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How to Increase Profitability for Your Interior Design Business

As an interior designer, you create the spaces that paint the backdrop for people’s everyday lives. But while you get to do what you love every single day, you’re also running a business, which means the goal is to be profitable. In pursuit of profitability, it’s paramount to keep your eye on the bottom line. Read on to learn the top 10 ways you can increase profitability for your interior design business.


1. Get In Touch With Your Why


When running an interior design firm, or any business for that matter, it’s vital to have a deep understanding of your “why.” The concept of knowing your “why” comes from Simon Sinek’s popular marketing book, “Start With Why.” In his book, Sinek writes, “People don’t buy WHAT you do; they buy WHY you do it.” For example, your “why” might be to bring more beauty into the world, to create experiences that inspire people, or simply to help others by using your gifts. Whatever it might be, pinpoint what drives you and why you are in business and then shape your business around it. This paradigm shift will transform the way you view your entire business, clarify your messaging, permeate your brand, and connect you with your ideal clients. From there, everything else falls into place.


2. Define Your Ideal Client


Once you know what you stand for and what you believe in, this vision will inform your branding. It will influence the totality of the experience that you create for your clients. It will inspire everything from your messaging, website design, user experience, and the way you treat your clients and employees. Next, you’ll want to identify who your ideal client is. Take a look at the type of design that you do best. What about the work that you do brings you the most joy? Now take that type of design, and view it from a client’s point of view. What needs does it satisfy? In what ways does it improve your client’s life? Consider the wants, desires, and needs of the client who would seek out this type of interior. Next, consider where this client lives, what they do for a living, and how much money they make. Lastly, consider how this ideal client shops. How would they seek you out?


By determining your ideal client, you’ll know who to market your services towards, and you’ll attract the type of clients and the type of work that brings you joy. By knowing exactly who you want to work with, you’ll save time and money, and you’ll be on your way to a more profitable interior design business through the power of referrals within your ideal clients’ social circles.


3. Create A Seamless Brand and Website Design


In addition to designing for your clients and doing administrative and accounting work, you’ll also need to be your firm’s own branding and marketing team. But don’t worry. You don’t need to be a professional marketer to attract more clients. By having a firm grasp of your “why” and knowing who your ideal clients are, you’re already ahead of the game.


To really increase your competitive edge, improve your website design. Your website will be a potential client’s first impression of your interior design business. So, it’s important that you create the same kind of beautiful, seamless experience online that you intend to create for them offline through your interior design work. When a client visits your website, they should have no question about what you do, what you specialize in, where you are located, and how to contact you.


To do this, make sure that your website is easy to navigate with clear calls-to-action. You’ll also want to provide stunning visuals of your design work, case studies, client reviews, and information about your background and vision for design. Really let your “why” shine through your copy and brand messaging. Your interior design business is more than just a logo. Think of it as a seamless customer experience. How do you want your clients to feel when you design a space for them? Apply this same line of thinking to everything from your website to your collateral, and you’ll be smooth sailing towards a successful and profitable interior design business. Your customers’ overall experience of working with you from start to finish will drive your referrals. The great thing is, you get to be in control of that experience.


4. Outline Your Business’s Profit Plan


For maximum profitability, develop a profit plan. This plan will serve as your road map moving forward. To create one, ask yourself some discernment questions. For example, where do you see yourself in 5 or 10 years? Then, work backward by mapping out the milestones and tasks you need to accomplish in order to get there. Set deadlines for your firm, and hold yourself accountable. A great way to organize your goals and milestones is by using Asana. Milestones can include specific clients, numbers of clients, how much you hope to earn, publications you’d like to be featured in, dream projects, and more.


You’ll also want to choose your pricing strategy. Will you bill hourly for your services, cost plus markup, or a flat fee? Or will you choose all of the above and switch per project? Just be sure to take into account all of your business expenses and calculate how much money you’re likely to need in order to create a successful profitability plan.


5. Improve Your Organization


In order to create a seamless client experience and stick to your profit plan, you’ll need to maintain a tight ship when it comes to your organization. If organization is a struggle for you, accept the challenge because it will significantly improve your productivity. By implementing organization techniques into your everyday routine, you’ll save time and money, improve your work ethic, and you’ll get a pep back in your step as you reclaim lost time and foster a more positive and inspired outlook.


6. Master Your Time Management


When running your own interior design business, remember that time is money. If you struggle to manage your time, you will be sabotaging your own ROI. The good news is, there are plenty of tips and tricks that you can implement to improve your workflow including the Pomodoro technique, time tracking with the Design Manager App, and optimize your time by using software that was designed with interior designers in mind.


Related: For more tips and tricks for mastering your time management, check out our blog post: 5 Time Management Tips for Creative Interior Designers.


7. Take Care of Yourself


This might sound counter-intuitive, especially following our last tip about time management, but hear me out. According to the Maslach Burnout Inventory (MBI-GS), which was used to measure burnout and job satisfaction among practicing interior designers, the study participants surveyed expressed that they were experiencing a moderate level of burnout. To avoid burnout, re-energize by taking a vacation. Whether you plan time to go away for a week-long trip to Vero Beach, Florida or you do a weekend-long retreat, it’s important to take a step back and reignite your interior design spark. Set aside time regularly to do something you genuinely enjoy.


8. Don’t Give Away Your Time for Free


If you’re in pursuit of a profitable interior design business, it’s important that you know your worth. Interior design is a highly sought after skill and an art. It’s important to recognize this truth, which will provide the confidence, and courage you need to succeed in running a profitable interior design business. Once you know what you’re worth, you won’t be afraid to charge accordingly. Anything less is a disservice to yourself and your relationships.


Related: To learn strategies for working with family and friends, check out this blog post.


9. Switch to A Software That Was Designed For You


There’s nothing more unwieldy and disruptive for your business process than relying on a software that wasn’t created with your firm’s needs in mind. We developed Design Manager to provide interior designers with a seamless experience so they can do more design work at a higher level in less time.


With Design Manager, you can improve your interior design firm’s organizational structure as well as your own personal organization all while streamlining your entire business from anywhere in the world. Sign up for a free trial today.

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Lindsay Paoli
Lindsay Paoli
Lindsay is in charge of the Sales and Marketing team at Design Manager and has enjoyed growing the DM company for the past 10 years. In her spare time though, you can find her taking care of her two adorably demanding little rugrats, traveling, enjoying new restaurants or cheering on her beloved Philadelphia sports teams with her friends and family.

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