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Business Advice

Am I indebted to my clients?

business advice | September 11, 2018
Dear Sean, I recently had a great client—she was pleased with the finished project, and I loved working with her throughout the entire process. But there's trouble brewing in paradise now, post-project. This client referred me to a friend of hers. I met with him, and my gut tells me that he is ... By Sean Low

Is it time to quit interior design for good?

business advice | August 28, 2018
Dear Sean, I’m burned out. I’ve had a long and successful run as a designer, managing my own business, but for the last few months I’ve been feeling jaded, scattered and unfulfilled on a daily basis. This is despite working with a number of great clients (and an equal number of not-so-great o... By Sean Low

My clients are too slow. How can I speed up their decision-making?

business advice | August 14, 2018
I know we're in the midst of the dog days of summer, but it seems like every client of mine is moving like molasses! It’s taking certain clients weeks to respond to simple email requests—and forget about making larger, more expensive decisions. What can I do to prevent delays in client communica... By Sean Low

Is your social media strategy costing you? This study aims to find out

industry insider | August 13, 2018
Is social media marketing all it’s cracked up to be? “It’s certainly widespread,” says Pamela Danziger, the founder of Unity Marketing and the author of Marketing the Luxury of Interior Design. Drawing from her latest whitepaper, “Interior Designers & Social Media: Help or Hype?”—a survey co... By Katy B. Olson

I don’t take on smaller-budget clients—am I leaving money on the table?

business advice | August 1, 2018
Dear Sean: Most of my projects are very high end with budgets always higher than $450,000. Lately, I have been getting inquiries from potential clients with significant budgets—let’s say up to $250,000—but not enough for me, personally, to be able to do what I do. I have a staff of two junior... By Sean Low

Am I a stylist or a designer? 

business advice | July 18, 2018
Dear Sean: I am weighing an offer from a potential new client. The fee is great. However, her existing home is a disaster: a mix of conflicting aesthetics, a jumble of clashing furniture, atrocious art … The list goes on. Of course, I want to do an entire revamp, but she’s making it clear tha... By Sean Low

My client wants her money back—what now?

business advice | July 6, 2018
Dear Sean: My client hired me to redo her living spaces and dining area. Even though she approved (and paid) for everything beforehand, she now hates everything I have done. She wants me to take everything back and return the entire fee. I have never had this happen to me before—usually it is... By Sean Low

My client is undercutting me—and the showroom is helping her!

business advice | June 19, 2018
Dear Sean: My client is trying to undercut me—she went behind my back, posed as a designer to the showroom, and received net pricing (aka the designer’s rate) as a result. How would you handle this? Dear Undercut: Let’s acknowledge both the awfulness of a client pretending to be someon... By Sean Low

Help! My charging strategy is costing me money

business advice | June 5, 2018
Dear Sean: I’m an interior designer who works with architects and contractors. My main role is providing expertise on hard goods, fixtures and appliances in addition to designing decor. I also handle the furnishings aspect of the project. Until recently, I charged hourly for my consulting and... By Sean Low

I was just offered a huge project, and I’m terrified—help!

business advice | May 22, 2018
Dear Sean, I’ve been in business for about five years after working for a big-name designer in my area following design school. Most of my projects are local and on the smaller side: living areas, kitchens, bathrooms, guest bedrooms and even a master bedroom. I’m really happy with my projects... By Sean Low
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