One of the most important lessons you can learn when running your own business, is not only where your strengths are but where your weaknesses are too. No one is good at everything – even those who think they are – however when you run your own business, it often feels like you need to be. No profession is this more true, than that of an Interior designer. As an Interior designer you must advise and specify everything from flooring to joinery and plumbing to lighting. This can often be extremely daunting to those just starting out in the industry. With experience comes knowledge but even then it is impossible to be an expert in all areas.
The key to being a successful Interior designer is knowing when to outsource and collaborate.
This is where collaboration comes in. Having contacts that you can call in to consult or even manage individual areas of projects is invaluable.
Some fear bringing in a 3rd party will make them look inadequate but the truth is, it shows the client you have all the required resources at your disposal to run a professional and trouble free project.
BLANC. have been chatting with our trusted friends in the Interior design industry to come up with the list of people every designer should have in their phone.
1. Lighting designer – There is so much more to lighting than meets the eye, it can make or break a room. If you aren’t confident with lighting placement or even the type or brightness of the lights, a lighting designer can help avoid costly mistakes.
2. Architect – This goes without saying! ALWAYS have an architect on board when structural work is being completed. Historically Interior designers and architects often clash as both have creative ideas when it comes to the look of a project. If you are able to recommend an architect that you work well with this will save you and the client from conflicting approaches.
3. AV consultant – These days more and more clients want completely intergrated systems including music, lighting and entertainment. The control systems and installation can be complicated so an expert is a must.
4. Garden designer – Having a garden designer you work well with can mean you can get involved with outside as well as inside. Furniture, outdoor kitchens and fire pits are all within the outdoor remit.
5. Project manager – If you are a fantastic project manager and can juggle the creative side along with the management side then fantastic. However if you are just starting out and taking on large projects, the project management side should not be underestimated. If builders and various other contractors are involved, project management can be extremely demanding. An independant project manager can take the heat off and leave you to get the design side just right.
6. Financial Advisor/ business advisor – This last one’s for you not the client! Just because you are a fantastic interior designer doesnt mean you are a fantastic business person. Having someone to help you ascertain your goals and advise where you spend your money is invaluable.
As always BLANC is keen to hear your thoughts. Let us know if todays ‘Trade insight’ was useful and if you have any questions fire them over and we will pick the brains of our ever helpful Interior design community.