Hurt and unsure.
A designer last week told me that she was really struggling with the fact that her husband didn’t take her business seriously, in part because she’s never used any kind of interior design contract or letter of agreement in her entire career.
My heart went out to her because she’s in a difficult place. Not being acknowledged by her partner is painful and so is avoiding what’s necessary to have a professional business.
Not learning or creating something necessary in your business only makes it bigger and scarier, and that’s when you get stuck in business and life.
If you’re in a similar situation, then take a deep breath and look at creating a contract as only needing four things.
First: It’s what are you offering to do for this client
You want to be specific about what you’re offering them, not them telling you what you’re going to do. Be an active listener in your conversation with a prospective client and pull out the pieces that are specific about what they want. You’re just going to write the ones that have specifics about this the project they’ve requested.
Next: Be clear about what the area you’re working in.
Obviously, it’s the house address, but where in this house? Or is this for a commercial building? Being very specific about the area because that helps control scope creep – aka when clients start asking you for things that weren’t really included.
Then: Include how long it will take you to do it.
This is really just about putting a stop date in your contract. This helps ensure decisions can be made in a timely manner and that you can get on to the next project.
PRO TIP: Generally, if you are working on a room, six weeks would be plenty.
Finally: How much you’re going to be paid.
How much do you want to be paid and when do you want to be paid?
These four items are everything that goes in your letter of agreement, it’s that simple.
Now, if you don’t have a template, I’m happy to share with you.
Just email me at terri @ IDBAcademy.com and I’ll be happy to share a letter of agreement template with you.
A very kind and wise designer shared his template with me and it changed my life forever. It was a rare thing to find a template for letter of agreement and I’d love to give that gift to you as well.
Until next time, design something beautiful and get paid what you’re worth.
Terri breaks down the walls of secrecy by sharing her 30 years of professional interior design and remodeling experience to help interior designers work smarter, not harder, and get paid what theyâ€™re really worth.
She provides private and group coaching to interior designers who want both a financially sustainable business and a life outside of work.
Terri teaches wealth consciousness and business systems that simplify and streamline their business processes.
Terri received her NCIDQ certification in 1993, and is a professional member of the American Society of Interior Designers (ASID) and Interior Design Society (IDS). She also received the 2000 ASID Interior Design Award of Excellence and holds an Arizona Contractorâ€™s License.