What Level is Your Design Business?

Vessie Willwerth

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  • in reply to: What’s on your mind, yogis? #23409

    Hi Vita,
    I have had an unbeliavably stressful 2 weeks with so many installations, was going home just to sleep. On top of , on a personal level, my son is a Nationally Ranked Tennis Player and last week he reached the Finals at a big Tournament , I had to drive him and watch him right when the last class was, so I missed it . I as well, will be rewatching all classes the moment this madness is over.. No questions I have learned tremendous amount of every aspect from you!

    I have one big concern, but haven`t spent much time reserching yet or getting more feedback on it.. here it is. I also, just like Nikki, have hired an accounting firm taking care of my monthly financials, reconcilations, reports, etc. I spoke with the Cheif Accountant a few days ago and he warned me about QB Online. He is absolutely aginst me switching , they in fact have switched so many businesses from online to desktop because it has given them so much trouble. He said it is good for a small business with simple transactions. What if your experience? Obviously you like it. We have QB desktop but through LogMeIn we can log from anywhere. I am so hoping you dismiss my worries because it looks like Cloud based is the only way for all this to work.
    Thank you , I love of all the info I am getting in this class. Absolutely priceless.

    in reply to: finances vs people #23121

    I would like finance as well, seems like that`s the next stage to what we learned last week. Looking forward to it!
    I`d like to hear (additionally):
    *do you calculate profit per project and if so, in Excell or Quickbooks.
    *What kind of financial reports do you look at regularly and how often do u go over them.

    in reply to: PMS, anyone? #22963

    Hi Vita,
    Over the years, I have created my own PMS using Excell spreadsheets for every category we need. With them, we truck not only status but profit as well. I will be very interested to see the next 3 sessions , how you integrate your Excell Estimates with Quickbooks and where do you track your Profit. I have not been able to do that through Quickbooks.
    I like Airtable and will def switch to it, it`s way fansier and more professional, and obviously can do sooooo much. I did watch tons of Videos and found many freelancers that you can hire to set up, ranging from $25 to $250 per hr. How many hrs do you think it took you? I have all these spreadsheets that can be transfered into Airtable…I am just going to wait after next Lesson, to understand a bit more how the Estimating works for you. And I really want to know how you calculate your profit, per project or per category Very exciting!
    Trying to book Paris soon:)

    in reply to: The WHY behind your goal #22813

    My big Why is :
    * First and Foremost: I want to find a balance in my life. I have neglected myself and always put myself last on the priority list, I don`’t spend precious time with my children, my husband is completely on the back burner:), I run around all day and bring 100 folders (yes folders!) at home to continue the madness at night because there is not enough hours during the day. I am tired of being tired. I want to reduce the stress , I want to have time to enjoy life.
    * Second: Having said all that, I would like my business to be a success. This is my baby! I want to be Proud of it. I need to be sure it`s running like an oiled mashine.
    * Lastly, I will be less stressed when I know that at any given point, for whatever reason, I can set myself free from this business and not worry that all those years have been watsed because my business is unsellable. Because the way it is right now, I AM the business.

    in reply to: Trade vs. Retail #22810

    Hi Nikki and Vita,
    I am struggling with this topic as well, as I am Retail and I also service around 25 designers in the area. My problem with designers is, I make money on fabrication only with them – they buy their own fabric, hardware, shades, etc. Not only that, but somehow their problem becomes mine at the end, when something needs to be fixed that has nothing to do with us (like the fabric they sent has stretched after install,,or they picked a ripplefold fabrication with a plastic-y fabric that doesnt fold well and now client doesnt like it because it looks like a tutu). I don`t charge them retail for fabrication either. They do use my expertise for measuring, calculating yardages, even ask me for guidance on what to do. I charge a small fee to do that but it is a joke. My designers are a pain. Maybe because I allow them to be:)

    On the other hand, i feel Retail is easier for me – we have a showroom in the front (the back is a workroom), clients come in and we can pick the fabric, hardware, everything they need and we sell it to them. My profit margin per project is way bigger. Hpwever, The problem with Retail is, sometimes projects are so small that they are not worth the time. I struggle of how to put a minimum and say it in a classy way.
    So based on what we want : To Fire ourselves!, , I am not sure what model is less stress and more cut and dry for me.

    Also, the newest problem I have is, a few designers have approached me to be to the Trade only. They know how busy and popular we are here, Instagram is part of the problem. I do a few very known designers, they never tag me on Instagram but they do everyone else involved with the project. Our work is showcased in magazines but they never mention our name. I install so much for them but I dont post their project either, I have never addressed that issue with them. Id like to hear more (I know it`s coming in next lessons) how you handle social media with designers…

    Vita, wow! how do you get away with charging them retail, you are amazing. !

    I guess I will know all alot more after I see how the Project Managemnt system works for estimating because there are so many things to consider!
    *Retail vs Trade pricing, charging consult fee,
    *if a client or designer brings a COM, fabrictaion cost should be higher.
    *if fabric is difficult like velvet or needs to be handstitched, there has to an upcharge…
    and so on

    I will do anything you say :), if it makes my life easier!
    Thank you Vita!!
    Vessie (Plush House)

Viewing 5 posts - 1 through 5 (of 5 total)
What Level is Your Design Business?