We are going to walk you through a few of the goals you, as an interior designer, should be setting (and assessing).
1. What is your bottom line?
Creatives don’t always like dealing with the numbers, but it is important to understand what is happening in your business when it comes to the finances. Ultimately you want to be making a profit and if you don’t have a handle on your income and expenses you won’t know if you are actually making any money.
If you are starting out on your own, understand exactly where your money is going to go. If you have been in business a while, it is a good idea to understand your expenses and see if it is possible to reduce your expenses.
We have identified a few areas of business where small business owners often spend more than they need to.
Office space. It is nice to have a fancy office, but do you really need it? Can you do with a smaller space? Or possibly even work from home? Could you rent an office in a more affordable area?
Software. Investing in the right software can make your business more efficient but make sure you understand what you are buying and really need it.
Marketing. Marketing is essential but consider carefully where your marketing budget is going. Are you giving away your time for free for exposure? Marketing is effective, if done correctly to your unique audience.
Your team. We often assume a big team is the sign of success and it might be provided you have enough work for everyone. Growing your team should be a part of your strategy but so should understanding when and who to hire. You don’t want to sit with a team of people who do not have enough work to do.
2. Move to your top line.
This applies to the more established business who are growing and achieving the right kind of growth. This phase is all about growth and to do that you could consider diversifying your services to increase your revenue streams or alternative focus more aggressively on acquiring new business. Before you rush into this phase make sure you understand and are comfortable with your margins.
It can be tempting to want to add a variety of different services and products, because the more services, the more money, right? But if your business is not ready for this next step then it can be detrimental to your business and actually end up costing you money.
Building your foundation is an important next step, understand your expenses and streamline your services before just jumping to the next phase.
3. Create a positive environment.
When you start building your team, you also start creating a brand culture, make sure that you are creating a positive one. A team who feels valued and appreciated will perform better, allowing your business to grow even further. Working with creatives can be challenging because they often don’t confirm and need space and freedom to create – make sure you give them this space and freedom, otherwise you will stifle their creativity and they will not perform as well as you need them to.
Your goal, as an employer, should always be to create an environment where people want to come to work and where they are able to be creative and inspire one another. When you are setting your business strategy, make sure that you are clear on the type of culture you want to create for your employees.
4. Get your brand noticed.
This will always be a goal when you own your business and is an ongoing initiative. There are so many different ways you can market and promote your business. To make sure you stay focused, set yourself some short- and long-term goals for your marketing.
It could be something as simple as posting to Instagram once a day or writing regular blog posts or it could be bigger goals like exhibiting at a trade show. However, you chose to get your brand noticed, make sure that you are assessing how well you are doing in relation to your goals. Marketing is something that needs to be constantly assess, if you notice your efforts are not working or getting the results you want, change what you are doing.
5. Educate yourself.
We can all, always, learn more. Regardless of your industry, continually educating yourself is essential to your growth as a person and a business owner. There is so much to learn and understand about running your own business and one of your goals should be learning as much as you can. This might look like reading a business-related book every month, enrolling in a course on marketing, or managing a team. It could also be learning more about your industry and what is current and what is not.
If you have a team don’t forget to encourage them to educate themselves. Continual education prevents stagnation and allows you and your team to learn new ideas and explore new ways of doing things that could help your business to grow and evolve.
Whatever your goals are for your interior design business, it is important to set them so that you know exactly where you are going and how you are going to get there. Remember, once you have set your goals, you need to hold yourself accountable and continuously assess and check where you are.
If your business is going to grow and succeed, you need to make sure you are clear as to what your goals are and how you are going to achieve them.[/deeper_text]