When you dream of a life and career as an interior designer you think OMG I will be creating these beautiful spaces and events with an unlimited budget. You may also say to yourself I will be able to shop to my heart’s content and not worry about anything because my client will love and adore any and everything that I purchase for them. Well guess what you will be wrong. I shouldn’t say completely wrong what I should say is a little misguided. On the surface of the world of interior design you do all of these things and you will take great pleasure in knowing that you created a wonderful environment for people to live and or play. In reality there is so much more to it than that and as I say “THE STRUGGLE IS REAL”.
Some of the challenges that having or working in the business are self-promotion, managing client expectation, managing time, keeping books, working with vendors, working with client budgets and getting clients to see your vision. These along with others can weigh down on a person and make you second guess why you are in this field and if you want to stay in this field. There are many ways to work around and through all of these challenges and still remain sane and keep your love for the industry and why you wanted to get into it in the first place.
As a working interior designer you will always have to be aware of three very important challenges.
The first one is and probably the biggest is MONEY someone else’s money that you are spending. So you have a client and they say I want my master bedroom to look like a palace fit for a queen. You say okay in your mind, what does that look like and feel to you. They say all that it entails and then the question is what is your budget and they give you an impossible budget. In your head you are thinking of all the things they said they wanted, a 4 poster mahogany canopy bed, a hideaway television set in a matching mahogany chest with a swivel arm and last but not least a suede tufted chaise lounge and that is just for starters. You have to give them all that they want and the feeling they are needing all on this budget.
To handle this be clear and precise about what the budget can cover. Always have a contract clearly stating every detail of the project, the last thing you want is to get halfway into your project and realize you’ll go broke trying to complete it. if Possible, put the acknowledgement of the budget on hold to do your research on what the budget can cover.
2. The Vision
As a designer you also face the challenge of getting them to see the vision through your eyes. This can be tricky for two reasons one they know what they want and they just don’t know how to get there and two there is always the issue and challenge of budget.
When it comes to managing client expectation and getting clients to see your vision they are almost one and the same. From the very start you want to make sure you listen to them and assess their needs and provide a wonderful solution accordingly. This allows for you to share your vision and still maintain a high level of customer service.
3. Self Promotion
The challenge of self-promotion faced as an interior designer is basically self-marketing which is letting others know what you do and what you are capable of as a designer. You can use social media to showcase some of the designs that you have put together for others and any ideas for spaces for clients that don’t yet exist. There is also the beautiful word of mouth referral most people that you have worked with if they had a great experience with you are happy to share who created there beautiful space or event with others.
Once you capture these major challenges then time management and working with your vendors can fall into place. Always remember all interior designers had to start small and all interior designers have challenges at many points in their business. If you work hard and stay informed and educated in your field and not just through traditional means then you can and will succeed. The key components are to be patient, be confident and stay educated.
credits: illustration - peniel_enchill images - Houzz