Being an incredibly creative interior designer can take you a long way, but there are a few more skills you need to really succeed in business. Most of us own our own businesses, and that means a different way of thinking and working. And often it’s left-brain skills fighting with your right-brain skills. That can give you headache! But, guess what? Creativity is harder to acquire than business skills. Those you can learn! Here are three that will take your company to the next level.
Didn’t see that coming, did you?! But sales are critical to getting new clients and to locking down their business! You have to be an active listener. You need to be able to tell a story and weave emotion into what you provide. You have to be able to effectively convince someone that you understand their needs and that you have the solution. Without a bit of sales acumen, it will be hard for you to convince a client to choose you over another designer!
2. Problem Solving
You know and I know that nothing is going to be perfect on a project. It just won’t happen. There will be mistakes, there will be missed shipments, products will be wrong, people will drop the ball. Challenges are part of the business. But how you respond to them is what will really set your business apart. No one likes to go to a client and explain a problem. But if you also show up with a solution, they’ll remember that for a long time. You need to be able to think on your feet and to quickly switch to a new idea. The better that you can handle those challenges, the better your business will be!
This covers a LOT of ground. But you need to step back and look at your business objectively – are you (and your team!) being as professional as possible? You need to be on time, every time. You need to stay on the timeline and on budget. You and your team have to show up dressed appropriately. That’s really more for your team members – even movers need to be clean and tidy. After all, they’re representing YOU. But then go beyond that, too! What does your office look like when clients see it (even on Zoom!). Does it represent your brand? When someone answers your business phone, are they professional and helpful? What does your presentation look like? Is your branding luxe and consistent? Every little detail can make or break how a client thinks about you and your business – and how they talk about it to other potential clients!
Of course there are MANY other skills that help you stay at the top of your game, but these 3 are the most essential in my book! To help you “sell yourself” and your design skills, download my FREE guide for Meeting with Potential Clients. Just click here, and start working on these 3 skills today!