I want to share a conversation that I had in this week’s Q & A call for our Growth members. Those calls are similar to our Design Lifeline Q & A calls, except we’re on Zoom, have direct conversations with each other, and it’s with a smaller group of people.
During the call, we were discussing how not to lose control of a job. I was talking to one of our designers, who was distraught over a job. She had just been hired for a kitchen remodel, and she would like to do the cabinets and door fronts. However, the client has a contractor that they prefer, who does cabinets too.
The designer is worried about how to get into this job, and she’d like to sell products as part of it. She was hired for an Exploratory Agreement. Remember, this is where concepts are developed, rough drawings are done, prices are pulled together based on what the client wants to create a budget, and then the project starts from there.
Instead of setting that up immediately with the client, the designer stepped away. The client called the contractor and set up a time when all three of them could meet together. Unfortunately, what happens in this situation is that the contractor takes over the job.
The client’s assumption is that the contractor is going to build it. So, the client is essentially taking over and managing how the job will go by setting up that meeting. The designer is distraught because she needs to be in charge of the job if she expects to come out with anything on the other end.
If the contractor takes over the job, the designer is going to end up writing specifications. That’s not a bad thing, but if she wants to do better financially on a kitchen remodel and own some of the products, she has to be in more of a power position.
Watch the video above, where I explain in detail how to make that happen. The designer needs to go back to the client and reestablish the sequence that this needs to be done in. That way, the designer can go in and do the programming piece. Even if it’s relatively simple, and you almost already know what to do, you still need to step in and build out what you’re going to do and what it will cost. Then, you can step into a bigger fee to actually do it.
Once you figure out all the pricing for all the items going into the job, you’re much more likely to end up being able to buy them. When you bring the contractor in, you’re asking for labor prices, not one of their silly ballpark figures, where not enough money is included to cover what the client wants.
After that happens, you’re in a trusted place with the client. It’s much more likely that you’ll be able to run that job and hire the contractor for labor only. But for that to happen, you have to be clear on the process from the very beginning.
If you like this kind of information, having answers to questions, and being able to get real-time answers that are working in business now, you should check out one of our education and coaching programs. Schedule a fun call with one of our coaches by clicking below and find out how it all works and if it’s a fit for you. There’s no pressure, and we’d love to chat with you!
Until next time, design something beautiful and get paid what you’re worth.