Working From Home – How to Become an Interior Designer

In the past 1-1/2 years I have been doing workshops for the interior design industry. I know this has been a really tough year for most of us. I also noticed that when times are tough and we are all looking for the magic answer, it also makes us vulnerable to, as the song goes, looking in all the wrong places. There’s some great information out there, but there is also what I call “Smoke and Mirrors”. I would advise you to be very careful who you look to for advise. Don’t fall for the wolf in sheep’s clothing. Everyone is calling themselves an expert now….

But what I thought was to let you know that I also practice what I preach….oh yeah, with tangible results.

I am not doing this as self-promotion, but to show you that you can do this too!

My business, was not immune to the downturn of the economy. I very suddenly lost two major clients in 2008. I had to really work hard (AND SMART) to build my business back and make up for those two clients. As I am writing this, I have almost reached AND surpassed those goals. How did I do it, you ask?

I am sorry to say this, but it’s what I preach to all of my clients, in my workshops and what I will tell you now.

(1) I have a very specific target market. I NEVER, EVER call myself a consultant. It says nothing about my value to someone. Someone I took business classes with when I first started my business asked me what I do. I replied, “I am a consultant”. She answered in a very sharp tone, “You and every other out of work person”. Boy did that give me a wake up call.

(Q).So when someone asks what you do, how do you reply? I am an interior designer? I sell high-end products? I do residential design? I do commercial design? I do window treatments? I will say the same as my teacher said to me…you and thousands of others! Do you want to put yourself in a pool of others vying for the same work? FIND YOUR TARGET MARKET AND YOUR VALUE TO THEM! Solve their problems! Design is not solving problems that’s a given. If value is a mystery, people will not buy. People are now looking for value. You need to connect those dots for people with a very clear marketing message.

Think of it as throwing away what everyone else offers and pulling on your own strengths. Pull your company away from every other designer.

(2) I spend over 50% of my time on marketing. YES 50% of my time! Most successful people spend AT LEAST that much time on marketing. Others spend much less and the results are indicative of that. Unreliable income, unrealized dreams of having a thriving business and worse yet, businesses closing.

But the key was that I put myself into target rich environments. AND I provided the VALUE of working with me. I networked in person, online and built my value and brand. I did not waste time, energy and money (our precious resources) going to events or doing online Social Media to people who I knew would NOT be interested in the value I have to offer with my services. I thought very strategically about where I was going and who I wanted to meet. That was my goal for 2009 and I worked hard at it!

(Q). So how much time have you worked on marketing in a target rich environment? Have you yet to define your target market? And have you crafted your “elevator speech”? Mine is “I work with the interior design industry on strategic business planning so that they can reach their ultimate business goals”. That’s how I introduce myself to anyone I meet on or offline.

(3) Pro-active follow up. I have not been out of contact with my “sales funnel” for more than 4 weeks. It’s a call, a blog post, a Facebook entry, a newsletter, an in person visit, a workshop, a networking event. It’s ALL pro-active. I really don’t have that Kevin Costner attitude of “Build it and they will come” or ” I have been doing this for 30 years and have an incredible track record of successes…don’t they know that”? You can NEVER, EVER rely on passive marketing such as referrals, brochures, postcards, etc.

Don’t forget the cardinal rule of marketing. You need to get in front of a potential client 7 to 13 times before they will take action. I know this may sound crazy, but I even keep on ticker on some of my potential clients to see if that is true. You know what? It is!

Follow up is crucial..but make sure when you do PLEASE do not just say I am following up. Make the call, email whatever your mode meaningful to your potential client. An example is: I just designed an amazing storage solution for another client and I know that’s of particular interest to you..wanted to talk to you about it and how we can make that same kind of idea work for you.

So, you ask, all that is well and good on paper…”Show me the money!”

I have two new clients I got from Social Media and a third I am in talks with a third one right now.

I have given my in person, 5 part workshop in two design centers and I am scheduled to give it at THREE others this year.

I have SIX major proposals out there just waiting for approval.

In a few months I am slated to have an income that would supersede my best year!

Business is getting better, the economy IS changing for the better, you can position yourself right now!

And what’s really amazing about this is not about me, it’s that YOU can do this too!

Modern Interior Design For Your Hotel & Restaurant

Cafe Interior Design

The idea was created in my mind after watching the Chef Gordon Ramsay in TV. In that TV show they will teach, how to decorate our kitchen and nightmares restaurants with the verge of closure. It will save the detailed remolding of the tuning staff, menu, set up, and cooking techniques. There is an interesting thing that impresses all is re-launching and sustain efforts used by the postcards. Cafes and restaurants will get benefit from the customer post card print. By using the costumer designed postcard it promotes their menu and especially it is established by the images for their business. The Commuter of the town is situated near the airport, railway station and other module of transportation, which gets the gain from the designer postcards.

Hotel Interior Design

Having to say this, the fact is the hotels require catchy designs than the restaurants. The hotels want to look attractive to the new people who might be strangers, tourists and travelers. The hotel gives more importance and needs reputation also. They are looking the rates and service charges for per day. The interior of hotels should be designed in such way that it will reflect the essence of town or city in which it is situated. The all kinds of food offered in the hotels also influence with the interior designs. For example, if it is a hotel offering cuisines belong to foreign country, the interior and decor should represent the strength of that country. The tables and chairs arrangement in hotels must be very unique. The way of arrangement will also attract the people. The interior walls should be nicely painted and some pictures related to various cuisines will surely help the hotels to get more customers.

Office Interior Design
The one style of office will not outfit every type of business. However, there is no set rule concerning what comprise the best office style. They will imagine the office of your limited garage and then compare with the office of the high-tech original or creative director to do they look like the same, if you visualize them in your mind.

How to Make Sure Your Interior Design Client Is Happy

In service businesses, such as interior design, we rely upon clients to fuel our businesses. We need clients to establish our base, earn repeat business, gain referrals, and ultimately build our businesses. We are in the position of always striving towards client satisfaction with each and every client, as we acknowledge that they are crucial to our success and longevity.

For 15 years, I worked in Marketing and Advertising for Fortune 500 companies and led extended teams including advertising and promotions agencies to help build my brands. The agencies were partners and the force that brought all of our creativity to fruition through television, radio and print ads. I was their client and I provided direction on what I believed would best meet our brands’ needs. In some cases, I wanted the agencies to explore ideas I shared. At other times, I let them surprise me. If I felt strongly about an idea, I expected to see it flushed out in their presentations, even if the agencies did not believe it would work. Their job was to show me what I wanted and show me what I couldn’t fathom.

The concept is the same in the design industry. As designers, we often encounter clients who feel confident that they know just what is needed to enhance their spaces. Sometimes they give very explicit direction about the elements they want included in the overall design. In our role as the partner, we must take heed to their desires. After all, it is their space.

In my experience, three design plans are ideal when presenting to clients – one that is based on the clients’ suggestions and two that stretch their imagination and reflect your professional judgment and expertise. At the end of the presentation, share which one is your recommended design and explain your rationale. This way, you have the opportunity to share your vision while displaying your clients’ visions. I continue to take this approach when working with clients and they are generally in agreement with my recommendation.

The bottom line is that you have to appease your clients, as they are paying for your expertise. They contact us because they need a designer’s touch to create their ideal living environment. However, their needs and wants must be addressed when designing the space. Remember, it is not about us. Give them what they want! In return, you will get what you want — client referrals and repeat business.

Using Commercial Interior Designer to Transform Your Business Interior

Success in business often depends on how well you treat your customers in your office. Your employees also generally spend most of their working hours within the four walls of your office. So it is important to keep the working environment aesthetically pleasing and comfortable not only for the visiting customers, but also functional and conducive to effective performance for the employees. That’s where the commercial interior design comes in.

The commercial interior designer decorates the interior of commercial buildings or businesses, be it corporate offices, showrooms or business establishments – large or small. With a variety of visual tools such as specialized interior planning and design software, the work of a professional designer in space planning and communication to their clients is made easier. An experienced designer will know to enhance the look of the office from the reception area to the conference room and other areas in conventional as well as contemporary styles.

Based on the ideas of the clients, the designer can create a feel for the room by selecting wall paintings in appropriate color scheme, fabric, furniture, fittings, lighting, flooring, artwork and other accessories and also find the solutions to transform the interior working environment within the existing architecture.

Individuals who have a flair for design and decoration can become Certified Interior Designers by undergoing a professional course in commercial interior design – be it diploma, graduation or post graduation degree program. In United States, registration is mandatory to practice in this design discipline design in most states. Qualified designers who meet government certification requirements – passing score on NCIDQ (National Council for I.D. Qualifications) examination – are eligible to acquire a licensure from the a professional body called ASID.

The interior design professional who practices in the commercial sector needs to possess some in-built and some acquired skills – the ability to conceive a balance between the client’s needs and the ideas he suggests, excellent design sense to prepare drawings, coordination skills, keen observation skill for detail and color, communication skills, management skills and the necessary skills to work together with contractors and architects.

With the help of commercial interior designer you can transform your business premises benefiting your clients, workforce and ultimately your business.