything an interior designer presents to the world must be visually pleasing, down to the paperwork. Using consistent graphic design is essential to your branding, and providing accurate, reliable information is essential to your reputation. Having a tool to automatically generate these documents using branded, easy-to-read templates not only saves time but ensures a consistent and professional experience for clients.
Design Manager allows users to generate limitless branded proposals, invoices, and purchase orders using the same data and images that you only have to enter into the system once. What’s better, Design Manager will use that data to keep your project management and accounting functions organized and running like a well-oiled machine. Your passion is design, so the more you can count on software such as Design Manager to keep your business in order, the more you can focus on doing what you love. To learn more about Design Manager and how it can help your business, sign up for a free trial today.