3 Ways to Level Up Your Design Business
I'm always on the lookout for new ways to streamline my business processes, improve client experiences, and of course, add revenue. There are many, many ways to do each of these things, but I never want to spread myself -- or my team -- too thin. Knowing what opportunities to say 'yes' to and which ones to pass on isn't an exact science, but today I'm going to share three of the things that have propelled Lindsey Brooke Design forward in tangible, meaningful ways.
Establish Trade Relationships
I made this move pretty early in my career, and it's definitely the key to attracting high-end clients and large-scale projects. I'm glad that well-designed products are accessible and I definitely think there is a place for off-the-shelf design, but a designer is hired to bring another level of service and expertise to the table. And one of those levels is to-the-trade-only and custom vendors. Your service is an investment into your clients' homes, and the quality of product you bring in should reflect that. I've worked to establish relationships with vendors who have the same commitment to quality and sustainability that I have in order to bring the best, most comfortable, most beautiful products into our projects.
Along with trade vendors, getting to know local craftsmen and working alongside them to create custom design elements is key. We just wrapped up a couple of HUGE projects, and it was amazing to stretch my creativity through materials and execution to create some really special, unique elements in these homes. I can't wait for you to see them!
Take on Out-of-State Clients
We took on our first out-of-state-client right at the beginning of the pandemic. In a way, it was kind of lucky because everyone was pivoting to virtual meetings so adding an out-of-town client felt sort of natural. We were figuring out how to do many, many things over FaceTime, Zoom, email, etc., that we were used to doing in person, and our Dallas project clients and subcontractors were just an extension of that. What it forced us to do was take a hard look at our processes and figure out how to make our communication as foolproof as possible without adding tons of extra hours to the day. As a result, all of our processes got streamlined at a pretty rapid pace, which is great for our local and out-of-town clients.
Carry Your Own Inventory
For the first several years of LBD, every time we installed a project my team spent HOURS sourcing the accessories needed for that final styling layer. Our process was to buy way more than we knew we would need, experiment with what worked and what didn't during install, and then return what we didn't use (or the client chose not to purchase) after we finished. This was not only a TON of work on our end, but it required us to bill a ton of hours to the client at the very end of the project. Not a great experience for anyone, frankly!
This was one of the biggest drivers toward opening our Studio space, because it gave us the room (there is warehouse space behind our office area) to store our own inventory of goods for styling. Now, rather than shop at the end, we do a couple of big buys at markets each year, keep it all at our warehouse where we can shop for installs in one place. I can't overemphasize how much time this saves us, which in turn, saves our clients money. We can create styling plans ahead of our installations, making that day (or days) go much more smoothly.
Our Westlake Village Studio is open limited hours, so if you'd like to shop with us, please call 805-371-3222 to make an appointment. If you are interesting in working with our design team, get in touch by filling out our inquiry form.