I have discovered that many designers don’t believe that a client would ever pay them a fee of $42,000, $65,000, or even $87,000 for a big job. I’m talking about the kind of job that’s a big new build or a large full gut remodel with furniture. What happens is they jump into the project without an interior design business strategy or any planning upfront, and just start charging by the hour to get it going.
Then, about half-way to two-thirds of the way through the job, the client starts excluding them from meetings. They start shopping your selections. They buy stuff themselves and generally mess up the design altogether. The result is a job you can’t photograph. Your client is telling people you did it, which is not good. Or, they’re telling people that you did some of it, but it was so expensive that they had to jump in and remedy it to be able to finish it. That’s not what you want people saying about you either. It’s not a good situation either way.
Talk Clearly and Comfortably About Money with Clients
However, when you have an interior design business strategy that is a way of talking clearly and comfortably about money and budgets with clients, you have a base starting point that changes the whole scenario. Once that conversation and agreement are in place, you have the opportunity to make an offer to do this service for them in pieces with milestones. Each milestone has a price and a value attached to it. That way, they can see what they’re paying for as the project progresses.
For example, you would have the design development working with the architects or the plan drawers. You would have certain boundaries around what you’re going to provide at a specific price. Next, you would have finish selections that you will provide, how many meetings you were going to have, and the price.
Then, you would have the interior design piece, which is the wall coverings, furniture, and window coverings, and all the yummy stuff we like to play with. That piece has another price attached to it along with a clear statement about purchasing, and how that works given it’s separate from the design piece. It’s essential to separate those two.
The last piece would be construction support. It will take you a block of hours to do that, and you should choose an amount that you think might be logical. In the event that you run out, you would sell another block of hours, no one-offs, just another block of hours. Together, that can easily add up to about $60,000 or more. When you know what the budget for the construction is and you know that your fee is proportionate, it’s really easy for the client to say yes.
The result of using this system is the job finishes, you get to photograph it, you get good referrals because everything was laid out ahead of time, and everything worked the way you said it would work. It’s kind of like rinse and repeat. It’s a system that’s repeatable and will be loved by your clients. And the best part is that you’re well paid. You know what you have to do, and they give you good referrals. It works beautifully!
Get Help with Your Interior Design Business Strategy
So, if you’re interested in learning how to develop an interior design business strategy that clients love and you are paid well, click on the link below. It will give you information so that you can learn about our education programs. Our programs are education-based with a coaching back-up because I believe in coaching. I believe that everybody successful has a coach behind them, and I think you should have access to one too.
Take a moment to read about our programs, and if one sounds appealing, there’s a link to our calendar. You can book a call with us, and we can talk about what it would look like. If it’s a fit for you, and if it makes sense, we can go from there.
Until then, design something beautiful, and get paid what you are worth.