Who is the Wind Beneath the Wings of Your Interior Design Business or Your Desire to Start One?
by jgrimplin |
September 13th, 2018 |
Who is the wind beneath your wings for achieving your career goals? Who is your encourager, your booster, your promoter? Who gives you a hug, virtual or real, when you need a lift? Who encourages you to keep plugging away at your business or pursue your dream of having one? Who do you go to when you need a suggestion on how to deal with a difficult client, solve a design challenge, or give you ideas on how to smooth over a supplier problem?
Interior design can be a lonely business. Your local professional organizations either have folks who don’t know our business or may be competitors who are not necessarily rooting for our success.
Where do you go to find someone who truly cares about your success and understands your business?
Thirty-some years ago, Carol Bugg, an accomplished interior designer who had worked for others and had her own business, was struck by how often she “be at some gathering and when a women heard I was an interior designer, would say: ‘Oh, I love design and so many of my friends say I should do it as a business, but I don’t know how.’”
With her husband, Jim, being expert in franchising, she got the idea that franchising interior design could help talented people get into the business, help them grow with the camaraderie from others, and even help some already in the business do better. It was an idea of being in business for themselves, but not by themselves.
As she persisted and he pondered the idea and researched ways to do that, he discovered a Woman’s Day magazine article about a drapery and wall covering franchise called Decorating Den.
After their due diligence, they invested in the business. Eventually, they became sole owners. Over time, with Jim’s franchising experience and Carol’s vision for expanding the model into more full-service interior design with a broader line of home furnishings, they grew the company into significant player in the interior design business.
The power of this model for an interior design business is fueled by a mixture of supplier support, system support, education support, technology support, marketing support, and camaraderie support. The result is, as noted earlier, being in business for yourself, not by yourself.
The Power of Cumulative Support
For those stuck in neutral with their interior design business or those working for someone else who would like to start their own interior design business, there are ways to find various kinds of support from different sources. You can build your own network of suppliers, but with some difficulty such as opening orders to establish an account, retail discounts instead of wholesale pricing, high cost for samples, and the like. Similarly, you can hire a local marketing or advertising firm, you can hire someone to write content for social media (or use your own time), you can research and purchase technology, you can hire a bookkeeper, you can build a team. However, there is one big BUT: Will these folks really understand your business, have your interest as the priority, and really cheerlead for you?
Within the Decorating Den Interiors System, all this support comes cumulatively from one place. It is designed with you in mind. It is delivered to help you in your business. It is designed by interior business owners for interior design business owners.
Most importantly, it is personal and available.
There are regular regional meetings led by experienced interior business owners who bring in suppliers for product education, lead discussions on design challenges, and most of all, stimulate cheerleading that builds everyone’s morale and enthusiasm with various ways to recognize achievement. All organized by a field support team whose goals are your goals.
Add to that, all-company webinar discussions to learn from those in other parts of the country, hear about product promotions that generate leads or build profits—or both, and hear how goals are being set and achieved.
The two most distinctive camaraderie events are our annual International Conference and Lifestyle Design Center and our organized visits to the High Point Market. Our Conference is filled with classes led by outside experts, workshops led by colleagues, reviews of award-winning room makeovers, recognition for design and business achievement, and enthusiastic parties. That’s the business side.
On the creative side, our Lifestyle Design Center is filled with nearly 100 of our LIVV Home Collection™ home furnishings suppliers who support us with the wide ranging fabulous home fashions from which we can create our lifestyle home and office interiors. That’s the creative side. Most importantly, both sides provide ample opportunity for morale-boosting camaraderie.
The other distinctive camaraderie event is when we take some 100 of our business owners to the fall High Point Market. It’s an organized three-day visit to market with personal attention from our supplier representatives, special presentations for us, and fabulous social events in which Decorating Den Interiors spend time with each other.
Next year we will celebrate 50 years of business, 50 years of helping talented individuals achieve interior design career goals, 50 years of making the world more beautiful one room at a time.