What Level is Your Design Business?

Sally Williams: In 1 Year She Grew 40% to Reach Nearly $1 Million in Gross Revenue

Episode 496 of A Well-Designed Business®
496: Sally Williams: In 1 Year She Grew 40% to Reach Nearly $1 Million in Gross Revenue

Welcome to the last podcast for 2019! Today, we have Sally Williams, the owner of Colorful Concepts Interior Design, based in Raleigh, New York, with us on the show. Sally knows who she is, what she is capable of doing, and what sets her apart from other designers. And this comes across very distinctly in her carefully thought-out and exceptionally well-written bio. Listen in today, to hear what Sally has to share about the way she markets and grows her design firm.

Sally is very clear about what she will do and what she won’t do in her business. And she knows precisely what to say when she has to have difficult conversations with her clients. This is Sally’s secret sauce because certain conversations can be very hard to have if you’re not prepared. In today’s show, Sally explains how she’s equipped herself for having these hard conversations with clients, and she talks to us about two changes that she made in her firm, which have resulted in a 40% increase in her gross sales in just one year. Be sure to tune in today, to find out more!

We wish you the happiest and most successful of years in 2020!

Show Highlights:

  • Sally explains how she achieved a 40% growth in her business this year, by making two changes.
  • Changing to charging an hourly rate, rather than a flat fee.
  • Sally explains how she estimates the cost of a design project.
  • Sally’s mechanism for billing her clients for additional work.
  • Sally explains how she and her team track their hours.
  • Sally walks us through her strategy wall for new projects.
  • Setting things up for a new project.
  • Sally explains how she persuades new clients to hang in there, and bear with her until she’s ready to start with their project.
  • How Sally and her team coped with a 40% growth this year.
  • Creating touchpoints for keeping the communication with the client open throughout a project.
  • The wrapping-up process.
  • Susan Brunstrum (#36) has developed a great process for wrapping up a design project.
  • Charging the same mark-up percentage on products across the board.
  • Sally explains how she builds her pipeline and markets her business.


Sally Williams, the Owner and Principal Designer of Colorful Concepts Interior Design has a design aesthetic that is timeless and free of stylistic premises working in contemporary and traditional spaces alike.

Sally is a CQRID-certified Interior Designer who has also earned an Accounting degree from the College of William and Mary.  She worked in Corporate Accounting Management prior to following her life-long passion for Fine Art and Craft by opening a Gallery in downtown Raleigh, North Carolina.  During her seven years of Gallery ownership, Sally’s eyes were opened to the world of Interior Design.  With the encouragement of Gallery clients, friends, and family, she pursued vigorous self-study of the field. In 2002, Sally closed the Gallery and Colorful Concepts was born. 

The gallery and artists Sally worked with continue to inspire her design approach today.  She begins her designs with the color palette, which sets the tone for the entire project.  Sally transforms a space artistically, providing balanced composition and soulful color schemes set in crisp optimistic environments.  She has a strong philosophy that environments impact peoples’ daily lives, and she works with the client to deeply understand what they want and need in their space.

​As the daughter of a United States Foreign Service Officer, Sally spent much of her childhood overseas.  A multi-cultural heritage of French-Canadian on her Father’s side, and Peruvian on her Mother’s, has also inspired Sally’s creativity, which is delivered beyond her client’s expectations.

Sally is a Past President of the Triangle Chapter of the Interior Design Society; a member of numerous Professional Associations including the Home Builders Association and the Remodeler’s Council; and is a volunteer with the Leukemia and Lymphoma Society and the Carolina Designer Craftsmen Guild.  Sally has lived in Raleigh for thirty years, where she and her husband, Richard, raised their two daughters – Angela and Nancy.  

Colorful Concepts Interior Design is a full-service Interior Design studio providing professional services in residential renovation design, space planning, new home materials selections, custom window treatments, and furnishings, fine art and craft consulting, and more.  At Colorful Concepts Interior Design, long-term client relationships are valued, and we look forward to working with you on future projects as well. We are fortunate to serve clients in a way that truly enhances their lives.

Previous shows mentioned in this episode:

Cheryl Clendenon # 482

Susan Brunstrum # 36

Nicole Heymer # 125, #317, and #466

Fred Berns #22, #48, #96, #174, #226, #289, #337, #393, and #460


Colorful Concepts Interior Design



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