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A Well-Designed Business®

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: May, 2020
May 29, 2020

Welcome to a Well-Designed Business! It’s Power Talk Friday, and LuAnn’s friend, Jamie Lieberman, joins the show today. Jamie also happens to be her lawyer and co-author of their upcoming book, A Well-Designed Business, The Power Talk Friday Experts, Vol 2, coming Fall 2020.

Jamie will be covering five steps to engaging effectively in any negotiation. This is a great topic because you can dramatically improve your profitability when you sharpen these skills. Negotiating is a learned skill, just like learning how to do floor plans, and just like learning to do floor plans, negotiating is a critical skill to ensure your success, so listen in and take some notes!

Jamie Lieberman is an attorney, podcaster and entrepreneur dedicated to making legal accessible and to sharing the message that legal does not have to be scary. As the owner and founder of Hashtag Legal, Jamie draws on her experience working with influencer marketing professionals, creatives and business owners to help her clients grow and protect their businesses.

She leads an all female, virtual team focused on providing clients with advice on a wide range of subjects such as intellectual property, contracts, privacy, FTC and general business law as well negotiation strategies. Jamie is a highly experienced speaker and is the co-host for the FearLess Business Podcast.

Show Highlights:

  • If you’re an entrepreneur, you’re a sales person.
  • Determine your tolerance for risk.
  • Negotiation is about collaboration, and needs a holistic approach.
  • Bargaining is what most people think negotiation is.
  • There is so much strategy and research that goes into a true negotiation that by the time you get to bargaining, it’s an afterthought.
  • Jamie details the five steps to effectively engage in negotiation, which are:
  1. Strategy
  2. Setting the Climate
  3. Getting Information
  4. Clarifying Positions & Interests
  5. Bargaining
  • After those five steps, that’s when you can memorialize your agreement in a contract.
  • Don’t be surprised if you have multiple waves of negotiation before you actually sign a contract.
  • Know your boundaries and know when and if it’s appropriate to walk away.

Resources:

LuAnn’s Website

LuAnn’s Podcast - Please SUBSCRIBE, Rate & Review!

Purchase LuAnn’s Books Here:

The Making of A Well - Designed Business: Turn Inspiration into Action

A Well-Designed Business - The Power Talk Friday Experts

LuAnn’sBlog

Power Talk Friday

Is Chairman of the Board Right for YOUR Business?

LuAnn Nigara COB

Are you a #babydesigner, #risingdesigner, or a #seasoneddesigner?

Take the “What Level is Your Design Firm” Quiz and Find Out!

Get a list of things to do that day, by the end of the week and by the end of the month, in addition to the best podcast episodes to listen to appropriate to where you are in your business journey!

Connect with Jamie!

Jamie’sWebsite

Jamie’s Facebook

Jamie’s Instagram

Jamie’s LinkedIn

Jamie’s FearLess Podcast

Jamie’s YouTube Channel

A Big THANK YOU to These Podcast Sponsors:

Open Your Trade Account with ARTICLE.com Here!

Be the hero for your clients, and be the solution they need right now with Article.

Previous Shows Mentioned:

Kwame Christian: #129
Jamie Lieberman #454
Article.com Jillian Cross #367

 

May 28, 2020

Welcome to A Well-Designed Business, it’s time for another episode of “What Would Lu Do?” where you ask the questions and LuAnn helps out with the answers.

Today’s question comes from LuAnn’s coaching client, Jill, who gave LuAnn her blessing to share this sticky situation on the podcast. Jill has a new client who is the daughter of a very good client (and friend) of hers. The new client had a general contractor present at an in-home consultation for window treatments and the GC was very opinionated, contradicting Jill's advice at every turn. To make matters worse, the new client gave deference to every word he said. 

Listen in to hear multiple dilemmas that Jill faces, as LuAnn digs into the details, susses out the situation, and lays out her reasoning on the resolutions.

If you are not working with a coach or perhaps you don’t have a business mentor or business bestie to provide guidance, this is the perfect opportunity to email LuAnn the burning issues that you need insight on and she’ll answer them on air. Please send your questions to luannnigara.com/wwld!

Show Highlights:

  • LuAnn shares the details of her coaching client, Jill’s, dilemma.
  • LuAnn posed this question for Jill to consider:
  • Do you actually disagree with the GC’s suggestions and comments, or are you just annoyed that his say-so is being included in the discussion?
  • The bottom line is to get clear on what your actual reaction is and separate the emotion from it.
  • As it turns out, Jill thought that the GC was leading her client into mistakes, some much worse than others. Additionally, Jill would be the one responsible at the end of the day.
  • When Jill presented her reasoning, her reasoning was poo-poo’d and the client sided with the GC.
  • The next question that LuAnn asked Jill:
  • Does the client’s mother know the GC and does she have an opinion of him, and is this something that she needs to know about?
  • Jill confirmed that the mother does know the GC and does not care for him. 
  • Here’s the third question that LuAnn asked Jill:
  • Yes or no, honestly: with everything set up as it is now with the same dynamics in place, do you see this project as being successful if you take the job?
  • Jill did NOT see this project going well.
  • LuAnn’s final question for Jill:
  • Pretend everything is exactly the same and the project is $2,600 instead of $26,000: would you give a second thought to just walking away?
  • Jill’s response was no, with the exception of the relationship with the client’s mother.
  • The most important thing to consider, given all the details, is the relationship with the original client. 
  • The second most important thing is Jill will only proceed with the job if this particular GC is not involved.
  • Know what you will do, and what you will not do.
  • What would Lu do, based on this information?
  • Listen in to find out the surprising outcome!

Links / Resources:

LuAnn’s Website

LuAnn’s Podcast - Please SUBSCRIBE, Rate & Review!

Purchase LuAnn’s Books Here:

The Making of A Well - Designed Business: Turn Inspiration into Action   

A Well-Designed Business - The Power Talk Friday Experts

LuAnn’s Blog

Power Talk Friday

Is Chairman of the Board Right for YOUR Business? 

www.luannnigara.com/cob

 

Are you a #babydesigner, #risingdesigner, or a #seasoneddesigner?

Take the “What Level is Your Design Firm” Quiz and Find Out!

Get a list of things to do that day, by the end of the week and by the end of the month, in addition to the best podcast episodes to listen to appropriate to where you are in your business journey!

A Big THANK YOU to These Podcast Sponsors:

Open Your Trade Account with ARTICLE.com Here!

Be the hero for your clients, and be the solution they need right now with Article.

Jaipur Living’s Website - Easy to Browse, Custom Calculator, Products Ready to Ship! Open Your Trade Account to Begin Your Relationship with This Admirable Company.

Previous Episodes:

#222 

#526

May 26, 2020

Welcome to A Well-Designed Business! Last year at LuAnn Live, LuAnn gifted each of the VIP Attendees with the headset which she requires when you do an interview with her, then challenged her attendees to take action in their business and come onto the show and share about it. Today’s guest is Laurel Smith, the principal of Farrington Avenue and she is doing just that!

Laurel will be sharing the ups and downs and the stops and starts of her entrepreneurial journey that will seem so familiar to many of us. She discusses some of the assumptions she made about owning a business, some of the mistakes she made in starting up, and how she finally came to exactly what she knows she was meant to do with her professional life.

Listen in as Laurel describes the key to how her growth really began, the things that catapulted once she got real, and see if some of her story sparks something that just might be inside of you, too!

Show Highlights:

  • Laurel shares her work and educational background and how listening to the podcast helped in to her decision to go in another direction to pursue her dream.
  • Laurel has built her brand around everything she learned in occupational therapy and about how humans interact with their environment. When you can’t perform tasks, that impacts your sense of self, quality of life, and well-being.
  • Her mission and vision for her company is built around the idea of creating wellness through design and making the home a happy and healthy place.
  • LuAnn shares her “business mid-life crisis”, how she worked through it, and the wisdom that came out of it.
  • Don’t map out your story of success using someone else’s narrative.
  • Laurel details all of the work that she has been doing to transform her business.
  • There’s power in the words we speak!
  • LuAnn addresses confidence and how it comes out of understanding and growth.

Resources:

LuAnn’s Website

LuAnn’s Podcast - Please SUBSCRIBE, Rate & Review!

Purchase LuAnn’s Books Here:

The Making of A Well - Designed Business: Turn Inspiration into Action

A Well-Designed Business - The Power Talk Friday Experts

LuAnn’sBlog

Power Talk Friday

Is Chairman of the Board Right for YOUR Business?

LuAnn Nigara: COB

Are you a #babydesigner, #risingdesigner, or a #seasoneddesigner?

Take the “What Level is Your Design Firm” Quiz and Find Out!

Get a list of things to do that day, by the end of the week and by the end of the month, in addition to the best podcast episodes to listen to appropriate to where you are in your business journey!

Connect with Laurel!

Laurel’s Instagram

A Big THANK YOU to These Podcast Sponsors:

FREE Trial! A One-Stop Shop to Keep Everything Organized!

Check Out Their Client Portal and Time Tracking Features!

My Doma Studio: A Well Designed Business

Take Advantage of Kravet Inc.’s Extensive Digital Tools & 24/7 Customer Service!

Set Up a Virtual Appointment with Your Local Sales Representative:

Kravet

Other shows mentioned:

Shauna Lynn Simon #76, 84,102, 499

Taylor Spellman 106, 390

Amber Lewis 169, 184

Sara Lynn Brennan 463, 524, 514

Michele Williams 137, 180, 395, 424

Wendy Woloshchuk 316, 527

 

May 22, 2020

Welcome to, A Well-Designed Business, it’s Power Talk Friday! LuAnn’s guest today is Natalie Norcross, who has a specific road map for how she teaches you how to do your own PR. Public relations is so valuable, and more now than ever, due to the current coronavirus event.

If you’re looking to not only survive but thrive during this economic crisis, you’ll want to keep marketing your firm and learn how to do your own PR.  Natalie offers so many good tips, you’re not going to want to miss this!

Natalie is the CEO and Founder of A Design Partnership. Natalie Norcross has over 19 years experience working for Interior Designers, Architects, Builders, Developers, Hotel, and Home Brands and her firm has a demonstrated track record of driving exposure and placements through the PR they produce.

Natalie has appeared on the show in episodes #162 and #506. In episode #506, LuAnn and Natalie talked about the four areas to pay attention to when you are going after press for your design firm. Please go back and listen to both episodes where you will not only pick up some outstanding business advice, but you will also learn a bit more about Natalie and her career.

Show Highlights:

  • Natalie details each of the five things you need to do to get published:
  1. Be specific! Know your niche.
  2. Be the face of your brand and be the expert.
  3. Partner with big names.
  4. Build a good relationship with the journalists.
  5. Timing is everything.
  • Natalie explains her personality questionnaire that helps you to determine your niche.
  • You don’t need an expensive publicist to get published, you just need the tools, the know-how, and who to contact.
  • Natalie recommends to her PR members blocking out on their calendars 2-3 hours twice a month on Fridays. This is all the time they will need to spend putting together their pitches, sending them off to editors, and following up.
  • LuAnn cautions knowing who you’re pitching to and making sure that your pitch matches their themes. Media NEEDS your content.
  • Natalie shares some of the tools that members of her DIY PR Membership Program receive to assist them in getting more exposure.
  • Tips and strategies on project organization, partnering, building relationships, and more!
  • Media NEEDS your content.
  • Natalie is a great resource of information and offers both DIY and a full-service PR firm.

Links :

LuAnn’s Website

LuAnn’s Podcast - Please SUBSCRIBE, Rate & Review!

Purchase LuAnn’s Books Here:

The Making of A Well - Designed Business: Turn Inspiration into Action

A Well-Designed Business - The Power Talk Friday Experts

LuAnn’sBlog

Power Talk Friday

Is Chairman of the Board Right for YOUR Business?

LuAnn Nigara COB

Are you a #babydesigner, #risingdesigner, or a #seasoneddesigner?

Take the “What Level is Your Design Firm” Quiz and Find Out!

Get a list of things to do that day, by the end of the week and by the end of the month, in addition to the best podcast episodes to listen to appropriate to where you are in your business journey!

Connect with Natalie!

Promo Code for Interior Design PR: Luann

DIY PR Membership Program

For 20% off your 1st month of membership use Promo Code: luann

For Your Personality Questionnaire That Natalie Mentioned, Please Email:

Hello@interiordesignpr.com

Natalie’s Full-Service PR Company: A Design Partnership

Download Your FREE e-Books HERE

Blog Post: 5 Things You Can Do To Get Yourself Published Today

A Big THANK YOU to These Podcast Sponsors:

FREE Trial! A One-Stop Shop to Keep Everything Organized!

My Doma Studio: A Well Designed Business

When your client wants the finest in luxury appliances for their kitchen:

Choose Monogram! Are You Set Up with Monogram's Design Partner Trade Program?

 

May 19, 2020

Welcome to A Well-Designed Business! Krystle Pickens joins LuAnn in today’s conversation about not just growing a business, but growing a business fast, smart, and intentionally. 

Listen in for real strategies that can help you set up your own business for success and profit! 

Krystle Pickens is passionate about working with clients to create spaces that are beautiful and evoke that special feeling of home, while also meeting the individual client’s needs. We apply our four core values: Sustainability, Feeling, Functionality, and Community to every project, big or small.

Krystle has a degree in Interior Design and has worked in the design industry since 2012, getting her start in Kitchen and Bath Design. 

She is based in Jersey City and really feels rooted there, however being raised in Seattle, Krystle feels a responsibility and bond to the environment and incorporates sustainability in all of her projects-she even studied Environmental Science briefly.

Show Highlights:

  • Krystle describes how she is in her fourth year of business, and has come a long way since her first year, when she pulled in $13,001. 
  • She set a goal for her second year of $26,002, and ended the year with $27,100.
  • It was at this time that Krystle started listening to “A Well-Designed Business” podcasts. She realized that she was serious about what she loved to do and decided to think of it as a business instead of a hobby.
  • For her third year, which was 2019, Krystle set 19 goals and wrote them down.
  • About halfway through her third year, Krystle decided to hire a business coach who pushed her to shoot for more than her $81,300 goal. She ended up exceeding her goal.
  • Krystle learned at LuAnn Live how important it was to run a business autopsy. This is critical, because you must know where you are before you can plan where you are going.
  • For 2020, Krystle assigned a specific goal to each month and is finding this very powerful.
  • One of her goals this year is to get each and every policy and procedure locked down in a handbook before she takes maternity leave.
  • The Process Leads to Profits class is packed with every tool, idea, and process you could imagine, specifically so that you have a road map to get your back-end organized. There will probably be another class late summer or fall, so if you want help with this, get on the email list to be notified. It’s worth every dime!
  • Being coached on the concept of scaling and the concept of hiring were two of Krystle’s biggest lessons.
  • Hiring a business coach is essential for accountability, advice, and helping you to see the bigger picture.
  • Krystle shares some strategies on how she continues to grow her business and some client communication tips.

Links:

LuAnn’s Website

LuAnn’s Podcast - Please SUBSCRIBE, Rate & Review!

Purchase LuAnn’s Books Here:

The Making of A Well - Designed Business: Turn Inspiration into Action 

A Well-Designed Business - The Power Talk Friday Experts

LuAnn’s Blog

Power Talk Friday

Is Chairman of the Board Right for YOUR Business? 

LuAnn Nigara COB

Are you a #babydesigner, #risingdesigner, or a #seasoneddesigner?

Take the “What Level is Your Design Firm” Quiz and Find Out!

Get a list of things to do that day, by the end of the week and by the end of the month, in addition to the best podcast episodes to listen to appropriate to where you are in your business journey!

Connect with Krystle!

Krystle’s Website   

Krystle’s Instagram

Krystle’s Facebook

Krystle’s Pinterest

A Big THANK YOU to These Podcast Sponsors:

Jaipur Living’s Website - Easy to Browse, Custom Calculator, Products Ready to Ship! Open Your Trade Account to Begin Your Relationship with This Admirable Company.

Open Your Trade Account with ARTICLE.com Here!

Be the hero for your clients, and be the solution they need right now with Article.

Previous Shows Mentioned:

Alinda Morris #429

Do Not Let Us Design For You #346

Nancy Ganzekaufer #15, #159, #256, #389

Amber De La Garza #385

Sandra Funk #02, #145, #520

Madeleine MacRae #283, #315

Amanda Berlin #420

Jenny Madden #332

Jamie Lieberman #454

Dane Austin #457

 

 

May 15, 2020

Welcome to a Well-Designed Business! Are you in for a treat today! Jenny Slingerland of Black Ink Interiors contacted LuAnn to let her know about her experiences working with Brad Leavitt, President and Founder of AFT Construction in Arizona. Brad has the AFT Construction Podcast, and he and LuAnn have been guests on each other’s podcasts before, so it’s easy to see why Jenny gives him such high praise for being a great builder to work with.

You’re sure to be impressed by Brad’s message and outlook on business, as well his obvious love and respect for interior designers. Listen in as he explains from the builder perspective all the reasons he knows that you make his projects more beautiful, more efficient, and more profitable.

AFT Construction is an award-winning construction firm and has been nationally published in magazines such as: Fine Home Building, Luxe Interiors and Design, and Professional Builder. Brad Leavitt is an energetic public speaker and ambassador for many national brands including Kohler, Pella, Cambria, Elkay and Post-it Notes. Brad completed a Bachelor of Science in Construction Management from BYU in 2005 and worked on notable projects around Phoenix, including the Omni Montelucia in Paradise Valley.

His Podcast, “The AFT Construction Podcast”, is focused on bringing value to its listeners, no matter their industry. The topics are focused on marketing, social media, entrepreneurship, organization, building science and construction. AFT has continued to exceed industry standards and create strong client relationships based on integrity, reliability, and quality. Brad and his wife Ashley have 6 children, 5 girls, and 1 boy. Brad is active with all 6 of his children, serves in his local community, and loves all sports.

Show Highlights:

  • Brad’s company will not build a home for a client that does not have an interior designer on the project.
  • Many companies have disregard for architects and interior designers, but the architects and designers actually bring expertise and a lot of benefits to the table.
  • Brad shares the reasons why he does not have any in-house architects or designers.
  • It’s important to get the client onboard with understanding the importance and value of a designer.
  • Selling points to take note of when pitching to a potential builder:
  • Having a designer involved helps a builder be more efficient, often saving as much as 2-3 months on a project. This can represent thousands of dollars in the builder’s pocket.
  • Having a designer involved improves a builder’s relationship with his clients. A builder can get information from the designer without having to interrupt the client’s day and this avoids the frustration of arranging meetings while a job is stopped.
  • A huge benefit for the builder is getting published. Having a room or outdoor area styled makes a huge difference!
  • The referral relationship is a valuable component.
  • Businesses are built on reciprocity.
  • Brad offers some great suggestions on how to meet builders: builder organizations, supply showrooms, networking events, and on social media.
  • Building relationships and trust are necessary before beginning to work together.
  • Brad has already been invited back for additional guest appearances on A Well-Designed Business! Future episodes will include a list of the Things Your Builder Wants You to Know and a list of his pet peeves. You don’t want to miss these!
  • Stay tuned for something else you don’t want to miss: more information will be forthcoming in the next couple of months regarding a new course being taught by Jenny Slingerland of Black Ink Interiors called “Design Build for Profit”. To be notified of open registration, put your name on the list at Design Build For Profit.

Links :

LuAnn’s Website

LuAnn’s Podcast - Please SUBSCRIBE, Rate & Review!

Purchase LuAnn’s Books Here:

The Making of A Well - Designed Business: Turn Inspiration into Action

A Well-Designed Business - The Power Talk Friday Experts

LuAnn’sBlog

Power Talk Friday

Is Chairman of the Board Right for YOUR Business?

LuAnn Nigara: COB

Are you a #babydesigner, #risingdesigner, or a #seasoneddesigner?

Take the “What Level is Your Design Firm” Quiz and Find Out!

Get a list of things to do that day, by the end of the week and by the end of the month, in addition to the best podcast episodes to listen to appropriate to where you are in your business journey!

Connect with Brad!

Brad’s Email

Brad’s Website 

The AFT Construction Podcast

Brad’s Instagram (AFT_Construction)

Brad’s Pinterest(AFT_Construction)

Brad’s Facebook

Brad’s LinkedIn

A Big THANK YOU to These Podcast Sponsors:

When Your Client Wants the Finest in Luxury Appliances for Their Kitchen:

Choose Monogram!

Set Up Your Design Trade Account Today!

FREE Trial! A One-Stop Shop to Keep Everything Organized!

My Doma Studio: A Well Designed Business

Other shows mentioned to include in show notes:

Brittany Simon #490

Circle Design Studio #380

Denise Wenacur #513

 

 

May 14, 2020

Welcome to A Well-Designed Business, it’s time for another episode of “What Would Lu Do?” where you ask the questions and LuAnn helps out with the answers.

Today’s question comes from listener Amanda, who has lost a couple of jobs due to the costs of freight and taxes outside of a client’s budget.

Listen in as LuAnn digs into the details, susses out the situation, and lays out her reasoning on the resolutions.

If you are not working with a coach or perhaps you don’t have a business mentor or business bestie to provide guidance, this is the perfect opportunity to email LuAnn the burning issues that you need insight on and she’ll answer them on air. Please send your questions to luannnigara.com/wwld!

Show Highlights:

  • LuAnn shares listener Amanda’s detailed email.
  • Nearly the exact same thing happened to Sara Brennan last year.
  • You must remember that you are the professional in the room.
  • Ask clarifying questions and provide your client with the information on how your business is run so that they can make a truly informed decision.
  • LuAnn provides an example of how to manage future budget discussions.
  • It’s all about the clarity and agreements upfront, when no emotion is attached.
  • LuAnn goes into more details about Sara Brennan’s similar experience.
  • This doesn’t have to be hard, and it doesn’t have to be adversarial, but it does have to be discussed and agreed upon before you get to invoicing. Remember, no surprises and you’ll be fine!

 

 

 

Links / Resources:

LuAnn’s Website

LuAnn’s Podcast - Please SUBSCRIBE, Rate & Review!

Purchase LuAnn’s Books Here:

The Making of A Well - Designed Business: Turn Inspiration into Action   

A Well-Designed Business - The Power Talk Friday Experts

 

LuAnn’s Blog

Power Talk Friday

 

Is Chairman of the Board Right for YOUR Business? 

www.luannnigara.com/cob

Are you a #babydesigner, #risingdesigner, or a #seasoneddesigner?

Take the “What Level is Your Design Firm” Quiz and Find Out!

Get a list of things to do that day, by the end of the week and by the end of the month, in addition to the best podcast episodes to listen to appropriate to where you are in your business journey!

 

A Big THANK YOU to These Podcast Sponsors:

 

Open Your Trade Account with ARTICLE.com Here!

Be the hero for your clients, and be the solution they need right now with Article.

May 12, 2020

Welcome to A Well-Designed Business! LuAnn’s guest is Robin Baron, who first joined LuAnn in episode #32. Robin is a #smartlady with an incredible body of work which includes being a celebrity interior designer, lifestyle expert, and a luxury home-furnishings designer. Based in NYC, Robin always brings a striking sense of fashion and style to everything she does as a successful interior designer. Robin knows that flexibility is important, so customization is available in almost every piece in her collections.

Celebrating 30 years in business Robin could have spoken on several topics but chose her strategy for designing and bringing a product to market. If you have ever dreamt about designing your own product, please, get a pen and paper for this show. Robin truly shares every aspect that you must consider before you set out on this path. Her advice is well earned and it is easy to hear the depth and breadth of her experience as a thoughtful business woman!

Robin thrives on creating homes that are unique and fabulous while maintaining a warm and inviting atmosphere. Reflecting her motto that “Confidence Begins at Home™”, she prides herself on her ability to capture her clients’ individual personalities and bring positivity into their homes.

Robin has significant experience on TV, video, and radio including appearing on HGTV, Bravo, and NBC and has been featured in many print and online publications. Robin is the Brand Ambassador for the NY NOW show, and also tours the country as a spokesperson, speaking to audiences at events both within the industry as well as to the public. She enjoys providing lifestyle and design tips through her award-winning blog “Simplifying Fabulous!™” and her multi-platform social media presence.

Show Highlights:

  • There are five categories of products that Robin has brought to market:
  1. Hardware
  2. Case Goods
  3. Upholstery
  4. Rugs
  5. Lighting
  • You have to set your macro goal, and then from there, set your micro goals, which are the goals that will get you to the bigger goal.
  • Robin addresses licensing and how it needs to be a part of your overall marketing plan because it doesn’t really make you money, initially.
  • Robin shares some tangible advice regarding bringing a product to a market:
  1. First, analyze the need in the market for your product idea. Have you looked around to see if anyone else is providing it?
  2. Next, are you the one to fill this need? Do you have the solution?
  3. Do you have the pockets deep enough to fund your idea and take it across the finish line?
  4. Does it fit into your overall goals for yourself and your business?
  • A ‘Robin-ism’: If you don’t take a chance, you don’t get one!
  • You don’t have to be an extrovert to be successful, you just have to know who you are.
  • You’re only as good as the people you surround yourself with. You have to have support.

Links :

LuAnn’s Website

LuAnn’s Podcast - Please SUBSCRIBE, Rate & Review!

LuAnn’s Window Works - Facebook - Please Follow!

LuAnn’s Window Works - Instagram - Please Follow!

Purchase LuAnn’s Books Here:

The Making of A Well - Designed Business: Turn Inspiration into Action

A Well-Designed Business - The Power Talk Friday Experts

LuAnn’s Blog

Power Talk Friday

Is Chairman of the Board Right for YOUR Business?

LuAnn Nigara COB

Are you a #babydesigner, #risingdesigner, or a #seasoneddesigner?

Take the “What Level is Your Design Firm” Quiz and Find Out!

Get a list of things to do that day, by the end of the week and by the end of the month, in addition to the best podcast episodes to listen to appropriate to where you are in your business journey!

Connect with Robin!

Robin’s Website

Robin’s Instagram

Robin’s Facebook

Robin’s Twitter

A Big THANK YOU to These Podcast Sponsors:

Take Advantage of Kravet Inc.’s Extensive Digital Tools & 24/7 Customer Service!

Set Up a Virtual Appointment with Your Local Sales Representative:

Kravet

Jaipur Living’s Website - Easy to Browse, Custom Calculator, Products Ready to Ship! Open Your Trade Account to Begin Your Relationship with This Admirable Company.

Previous Episodes:

Robin Baron #32

 

May 8, 2020

Welcome to A Well-Designed Business! LuAnn’s co-host of WTF, Vita (Vitalia) Vygovska, joins her today to chat about some of the things that interior designers can be thinking about in relation to window treatments during this time of quarantine.

Whether you’re settling nicely into virtual consultations or you can’t wait for the brick-and-mortars to open back up, you’ll want to listen in to this conversation to learn how important window treatments are to your business!

Vitalia Vygovska (Vita for short), CWFP, MBA, is an award-winning window treatment specialist, author, speaker, mom, wife, and a ballroom dance enthusiast. 

Her company, Vitalia, Inc, provides all-encompassing concierge-level, tech-driven fabrication, measurement, installation, and project management services exclusively for interior designers. 

Show Highlights:

  • Vita gives shout-outs to the #maskAmerica initiative and to local designer, Michele Plachter, who gave a wonderful gift to her industry partners.
  • Remember that your window treatment specialist is your partner in this. LuAnn covers the different reasons why window treatments are important ANY time.
  • Window treatments are:
  • money-makers!
  • an essential part of an interior design project!
  • beautiful!
  • Vita suggests that it’s time to lean into your workrooms and window treatment specialists and she shares the ways that a specialist can support an interior designer:
  • They can provide product knowledge.
  • They can do renderings on your pictures.
  • They can give you a ballpark budget.
  • Window treatment specialists: Consider offering up your services and asking your designers how you can be of value to them.
  • Here are some great ways thats you can still incorporate window treatments into your 2020 projects:
  • virtual consultations
  • when presenting mood boards, remember the windows
  • clients can take their own rough measurements
  • #WTF Live!! Vita and Kim will be discussing drapery pleats!! Friday, May 8th at 12 PM, EST on LuAnn’s Window Works - Facebook.
  • If you are not happy with your resources, now is the time to expand your reach and look for additional or alternative resources, in window treatments, or otherwise.
  • This podcast and past episodes are excellent sources of information and resources.
  • Vita has some encouraging words from the heart regarding our low points.

Resources:

LuAnn’s Website

LuAnn’s Podcast - Please SUBSCRIBE, Rate & Review!

LuAnn’s Window Works - Facebook - Please Follow!

LuAnn’s Window Works - Instagram - Please Follow!

Purchase LuAnn’s Books Here:

The Making of A Well - Designed Business: Turn Inspiration into Action

A Well-Designed Business - The Power Talk Friday Experts

LuAnn’sBlog

Power Talk Friday

Is Chairman of the Board Right for YOUR Business?

LuAnn Nigara COB

Are you a #babydesigner, #risingdesigner, or a #seasoneddesigner?

Take the “What Level is Your Design Firm” Quiz and Find Out!

Get a list of things to do that day, by the end of the week and by the end of the month, in addition to the best podcast episodes to listen to appropriate to where you are in your business journey!

#WTF Live!! Vita and Kim will be discussing drapery pleats!! Friday, May 8th at 12 PM, EST on Window Works - Facebook.

To learn more about working with Window Works

To receive a free subscription to Window Fashion Vision Magazine

To attend the virtual IWCE where LuAnn

To learn about the WCAA (Window Coverings Association of America) 

To learn about Exciting Windows

To learn about working with Vita: Vitalia Inc

A Big THANK YOU to These Podcast Sponsors:

Kirsch’s motorized Briza collection is the perfect answer to high end drapery treatments. Connect with Your Local Kirsch Distributor Now!

Kirsch

Jaipur Living’s Website - Easy to Browse, Custom Calculator, Products Ready to Ship! Open Your Trade Account to Begin Your Relationship with This Admirable Company.

Previous Episodes Mentioned:

#448

 

May 7, 2020

Welcome to A Well-Designed Business, it’s time for another episode of “What Would Lu Do?” where you ask the questions and LuAnn helps out with the answers.

Today’s questions come from listener Christina, who struggles with expanding her prospects beyond client referrals. Christina is asking for tips on finding a space where she won’t be competing with architecture firms with in-house designers, and would like LuAnn’s opinion on the best social media platform.

Listen in as LuAnn digs into the details, susses out the situation, and lays out her reasoning on the resolutions.

If you are not working with a coach or perhaps you don’t have a business mentor or business bestie to provide guidance, this is the perfect opportunity to email LuAnn the burning issues that you need insight on and she’ll answer them on air. Please send your questions to LuAnn Nigara WWLD!

Show Highlights:

  • LuAnn shares listener Christina’s detailed email.
  • Lean into the referral business because these are the best clients you can have.
  • Look for ways to keep you referral clients engaged with you.
  • Even when you do a fantastic job it may not be enough to make them remember you.
  • Proudly build your referral pipeline!
  • For more tips on how to build referrals, check out Episodes #93 and #426 with Stacey Brown Randall. Stacey is also one of the co-authors of LuAnn’s second book, A Well-Designed Business - The Power Talk Friday Experts. Stacy’s chapter is about leveraging those A-list clients and maximizing the great work you have already delivered to them, so check it out!
  • You may need to work smarter to grow a design firm in a rural location.
  • Unfortunately, many architecture firms, builders, and kitchen showrooms may be laying off their in-staff designers during this economic downturn due to the coronavirus event. However, this may open the door for some freelance work and give you the chance to make an impression.
  • Look for the local people there that can refer you to boutique commercial work. Check into organizations that have architects, property developers, builders, and commercial realtors, call each one and introduce yourself.
  • You may need to join an organization in a larger nearby city.
  • LuAnn suggests some additional episodes that will help Christina learn how to work with architects and builders and how to build a hospitality commercial firm. These shows are linked below.
  • LuAnn provides a detailed overview of a potential social media strategy. For additional tips and social media strategies involving LinkedIn, please see the episodes referenced below.

Resources:

LuAnn’s Website

LuAnn’s Podcast - Please SUBSCRIBE, Rate & Review!

Purchase LuAnn’s Books Here:

The Making of A Well - Designed Business: Turn Inspiration into Action

A Well-Designed Business - The Power Talk Friday Experts

LuAnn’sBlog

Power Talk Friday

Is Chairman of the Board Right for YOUR Business?

LuAnn Nigara COB

Are you a #babydesigner, #risingdesigner, or a #seasoneddesigner?

Take the “What Level is Your Design Firm” Quiz and Find Out!

Get a list of things to do that day, by the end of the week and by the end of the month, in addition to the best podcast episodes to listen to appropriate to where you are in your business journey!

A Big THANK YOU to These Podcast Sponsors:

Open Your Trade Account with ARTICLE.com Here!

Be the hero for your clients, and be the solution they need right now with Article.

Monogram - Work with Us!

Monogram

Other Shows Mentioned:

Stacey Brown Randall #426 & #93

Susan Yeley #208

Anita Dawson #281  

Judi Kieffer #276 

Angela Harris #245

AJ Wilcox #219

Sara #438

Welcome, Monogram #536

 

May 5, 2020

Welcome to A Well-Designed Business! Just wait until you meet today’s guest, Nicole McGuire. Every word of her bio is expressed in every word of her conversation, and in LuAnn’s eyes, that makes Nicole one #smartlady. If you don’t epitomize your written bio, this conversation will make you rethink yours!

Listen in, as Nicole has some great tips and lessons for us all. You’ll notice right away that she is clearly a business woman running a design firm.

Passion and drive define Nicole.  These traits have been foundational to her success in the highly intense and competitive building market.  She is a visionary leader and disrupter of the status quo. Nicole is a gifted conceptual thinker with strengths in strategic planning, team leadership, mentoring, and community outreach.  She has actively worked to create space for women to be empowered and given leadership opportunities within the design and construction industry.

Nicole was raised in a home building family, but she has never been one to rest on legacy.  After graduating from the University of Illinois Urbana-Champaign, Nicole partnered with her father, the late Jeff McGuire, to begin a new venture, building spec homes, and eventually creating unmatched custom homes and personally curated design pieces, all available within the McGuire Homes Collection.  Nicole has continued to dive deeper into best practices for the industry, even studying Sustainable Business Strategy at Harvard University- expanding her business through social and environmental sustainability standards.

Show Highlights:

  • A custom home-building company, McGuire Homes, is the foundation of all of their businesses.
  • Nicole’s passions are in design and bringing women into construction leadership roles.
  • She started Nicole McGuire Design Studio as another revenue stream, giving her the opportunity to sell all of the products, the finished materials, that go into a new construction home or a remodel, back to themselves. This includes cabinetry, flooring, lighting, and furniture.
  • McGuire Development Group is a company that holds homes that are hire-in leases to professionals. The homes come furnished, unfurnished, or a full executive rental, as well.
  • Nicole shares a mistake they made in 2019 and how they have been correcting it. Stay focused on your core business, she suggests.
  • Nicole details her marketing philosophy.
  • All about Around the House with Nicole McGuire. Nicole provides advice about how to get your own show!
  • Communication between her clients, her design team, her build team and herself is extremely important, and Nicole does it all within project management software.
  • Nicole describes the three different mood boards that clients get, and why.
  • Getting clients on board with “important” vs. “urgent”.
  • One of the biggest challenges is managing client expectations.
  • If you have a question that you’d like LuAnn to answer- go to wwld and she’ll answer yours on air in the coming weeks.
  • There’s a new episode of WTF this week with Vita! Also on Friday at 12:00 noon, EST Vita and Kim will be going live on LuAnn’s Window Works FB, talking tips, and design for custom window treatments. Please follow Window Works too, both on FB and IG, and be sure to join WTF Live every Friday on FB.

Links :

LuAnn’s Website

LuAnn’s Podcast - Please SUBSCRIBE, Rate & Review!

Purchase LuAnn’s Book!

LuAnn’sBlog

Power Talk Friday

Luann Live

LuAnn Nigara WWLD

Is Chairman of the Board Right for YOUR Business?

LuAnn Nigara COB

Are you a #babydesigner, #risingdesigner, or a #seasoneddesigner?

Take the “What Level is Your Design Firm” Quiz and Find Out!

Get a list of things to do that day, by the end of the week and by the end of the month, in addition to the best podcast episodes to listen to appropriate to where you are in your business journey!

Connect with Nicole!

Nicole’s Website  

Nicole’s Instagram  #mymcguire

Nicole’s Facebook

Nicole’s Pinterest

See Nicole’s tips here! Around the House with Nicole McGuire

Nicole has also given talks at University of Illinois and women’s groups on the subjects of construction, design, and business.

A Big THANK YOU to These Podcast Sponsors:

FREE Trial! A One-Stop Shop to Keep Everything Organized!

Check Out Their Client Portal and Time Tracking Features!

My Doma Studio: A Well Designed Business

Open Your Trade Account & Get 10% Off Any One Purchase of Kravet Fabric, Wallpaper, or Trim!

Use Code at Checkout: awdb10

Kravet

 

May 1, 2020

Welcome to A Well-Designed Business! LuAnn’s guests today are Robert Koller and Alexandra Skobel with Monogram, a new sponsor of the podcast. Monogram was also a valued sponsor of the recent 19hours virtual event sponsored by Mydoma Studio.

You’re going to love the energy that comes out of Monogram and its team members, so listen in meet Rob and Alex and learn more about what Monogram has to offer you!

Rob is the Senior Brand Manager for Monogram and Alex is the Senior Manager of the Monogram Design Center.

Show Highlights:

  • Alex shares the company mission.
  • Monogram is the luxury line of appliances for GE and has been in the business for more than 33 years.
  • Monogram launched two new collections earlier this year: Their Minimalist collection and their Statement
  • The appliances offered include built-ins, such as refrigerators, dishwashers, wall ovens, and 48-inch ranges.
  • A “built-in” means that an appliance is built into the cabinetry around it. A built-in often has custom exterior panels, which gives an integrated, seamless look to your kitchen.
  • In 1987, Monogram was the first luxury brand to create a full built-in package for their clients.
  • Rob shares his background in Food and Beverage, and what excites him about the time he’s spent at Monogram.
  • Monogram performed extensive research before putting pen to paper on their latest designs. After careful consideration, they developed three main pillars to support their new look and feel: Materials, Performance, and Ownership. Each of these upholds their commitment to high quality, innovation, and their ongoing relationships with designers and consumers. Through these pillars and their new collections, they've created a luxury brand experience that you can see and feel for yourself.  
  • “Social Currency” - Something to talk about with your friends!
  • Monogram has a couple of programs specifically set up for the designer community to educate them on the Monogram products.
  • Resellers (and there are over 1,100!) have updated displays and presentations. You can see, touch, and feel!
  • The flagship showroom in Chicago is open to the public Monday through Saturday.
  • The showroom does not sell the products, but directs the inquiries to the local Monogram sales manager if it’s outside of Chicago.
  • If a designer is registered for Monogram’s Rewards Program, they get to extend preferred-builder pricing to the client, which is a great discount.
  • If a designer is NOT registered for Monogram’s Rewards Program, then the client would be using the rebate. There are 3 tiers where the clients qualify for free items with certain purchases.
  • Engineering details make all the difference in the design and ease-of-use of the appliances for the consumer.
  • “Monogram Talks” - a webinar series that will be launching the first week of May!
  • Different technologies are incorporated into the Monogram appliances.
  • Designers, when you introduce luxury items into your projects it benefits your profitability!

Resources:

LuAnn’s Website

LuAnn’s Podcast - Please SUBSCRIBE, Rate & Review!

Purchase LuAnn’s Book!

LuAnn’sBlog

Power Talk Friday

Is Chairman of the Board Right for YOUR Business?

LuAnn Nigara COB

LuAnn Live

Are you a #babydesigner, #risingdesigner, or a #seasoneddesigner?

Take the “What Level is Your Design Firm” Quiz and Find Out!

Get a list of things to do that day, by the end of the week and by the end of the month, in addition to the best podcast episodes to listen to appropriate to where you are in your business journey!

Connect with Monogram!

Monogram’s Website   

Monogram’s Instagram 

Monogram’s YouTube

A Big THANK YOU to The Podcast Sponsor:

Monogram - Work with Us!

 

 

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