If you want to actually get things done in the business of interior design, or any business at all, you absolutely must develop processes to work by.
There’s no way you could have more than one person working on any single project if you don’t develop a process that anyone, who's trained, can follow.
Over the years I’ve been involved in many projects where people want me to be flexible about how I work and how I charge. Of course, they want the best possible situation for them, and I sympathize with that. I’ve tried to be flexible in the past; and, many times, I’ve even had to be overly flexible in order to have enough work to call myself a designer.
Thankfully, I don’t have to operate that way anymore. ;-)
I'm now fortunate to have enough projects walking in the door that I don’t have to get out of my comfort zone or take a financial hit just to produce work.
And it's been this dependable, incoming flow of work that has allowed me the time and resources I've needed to work on honing the development of even more dependable processes.
I have processes for...
I even have a process for a photo shoot.
I find that the more I adhere to these processes the more successful I am with helping my clients get to where they want to go.
Many times clients want me to just come in and select products for them, or give them selections to pick from themselves. They want me to do the leg work and let them do the design. Sometimes people just want an overall design and no documentation because they think it’s not necessary; or because, of course, the less time you spend on something, the cheaper the fee. People like to cut and paste together the services they think they need.
Here’s the problem with that:
As sure as I give you three backsplash tiles to pick from that will go with three different countertop materials, you'll inevitably pick the two that I never intended for you to mix because they don't go very well together. And then, just when everything starts getting installed...
You’ll call me.
Or... I could just pick a bunch of finishes, give you the samples, and then send you on your way (something many designers do), instead of doing drawings and finish schedules. What then happens is the tile gets installed in a funky way, or the wrong paint color finish gets used, or the edge detail won't be done the way it should be, and then...
You’ll call me.
That’s the risk I take when I make selections and recommendations on a project: that you’re gonna call me and you won’t be happy.
When I go through a project and follow my processes and make what I feel are the best selections for you, along with, perhaps, an option that also works or a revision that will work… then I know I’ve minimized my risk and developed something that fits you best. Not only that but I also know that call I’ll get from you... It will be a happy call, not the other way around.
We don’t cut corners around here anymore to help reduce design fees - we just don’t. If we put a job together it has to be done the way my processes work.
...Because that's just good business.