We’ve all been there: You’re so into the creative process that you sweep those late-night “billable” hours spent scouring the information superhighway for the perfect wall sconce or tile pattern right under the rug. One of the biggest frustrations designers face is figuring out what to charge and how to account for their precious time. You are working in a service industry, so your charging strategy should reflect your expertise, your experience, and the time and energy you put into your projects, while accounting for headaches and hidden costs. Regardless of the approach you take—designer markups and/or charging per project, per hour, per foot, or per however you feel like it—there is no one “right” way to charge. Every method has its pros and cons, and every project or client might require something different.
Business consultant Sean Low, whose company provides practical business advice to creative professionals, will outline the different pricing structures relevant to interior designers, highlight the advantages and disadvantages of each, and share real-life scenarios so you can figure out which is right for your business. Readers of his BOH column know Low tackles designers’ problems head-on, so prepare to be challenged and provoked.
Regardless of how much you love your job, you still must to get paid what you deserve.
In this class, attendees will learn:
- The pros and cons of the different pricing structures, including flat fee, hourly, cost per square footage and designer markups
- Which pricing method will work best for your design business
- What to charge, when to charge and how to account for your time
- The impact of cash flow and timing on pricing
By the end of class, attendees will have:
- A thorough understanding of different pricing methods and how to apply them to your own design business
- Knowledge on how price impacts the message sent to clients and how timing (i.e., when to charge what) impacts the ultimate success of the project
This is an online course presented by ADAC as part of Get Down to Business Day. See all of the day’s programming here.
Sean Low is the founder and president of The Business of Being Creative, a consulting firm focused on providing practical advice to those in the business of being creative. Low is passionate about challenging creative businesses to be the best versions of themselves, helping them set the foundation for growth and development and working alongside owners to take their businesses as far as they want them to go. His clients include an impressive list of creative business owners—from florists and fashion brands to photographers and designers—including Nate Berkus, Sawyer Berson, Vicente Wolf, Barry Dixon, Kevin Isbell and McGrath II. Prior to founding his company in August 2009, Sean spent six years as president of Preston Bailey Design Inc. He has a law degree from the University of Pennsylvania, and apart from working with amazing creative professionals, his business acumen is honed from his previous experience as a lawyer, investment banker, financial executive and small-business owner.