Design Biz Live – Do this Self-Assessment of Your Skills

Episode 233 of A Well-Designed Business®
233: Design Biz Live – Do this Self-Assessment of Your Skills

We are back together for another installment of Design Biz Live, in spite of all the obstacles and scheduling conflicts we’ve had to overcome to make it happen! I’m back with my trusted experts, Judith Neary of Roadside Attraction Design Studio, and Corey Klassen of Corey Klassen Interiors. One of our goals is to cover all aspects of the flat fee vs. hourly rate question that designers face. What we have discovered is that there is a more basic issue at stake that we must turn our attention to first. The issue is that YOU, as a designer, need to know what you are and are not most efficient at in your business. In other words, you need to break down the work of a designer into your personal strengths and weaknesses. Corey and Judith have developed a self-assessment for principals to use in evaluating all the different things we do for our clients. As industry leaders, Judith and Corey have spent a lot of time speaking in front of their peers, and they have developed this tool with the purpose of evaluating your skills as they relate to your design firm. Let’s jump into this conversation!

Show highlights:

  • Gear your services toward your skill set according to the self-assessment
  • How Judith and Corey got the idea for developing this helpful tool
  • The three phases of the assessment: concept, execution, and administration
  • Debunking the “ideal client” myth
  • Why you need to get clear on what you do really well
  • A basic fundamental that a designer must figure out via the self-assessment:
    • What am I most efficient at?
    • How can I fill in the gaps that I’m not best at?
  • Look for opportunities to improve your skill set
  • Your business evolves and grows as a living, breathing entity
  • The relationship between your strengths and weaknesses and the question of flat fee vs. hourly rates
  • For the client, services needed in each of the three phases and their associated fees
  • Segmenting your services in each distinct phase
  • How the designer controls “the process”
  • Setting the project and the team up for success
  • How designers get into trouble when they tackle things they aren’t good at
  • How Corey graphed his and his employees’ strengths of skill and how the result measured up to their perceptions
  • When you as the business owner-need to change the outcome
  • How to have the difficult conversations with employees
  • “Am I interested in rehabilitating this employee or do I want them to leave my firm?”
  • The “show-tell-do” and feedback process
  • Reach out to get an honest evaluation of your performance as a designer
  • How to ask questions to former clients for feedback about your fee structure


Visit to download the self-assessment!

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