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2013 - 2014 Interior Design Fees & Salary Survey

Updated on March 28, 2015

How to Increase Your Interior Design Business

There were many bright spots in 2013 - 2014 for interior designers, however. Some designers reported more business than they could handle.

What can you do to make sure your business is successful in 2015? I could list thousands of strategies, but instead, let's focus on ten you can apply now. Pick one at a time for best results:

1. Change your mindset. More millionaires are created during recessionary times than at most other times. Instead of focusing on the negative economic news, find out how other people thrive during tough times. You'll see a clear pattern. Focus on what you have control over - your positive mind set and your actions. Read Think and Grow Rich by Napoleon Hill, a classic.

2. Create a plan. If you're working without written plans, budgets and goals, you'll never know how much more you could have done if you were diligent about planning the steps and actions to achieve the results. If you need help with this, visit We have classes specifically designed to shortcut your process and make it easy for you.

3. Get accountability partners. Choose people who are more successful than you are to teach you and encourage you. Become a part of a mastermind group, and find a business coach or mentor. Surround yourself with positive people who push you to achieve.

4. Get focused. Once you have a plan, schedule it and implement. Nothing happens without actions that are part of a well-designed plan. Avoid distractions like email, social media, etc. Just think about it. If you get 60 emails a day and spend 2 minutes reading and replying, that's 2 hours of your day. Postpone that until late in the day so you aren't reacting. Do 2 - 4 hours of marketing per day or even 8 hours if you have no business.

5. Delegate or outsource. The majority of interior designers are solopreneurs, and that means, if you're one of them, that you're doing things that aren't using your best skills. And, you're taking money out of your pocket every time you do low value work like accounting, filing, expediting and administration.

6. Systematize. If you repeat any activity more than once, document the process or system. You need systems for virtually everything in your business: getting clients, keeping clients, referrals, marketing, accounting, requesting pricing, measuring, etc.

7. Get the right tools. Here are the bare essentials: laptop no more than three years old with anti-virus software, back-up system, smart phone, email marketing software for newsletter and follow-up, accounting software - my preference is, color printer, digital camera, Kodak Zi8 video camera and a microphone for camera.

8. Online presence. Website with blog attached, Facebook fan page, Twitter, LinkedIn profile, YouTube account. List yourself on all free sites you can find. Local business sites like Yelp, Angie's List, Merchant Circle (although I've heard a few concerns). Get listed on Decorati, Ava Living and any other interior design site you can.

9. Photography and Videos. These days, you must have professional photographs for yourself, your team members and your projects. No exceptions. Create a 2 1/2 minute video about what you do for your clients. The number of videos watched these days is phenomenal. YouTube is the 3rd biggest search engine after Facebook and Google.

10.Develop a Strategic Visibility Plan. Public speaking, articles, TV, Radio, online and offline articles ... all of these are key to your success. The higher the visibility tactic, the more perceived expertise you will have.

Challenging times require aggressive tactics. Find out how your colleagues priced their services this year and develop your pricing strategy.

Fee Poll

How do you charge for interior design services?

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      gabrimar 6 years ago

      Gail thanks so much for the advise. I currently have credentials as a certified interior decorator and would love if you had any advise on how to begin to organize myself for future clients. I've only done freelance work and am unfamiliar with how exactly to charge , contracts , and when i go do the merchandise purchases how do i have the claint pay for it with out he/she being there?