What Level is Your Design Business?

Mark Lavender: Standing By Your Interior Design Process

Episode 675 of A Well-Designed Business®

Today with Mark Lavender:

Welcome to A Well-Designed Business. In his 25 years working in institutional medical design, Mark Lavender learned a few things about sticking to processes, creating estimates, and getting over the fear of asking for payment. In business for himself for the past six years, Mark is an open book – he shares the details of his markup, when to think twice about signing a client, and how he keeps his clients coming back.

Pick it apart:

  • [14:11] Mark shares advice on always utilizing a contract 

    [19:29] Mark tells about warning signs with clients redlining his contract [20:31] LuAnn offers advice to designers who encounter clients who don’t agree with their contract or value them as professionals 

    [24:43] Mark shares how he explains his policy of final payment before the product is delivered 

    [32:00] LuAnn gives advice on pricing yourself properly 

    [41:00] Mark and LuAnn walk through how Mark operates his pricing structure including his hourly fee

LuAnn and Mark Lavender’s Ah-Ha moments:

“It’s all about the contract – everything goes back to the contract.” -Mark Lavender 


“You just have to stand your ground. It’s hard as hell the first time you do it!”. -Mark Lavender 


I never sell from the standpoint that I have to be like everyone else. Because I’m going to give more. I’m going to be better.” -LuAnn 


“Do be afraid to collect the money you’re due.” -Mark Lavender

More About Mark Lavender:

M. Lavender Interiors is led by Mark Lavender, an architecture graduate of the University of Kentucky – College of Design. Mark worked for several years at two of Chicago’s most prestigious architectural firms – VOA Associates and HOK prior to starting his own design firm. While at these firms, he developed a reputation for managing large teams of professionals and contractors to create great design that realized the client’s vision.

Connect with Mark Lavender:



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A Big THANK YOU to Today’s Podcast Sponsor:


Mydoma Studio is the workflow software that organizes your design projects from beginning to end saving you time, money, and keeping everything in one place. And just for listeners of A Well-Designed Business, you can get 20% off Mydoma for 3 months! Visit mydomastudio.com/awelldesignedbusiness to learn more.


LuAnn University:

 the summer quarter of LuAnn

University classes kicks off in early July. Registration opens on June 11th.

If you need help establishing processes, Sara Brennen is your girl. Her class,

How to Build Systems into Your Services, begins July 7th.

If you’ve got your systems locked down but could use help with video –

Arianne Bellizaire is here to help. Arianne’s class, Video for Creatives, starts

July 6th.

And there’s so much more – go to LuAnnUniversity.com to learn more and to


Take a class, take some time for yourself, do what you need to do to get

your business in shape for Fall. Decide to be excellent!


What Level is Your Design Business?