What Level is Your Design Business?

Kathy Geffen

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Viewing 8 posts - 1 through 8 (of 8 total)
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  • in reply to: Trade vs. Retail #23090

    What has helped me in figuring my services is what pain points am I solving for my client?

    1. Am I ordering fabric? Well, then I’m doing Project Management.

    2. Am I figuring fullness against a scale or function? Well then I’m doing design.

    3. Am I fabricating against specs? Then I am fabricating. If I made the specs, I also did the design.

    Retail vs wholesale isn’t the question. It’s what pain am I resolving and what service am I offering? And then, what is the cost of me to do it (to cover my time, and operational expenses)? Plus risk, plus my planned profit.

    I can offer design service to a designer or to a homeowner. But what pain am I resolving?

    As a designer, they don’t know what hardware is best for that one way functioning drape and how much fullness to account for as well as any deductions or ease to add for function. That’s my design and experience.

    As a homeowner, they don’t know the above, either, but they also may not know what fabrics to choose for the aesthetic they want. That’s also design.

    Consider the services you offer and price accordingly. I bet you offer;

    -project management (beginning to end)
    – subject matter expert in hard treatments
    – fabrication
    – support through the end of the project
    – installation and troubleshooting

    What else?

    Think about it for a few projects and I bet you’ll see your real services and wow—— you offer a lot! Then you start your language and pricing conversations and get the pricing right so you’ll be there the next time you need them.


    in reply to: PMS, anyone? #23057

    Hi Lisa.

    For your answer:

    TAB vs. View

    Think of each TAB as a new table with new columns. I have two tabs:

    1. Project (the main list). What is the project, client, install date, etc)

    2. Items, I have many items per project and the items have different details than the project. Is it being outsourced? What is the status of the raw materials for the items? What date do I want to make it?

    Vita has the client tab, which stores contact information that has different columns.

    Make sense?

    What can help is to draw a box of your “things”. In the box write down the information you want to track for each thing. Draw connections with arrows. I can upload a picture example later if that helps.

    A VIEW is using the information in the tab different ways. Groups, Kanban board, hiding columns, etc. Vita is using views to group rows so it’s easier to see all common tasks across all projects.

    in reply to: Odds and Ends #22982

    Yes. I can upload a picture in my PDF and write on it. This is how I do it. See the quick video here. This is from an iPhone because that’s what I had at the time I wanted to show you the video very quickly, it would be a lot easier to do on an iPad.


    in reply to: Odds and Ends #22971

    Vita and everyone else.

    I use OneDrive for my document management system. I keep a OneDrive folder per client. I forgot about this but it’s useful: In OneDrive on your iPad or iPhone you can edit PDFs.

    So, my process is now changing. I create the client folder in OneDrive before I go to the client and add the PDF of my measure form. From that, I’ll I edit the measure form with my stylus on site. Save. Voila no paper.

    I normally take pictures and save them to OneDrive through my iPhotos later. Since I’ll be working in OneDrive on site, I’ll just take photos directly within the OneDrive app.

    Great video for explanation here. https://youtu.be/Xa-lx5bLF5o

    This is ahead of what we’ve discussed in class so far, but since this chain came up I thought it was useful!

    in reply to: PMS, anyone? #22969

    To join fields in Airtable it’s just like Excel. Use the concatenate function.

    CONCATENATE(First name, “- “, designer)

    I assumed your column names were First name and Designer. Use your column names.

    To block off a calendar time in Airtable, tell me more what you are trying to do. There are many rules that can be created and you can sync your google calendar with Airtable. It’s more of a question of why are you blocking the date? What do you want to avoid?

    in reply to: Odds and Ends #22933

    I agree it is hard to be 100% paperless. I have a standard form I use for measuring that I plan to digitize one day. I like the flexibility of note taking so I take notes on paper and take pictures of the form . I also use OneDrive for my client files so I take pictures of my form and send the picture to the OneDrive folder for my client. I can do this on my phone and iPad.

    Options for paperless can be to use a Rocketbook and set the destination to your storage location. You can also use a template of a fillable PDF you save and re-use for clients, with a space to draw on if needed.

    For accessing the documents through Airtable you could create a naming convention where you store your documents and create a column to link to the client folder for your documents.

    I have pictures I try to include in my invoices from HoneyBook to confirm I have the right fabric they selected. They select them in person so they have seen them in person. This is work because I do have to have the image of the fabric I saved to include on the invoice, but I feel it helps ensure we are moving forward with the right fabric.

    I think a physically piece of the fabric would be needed if I hand off fabrication to someone else to confirm right side and which way is “up”. This has been the case when I have outsourced.

    What I’ve been doing that I can improve is get money first in a rough estimate before the work of finding a fabric image for a detailed estimate. This is something IB considered but not implemented and would like to.

    in reply to: The WHY behind your goal #22815

    My goal: run a successful business that supports my family and lifestyle that provides inspiration for other creative business owners to achieve a dream.

    1. Make as much or as little as I want based on where I am in life

    2. Enjoy it

    3. Inspire entrepreneurs to have their own light shine


    Because I enjoy what I do and it helps others. It helps my family. It helps me. It helps my clients. And it helps inspire other entrepreneurs so they can have the same enjoyment out of life while sustaining their own company, employees, and families.

    in reply to: Fees and Consultations charge #22814

    I started charging a fee with the pandemic. It’s amazing how easily it rolls off my tongue now. $125 for retail clients. More if we have multiple rooms with multiple designs.

Viewing 8 posts - 1 through 8 (of 8 total)
What Level is Your Design Business?