Design Biz Live: How to Price Your Interior Design Services

Episode 254 of A Well-Designed Business®

Welcome to part two of Design Biz Live 3, with Corey Klassen.  The last episode of Design Biz Live (#246) was the interview with Judith Neary, about the Self Assessment Evaluation, (which you can still find at that Judith and Corey put together for themselves and also for you, so that you can learn to evaluate the strengths and weaknesses of yourself, as an Interior Designer and also of your staff. They created this because just like many of you, they battled to structure their fees. Because Judith and Corey really are pretty brilliant, they worked out a way to figure out what you’re really good at, what you’re not so good at, what you don’t like doing, what you’re not going to do… the whole thing! In the last episode, LuAnn talked with Judith, who runs a One Man Show, in Vashon Island, off the coast of Seattle, about how she used this evaluation to enable her to work in her particular zone of genius and to structure her projects and fees to best coincide with the things that she does really well and that she really likes to do. Please go back and listen, if you missed that episode.

Today, we have Corey Klassen with us on the show. Corey has his Interior Design firm in Vancouver, Canada and he has a staff, so when he took the evaluation, it was not only for himself, it was for his staff too. Today, Corey will share the results that he learned from his evaluation and also the way that he utilized the information from these results, about himself and also about each of the people on his staff. Then, using that information, he moves into the best way to structure the fees for his Design firm, in order to best serve his clients and also the firm, itself. Listen in to find out more.

Show highlights:

  • One of the key things that Corey recognized from his evaluation.
  • The way that Corey has utilized all the information that he got from the Assessment, without deviation.
  • All the work that Corey does, whether it’s for a kitchen, bathroom, or anything else, it all follows exactly the same process.
  • Looking deeper into the data, to figure out where the biggest strengths and weaknesses of himself and his staff were and to align his fees accordingly.
  • Core shares some graphs, demonstrating the conceptual phase of his and his staff’s assessment.
  • What the graph demonstrating the execution phase of Corey’s Assessment says to him.
  • The importance of documents being communicated correctly, on time, with the right information and all complete, together.
  • A process to ensure that the documents are being communicated correctly, on time, with the right information all complete and together, with MyDoma Studio.
  • Flipping over to using Quickbooks to easily manage accounting systems, to save time.
  • Some key solutions to invite the vendor into the project.
  • Managing punch lists.
  • Using tracking sheets for orders, to really work well as a team.
  • A formulated process that Corey used, to help him to determine the appropriate fees to charge.
  • Addressing, and then utilizing failures to their best advantage.
  • The three phases of the evaluation are also the same three phases of a project.
  • Corey’s formula for structuring flat fees.
  • Why Corey charges for each phase, before moving on to the next.
  • The difference between General Contractors and Designers.
  • The importance of really good communication.
  • When product sales come into the picture.
  • The importance of having a Termination Clause in your agreement with a client.
  • Making use of a Design Retainer, which remains retained until the final invoice is done. (Then the balance is refunded.)
  • If you have any questions, either for this section or for the section that Judith covered, please email them to LuAnn, to be answered on the next episode of Design Biz Live. ( and please put Design Biz Live Question in the subject line.)
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