You know, I have a secret. . . believe it or not, I don’t always ‘love’ marketing my interior design business. (What? Did she just admit that out loud, to me and everyone else?) Well, yes. Some marketing tasks (and general business tasks) I like to do much more than others. And truth be told. . . I want to do the things that are easy and fun for me. I really don’t want to put alot of time and effort into something I don’t like. Does that make sense?

What are you struggling to do that you don’t like? Are these things getting done properly and consistently? Do you really know HOW to do them well? Are you getting the results you desire? If not, my final question for you today is. . . why are you struggling to do these things when there are so many ways not to?

Below are a few first steps to get you thinking about setting up your marketing (and your interior design business) so you get to do only the things you love, and ditch the things you don’t!

1. Review. Take a pad of paper and list all the things you do in your business. Daily. Weekly. Monthly. Annually. Don’t worry about the order, just write, write, write.

2. X Marks the Spot.interior design business system list
a. Place an “X next to all the things you DO NOT like doing.
b. Place a “Check mark” next to the things you DON’T MIND.
c. Place a “Smiley Face” next to the things you really DO like.

3. Keep in mind. What are the things that ONLY YOU can do, such as the design, meeting with clients, checking the installation, etc? And then think about the things that someone else can do… like marketing, bookkeeping, purchasing, etc.

Once you’ve defined your least desirable tasks, start looking for ways to systemize them, one at a time. Your goal is to either delegate, systemize, or delete the tasks from your calendar forever. It’s not that hard, it just takes some doing. And believe me, you will loooove it!

Below I’ve listed some common bottlenecks and resources. See if these bottlenecks are preventing you from signing more client contracts in your interior design business.

1. Bill Paying – Put all bills on one credit card, and pay 1 bill each month.
2. FAQ’s – Add the most frequently asked questions to your website.
3. Newsletter List – Sign up for Constant Contact or Aweber to automate this process.
4. Project Management – Basecamp, FengOffice or other online services. Amazing!
5. Hire a Virtual Assistant – Get your mundane tasks done. Your VA can work for you for 5 hours or 25 hours per month. It’s super easy to start small (if need be).
6. Process Manual – Write down your processes and upload to Basecamp or FengOffice. If there’s ever a question for you or your Virtual Assistant, it’s easy to refer to it.
7. Outsource – Hire help on a project basis (not hourly) for specific tasks – check availability of fabrics, order cuttings, return samples, etc.

These are just a few of the obvious areas to start with. I’m betting there are thousands of ways to systemize any business. And I gotta warn you… once you start systemizing things… you may get addicted! Your productivity will shoot through the roof and your life becomes soooo much simpler. You get more done, easier! It’s awesome!

It’s fun to hear how others are systemizing their interior design business. What are some of the tips, tricks and techniques you use?

I’ll start – I have a sales system I follow when working with clients. I made up some forms and worksheets that I use for each and every project. It starts with pre-qualifying, asking specific questions, appointment setting, follow up, etc. It goes all the way through to thank you notes when the project is completely installed. I do the same thing with each and every client and it works in my interior design business like a charm!

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