Beth Diana Smith: Client Expectations, Contracts, and Hard Conversations
Welcome! Today, Beth Smith, the owner and principal designer of Beth Diana Smith Interior Design, based in New Jersey, joins me on the show. For Beth, the interior design came years after pursuing her degrees in business and accounting to fulfill her love of processes and business strategy. In today’s episode, Beth talks to us about budgets, managing situations, and expectations, and also about sexual harassment and she explains to us why she now has a clause in her contract to cover it. They also discuss the power and benefits, to both your business and your self-development, of attending industry events. Tune in now, for more!
After completing her M.B.A., Beth spent more than ten years in corporate finance, with companies such as Johnson & Johnson and Viacom, honing her skills in understanding clients, analytics, and budgeting, and sharpening her attention to detail. Beth’s work and her design advice have been featured on television and also in various print and online publications including NBC, HGTV, Vogue, EBONY, Design*Sponge, and the New York Times. Listen in today, to hear Beth’s story.
- Leaning into your skills and expressing them to your potential clients.
- The skills that Beth moved over from her corporate life to her design business.
- Working strategically around budget issues with clients.
- Keeping the client’s expectations realistic.
- What ‘don’t save your client’s money’ really means.
- Dealing with clients who have unreasonably low budgets.
- Listening to your gut and having your client trust that you know what is best for them.
- Coping with situations where a client does not go along with your advice.
- Beth takes her contracts very seriously. After signing, she sends the client a letter highlighting the important points.
- What Beth outlines in her welcome letter.
- Being responsive while still sticking to business hours.
- Beth explains why she does not feel the need to present her contract to her clients in person.
- How Beth protects herself and the team she works with.
- Dealing with sexual harassment.
- Beth talks about the great press that she has had in her design career.
- Beth shares some suggestions for running a design firm in a way to prepare yourself to get lucky and be noticed by Open House NYC.
- Most of Beth’s press has come from relationships and networking.
- Networking from a place of giving.
- About Kavet’s past Blogfests and how they have really helped Beth to grow her business.
Bio: Beth Diana Smith is the Owner and Principal Designer of Beth Diana Smith Interior Design, a New Jersey-based interior design company. Beth, her work, and her design advice have been featured on television and in various print and online publications including NBC, HGTV, Vogue.com, EBONY, Design*Sponge, and The New York Times. But know that interior design came years after pursuing degrees in business and accounting to satiate her love of processes and business strategy. After completing her M.B.A., she spent more than a decade in corporate finance in companies such as Johnson & Johnson and Viacom honing her skills in understanding clients, analytics, budgeting, and keen attention to detail.
Links and resources:
Beth’s Website: Beth Diana Smith
Beth’s Instagram: Beth Diana Smith
Beth’s Facebook: Beth Diana Smith
Beth’s Pinterest: Beth Diana Smith
Beth’s LinkedIn: Beth Diana Smith
Previous episodes mentioned in the show:
Erika Ward #6 and #278
LuAnn is repeating her Power Talk Friday Tour this year in Las Vegas. It is a one-day coaching event and it will be held on Saturday, July 27th, and it will run from 8.00am to 11.00pm. It will include breakfast, lunch, and dinner, discussions with LuAnn’s PTF experts, and four hours of round table discussions, in groups of three or less, with each expert individually.
To get onto LuAnn’s email list to get the info, text the word DESIGNBIZ to the number 444999.