Whether you went to school and studied design or you’re self taught, you probably feel that there’s a knowledge gap in your business. Everyone else is doing it better than me. I’m failing as a business owner. Creativity is abundant and you’re confident in your designs but the organization and structure of your business is causing pain. There’s a simple solution and it’s learning how to systemize your business. Systems can save you hours every week in your business.
It will move you from feeling like a business failure to feeling like the CEO of your business.
WHERE DOES YOUR BUSINESS NEED HELP?
Since I started offering Strategy Sessions I’ve seen a pattern emerge. There’s a serious lack of confidence in the way that you feel about how you’re running your business.
And somehow this lack of confidence has turned into a myth that everyone else is doing it well except for you.
The myth buster is that interior designers are struggling because there’s a lack of clarity around what systems and processes can help.
It’s been a long time since I was in school for design but I know I definitely didn’t learn this. Are they teaching it now in school? I’d be interested to know but my guess is that they aren’t.
HOW SYSTEMS CAN SAVE YOU HOURS IN YOUR BUSINESS
What is a system? It’s an organized framework for how you run your business.
When you have a system in place you know what the steps are in every project. And the step after that and so on. There’s no falling behind because the process is predictable and set up for you to succeed.
2 AREAS TO FOCUS ON CREATING SYSTEMS
1/ YOUR CLIENT PROCESSES
These are the parts of your business that affect your client and their project. It’s how you move through every step from Discovery Call to Off-boarding and each stage in between.
Once you understand the flow of a project you can quite easily systemize it all.
There are standard phases to a “typical” project. Your first step is understanding what they are. After that you need to look for ways to make them as efficient as possible.
What you’re looking for in these systems is ease. Both for you and your client. You want to have a full and thorough understanding of the project and never falter in terms of what comes next.
The hardest thing for a new designer is being bombarded with requests that they can’t meet. If that’s you, there’s hope. It’s not that you’re doing anything wrong. You just haven’t learned your own process and combined it with the stages of design.
When you don’t know your process you’re wasting time. You’re reinventing the wheel with each new project and it could be years before you ever realize that you’ve figured it out.
As soon as you get this part of your business organized you’ll save so much time!
2/ YOUR BACK OFFICE PROCESSES
This one is harder because we often find it acceptable to let ourselves down. We work hard on our client process and in the meantime, we are drowning in back office work that just keeps piling up.
This is everything from bookkeeping to how you file your client’s documentation.
How many times have you asked your client for their input on something, read the email reply, promised to file it in the appropriate email folder and promptly moved on?
The minutes, hours, days that accumulate trying to find lost information is immense. And this is a confidence destroyer. It always ends with “I’m no good at this”.
Creating processes and systems can save you hours of wasted time. More importantly, they can transform your mindset. You will see yourself as a business owner.
THERE ARE TWO MAJOR OUTCOMES OF NOT HAVING SYSTEMS IN PLACE –
The first is it will affect your confidence.
Although your designs may be excellent you can lose confidence by feeling overwhelmed by the project.
The second is the time you’re wasting.
Your inefficiency is costing you time which means it’s also costing you money.
Think of how confident you’ll feel once you get your business running efficiently. You’ll be the CEO and you’ll carry yourself like that.
So what’s the first step? ACTION! You’re not going to get it right immediately. There needs to be a bit of trial and error if you’re navigating this new world on your own.
Start by doing one thing to improve your client process and one thing to improve your back office processes. You’ll be amazed at how systems can save you hours you get back time just from taking small action steps.
If you want to accelerate the process, reach out and book a session with me. We can narrow down the weaknesses in your business and get an action plan in place to get you back hours and a peace of mind as well.
Thanks for reading,