Do you get the designing part of your job mixed up with the purchasing part of your job? Many designers do and if you do, then you know it can cost you extra hours of work, as well as lower your overall budget.
If you haven’t already, start considering the method of charging a little bit of an hourly time in order to get a client to buy something so you’ll be properly paid as the old way to work.
This old process results in a piecemeal approach to the overall design (not good), the client over focusing on the “perfect” piece (yikes), and having to sell the client on each piece (exhausting) because the client needs to make buying decisions over and over again.
Aside from all those cautionary examples listed above, the huge downside is that the client doesn’t buy anything, so your job goes nowhere and you end up working for pennies (what’s the point, right?!)
Well here’s the good news … separating your design from purchasing will eliminate ALL of these problems!
Here’s what it looks like:
Start with the design (only) side of your job by creating a Letter of Agreement outlining that the client is hiring and paying you to design the room (house, kitchen, etc.) This includes: the concept, planning, research, selection, budgets and number of client approval meetings to ensure they’re getting what they want. This Agreement covers the design process up to the point of being ready to purchase. NOTE: You’re paid for every hour that it takes to get there!
At this point the reality is that if they don’t purchase, it doesn’t matter because you have been paid for services rendered. Woo-Hoo!
But, if they do want you to purchase, this is what it looks like:
Next, the purchasing side happens when the client wants to have you manage the purchasing portion of the job. It’s a second Agreement, a Purchase Proposal, which includes all your terms of purchase, descriptions of ALL of the items with prices, purchasing fees, delivery and receiving fees and sales tax and a substantial deposit.
Here’s the trick, clients are more likely to purchase when the furniture (product) is presented holistically in relationship to the other elements in the room, and when the entire budget is clearly illustrated so the client only has to make one decision to buy everything they approved of (they already said “yes” to you) during the design meetings.