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A Well-Designed Business® | Interior Design | Designers | Business |Interior Design Success

In today's world being a talented interior designer isn't enough to ensure that you have a profitable and successful interior design business. Design school doesn't always teach you the critical business skills to be sure your interior design business be everything you imagined it would be! A Well Designed Business is here to fill in the gaps and give you real live business skills from some of the top interior designers. Your host, LuAnn Nigara shares her 35 years of success in the interior design industry, and she finds the most successful guests to share their interior design business best practices.
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Now displaying: August, 2016
Aug 31, 2016

Today we have Chad James with us from Chad James Group. Chad has a very thoughtful way of setting up his business. He considers his firm an educational firm and has the roles divided up into very specific categories. He identifies people as interns, apprentice, junior designer, design assistant and Chad himself. He is going to discuss with you ways to duplicate the systems he uses to manage his team with these categories.

Show Notes:

  • How did Chad come to use the systems he uses?
  • What does he look for in an intern?
  • How does he handle his hire process?
  • Does each new person have to start at intern and work their way up?
  • Take the initiative!
  • How does he handle his staff day to day?

Check out the rest from our resource center: http://windowworks-nj.com

Aug 29, 2016

Today on the show we are in for a real treat! Alan Tanksley has a “royalty” background in interior design and has his own successful firm: Alan Tanksley, Inc. We are going to talk about his “royalty” background and how space you work in can make a difference.

Show Notes:

  • Was Mark Hampton his first job?
  • What has he learned working for different designers?
  • How has his design changed?
  • What advice would he give to someone starting out?
  • How does the space he works in inspire him?
  • How did he design his space?
  • Make sure your team “fits” together!

See the rest of the resources here: http://windowworks-nj.com

Aug 26, 2016

On this week’s power talk Friday I have a returning expert: Kae Whitaker of Kae Whitaker Solutions! When Kae was on the show before she shared with us a case study with a particular interior designer that she helped turn her business around in three months-Farrha Hyman. Today she is going to talk with us how to hire the people you need.

Show Notes:

  • How do you decide how many people to have?
  • Where should you look for people?
  • What college student majors is a good pick?
  • How do you increase workflow?
  • Make good relationships with coordinators!
  • What does the interview process look like?
  • Paid employees versus intern
  • When is the best time to find an intern?
  • What are the six things that have to be in place for an intern?

See the rest of the resources here: http://windowworks-nj.com

Aug 24, 2016

We have Natalie Reddell  for this Well-Designed Business podcast episode. She is an interior designer, lifestyle blogger, and founder of Commander in Chic Design firm.

Natalie began her career as a designer at the age of 4 , when she began collecting toothpaste tube tops as buffet lamp lampshades for her dollhouse.  When she's not working, she can be found at home with her 17-year old son, Schuyler, and  Scarlett O'Hara (their Cavalier King Charles Spaniel).

Natalie received her undergraduate degree in interior design from Florida State University. She also studied the history of architecture & design at Parsons University, Paris, France. She has been in the industry for more than 16 years & has experience in kitchen & bathroom design,home staging,  historic-restoration, commercial design & buying for a large furniture company. Her work now is mostly high-end residential design. She has clients in Florida, Georgia, Virginia, the Carolinas, Montana, Colorado, Panama and the Bahamas.

For the rest of the show notes, please visit: http://windowworks-nj.com

 

Aug 22, 2016

We have Laura Umansky from Laura U! This is a special interview for me because I love to meet the people you look up to in the design world. We love to see them create beautiful interiors but also big business platforms for themselves. Today we are going to talk to Laura about this. Laura founded her business Laura U in 2006 and personalized customer service is paramount.

Show Notes:

  • What was her work experience before going out on her own?
  • Was there a business plan?
  • What’s it like working with her husband?
  • How did she establish the minimum of rooms she will do in a project?
  • What are the processes her business uses?
  • How is destination design different?
  • What are the biggest challenges in destination design?

For the rest of the resources, please visit http://windowworks-nj.com

 

Website: http://windowworks-nj.com

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Facebook:   https://www.facebook.com/windowworksnj

Twitter:   https://twitter.com/WindowWorks_NJ

Aug 19, 2016

Welcome to another power talk Friday! I have Tim Templeton with us today. Tim is the author of a referral of a lifetime in the Ken Blanchard series. Ken is a veteran executive entrepreneur, consultant, international best-selling author, speaker and lifelong learner. Tim and I are going to be talking about referrals. We will discuss how to get them, how to access them, how to ask for them and how to maximize them. I know from personal experience that this is something that entrepreneur’s struggle with.

Show Notes:

  • What is the importance of referrals?
  • What is Tim’s philosophy?
  • How did Tim meet Ken Blanchard?
  • Is there an art to getting referrals?
  • What process should you use to get a referral?
  • How should you go about rebuilding a relationship?
  • All referrals are not treated equally!
  • What is a perfect client avatar?

Resources:

Tim’s Website:  consultinggold.com

The Recognized Authority

Always Positive in Your Business

The Entrepreneur’s Handbook

Vince Siciliano

The Tipping Point

Mark Levy

www.thereferralbook.com   

The Referral of a Lifetime Guide Book  www.thereferralofalifetime.com

Aug 17, 2016

Welcome back! Today we have Lori Sawaya! Lori has been in the business of color for over 20 years. She has a background working with print, architecture paint, and color. Her experience and knowledge enable her to make complex color concepts easy for everyone to understand. Today we are going to talk about color, what you should keep in mind when picking a color and new tools you can use when it comes to color.

Show Notes:

  • What is her opinion about color?
  • What is spectral data?
  • What is colorimetry?
  • What are the most common color mistakes?
  • Why is light so important?
  • Have any mistakes been made?
  • Be professional as you can!
  • What new tools can be used?

For  the rest of the show notes and resources

please visit: http://windowworks-nj.com

Aug 15, 2016

 

Hi!  Welcome to another episode of A Well-Designed Business! Today is the actual 6- month anniversary of the podcast and I thought I would do a solo show and reflect on The Things I Learned From A Well-Designed Business. And then I am going to share with you, my Top 10 favorite podcasts.

Now these are by no means the only things learned in these last 6 months and they are not even necessarily the absolute most important. And as a matter of fact, I have specifically not included the coaches and consultants on this list. Every one of the consultants I have had on has shared extremely valuable advice, but it is straightforward and easy to grasp listening to their interviews. Today I am concentrating on regular designers like you who have discovered something, implemented something and are by doing it have made improvements to their businesses. So are you ready?

  1. Sandra Funk Levy- The Importance of Systems for a Profitable Interior Design Business ; Episode # 2.  Sandra is all about the systems, systems, systems. You need to get your systems locked down from hello through goodbye when the project is complete. That's just what Sandra Funk Levy has done at House of Funk. She has implemented very specific daily, weekly, monthly and yearly systems and goals.  She urges us to create processes because she knows 1st hand when you use them consistently you will improve your businesses bottom line. Link:    http://windowworks-nj.com/sandra/
  2. Rachel Moriarty – Message to Solopreneurs- Act As If the World is Watching; Episode #55. Rachel acts as if 1000 eyeballs are on our on you because one day they will be. Rachel implores soloprenuers to do 2 things- handle your image and everything connected to it in the most professional way as if you were a big firm that everyone is watching but also and as important to run your firm as if you were a big guy. Respect your own work hours, implement systems that even if only you are using them will serve you one day when you have employees.Link: http://windowworks-nj.com/rachel/  
  3.   Stephen Cooper episode # 31 Develop strong personal relationships with your vendors (The Value of a Trusted Vendor )  When you invite ethical vendors into the design process with your clients you have more productive meetings. The expert can in the moment make suggestions, which enhance your vision for the project. And a reliable vendor in the meeting can prevent you from spending hours designing concepts that cannot be executed.  Link: http://windowworks-nj.com/steven/  
  4.  Susan Brunstrum -Practical Advice for Project Management, episode #36. Susan ends every client project with a three- step process. She sits down with her financial manager and they evaluate the project and runs a profit analysis- looking for errors and ways to be more profitable next time. She has a meeting with our entire staff evaluating the efficiency of the process for that particular project and they discuss what went right what went wrong how can they improve the next time. Lastly, she invites every single client out for lunch or dinner at the completion of the project to get their feedback and to say thank you to them for their business. Link: http://windowworks-nj.com/susanb/ 
  5.  Farrha Hyman Success Story- How I Re-Designed my 15 Year Old Firm, Episode #43. Even a 15-year-old firm can turn around with the help of the right business coach and the biggest Takeaway from Sarah that you have to follow the advice of that business coach even when it pushes you out of your box. Link:  http://windowworks-nj.com/farrha/
  1. Erica Ward Identifying Your Transferrable Skills (Getting real and evaluating yourself and what you bring to the table) episode # 6. Identify what are your transferable skills and hire opposite those skills. Barbara Viteri talked about the same type of thing and they both encourage you making a lists of:
  • the things you’re good at
  • the things you know how to do
  • the things you like to do
  • the thing you’re not good at
  • the things you don’t know how to do
  • the things you don’t like to do  

then with the list that’s opposite of yours, you arrive at the qualifications that you’re looking for in your first hire.  Link:  http://windowworks-nj.com/06-identifying-your-transferrable-skills-with-erika-ward/

7. Nancy  Ganzekufer- Niche is Riche, Broad is Broke. Episode 15.  Countless examples, Cheryl Janis specializing in boutique healthcare spaces, Terri Lind Davis with her art and boomer focused design, Heather McManus with her video series and her book, I could go on…all of these designers and many more have created a niche so that they can stand apart from any other designer a prospective client might be contemplating. Andrew Joseph from Andrew Joseph PR said to us- discover what is your “you”, what is your essence, what makes you different from the others.   Link:  http://windowworks-nj.com/nancy/ 

  1. James Swan Meet the Man Behind The Million Dollar Decorating Podcast; Episode # 49 research and investigate first if the dream the desire you have for your firm is actually aligning with the way you want to live your life. Link:  http://windowworks-nj.com/james/
  1. Merrill Santopietro How to Re-Invent, Revitalize Your Firm, Even After 20 Years- Episode # 40 yes obviously be a go getter employ old-school techniques for drumming up business but most importantly show prospective clients the problem they have and why you are the answer the solution to the problem. Link: http://windowworks-nj.com/meryl/
  1. Mary Fisher . Author, Artist, Advocate, Social Entrepreneur episode #34 Mary taught us lots of things but I think the most poignant was that she said to make sure you take time every week to be in your own head to let your creativity flow from Mary it’s her art and expressing and creating new canvases new sculptures for me it’s exercise I wish I could run and write at the same time because the ideas come flowing on the single run or walk I go on. Link: http://windowworks-nj.com/mary/

Top 10 podcasts I Listen to:

  1. The Chaise Lounge
  2. Biz Chix with Natalie Eckdahl
  3. Problogger Podcast Darren Rowse
  4. Happier With Gretchen Rubin
  5. Online Marketing Made Easy with Amy Porterfield
  6. The Strong Women’s Club with Edie Berg
  7. Kate’s Take with Kate Erickson
  8. Fresh Air with Terri Gross
  9. The Leonard Lopate Show
  10. Stuff you missed in History Class

Thank you so much, I hope you enjoyed this different episode. Please remember to connect with me on Facebook at www/facebook.com/windowworksnj, find all about Window Works at www.windowworks-nj.com and don’t forget about your 10% discount on your 1st  curatedkravet.com purchase. At checkout enter CKPODCAST

Thanks so much, have a great day!

 

 

Aug 12, 2016

It’s power talk Friday! Krista Coupar is with us again! Today she is to talk with us about work-life balance. The key questions we need to ask ourselves to arrive at this perfect equation.

Show Notes:

  • Are hours wanting to work and amount of money wanting to make realistic?
  • How do you make more money working less hours?
  • Math vs finance
  • Why is it so important to simplify?
  • Why is it important to understand the seasons in interior design?

For the rest of the Show notes, please visit: http://windowworks-nj.com

Aug 10, 2016

Guess what? This is our six month anniversary! I have two very special shows for you this week. The first show we are going to meet one of the masterminds behind the fabulous curatedkravet.com platform. Curatedkravet.com is celebrating a few milestones of its own. This spring marked the one year anniversary of the hugely successful curatedkravet.com!

Our special guest today is Will Hunt Lewis, Senior Director of Merchandising of curatedkravet.com! In this position, he oversees all business done with merchandising and product development for all product category. Today Will Hunt and I are going to talk all curatedkravet.com from quality, delivering times, to the designers that curate the rooms.

 

Will Hunt's previous experience includes One Kings Lane as Buyer of Furniture, and Jonathan Adler where he oversaw all aspects of merchandise planning for all distribution channels.  Prior to moving to New York, he owned his own home furnishings and gift retail store in Mississippi.

 

For the rest of the Show notes, please visit our website: 

Website: http://windowworks-nj.com

 

If you haven't subscribed yet, please visit our social media at: 

Instagram:    http://instagram.com/windowworks

Facebook:  https://www.facebook.com/windowworksnj

Twitter:   https://twitter.com/WindowWorks_NJ

Aug 8, 2016

Maria Killam is the founder and CEO of Understanding Undertones of Colour. She's a decorator, author, speaker and internationally sought-after Colour Expert. Transform the way you see color at http://www.mariakillam.com


Maria's has 5 Fall Specify Colour with Confidence™ workshops scheduled, get all the information about what they include and upcoming dates here.

 

If you want to learn Maria's system of Understanding Undertones and finally get your paint colours and finishes right, go here. Maria's second ebook White is Complicated: A Decorator's Guide to Choosing the Right White takes the mystery out of the thousands of whites available and you end up with the 5 useful whites that you'll use every time you need to specify a white for trim, cabinets, woodwork and walls. 

 

Choosing exterior colour this season? Maria's How to Choose Exterior Colours with Confidence 60-minute webinar will give you a step-by-step process and includes Maria's go-to exterior colours.

 

For more expert tips, visit:

http://windowworks-nj.com

 

Join us on: 

 

Instagram:   http://instagram.com/windowworks

Facebook:   https://www.facebook.com/windowworksnj

Twitter:   https://twitter.com/WindowWorks_NJ

 

 

Aug 5, 2016

Welcome to another Power Talk Friday! My guest today is Alice Seale, who has over 30 years entrepreneurial experience as a realtor in the retail design industry. She is the founder of Seale Realty Advisors in the Dallas area. Alice has co-authored the book, Winning Ways in Real Estate. She has great advice for entrepreneurs. Join us!

What you’ll hear in this episode:

  • Alice’s path to real estate in retail design
  • What to look for in a realtor
  • How a design center is born and developed
  • The mix of wholesale and retail
  • How Alice spots the trends in “pop-up” design centers
  • Rent or buy? How do you decide?
  • Alice tells you what questions to ask up front
  • HVAC—why you MUST pay attention!
  • Watch expenses on taxes and insurance!
  • Consider leasing with an option
  • Ask for any accommodations up front
  • Find a realtor who has YOUR best interests in mind
  • Why renting is a good option to start out in business
  • Know what’s going on in your city and its development
  • How to know when it’s the RIGHT time to purchase
  • How to ask your landlord to “put some skin in the game”
  • Make a wish list of renovations and negotiate adding value to the property
  • Establish financial relationships early: Be a PERSON at the bank and not just an account number!
  • Consider obtaining a letter of credit instead of paying a large security deposit
  • Why Alice recommends that you have a female banker

Get all the details from Alice here: http://windowworks-nj.com/alice-seale

Aug 3, 2016

 

Hi, welcome to another episode of A Well-Designed Business! If you are a loyal listener—thank you for tuning in again!

And whether you are new or returning, please go over to our Facebook page and like us there so you can be a part  of the conversation, to be in the know about all things A Well-Designed Business podcast and Window Works. Find us at www.facebook.com/windowworksnj

 

So on the show today you will meet Terri Lind Davis from Tampa Florida. Terri has 30+ year career in interior design and today we discuss the path her business has taken. From the beginning right out of college to today where she is revitalizing her business with a return to one of her passions and talents, painting.

It’s sort of a memory lane conversation but see if you can identify the 2 major things in her career that have created and sustained a pipeline of clients for her in 2 Florida cities over 30+ years…

So stay put, I’m going to tell you about Kravet Inc, our show sponsor and then we’ll meet Terri.

So what were Terri’s 2 pipeline builders?

They were the position at the high-end furniture store and the years associated with the luxury homebuilder. Both of these not only brought in clients in real time, they both resulted in repeat business with these clients and referrals from those clients year after year, long after she left the store and after the builder retired.

And you know what I’m thinking?

While Terri didn’t necessarily strategically plan her 2 pipeline builders, you certainly could. If you are starting out, could you work part-time at a luxury furniture showroom or a kitchen showroom, a tile showroom? Somewhere you could meet a new stream of potential clients? Of course  you would be up front and discuss policies with the owner but as Terri said, it is good for them too…you can agree to bring any purchases of their product line back to the store…win-win for both of you.

Or another avenue is to reach out to builders and realtors…And don’t just send a card or a packet…make a meeting, explain you want to develop a long-term relationship with them that brings value to their clients. Explain that they can proudly tell their clients they are associated with a talented, trusted interior designer to help them with their new home purchase.

Paint the picture for the builder or realtor so they can see the relationship and how all 3 parties involved- you, them and the client are enhanced by their suggestion to use your services…

Do either of these sound like something you could do? I’d love know if you do one or the other. Go to our Facebook page and tell about what you did and how it went. If you hit a roadblock, let me know that too, maybe I can help you through it.

Terri had a few more words of wisdom earned over her career so go over to www.windowworks-nj.com/terri-davis for your free pdf of The Things I Learned From Terri Davis.

 

Remember to follow me on Instagram, Twitter, FB and let me know when you use the lessons from our talented guests.

Have a great day!

Aug 1, 2016

Today I would like to introduce, dare I say my first fan: Rachel Moriarty! She has been so supportive from the beginning on social media. I would like to give her a huge THANK YOU! One of the conversations that we had on social media about more episodes with solo entrepreneur shops and firms. It’s nice to show appreciation for the big influencers on the show. We can see where a business can go. But we need to take the time to also have good conversations with people who run fabulous businesses all by themselves.

Show Notes:

  • What was Rachel’s motivation to talk about solo entrepreneurs?
  • What is a creative entrepreneur mindset?
  • What kind of systems and programs does she use?
  • What is a “work jam”?
  • What is her design process?
  • Why “Go Red for Women”?
  • Who does her photography?
  • Look vs feel in a room
  • What advice does she have for new entrepreneurs?

Please visit 

http://windowworks-nj.com for the full episode and show notes. 

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