What Level is Your Design Business?


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Viewing 15 posts - 46 through 60 (of 87 total)
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  • in reply to: Would you do me a favor? #23469

    hi Nikki,
    thank you so much for your kind words!!! i’m so glad that my passion for teaching you what i know and seeing your succeed came through. yes, so many challenges and set-backs along the way – it’s important that you guys know it’s not all roses and unicorns. thank YOU for being such an active participant, even in light all of your staffing challenges. i love how committed you were in each and every class!!

    in reply to: Alumni list #23468

    yes, of course, it’s a great idea!!
    i think everyone should post here with their best contact information.
    i’ll start:
    Vita Vygovska
    IG handle is @Vitalia_Inc

    in reply to: What’s on your mind, yogis? #23426

    Hi Vessie,
    I am SOO excited for your son – and you, as his mama! We are a family of swimmers here (my husband and kids, NOT me :-)), so we are constantly at competitions, some high level, so I know EXACTLY how you feel. So proud, so wanting to be there, yet so bummed that you’re missing some important work things. That’s ok. Work will always be here, while your son may decide to stop playing one day and you’ll really miss it.

    Ok, about QBO. I have heard NO complaints about QBO “giving trouble”. What does it even mean exactly? I know that QBO differs from desktop version, it has different functionality, and that there is a learning curve to master it. Yes, learning QBO, even if you have knowledge of desktop QB, is not for the faint of heart. Is it possible that this CPA doesn’t want to learn the online version b/c he is used to the desktop version?

    Having said that, it sounds like LogMeIn gives you the ability to work from anywhere and him the ability to check on your QB without being there physically. If that’s the case, than you’re good to go. B/c that’s the name of the game: work from anywhere, any time, accessible by anyone.

    If I were you, I would get a second opinion: what is the benefit of getting QBO vs. desktop QB through LogMeIn?

    Please lmk what you find out – i would be very curious to know…


    in reply to: What’s on your mind, yogis? #23425

    Hi Nikki,
    What a great note!
    I command you for getting your finances in order. And recognizing that you need help there and making the hard decision to invest in it!! It takes real courage to be that self-aware and then to spend some real money to make that part of you better. I hope you use both of the financial services to not just get information, but to really learn HOW to read the reports and HOW to make those decisions. You are a very smart cookie :-), pretty soon, you’ll be able to fly on your own. Another thought is to take the QuickBooks class through LuU. Think about setting a goal to become financially-minded and proficient by _____date – you’ll get a lot further and use your time with these consultants more productively if you have an end-game in mind.

    People. OH MY! I can’t believe all the troubles you’ve gone through. Looks like you are operating without most of your staff! That’s a really big deal, huge burden, and incredible cause of stress. I am also very acutely aware that even though I have the right people on the bus, as soon as one of them gets sick or wins a lottery, it is ME who is back in the trenches. Having the right people is KEY to getting your life back. Getting the right people is your first priority right now. Do consider Jessica and Eileen to help you get the exceptional people you deserve!

    The learning curve in our industry is indeed so long and steep – it’s like a marathon mountain climb! I do have to tell you that, one step at a time, it WILL get easier. There are no magic pills. You have to put in the work. Your advantage after taking this class is that you don’t have to think anything up, wonder if you’re doing the right thing, or reinvent the wheel. Just follow the blueprint that I outlined and you’ll see that it will get more manageable.

    My heart goes out to you! Hang in there!

    in reply to: What’s on your mind, yogis? #23366

    hi Olga,
    thank you so much for your heart-felt note!!
    i so appreciate your sharing where you are right now: all the trials and tribulations – but all the wins too, no matter how small!
    this class can be a lot to take in b/c it is deep, strategic, and gets to the core of how we run our businesses AND our lives.
    one of my previous students contrasted it with a sewing class where one might learn a new technique: learn, implement, perfect.
    this class is different. the strategies here may require an overhaul of how we’ve done things for years.
    one of my other students compared it to ‘taking a house to studs and rebuilding it’.
    as you alluded, let’s not jump to any conclusions or make pivotal changes.
    let’s take it all in.
    then perhaps take it in again by rewatching or rereading.
    then make a plan of action.
    for right now, let’s concentrate on what’s possible!
    thank you for being such an active participant and a great student ๐Ÿ™‚

    in reply to: finances vs people #23145

    Finances IT IS! ๐Ÿ™‚

    in reply to: Odds and Ends #22981

    hi Kathy,
    thank you so much for your input!
    we too use Microsoft and everything that comes with it.
    i think that’s the corporate background in both of us – you’re my corporate drop-out sister ๐Ÿ™‚

    the one thing that fillable pdf’s don’t give is the picture.
    yes, we can take pictures separately.
    but there is something special about being able to draw (in Vessie’s case she does it in oneNote) or use Measures (in my case) and get your measurements and notes right on the picture.

    have you done it like that? i would love to hear your thoughts about it. if you can figure out an efficient way to get measurements that are ON pictures into OneDrive, that would just blow my mind ๐Ÿ™‚


    PS. stay tuned for this week’s class on how we use detailed estimate template, to create a summary estimate, collect deposit, then invest time to create the proper detailed estimate.

    in reply to: PMS, anyone? #22980

    hi Vessie,
    i hear you, girl, i started with Excel spreadsheets too.
    btw, nothing wrong with them either :-). i worked for a huge corporation, and we tracked multi-million dollar product development process via excel.
    AirTable, of course, has a ton of other benefits, not the least of which is that it is prettier and easier to train on, although not as robust as Excel.
    for what we need in our businesses, it’ll do just fine!

    my heart-felt advice is:
    take what i’ve done, copy it, and move on.
    don’t reinvent the wheel.
    change only those things that are particular to your business (like what Lisa is doing).
    even with a complete blueprint like this, it’ll take some time to get used it, get your people trained, integrate it into your routine, etc.

    do you think i tracked my $ and hours?
    i sure did ๐Ÿ™‚
    it took me 165hours so far (since 2018) and $4825 in consultant’s fees.
    That’s a LOT of time and money.
    that’s why i’m so passionate about you guys not spending ALL this time and money.
    you have the blueprint – now you just have to incorporate it into your business.

    regarding tracking numbers. Yes, you’ll see it in upcoming modules.
    but just to save the suspense: we create estimates, production orders, and PO’s in excel. Manually enter the amount into AT. The information automatically transfers into QBO (via an app called Zapier). We track numbers (sales, GM, expenses, NI) in QBO. Stay tuned ๐Ÿ™‚


    in reply to: PMS, anyone? #22979

    hi Myrna,
    so glad to hear that you’re excited about AT and are trying it already!
    i’ve also tried ClickUp as a PMS and was not able to make it work.
    so you’re not alone!

    i checked on the formula for my first column.
    it is: Customer & ” – ” &Project
    to be sure, the 1st column combines customer name with project name, not designer name.

    btw, “if you loved mine and wish you could just copy and paste it into your Airtable account!” – why not just do that?
    the most time-efficient way is to hire an AT consultant, give her the class video, and have her copy it.
    it’ll take her a few hours.
    how many hours will it take you? is it worth your time?
    just a thought…


    in reply to: PMS, anyone? #22978

    i’m so glad that you’re applying what i you saw to what you already have AND to what your personal needs are!
    that was exactly the point!!!
    and you’re 100% right – process flows are the foundation for how you set up the airtable.
    that’s why it’s the 1st module – that’s where it all starts.

    regarding calendaring: i’m sure there is a way! it’s a matter of asking the people who are intimately familiar with how the back-end programming works. Kathy sounds like a wealth of knowledge, so let’s see if she can help. if not, there is an AirTable forum that’s full of experts.


    in reply to: Getting rid of leftover fabrics #22897

    hi Olga,
    such good question! i used to keep the left-overs.
    over the years, i accumulated, TONs of them.
    i felt bad throwing them out.
    i kept thinking, that one of these days, i’ll make a pillow out of this beautiful fabric.
    that my friends would want to use for their house.
    That day never came.
    left-overs kept getting dustier and dustier.
    And every time i looked at them, i felt stressed out.
    the energy was draining out of me.
    so one day, i just donated, gave away, and threw out.
    it broke my heart temporarily, but i felt soooo much better after it was all done.

    now, we donate or throw out the leftovers.
    i want to collect nothing.
    the only exception is if it’s a solid. We use solids as piping on valances and cornices.
    it’s a nice addition and designers like it.

    hope this helps!

    in reply to: Odds and Ends #22896

    Good Saturday Morning!!
    Happy to answer your questions!
    1. COM, CFA’s. we have the picture of fabric attached to the estimate (i’ll show you in the next class). So that’s your permanent record of what it looks like.
    Once the order is complete, is there a need to hang on to COM’s and CFA’s?
    2-3. we, too, cut off a little piece and attach it to a packing slip or whatever label vendor inserts into the bolt. We keep those in the folders. we now have 3 filing cabinets of these folders, accumulated over the last 16 years. my plan was to go through them and have my 12year old son scan them in. as i think through more, i do wonder the validity of doing it though: for the 1-2 instance where we would refer back to a physical snippet, he would spend hours scanning. is it really worth it? I’m coming to a realization that perhaps the physical snippet is not needed at all, provided the fabric spec and picture is captured either in the estimate or in the PM system. Would love to hear everyone’s thoughts.
    4. We use an app called Measures. It’s been working great, however, it does not sync with OneDrive. So in order to get it off the ipad, we have to manually upload it. It is one part of the process that i’m not happy with. while i have one person creating estimates, it’s been ok. but it will rear it’s ugly head, when one person takes measurements and another has to put together an estimate
    5. Airtable is a central repository of information. You can upload images, files, etc. So keep on drawing, then upload it: either in AT or OneDrive (or where you keep your files).

    Let’s talk about paperless for a second. i do not hold ourselves to a super high standard of paperless. i know some do. i don’t. i just take this unrealistic expectation off the table. Make it easier for myself. if i don’t need to print, i don’t. if i do need to print, i just do. i will be making an better effort to scan all future paperwork, so that we don’t accumulate files, once the order is complete. but while, it’s pending, having physical snippets, CFA’s, confirmations sometimes is helpful.

    where i feel strongly about paperless is with Project Management System. As many details as possible, should be cloud-based. Primary reason is so that someone else, NOT YOU, can update, manage, follow-up, etc. YOU, as the CEO, can keep track on what’s happening, while you’re vacationing in Paris ๐Ÿ™‚

    hope this makes sense!
    xo, v.

    in reply to: The WHY behind your goal #22845

    hi ladies,
    great job on sharing your “why’s”!!! now, you didn’t think i was going to let you off easy, did you? :-). More probing questions, here we come…

    Freddie, how much $ do you want to make? do you know that number? get specific about it. Who do you have to have in place to start travelling? Do you travel now – how much more travelling would you like to do? For your goals to be meaningful, they first need to be specific. While they stay nebulous, you’ll never know if you achieved them.

    Vessie, how do you define ‘success’ for your business? is it revenue $, net income $, number of people, number of projects? How much time with your family.
    How many dates with your hubby? What quality time with your kids? Get specific. Put out into the universe exactly what you want. That’s your 1st step.

    Kathy, i love that you want to help people! It’s noble and commendable. Are you willing to work 80hours a week for it? Are you willing to go on 4 appointments a day? are you willing to bring down your pricing? what does “lifestyle that provides inspiration” mean? i love the corporate-speak b/c i myself am a corporate drop-out :-). Talk to us like we are 3-year olds. what makes you giddy? what makes your soul zing? what do you want to do for yourself and your family, once you are a success? and how will you know you got there?

    Alejandra, what does “balance” look like to you? is it days, hours? is it travelling? is it going to a movie? is it shutting down at 5pm? is it taking Fridays off? What does “me” time look like? How much of it would you like to have? Let’s start here.

    you guys, the true WHY is deeper than ‘streamlined systems, etc’. Streamlined systems is HOW you get to your why. The ‘why’ needs to be so strong and compelling that when it gets hard, when you have to make really tough choices, there is no other option than to make them, b/c that’s how badly you want to make to your ‘why’. Keep digging, ladies ๐Ÿ™‚ I’m here for you! xo, v

    in reply to: Vitalia Inc. process questions #22844

    hello kathy,
    thank you for your questions!
    1. do you mean “what if the price ends up being higher after the site visit?”. We give them the higher price citing that site measurements are higher than what we were given originally.
    2. we do EVERYTHING possible to not visit the site. We give preliminary budget based on designer emailed specs, pictures, etc. If this estimate aligns with their financial thinking, then we go. This is not always possible, i.e. a whole house of shades, weird window configs, certain motorization jobs, new designer and she has no idea, etc. If it’s not possible, it’s not possible -then we go.
    3. We have a standing Monday afternoon meeting where we go over every line item on the project management report. Additionally, every time there is a mistake, issue, or a challenge, i always ask: is this user error or do we need to change the process. usually, it’s both, so we adjust our process accordingly.
    hope this answers your questions,

    in reply to: Trade vs. Retail #22843

    hi Vessie,
    i hear you, sweetheart, i hear the angst, frustration, exhaustion – all of that in your voice.
    i soooo want to help b/c sometimes at a bird’s eye view, things are so much clearer.
    let me take it step by step.
    1. retail vs. to the trade. What FEELS better for you? 3 options: retail, trade, both. Take some time, pray on it, journal, do some soul-searching. Then make a decision and stick with it. Just go with how it feels to you personally. there is no right or wrong answer. just whatever you prefer. it’s your business, you do what you want. you won’t go wrong with either decision. Where you will go wrong is if you continue vacillating. it is when we are unsure of something and keep going back and forth, that it takes the most bandwidth and tires us out.
    2. start charging designers pricing that is commensurate with your service. Ask yourself: “At what price will I enjoy working on this project/with this designer?”
    3. Instagram. have you asked designers to tag you? just a simple ask. Conversely, do you tag them on your IG?
    4. Be ok with not chasing every designer and every project

    Base your decisions on what will make it simpler for YOU. One price is simpler than two. One target audience is simpler than two. it is simpler for me to ask for what i want and get a no, than to not ask and always wonder (i.e. in case of IG tagging, charging a higher price, etc).

    there is so much more to say, but let’s leave it at this for the time being,
    xo, v.

Viewing 15 posts - 46 through 60 (of 87 total)
What Level is Your Design Business?