How to Feel More In Control of Your BusinessSep 22, 2022
In this article I'm giving you 5 key things you need to do to feel more in control of your interior design business.
If your job title might read something like: Interior Designer, Creative Director, CEO, People Manager, Head of Operations, Book-Keeper, Marketing Director, Client Liaison Manager, and Chief Tea-Maker (not to mention Cook, Laundry Person, Chauffeur and Social Organiser) then this is for you.
1. How to find more interior design clients? Stop "hunting" for them.
One of the biggest ways you can take back control in your interior design business is to shift your mindset from "having to find clients" and anxiously hunting down prospects, to creating incredible services and then confidently letting the right people know about them. Instead of focusing on what your competitors are doing, or worrying about where the next project is coming from, focus instead on becoming the person who attracts the clients you desire. And yes, that includes being willing to get out there and let people know how your services can help them. Remember, you are leading a business - that means being in the spotlight. So what do you need to say to yourself that’s going to enable you to get out there?
2. Sell without attachment
Stop marketing & selling your services in the belief you need to convince people to work with you, or manipulate their timeline to suit your cash flow. In doing so you’re giving all of your power to your client and making your results dependent on their behaviour. We want our marketing & sales activities to clearly communicate the value of our services but we want to approach every prospective client conversation with zero attachment to who commits to working with us and when that may happen. You have to trust that the right people will lead themselves into working with you when the time is right. And instead of using up your energy in convincing-mode (for example getting into lengthy email exchanges with clients justifying your proposal), get your energy on marketing your services in a way that brings you a steady stream of new leads. If you go into your sales process in this relaxed energy you’ll be way more open to hearing objections or hesitations. If someone tells you "I need to think about it...." don’t go into meltdown because their decision is out of your control - take it as an opportunity to get curious and ask them "I’d love to better understand where you’re at". At the very least the information they give you will show you where the gaps are in your marketing messaging - which is something you do actually have control over.
3. Master your business financials
Perhaps the greatest control you will have in your business will come from knowing your numbers and pricing in a way that allows you to breathe. Meaning, you don’t want your livelihood to depend on winning every single project you pitch for. You need to build in sufficient profit that allows you to build up reserves, so that you can enter sales conversations confident and excited, but relaxed about whether or not this is the client you’ll be working with next.
4. Get a higher perspective
If all you're doing is running around like a headless chicken you're definitely going to feel out of control. You need to make time to get a higher perspective on your business. Being the CEO means your job is no longer just to design. If you want to have the freedom and flexibility you truly desire, then your job is to prepare yourself and your business for growth. To educate yourself so that you’re building a business that works - without you working 70 hour weeks. That means prioritising your strategy, your marketing & sales, your finances, your delivery processes, your systems. We take control of our business by getting clear on our vision, making a plan and then executing on that plan. No more being dragged along, hoping that somehow it might all work. Think "where do I want to be 10 years from now?" If the answer is "not here" then you need to be setting the wheels of change in motion now.
5. Don’t kid yourself you can do it all
Allow yourself to be supported. You can’t do it all and you don’t have to. One of the biggest mistakes we can make is to think that by delegating or outsourcing work we’re losing control. If someone can do the job at least 80% as well as you then let it go. Holding on to everything for dear life might make you feel in control now, but how are you going to feel when you’re exhausted, burned out, and starting to drop balls. Get help. Your job is to set the course and steer the ship. You’ll need some crew to help you get there.
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