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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: Page 4
Mar 10, 2020

Welcome to A Well-Designed Business! LuAnn’s guest today is Melissa Lindsay, Co-Owner of Pimlico Interiors, located in Westport, CT. She will be sharing some of the methods and tactics that she and her partner, Jill Kakaletris, use when dealing with difficult conversations and difficult clients.

As #seasoned designers, Melissa and Jill have had their share of difficult conversations with clients and together they have developed a personal philosophy for handling these as well as some actual tips to help you navigate them, too.

Whether you are crafting an email or having a hard person-to-person discussion, there are some strategies here that you can most certainly find useful!

Melissa brings 20 years of luxury residential design experience and award-winning interiors to the firm. Named at home Magazine’s A-list award winner multiple years over, she has been lauded by industry professionals from Celerie Kemble to Bunny Williams.

Show Highlights:

  • Be truthful with kindness and grace!
  • Listen more than talk. This is the only way to truly know what the obstacle is for the client. And if you are reading an email from a client--- read it closely and consider only what it says; don’t make up stuff in your head.
  • Keep to your talking points and be clear and focused.
  • Keep the conversation respectful and unemotional.
  • Know your value and be confident in it.
  • Have a value statement prepared that you are ready to say when you are in a situation that is getting tricky.
  • Keep re-stating your points, rephrasing if necessary, and don’t get dragged into details that are irrelevant. This distracts from the solution.
  • Keep a cache of pre-written emails that you can go to in the tough moments. You can tweak as needed for the present client. This helps in both diffusing your emotion of the current situation as well as saving not having to start from scratch over and over.
  • Stop talking once you have made your points. By continuing to talk it opens the conversation to points that are not core to the current conflict.

Resources:

LuAnn’s Website

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

Purchase LuAnn’s Book!

The Power Talk Friday Tour

LuAnn Live

Connect with Melissa!

Pimlico Interiors

Interior Design Standard

East End Interiors Trade

Mydoma Studio: Well Designed Business

Kirsch

Stamford Waterside Design District

March 19this the 4th birthday party for this podcast! Thanks to Kravet Inc for hosting this. Please join us 5:30- 7:30 pm at the Kravet Work Space Showroom at 200 Lexington Ave NYC. You can find the RSVP on EventBrite as well as on the website under the Events Tab.

March 21stto 24th Exciting Windows and IWCE  / March 25th to the 27th

Teaching the Professional Window Coverings 7 Step Process, which is open to the public. Go to Exciting Windows. At the IWCE, Luann will be doing Closing the Sale Begins with Hello, as well as moderating some panels on Profitability with the Vin Man and Michele Williams. Next, LuAnn has a panel with Sara Brennan on Packaging your Process and Working with Window Treatment Professionals with Sara Brennan and Vita. Please visit IWCE-Vision.

April 2nd, Thursday, East End Interiors is celebrating 30 years in business this year and they have invited LuAnn to speak at their showroom in Long Island NY. If you were at LuAnn Live last year, then you know Sal and Enza and you already know what a fantastic family business they run. If you are in the NY Metro area, especially LI, you must make the time to join us so you can see everything they have to help you complete all of your design projects. They are a strictly to the trade showroom featuring furniture, lighting, accessory and more. LuAnn is also delighted to share that they are the Exclusive VIP Experience Sponsor for LuAnn Nigara Live 2020.

High Point Market in April. It all starts with LuAnn’s PTF Tour on Friday, April 24th, 8am to 11:00 pm. Yup, all day, this event is jam-packed, loaded-to-the-gills, with eye-opening A-ha’s and advice specific to your business. LuAnn brings you 3 of her PTF Experts and one of them is Sandra Funk, the CEO of HOF. Sandra will be on an upcoming PTF where you will learn how she truly runs the back end of her business. And then, get to spend the whole day picking her brain? Uhmmm, the price of admission is worth it right there, no question. During the next few days at HP, LuAnn will have several presentations and panels. Saturday, April 25th, she’ll moderate a panel at the showroom of the newest sponsor to join the show, Jaipur, which will be co-hosted by Revelwoods and the Interior Design Society. They will be talking about the Design-Build Process and how to navigate the big-ticket projects.

On Sunday, April 26th, LuAnn will be in the HP Theater at 12:00 noon for a very special one-on-one conversation with a very special friend, designer, and all around outstanding human being…not sure if ASID wants the proverbial beans spilled yet…so just put LuAnn on your dance card! Here’s a hint: If you were at LuAnn Live, you could probably make a good guess as to his name… Sunday at 4:00 pm you can always find LuAnn at the Kravet showroom. This is a wonderful opportunity to see and meet the incredible leadership team atKravet Inc. Later at 6:00 pm Sunday, there will be a special VIP party with Mydoma Studio. YOU are the special VIP :) This is a kickoff event to celebrate this new collaboration, so please join us.

I THINK THIS IS THE PART IN QUESTION

Monday morning, LuAnn will moderate a panel all about Process Leads to Profits. LuAnn’s friend and Process Leads to Profits course teacher, Sara Lynn Brennan will be there along with a few others yet to be announced. This is also hosted by Mydoma Studio. Check LuAnn’s Website later this month for all of the locations and details.

 

Mar 6, 2020

Welcome to A Well-Designed Business. It’s Power Talk Friday! On today’s show, Jude Charles joins LuAnn for a chat about videos, and how important they are to our websites.

He is here to explain that compelling video is achieved through storytelling, and how we can’t have video just for video’s sake. It must be compelling and it must do the heavy lifting of attracting our ideal client to us.

Jude is talented and clearly passionate about helping business owners tap into their unique value by creating the videos that help your clients feel like they already know you.Don’t miss this insightful and inspiring episode! 

Jude Charles is a story-driven filmmaker, brand strategist & speaker. For over 13 years, he has been producing documentaries & videos for purpose-driven entrepreneurs. He lives and breathes YOUR brand. He digs deep to find the compelling stories that no one else knows & then leverages those stories to scale your business.

Show Highlights:

  • Jude shares how storytelling is pivotal to captivating video.
  • The “why” creates the thread for your story.
  • It’s essential to “cut out the fat” of a 3-minute video to focus on the one core story.
  • A great storyteller is also a great editor.
  • LuAnn draws an interesting parallel between filmmaking and design.
  • The Road Mapping Session: Jude explains his strategy when working with a client.
  • Hearing something said a thousand times is not as convincing as seeing it once for yourself.
  • Clients are searching for silver but are sitting with gold. The gold is the content that they’ve already created, but haven’t yet figured out a way to re-purpose.
  • Jude relates some success stories for a closer look at the process and the results.
  • You are invited to check out some of the work Jude has done on his Website.

Resources:

LuAnn’s Website

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

Purchase LuAnn’s Book!

The Power Talk Friday Tour

LuAnn Live

Check Out LuAnn’s Second Book!

A Well-Designed Business - The Power Talk Friday Experts

Window Coveringsu

Connect with Jude!

Jude’s Website

Thank You to This Podcast Sponsor:

Kravet

Other guests mentioned for Shownotes and to tag in SM:

Marie Flanigan #89

Pulp Design Studios #176

Arianne Bellezaire # 30

Fred Berns #174

Claire Jefford #237

Nicole Heymer #125

 

 

Mar 3, 2020

Welcome to A Well-Designed Business! In this episode, LuAnn chats with Jaclyn Lankiewicz, the woman behind the Instagram handle, Jaclynmari_.

She is the principle of Jaclyn Marie Interiors based in Long Island, NY.

Her journey into interior design, like many, has not been a direct line. Basically, Jaclyn created an Instagram page that was getting so much attention that it prompted person after person to ask her if she would design their space. As you will hear today, her response was, “I finally said to myself, ok, let me do this”.

Jaclyn created an Instagram that has created a design business, and since you already have a design business and want to create more clients through Instagram, perhaps you’ll find her tips to be very helpful.

Listen in to see what we can learn about how to attract clients through Instagram!

Show Highlights:

  • Keep your feed neutral, bright, and uncluttered.
  • Edit your pictures properly, paying close attention to wood tones.
  • Be strategic about what and where you’re posting.
  • Keep an eye on your nine squares.
  • A picture of herself, a zoomed-in picture of styling, and a larger picture, such as a whole living room or whole kitchen is another tactic that Jaclyn likes to use.
  • Sharing a little of her personal life through Instagram helps people feel connected to her.
  • Another tip that Jaclyn offers is tagging retail vendors because they re-post a lot.
  • Jaclyn likes to share designers on her story (but not on her feed), and details the reasoning behind this.
  • Answering every message and comment from followers is a great way of engaging with them and inspiring trust.
  • How to identify someone whose work you’d like to share, and how to reach out.
  • Understanding your “why” and saying no to those you don’t wish to collaborate with.
  • Posting new content every day shows your followers that you’re reliable.
  • Jaclyn mentions apps that she finds helpful: Videoshop, Unfold, rewardStyle, VSCO, Snapseed, Retouch, and Planoly.

Resources: 

LuAnn’s Website

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

Purchase LuAnn’s Book!

The Power Talk Friday Tour

LuAnn Live

Connect with Jaclyn!

Jaclyn’s Website

Jaclyn’shouzz

Jaclyn’s Instagram

Wingnut Social

East End Interiors Trade

Thank You to These Podcast Sponsors:

Connect with Your Local Kirsch Distributor Now!

Kirsch

Open Your Trade Account with ARTICLE.com Here!

Article

Other guests mentioned from previous episodes:

Sara Lynn Brennan #’s: 463, 514

Darla Powell #’s: 203, 330

Kim Merlitti #’s: 361, 442

Sandra Funk #’s: 2, 145

 

Feb 28, 2020

Welcome to A Well-Designed Business! In this episode, LuAnn recounts the way that Sara Lynn Brennan, from Sara Lynn Brennan Interiors, went from being a stranger to her, to someone she treasures as a friend, all in less than two years.

As an entrepreneur, Sara stands out as one of the most unusual LuAnn has met during her entire business career and her podcast journey.

You may have noticed lots of collaboration with Sara over the last few months, and wondered why.

There’s a lesson to be learned here, and LuAnn is eager to share it with you! It has to do with investing in your success.

One of the ways that LuAnn noticed Sara investing in her success was that she steps outside the box by working on things that may have been intimidating or scary. Another way is that Sara has put in the blood, sweat, and tears. A third way that Sara has brought her business to a place of success so quickly is that she invested her dollar bills. When she made money, she evaluated it, and invested money back into her business.

Listen in today to find out what Sara has to share concerning success!

Sara is an entrepreneur, CEO, and Principal Interior Designer at Sara Lynn Brennan Interiors. Sara has become the first and only full-service interior design firm in Waxhaw, North Carolina, who specializes in Transitional Designs, where she and her design-build team take spaces from Bare Bones to Beautiful by utilizing her exclusive, approachable, and stress-free design process, transforming and renovating homes from start to finish.

Sara’s design work has been nationally published six times in the last year including publications such as Romantic Homes, Traditional Home, Window Fashion Vision, and Cottages and Bungalows, who recently offered her a role as a monthly columnist. She’s also been noticed as a rising star among colleagues in the design industry being invited as a guest on podcasts, as a panelist at High Point Market and as a host and speaker at local design events and shows.

Show Highlights:

  • Sara shares how listening to LuAnn’s podcast helped her learn to run her business.
  • Aligning yourself with the people you love and respect and want to be like is pivotal in becoming successful, because you are like the five people you spend the most time with.
  • Understanding the value that you bring to the table inspires confidence.
  • It all comes down to what you planned and what you didn’t plan for, and the expectations that you set. You can look back to see where things went wrong.
  • Sara relates her favorite saying and what it means: “The package is the promise of the process.”
  • Sara takes her own discovery calls because she wants to be the first person a client talks to about her process.
  • Whoever is in this with you - a business partner, a coach - can’t stroke your ego; they have to give you the insights and pushback you need.
  • Hard times in life can teach us the greatest lessons.
  • Understanding yourself as a person will help you to find your passion. This sometimes takes therapy or soul-searching.
  • Learn to “edit” your space and business to create a balance that is sustainable.
  • FYI, LuAnn and Sara will be in Charlotte at the IWCE in March! LuAnn details all the other shows that she and Sara will be showing up at in the coming months.

Resources:

LuAnn’s Website

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

Purchase LuAnn’s Book!

Power Talk Friday

LuAnn Live

The Power Talk Friday Tour

Interior Design Standard

IWCE Vision

Connect with Sara!

Sara’s Website

Sara’s Instagram

Process Leads to Profit!

Big Thanks to ThisPodcast Sponsor:

My Doma Studio

Book Mentioned:

Rocket Fuel by Gino Wickman

Other shows mentioned:

Michele Williams: 137, 180, 395, 424

Nancy Ganzekaufer: 15, 159, 256, 389

Nicole Heymer: 466, 317, 125 

Wendy Woloshchuk: 316

Sandra Funk: 02, 145

Sara Lynn Brennan: 463

 

 

Feb 25, 2020

Welcome to A Well-Designed Business! On this episode, LuAnn sits down for a chat with Denise Wenacur, the principle of DW Design & Décor in Croton on the Hudson, which is a beautiful community just outside of NYC.

Design-build is the hot topic of the day, and you’ll learn the importance of having an interior designer as the point person for the client between the architect, the builder and themselves. She discusses the ways having an interior designer on their team from the outset truly benefits the process and the result of the project.

If that wasn’t enough, Denise will share tips for connecting with people who can introduce you to the type of projects you are looking for.

Tune in to this engaging and informative conversation!

Show Highlights:

  • Denise recounts why and how she changed her business model to include the construction part.
  • She is always the first point of contact as the interior designer. She rounds out each team with an architect, contractor, and whichever trades need to be added, as well.
  • Each team member has their unique perspective and experience that they bring to the job, all working together for the good of the client and a perfect outcome.
  • Making a 3D version of the architect’s plans can assist in both the design and the build in amazing ways.
  • Denise has a video on her website explaining the pros and cons and importance of having a designer involved at the beginning of construction.
  • One big successful project will generate referrals.
  • Sharing on social media tips and ways that your services have made a positive impact will further help you to get noticed.
  • Denise also holds a Construction Manager certificate from Pace University. This helps build confidence when she’s working with the rest of the team.
  • Communication is everything, and it’s all about the client.
  • Denise feels like she’s doing a good job when she gets new clients from her referral partners.
  • Denise shares some ideas on how to meet architects and builders in the area.
  • It’s important to create the relationship first.
  • A CFO surprise!
  • When you know your numbers, it instills confidence and that comes across to your clients.
  • Potential clients will know if you know what you’re doing.

Resources:

LuAnn’s Website

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

Purchase LuAnn’s Book!

Power Talk Friday

LuAnn Live

Connect with Denise!

Denise’s Website

Denise’s Facebook

Denise’s Instagram

Denise SINGS!The 1-4-5's YouTube Channel

Podcast Sponsor:

Article

Open Your Trade Account with ARTICLE.com Here!

Other episodes mentioned:

#380 Circle Design, John and Theresa Dorlini

#361, #442, Kimberly Merlitti

#441 4Pt Design Build, Laura and Cliff Muller

#181 H2 Design Build, Angela Rasmussen

#202 Enoch Sears

#292 Jana Phipps

 

Feb 21, 2020

Welcome to A Well Designed Business! It’s WTF, Window Treatment Friday! It’s been a while since LuAnn has had a window treatment episode, so she’s super-excited to have her co-host of WTF, Vita (Vitalia) Vygovska back on the show.

Hardware is the subject of today’s show, and if talking about ripple folds, pinch pleats, stationary rods, rod pockets, and rods with c-rings make your heart beat a little faster, then you’ve found your people!

Drapery rods can be a super-complicated thing, but LuAnn and Vita have a way of making this a fun conversation. Join them in this educational and insightful journey into the world of window treatment hardware.

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:

  • The more knowledge you have on hardware enables you to sell more window treatments.
  • There are four main components to drapery hardware: the rod, the finials, the brackets, and the rings.
  • The types of rod (or pole) is a basic traverse rod, a decorative traverse rod, and a pole that doesn’t move.
  • Vita explains more about each rod and how it functions with drapery.
  • LuAnn and Vita sing the praises of Kirsch and its Architrac Ripplefold track.
  • Motorized draperies? Yes, it’s a thing!
  • Provide your client with ALL of the options, and let them decide what they want.
  • LuAnn and Vita address drapery issues that designers run into.
  • How to counter a client who asks for a lower price.
  • Drapery hardware can add a lot of profit to a job, but it is its own beast in the world of window treatment professionals.
  • Distributors are there to help you.
  • Familiarize yourself with Kirsch’s website and other drapery hardware websites.
  • Window treatments are a great way to make your company more profitable.
  • Check out LuAnn’s Live Events! She would love to meet you! 

Resources:

LuAnn’s Website

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

Purchase LuAnn’s Book!

Kravet

To learn more & register for Vita's course: Profit With Window Treatments

To learn more about working with Vita and Vitalia Inc

To learn more about working with Window Works

To receive a free subscription to Window Fashion Vision Magazine

To attend the IWCE where both LuAnn and Vita will be presenting: IWCE

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

To learn about Exciting Windows

Podcast Sponsor:

Kirsch

Connect with Your Local Kirsch Distributor Now!

 

 

Feb 18, 2020

Welcome to this episode of Power Talk Friday! Join LuAnn and her guest, Victoria Sanchez, in this thought-provoking conversation about changing things up in the way we educate interior designers. Her concern is if we don’t start to make changes in the design curriculum, then we, as an industry, are at risk.

At one time, Victoria served as in interior design professor at Marymount University and this is where the conversation begins today. As LuAnn will tell you, this is a totally new idea to her and many of us, and sometimes you don’t know what you don’t know! Just wait until you hear what Victoria proposes!

Victoria Sanchez, one of America’s premier design professionals, has been creating one-of-a-kind interiors for hundreds of prominent clients over the past three decades.

Dubbed a home décor “style maker” by Luxe magazine, Victoria is an award-winning designer who offers services ranging from project management and space planning to kitchen and bath design and furniture selection. She and her team are backed by the region’s leading contractors, painters, architects, kitchen and bath pros, flooring specialists, audio-visual experts, and other professionals.

Victoria, whose work has appeared in publications nationwide, is known for her extraordinary customer service, fee integrity and ability to help clients get the highest return on their design investment. She has designed multiple homes for the same clients and has worked with companies to design the interiors of apartment buildings, boutique hotels, and law offices.

Victoria spent the majority of her career in Alexandria, Virginia, providing design services to Fortune 500 executives, lobbyists, military generals, doctors, lawyers, investment specialists and other professionals throughout the Washington, D.C., metropolitan area and along the east coast. While there, she also ran her ‘Victoria at Home’ shop, the area’s leading source of elegant home furnishings and accessories. Her collection of the finest upholstery, furniture, art, lighting, and pillows was carefully and proudly curated from an international network of vendors and suppliers.

Now based in Santa Fe, New Mexico, Victoria is keeping busy in ways she had never imagined. From charitable design work to the restoration of heritage buildings, the depth and breadth of her work have expanded while her style becomes more and more influenced by the new colors and nature that surround her. She continues to travel back to the East Coast on a regular basis, taking on projects across the country.

Victoria also speaks at design industry events across the United States. She is currently active in the American Society of Interior Designers and holds Bachelor of Arts and Masters degrees in Interior Design from Marymount University. She also previously served as an interior design professor and was a board member of the Washington, D.C. chapter of the International Furnishings and Design Association.

Show Highlights:

  • The internet and all the design centers being opened to retail now both present concern to interior designers, because consumers now have the same access as designers.
  • A bigger cause for concern is that we are not producing business-minded interior designers when they graduate from their programs.
  • The top ten schools in the country have the same curriculum due to certification requirements.
  • Victoria explains that colleges are trying to pack far too much information into a 4-year program.
  • Students must learn residential design, commercial design, sustainability, and technical presentation skills, in addition to the general education classes.
  • The solution offered by Victoria is to take the programs, pull them apart, and offer three separate interior design programs: residential, commercial, and technical presentation.
  • This would allow schools to offer more courses, such as business law, accounting, marketing, and professional practices.
  • We are moving forward in our profession when we can offer a student the opportunity to be a designer with a business brain.
  • Interior design is very tactile; therefore, a designer misses the basics when rushing through courses and doing work digitally.
  • It’s not that industry leaders are apathetic to change, but they are tasked with the traditional models of teaching the student all of the aspects of interior design.
  • Changing the curriculum to product business-minded interior designers represents a challenge to CIDA (Council for Interior Design Accreditation).
  • LuAnn and Victoria discuss ideas for implementation.
  • LuAnn points out that those running the most successful interior design firms come with experience or training in running a business. It’s a business first, and a design firm second.
  • The younger generation of designers understand that they need business skills, and are currently turning to podcasts to learn what schools aren’t teaching them.

Resources:

LuAnn’s Website

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

Purchase LuAnn’s Book!

Connect with Victoria!

Victoria’s Website

Victoria’s Pinterest

Victoria’s Facebook

Victoria’s Instagram

Podcast Sponsor:

Article

Open Your Trade Account with ARTICLE.com Here!

Mentioned Episodes:

Dr. Ellen Fisher Ep #71

Ashlina Kaposta Ep #109

 

Feb 14, 2020

Welcome to this episode of Power Talk Friday! Today, LuAnn shares her findings on coaching a diverse group of entrepreneurs. As it turns out, they have several tangible things in common that she was so impressed by that she decided to dedicate a podcast to complimenting these special people and laying out for you what she has discovered in their time together.

As she relates, this has been an ‘A-ha!’ moment for her, and she hopes it will be for her listeners, as well. If you don’t already see yourself in these descriptions, perhaps it’s time that you do something to work toward them.

Additionally, LuAnn brings you exciting news of her upcoming LIVE events that she will be attending spring and summer, and invites you to join her because she LOVES meeting you in person!

Show Highlights:

  • The 3 Traits of Smart Business Owners:
  1. They come to every session with a truly open mind. They listen, ask great questions, and take action on ideas that are new to them and that sometimes even make them a bit nervous.
  2. They understand the importance of having a coach because it is an investment in their business. A coach can help you grow beyond what you imagine for yourself and shorten the learning curves.
  3. They have hope. Hope for themselves, hope for their business, and hope for the industry. They seek out new ideas and new ways to make a profit, to succeed and service a client where the client needs it the most.
  • Companion questions to ask yourself:
  1. Are you open to taking advice? Even advice that you think might not work for you?
  2. If you are the sum of the 5 people you spend the most time what, how does that make you look? What does your crew look like? Do you create opportunities through mentoring, coaching, and eduction that increase your value and your business acumen?
  3. Do you believe in yourself? Do you know your value and how you enrich other peoples’ lives? Do you take your talent and your abilities serious enough to invest in them?
  • March 19this the 4th birthday party for this podcast! Thanks to Kravet Inc. and 200 Lex for hosting this. Please join us 5:30- 7:30 pm at the Kravet Work Space Showroom at 200 Lexington Ave NYC. You can find the RSVP on EventBrite as well as on the website under the events tab.
  • March 21stto 24th Exciting Windows and IWCE / March 25th to the 27th
  • Teaching the Professional Window Coverings 7 Step Process, which is open to the public. Go to Exciting Windows. At the IWCE, Luann will be doing Closing the Sale Begins with Hello, as well as moderating some panels on Profitability with the Vin Man and Michele Williams. Next, LuAnn has a panel with Sara Brennan on Packaging your Process and Working with Window Treatment Professionals with Sara Brennan and Vita. Please visit IWCE-Vision.
  • April 2nd, Thursday, East End Interiors is celebrating 30 years in business this year and they have invited LuAnn to speak at their showroom in Long Island NY. If you were at LuAnn Live last year, then you know Sal and Enza and you already know what a fantastic family business they run. If you are in the NY Metro area, especially LI, you must make the time to join us so you can see everything they have to help you complete all of your design projects. They are a strictly to the trade showroom featuring furniture, lighting, accessory and more. LuAnn is also delighted to share that they are the Exclusive VIP Experience Sponsor for LuAnn Nigara Live 2020.
  • High Point Market in April. It all starts with LuAnn’s PTF Tour on Friday, April 24th, 8 am to 11:00 pm. Yup, all day, this event is jam-packed, loaded-to-the-gills, with eye-opening A-ha’s and advice specific to your business. LuAnn brings you 3 of her PTF Experts and one of them is Sandra Funk, the CEO of HOF. Sandra will be on an upcoming PTF where you will learn how she truly runs the back end of her business. And then, get to spend the whole day picking her brain? Uhmmm, the price of admission is worth it right there, no question. During the next few days at HP, LuAnn will have several presentations and panels. Saturday April 25th,she’ll moderate a panel at the showroom of the newest sponsor to join the show, Jaipur, which will be co-hosted by Revelwoods and the Interior Design Society. They will be talking about the Design Build Process and how to navigate the big-ticket projects.
  • On Sunday, LuAnn will be in the HP Theater at 12:00 noon for a very special one-on-one conversation with a very special friend, designer, and all around outstanding human being…not sure if ASID wants the proverbial beans spilled yet…so just put LuAnn on your dance card! Here’s a hint: If you were at LuAnn Live, you could probably make a good guess as to his name… Sunday at 4:00 pm you can always find LuAnn at the Kravet showroom. This is a wonderful opportunity to see and meet the incredible leadership team at Kravet. Later at 6:00 pm Sunday, there will be a special VIP party with Mydoma Studio. YOU are the special VIP :) This is a kickoff event to celebrate this new collaboration, so please join us.
  • Monday morning, LuAnn will moderate a panel all about Process Leads to Profits. LuAnn’s friend and Process Leads to Profits course teacher, Sara Lynn Brennan will be there along with a few others yet to be announced. This is also hosted by Mydoma Studio. Check LuAnn’s Website later this month for all of the locations and details.
  • Wednesday April 29th LuAnn will be back in NYC and NYSID has invited her to do a solo presentation and book signing. This is open to the public and is an evening event.
  • On May 20th, the Philadelphia Chapter of IFDA has asked LuAnn to speak and her friends at the Kravet showroom are hosting. Please join us.
  • June 4,5,6, ASID California is having their annual conference in Santa Barbara this year and they have invited LuAnn to do a solo presentation and moderate a panel. Currently, they are finalizing the designer speakers and panelists and so far, it’s looking like A-List all the way!
  • A minute later on Jun 9th LuAnn may be confirming an event with the NKBA NJ Chapter, so stay tuned on that.
  • June 16th, LuAnn’s friend, Vita, her co-host from their WTF episodes is having a grand opening party at her brand-new work room and she will be there for this celebration. Hope you will come too!
  • We will get as many of these as we can on my website but if one in particular is right for you and it is not on my site, reach out to the hosting event for the details. LuAnn’s website is LuAnn Nigara.
  • And of course, in the fall there will be LuAnn Nigara Live, It’s About the Conversation again, here in NJ. Please be on the email list for when she announces ticket sales are open—go to LuAnn Live.
  • For now, keep early November open and plan your budget for tickets, flights, and hotels. The announcement will be later this month for sure!
  • Want to make LuAnn’s day? She really does love to take her friendships from virtual to real, so please plan to attend at least one of these events.

Resources:

LuAnn’s Website

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

Purchase LuAnn’s Book!

Special Thanks to Podcast Sponsor:

Kirsch

 

Feb 11, 2020

Welcome to this episode of Power Talk Friday! Nicole Cole joins LuAnn today for a chat about a-ha moments and the ensuing mindset shifts.

Nicole will be sharing five takeaways she’s learned from both Power Talk Friday and her time with business coach, Nancy Ganzekaufer.

You’ll want to listen in to hear her tips on how she accomplished her mindset shift to being a CEO so that you can implement these ideas for your business, too!

Nicole Cole is the CEO and Principal Designer at vestige HOME, a Philadelphia based residential interior designer firm focused on creating spaces that are interesting, engaging, and that encourage people to live well. As a young adult, Nicole served in the Navy as a Surface Warfare Officer before leaving to pursue work in the corporate world. With her new-found freedom outside the military, she realized that she missed the curiosity and creativity she enjoyed as a child, and decided it was time to build a creative business. Thus, vestige HOME was born!

Nicole and her team provide turnkey design services, which include trade resource coordination, sourcing expertise, creation of detailed plans, and open communication with her clients. With her many years of project management experience, she consistently delivers her projects in the most streamlined fashion with clear goals and expectations and a plan that provides the least amount of disruption possible to her client’s lives.  

Nicole studied interior design at Monterey Peninsula College and earned a Bachelor of Science degree in Business Administration and Information Systems from the University of Kansas. She believes in creating beauty and exercising a little creativity wherever possible, whether designing a room in a client’s house, picking the perfect pairing of plants for the garden, or just setting the table for breakfast on a Wednesday morning.  Nicole’s greatest joy is helping clients to create homes that reflect their lives and personalities while honoring the buildings that contain them.

Show Highlights:

  • Systems and processes are fundamental to the way you run a business.
  • Confidence is the reward when systems and processes are used consistently.
  • This confidence spills over to the client and they become confident in you.
  • When you know what you will and will not do, and the why, you will be more selective about who you work with.
  • When you refer a job because you know someone else can do it better than you can, it makes saying ‘no’ so much easier.
  • Nicole’s Five Takeaways:
  1. She realized she was no longer “just” a designer, but the CEO. As CEO, she had responsibilities to herself, her team, and her clients.
  2. It’s important to build a team.
  3. Create the systems and processes, and teach them to your staff.
  4. Focus on the details of the client experience.
  5. Focus on profit, and don’t feel guilty!
  • Lu Ann covers some additional obstacles that she has observed in speaking with designers.
  • How there’s power in using the phrase, “In my experience”.
  • LuAnn provides a designer perspective on how much work gets packed into each billing hour.
  • When you truly explain what details go into what you do, that’s when the client can buy in to your charges.
  • When you understand your own value for the work you do, you can then feel confident in either what you charge or raising what you charge.

Resources:

Join us for The Power Talk Friday Tour at High Point Market

Friday, April 24th, 2020 from 8am - 11am!

Sign Up For Updates HERE!

Sponsors:

Start Your Trial Now!

Mydoma Studio- Your On-Stop Client & Project Management Tool!

Jaipur

A Well Designed Business Podcast® 4th Birthday Party

New York City, New York

Thursday, March 19th

5:30 – 7:30pm 

Kravet Workspace, 200 Lexington Avenue, Suite 210

RSVP HERE!

LuAnn’s Website

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

Purchase LuAnn’s Book!

Connect with Nicole!

Nicole’sWebsite 

Nicole’s Instagram

Nicole’s Facebook

Podcast Sponsor:

Article

Open Your Trade Account with ARTICLE.com Here!

Links to other shows mentioned:

Nancy Ganzekaufer #389

Michele Williams #180

Ashley Uhl #412

Bethany Mabee #450

Sarah Durnez #418

Brittanie Elms #149

Taylor Dieterich & Yashlie Negron #346

Kimberly Merlitti #442

Sara Lynn Brennan #463

Wendy Wolshchuk #316

Mikel Welch #297

 

 

Feb 7, 2020

Welcome to today’s episode of Power Talk Friday, where LuAnn chats with Nikki Rausch, a fellow seasoned sales guru with a passion for the art of selling.

Nikki has the unique ability to transform the misunderstood process of selling into techniques, tools, and tips that can successfully be incorporated into a duplicatable process.

Nikki Rausch is the Founder and CEO of Sales Maven, where she leverages her 25 years of sales experience to help entrepreneurs learn to sell in an authentic way. As a sales coach, trainer, author, and speaker, Nikki teaches her clients how to authentically move people through the selling process in a way that builds relationships, creates true connection, and results in more closed deals and long-term clients.

Her latest book, Selling Staircase, is sure to leave you feeling confidently equipped to develop a genuine sales process that gets those deals closed.

Listen in to this jam-packed conversation to find out more about how showing up from a place of credibility and being more strategic will help you to reach your sales goals.

Show Highlights:

  • Sales is really about creating strong relationships with people.
  • LuAnn likens closing a sale with being on a first date.
  • Interior Designers often classify themselves as an introvert and therefore don’t develop sales skills.
  • Using your own personality is the best way to grow your business.
  • Nikki helps clients learn how to use language to attract ideal clients.
  • It’s important to be the expert and provide recommendations. You need to be able to explain the “why” so that communication is clear.
  • You can talk people out of buying from you if you don’t recognize a buying signal.
  • LuAnn and Nikki share personal pet-peeves they have when they’re on the receiving end of a sales pitch.
  • Nikki’s 5 Steps of the Selling Staircase:
  1. Introduction: Establish yourself as a credible source and make a powerful first impression.
  2. Creating Curiosity: Is this a potential client or colleague? Tip: Are you answering questions in a way that spurs people to want to know more about you? Nikki explains the difference between using a ‘cat-calling’ and ‘dog-calling’ technique to create curiosity.
  3. The Discovery Phase: Find out what their want/need/problem is, and ask questions that lead to people hiring you.
  4. The Proposal: As the expert, recommend the services that you think your client needs, and not what you think they can afford.
  5. The Close: Use closing language and then zip it! Let your prospect respond first. If they raise an objection, be ready to uncover and overcome the “real” objection.
  • You, as the salesperson, are not allowed to skip any of these steps. Your client, however, can!

Resources:

Join us for The Power Talk Friday Tour at High Point Market

Coming Spring 2020!

Sign Up For Updates HERE!

A Well Designed Business Podcast® 4th Birthday Party

New York City, New York

Thursday, March 19th

5:30 – 7:30pm 

Kravet Workspace, 200 Lexington Avenue, Suite 210

RSVP HERE!

LuAnn’s Website

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

Purchase LuAnn’s Book!

Connect with Nikki!

Nikki’s Website - Free E-Book ‘Closing the Sale’! Learn why you might be fumbling sales calls and what to do instead, how you can establish yourself as the expert and language to use when asking for the sale.

Nikki’s Sales Maven SocietyFor 10% Off Membership, Use COUPON CODE: luann

Nikki’s Selling Strength Assessment

Nikki’s Facebook

Nikki’s Instagram

Nikki’s Linkedin

Nikki’s YouTube

Nikki’s Books<— Get Them Here!

Podcast Sponsor:

Article

Open Your Trade Account with ARTICLE.com Here!

Recommended Previous Shows

Stephanie Chung # 277

Kwame Christian #129

Madeline McCray #315

 

Feb 4, 2020

Welcome! On today’s show, the creative force behind the Barclay Butera Design Firm, joins us on the show for the second time on the podcast. We pick up with Barclay today, where we left off with him in our previous conversation in episode # 122. He talks to us about his corporation, how it has changed, how he vets potential licensing partners, and what his responsibilities are, in terms of his relationships with his licensing partners. Be sure to listen in today, to find out what Barclay has to share.

Barclay has been the creative force behind his prestigious design firm since 1994, and he is well-known for his approachable elegance and glamorous coastal-chic interiors. He has showrooms in New Port Beach, California, Corona Del Mar, California, and Park City, Utah.

Apart from his thriving interior design business, Barclay is also a stand-out leader in our industry for developing and earning licensing agreements. His licensing partners include Kravet, Jaipur, Bradburn Home Lighting, Castell Outdoor Furniture, Eastern Accents, Leftbank Art, Lexington Home Brands, Mirror Image, Napa Home and Garden, and many others. Barclay also has a long list of esteemed press and media publication credentials. Tune in today, to find out more.

Show Highlights:

  • Barclay talks about his new, sophisticated fabric collection at Kravet.
  • Every license relationship wants Barclay to push to the next level.
  • Barclay discusses what he has coming in 2020with Jaipur.
  • Barclay has recently celebrated the twenty-fifth anniversary of his business.
  • His next book could be out within the next year.
  • Barclay discusses the real estate revenue stream that he has recently added to his corporation.
  • How his whole licensing empire has grown organically to where it is today.
  • Some tips for capitalizing on licensing opportunities.
  • A lot of hard work goes into Barclay's licensing partnerships.
  • Barclay discusses the kinds of people he has to sell to.
  • Barclay informs everything he does with the very same thought processes he uses to manage his very large design firm.
  • Barclay's company has been built on good personal relationships and he promotes from within.
  • Learning to run a business well.
  • Barclay was raised in a sales environment. His parents were both salespeople.
  • Managing with kindness, not fear.
  • Some things to consider when thinking of growing your business.
  • Barclay shares his thoughts about sharing, caring, and supporting charities, and his mechanisms for doing it.
  • Barclay explains why e-commerce is the most difficult revenue stream.

Previous Episode Mentioned:

Nate Berkus #433

Links:

Barclay Butera

info@luannnigara.com

My Doma Studio: A Well designed Business

 

Jan 31, 2020

Welcome! We have Natalie Norcross, the CEO and Founder of A Design Partnership, back on the show today. (She was previously in episode #162.) Natalie started her career as an interior designer. She then built a highly successful residential and hospitality design firm, and after she sold it in 2008, she was repeatedly approached by interior design and architectural firms to assist them with their marketing and business development. And this was how A Design Partnership was born. In today's episode, Natalie talks about the four areas you need to focus on when going after press for your design firm. She also discusses how to make PR more accessible to designers, and she shares her strategies for goal setting, running her firm, and achieving success. Be sure to listen in today, to find out what this #smartlady has to share!

A Design Partnership has grown to become a dynamic group of experts who are passionate about helping clients transform their brands and evolve their businesses. From content curators to data-obsessed experts, Natalie leads a dynamic team of design-savvy people who know the industry, love their craft, and are fanatical about helping brands grow.

Natalie has more than nineteen years of experience, working for interior designers, architects, builders, developers, and hotel and home brands. Her firm has a proven track record of driving exposure and placements through their PR. Natalie is an Official Member of Forbes Agency Council as well as a regular speaker and panelist in both the communications and design industries. Tune in now, for more!

Show Highlights:

  • Having systems in place will allow you to sell your business.
  • How Natalie's agency was born.
  • Systems lead to success.
  • Locking things down and getting things organized in your business.
  • Focus on your goals to achieve your dreams.
  • Ninety days of intention.
  • Focus on becoming the best version of yourself.
  • Success is all about service.
  • Natalie talks about her superpower.
  • Natalie describes her wonderful team.
  • Working with success metric for each client.
  • Accountability is a great mirror.
  • Developing a growth mindset and surrounding yourself with positive people.
  • Everything in your life is figure-outable.
  • Some advice about PR.
  • Great tips for getting press!
  • Getting published with Interior Design PR in 2020.

Previous shows mentioned in this episode:

Natalie Norcross 1st show #162

Ren Miller #12

Ashley Hotham Cox #321

Amy Flurry #108, #323

Alex Gourlay # 447

Links:

Website: A Design Partnership

Instagram: A Design Partnership

Pinterest: A Design Partnership

Facebook: A Design Partnership

New Launch: Interior Design PR

 

Jan 29, 2020

Welcome to our special bonus show! Today, as promised, we will be sharing our conversation with Eric Ross about his business philosophy, his process for selling accessories, and the way he manages his reveal install day. Eric's process is unique and very unusual. Be sure to listen in, to hear what he has to share.

Eric has been a professional decorator for more than twenty years. Although his preferred design style is traditional, he listens to his clients, to help them discover what they love, and what they respond to because he believes that everyone's home should represent who they are on their best day. Tune in today, to get some great advice from Eric!

Show Highlights:

  • Eric doesn't deliver a project piecemeal. He only reveals it when it's ready.
  • Eric takes risks when making purchases for his clients but they seldom ask to return items.
  • It is important to look at what you're trying to achieve, and the value you're bringing to people, and stick to that.
  • Know that your job is to make things beautiful and if something gets returned you have still done your job.
  • Eric loves to wow people at the install.
  • People who appreciate Eric's value and want a beautiful home will be willing to pay the price he's asking.
  • It's Eric's job to design a room to completion. It's the client's job to decide on the budget.
  • The designer needs to learn what makes the client tick.

Links:

Website: Eric Ross Interiors

Facebook: Eric Ross Interiors

Instagram: Eric Ross Interiors

Pinterest: Eric Ross Interiors

Mydoma Studio: A Well Designed Business

A Well-Designed Business® 4th Birthday Party

 

 

Jan 28, 2020

Welcome! Today, Eric Ross joins us on the show. Eric is a charming southern gentleman and a well-experienced design professional. He is also a seasoned businessman who has figured out how to run his firm in a unique way that really works for him. In today's episode, he describes how he runs his private interior design studio like a retail store. He explains that he no longer feels the need to change, apologize or adjust the way he works to conform to a client’s expectations. Eric knows himself well, he understands his passions, and he is very clear about what he will and will not do. Be sure to listen in today, to find about his very interesting business model.

Eric is from Nashville. He has been in love with the traditional living design style since he was a child. He has more than twenty years of design experience and his work has been published in Traditional Home, Southern Style, Southern Lady, The Cottage Journal, as well as in many other publications. Eric's passion is to fan the flame of traditional decorating with a deeply Southern esthetic. Tune in now, for more!

Show Highlights:

  • Eric explains what he means when he says that he is running his design firm like a store without a storefront.
  • What the decorating track of Eric's business is all about.
  • Eric's margins are hefty, just like those in a storefront, and all of his design services are included in that pricing.
  • The way that Eric educates his clients about his philosophy and the way he works.
  • Talking about transparency.
  • People will happily pay Eric for his product rather than his time.
  • Trust is a key issue.
  • Eric's business model allows him to have total control over the whole process.
  • Eric's advice is to start small with clients. It makes your business more manageable.
  • The biggest motivator for Eric is seeing the result of what he has created.
  • Eric's qualifying process for his new clients.
  • Eric explains why he does not do discounts.
  • The opportunities you're losing by being overworked.
  • Eric's goal is to monetize his passion.
  • Our industry is too high-touch to make it high volume.
  • It's okay to mark up because of the value you add to the project.
  • You don't have to explain your "no".
  • Eric has a new book out, called Enduring Southern Homes.

Links:

Website: Eric Ross Interiors

Facebook: Eric Ross Interiors

Instagram: Eric Ross Interiors

Pinterest: Eric Ross Interiors

Mydoma Studio: A Well Designed Business

A Well-Designed Business® 4th Birthday Party

 

 

Jan 24, 2020

Welcome to Power Talk Friday! Traci Reuter, the founder, and CEO of Divine Social joins us today. Traci loves to uplift and inspire business owners, entrepreneurs, or anyone with an amazing idea! She has a knack for uncovering just the right strategy for everyone and then helping them map things out to make the execution simple and easy. In today's episode, Traci shares tons of ideas, strategies, and tips for paid marketing on social media. Be sure to listen in to find out more about the paid advertising aspect of Instagram and Facebook. 

Traci has twenty-five years of experience in sales and marketing. She is passionate about supporting businesses and growing their brands through real and meaningful social media advertising. She has a special gift for mapping out the perfect strategy to get a brand in front of the right people at the right time. Traci truly knows her stuff when it comes to high-level marketing strategy. She also co-hosts the Social Media Happy Hour podcast with Dawn Marks. Tune in today, to learn what she has to share.

Show Highlights:

  • The power of paid advertising on social media.
  • Traci explains how she started with her business.
  • Traci gives her team incredible training.
  • Sometimes, it takes just a tiny thing to make all the difference in your profitability.
  • Begin with the end in mind.
  • The customer journey.
  • Never spend money on ads. Rather invest in your business.
  • Consideration is not the same as pre-purchase.
  • Why Traci is against boosting Facebook posts.
  • It takes time to build up enough trust to invest in advertising.
  • Thinking about what to put your ads, to get your prospects to want to know more.
  • Branding is about telling your story so that business comes out of it.
  • Creating engagement with your prospects.
  • Building audiences of people who have watched your Facebook video.
  • Traci shares the EDIE formula for creating a great video.
  • All your ads must be congruent with your end-goal.
  • Video out-performs everything else on social media.
  • What to do if you only have the budget to run one thing.
  • The Three Pillars to Successful Social Ads.
  • Should you focus on Facebook or Instagram?

Bio:

Traci Reuter is the founder/CEO of Divine Social. She’s passionate about supporting businesses in growing their brands through authentic, meaningful social advertising. Traci has an uncanny gift for looking at any business’s mission, vision, and message, and mapping out the right strategy to get their brand in front of the right people at the right time. With 25 years of experience in sales and marketing, Traci knows her stuff when it comes to high-level marketing strategy. Combined with her tactical knowledge of social advertising, Traci can write the recipe for any brand’s success, and she would love to share some of her greatest secrets behind mapping out your own powerful social advertising strategy.

Previous shows mentioned in this episode:

Nicole Heymer #125, #317, and #466

Links:

Website: Divine Social

Instagram: Traci Reuter

Facebook: Traci Reuter Social

Youtube: Traci Reuter

Please take advantage of Traci’s gifts:

For the 15-minute audit, if you are spending more than $3000 a month on social media marketing, email Traci at info@divinesocial.com.

For Traci's free mini-course, 3 Pillars To Successful Social Ads, go to A Well Designed Business

Big announcement - The 4th Birthday Party for the podcast will be at Kravet’s new workspace center at 200 Lexington NY NY on March 19, 2020, at 5:30 pm

Book mentioned:

Seven Habits of Highly Effective People by Steven Covey

 

Jan 21, 2020

Welcome! Today, we have Lisa Haude, of Paradigm Design Group, joining us! Lisa built her firm from ground zero to a firm with gross revenues exceeding fifty-million dollars. And she showed her relentless commitment by doing that the old-fashioned way, by calling on her contacts week after week. In today's episode, Lisa talks to us about how she runs her business, and she explains how all her success can be attributed to her commitment to delivering an exceptional project, regardless of the situation. Tune in today, to find out how planning to exceed your clients' expectations in every aspect of a project will always bring about a successful result.  

As the lead designer and founder of Paradigm Design Group for the last fifteen years, Lisa Haude is an expert in livable luxury. She has built Paradigm Design Group into a hospitality design powerhouse. With projects ranging from The Roosevelt Waldorf Astoria in New Orleans to the award-winning Portland Marriott Downtown, to boutique hotels and numerous Hilton hotels across the United States, Lisa prides herself on her design versatility. Be sure to listen in today, to find out more about Lisa, and her work ethic, and her successful design firm.

Show Highlights:

  • Lisa spent time working at high-end hospitality firms, for architectural design firms, and in the hotel and hospitality industry, on the inside, on their design teams, before opening her firm. She talks to us about how this great learning experience informs the way she runs her firm.
  • Lisa gives us some insight into the way her firm looks.
  • Taking care of the details and all the moving pieces on multiple-million dollar projects.
  • The way that Lisa's whole team collaborates to bring about an awesome project.
  • Dealing with the documentation.
  • Talking about accountability.
  • The whole team is detail-oriented.
  • Open discussions are vital for growing and improving.
  • Taking responsibility, as a leader, for whatever happens with a project.
  • Sometimes it's hard to find your humor when you're in the trenches.
  • Some advice for landing and keep long-term hospitality accounts.
  • Owning up if you mess up is very important.
  • People like to do business with people who have similar ideals and values.
  • Lisa has an amazing village of co-workers.
  • How Lisa created her opportunities and made things happen when she started her firm.
  • Lisa offers some awesome advice.
  • Thinking outside the box to make things happen.
  • The background and skills that Lisa looks for when hiring a junior designer.

Previous shows mentioned in this episode:

Meryl Santopietro #40

Mikel Welch #297

Corey Damen Jenkins #127

Claire Jefford #237

Vanessa DeLeon #18

Links:

Website: Paradigm Design

Facebook: Paradigm Design Group

Instagram: Paradigm Design Group

The 4th Birthday Party for the podcast will be at Kravet's new workshop center at 200 Lexington New York on March 19, 2020, at 5.30 pm. Use this link to RSVP -  Event Brite

 

Jan 17, 2020

Welcome to Power Talk Friday! Today, we have one of our early guests back on the show. Diane Gardener, known as The Tax Coach (Episode #54) is back with us to talk about the specific niche of seven-figure interior design firms. Although LuAnn has done a lot of shows about getting a design business off the ground, she realized that she's done way fewer shows about what to do when you are in the seven-figure bracket. And there are very specific challenges that come with this area. When moving into the seven-figure bracket, business owners frequently experience higher expenses, cash flow problems, and higher taxes. So be sure to listen in today even if you're still a #babydesigner because LuAnn fully intends for you to become a seven-figure interior designer someday.

Diane Gardner is a Certified Tax Coach, a Quilly award recipient, and a best-selling author whose expert planning approach has saved her clients over three-million dollars in taxes. Her expertise lies in the area of tax planning. And her goal is to make sure that successful entrepreneurs across the United States are paying the least amount of income tax that they can legally pay. She aims to save taxes, one business at a time, through the use of pro-active tax planning. Diane has been featured on popular podcasts such as CEO Warrior, For the Love of Money, Listen Money Matters, Investing in The U.S, Cashflow Ninja, SharkPrenuer, Wealth Formula and Profit Boss. Tune in today, to learn about what you need in your seven-figure business to mitigate risk, increase your profits, and legally decrease your taxes.

Show Highlights:

  • Diane is a certified Profit First coach.
  • Planning ahead to pay less tax when moving into the seven-figure tax bracket.
  • Increased income often means increased expenses.
  • Becoming an active partner with your CPA or Business Coach.
  • The tax planning strategies that seven-figure businesses need to implement to keep more money
  • A great way to incentivize your people and lessen your tax load.
  • It takes a different set of skills to run a bigger business.
  • How to increase your cash flow to leverage growth from multi-six-figures to seven-figures.
  • Diane explains how a tax coach can be your ultimate advocate and partner in growth.
  • Doing an entity analysis for your business.
  • An amazing strategy for saving money by investing in your own insurance company.

Other guests mentioned in this show:

Michele Williams #180, #395 

Peter Lang # 349, #464 

Diane Gardner was on the show before in episode #54

Links:

Diane's website: Tax Coach 4 You

Diane's offer: Planning guide for the new tax law vs old tax law.

Diane’s Facebook handles:      
@taxcoach4you
@AdeptBusinessServices  

 

 

 

Jan 14, 2020

Welcome to the epic 500th episode of A Well-Designed Business! So far, it's been a wild ride, and we've fully enjoyed every minute of it! Even LuAnn, the consummate positive thinker, ever-optimistic dreamer, and earnest believer in the truth, could not foresee all the joy she has experienced, and the delightful connections she has made, because of this podcast! Join us today, for this truly memorable episode!

Recently, LuAnn has been spending time reflecting on all the pleasure that this podcast has brought her. She's been thinking about all the people she's met, the invaluable relationships she's formed, the opportunities she's been given, and the ones she has helped to create through this podcast. She has also taken the time to break down the various business strategies she's used in running this platform. In today's episode, she shares the five things that she learned behind the scenes, from doing this show. Be sure to tune in today, to hear about the 5 Keys that LuAnn believes were essential for her to have in place, to allow for her calling to happen.

Show Highlights:

  • LuAnn talks about the 5 essential keys to success.
  • Talking about passion.
  • How LuAnn realized that she needed to do a podcast.
  • Looking for something to light her up, back in 2013.
  • Lessons learned from golf lessons, surfing lessons, and 46-mile bike rides.
  • Never looking back, only ahead for what was to come.
  • LuAnn shares her true passion.
  • Even the hard days have been an absolute joy for LuAnn.
  • Creating a business plan with cold, hard facts.
  • Making clear decisions, based on facts and up-front agreements.
  • Clarity creates calm and purpose because when you have a plan, you are more likely to get to where you want to be.
  • Having an unrelenting, single-minded, and focused commitment to getting things done.
  • Every business is always a work in progress.
  • What you need, to be successful.
  • Commitment is showing up on schedule, being prepared to do what you said you would do, and doing the work.
  • What it takes, to run a village.
  • LuAnn has been blessed by the most amazing village of the brands who believe in this show.
  • It has been through the village of guests, sponsors, co-authors, and listeners that LuAnn has grown, and learned so much, in the last four years.
  • Some valuable lessons were learned from doing LuAnn Live.
  • Paying other people to deal with the details and fill in the gaps.
  • Having the support of our amazingly gifted podcast village.
  • The sad loss of a dear friend, Liza Jones.
  • Treasuring the support of all her co-authors.
  • Make someone's day, and decide to be excellent!

Previous shows mentioned in this episode:

Nicole Heymer #125, #317, and #466

Taylor Spellman #106, #390, and #467

Michele Williams #137, #180, #395, and #424

Sarah Daniele #91, #119, and #177

Jenny and Greg Madden #332

Corey Damon Jenkins #388

Eileen Hahn #363

Wendy Glaister #386

Links:

LuAnn Nigara

My Doma Studio

Kravet

Article

Kirsch

Revel Woods

 

Jan 10, 2020

Welcome to Power Talk Friday! We have Shauna Lynn Simon with us today. She is an award-winning home staging industry expert and business strategist, and she's also one of the co-authors of LuAnn's second book, A Well-Designed Business, The Power Talk Friday Experts. Shauna Lynn is seriously committed to helping aspiring entrepreneurs achieve success in their businesses. In today's episode, she explains how to become unforgettable to your clients. She shares several ways to make yourself memorable so that you're always the first person that your clients think of when they need an interior design or a window treatment service. Be sure to listen in, to find out what this exceptional businesswoman has to share with you today. You're really going to love her!

Shauna Lynn Simon is dedicated to creating educational content that builds successful relationships between like-minded professionals. She partners with CEOs, executives, and solo-preneurs to grow their brands. Shauna Lynn has built a thriving home staging and design business. She has designed a comprehensive and systematic program for teaching the technical and the business side of the home staging world. She also offers core and continuing education for home staging professionals through Styled, Listed, and Sold (SLS) Academy. Tune in now, for more!

Show Highlights:

  • Making yourself stand out uniquely.
  • It's all about understanding who you are and owning it.
  • Shauna Lynn's company has been branded with the color pink.
  • You need to know who you are and what you represent.
  • People often forget the names of people they have worked with before.
  • You need to find something to make yourself memorable.
  • Owning every part of your image.
  • You have to be one in a million.
  • Figuring out what makes you the best.
  • What fires up your passion?
  • Finding your purpose by looking at what makes you happy.
  • Positioning yourself well in the marketplace.
  • Give people a reason to remember you.
  • Figure out your "thing" is and steer yourself in that direction.
  • Everything you do should reflect your business in some way.
  • Creating an effective About You page.

Bio:

Shauna Lynn Simon is an award-winning home staging industry expert and business strategist, committed to guiding aspiring entrepreneurs to achieve success in their business. After building a thriving home staging and design business, she founded Styled, Listed, and Sold (SLS) Academy, a comprehensive and systematic program providing core and continuing education training for home staging professionals.

Analyst turned home stager, Shauna Lynn combines creativity with logic and problem solving to achieve incredible results. Dedicated to creating educational content that builds successful relationships, Shauna Lynn partners with CEOs, executives and solo-preneurs in the creative field to grow their personal and professional brands, providing real-world insights and actionable tips for conquering their business dreams.

Links:

Website: Beyond The Stage Homes

Facebook: Beyond The Stage Homes

YouTube Channel

Pinterest: BTSHomes

Exciting Windows

IWCE

PowerHouse Smart Luxury Conference - phs20.com

Goodies

Previous shows mentioned in this episode:

Shauna Lynn Simon # 76, #84, and #102

Moniomi Design #193

Dane Austin #457

Nicole Heymer #125, #317, and #466

 

 

Jan 7, 2020

Welcome! Today, we have Claire Staszak back on the show with us. Claire, who was previously in episode #166, is the principal of the Chicago-based firm, Centered by Design. Claire is a kind and genuine lady, and LuAnn has always had a very soft spot for her. In today's episode, she explains how to create excellent, top-quality content for social media. She and LuAnn also talk about how they met at the Design Influencer's Conference in 2017, and they discuss how Claire's blog, Centered by Design, was honored with an award for Best Design Writing. Be sure to listen in, to hear what Claire has to share about creating quality content for social media.

Centered By Design, is known for its holistic design process, which combines Claire's passion for wellness with her well-trained eye for interiors.

Claire studied interior design at the School of the Art Institute of Chicago and she holds a Certificate of Kitchen and Bath Design from Harper College.  

She is also a certified yoga instructor with more than 500 hours of training.

Claire's work has been featured by The Chicago Tribune, Modern Luxury, HGTV, Domino, Architectural Digest online and more. Tune in now, to find out more.

Show Highlights:

  • Claire will be speaking at The Powerhouse Smart Luxury Conference that LuAnn will be headlining, in February, in Chicago.
  • Why The Powerhouse Smart Luxury Conference is unique and well worth attending.
  • Claire talks about winning the Best Design Writing Award at the Design Influencer's Conference, in 2017.
  • The Design Influencer's Conference was a turning point for Claire. It boosted her and gave her a lot of confidence.
  • Claire has a degree in journalism so writing comes very naturally to her.
  • Helping as many people as possible, as effectively as possible.
  • Claire came to the Design Influencer's Conference, in 2017, asking whether or not she should continue writing her blog.
  • Claire shares her biggest takeaway from her experience of winning the Best Design Writing Award.
  • Claire has created a workbook, called Authentically You, for interior designers and creatives looking to create content for their websites and social media.
  • Claire has a social media following of 18 000 people, and she gets more than a million views a month on Pinterest. She shares some tips and strategies.
  • Creating opportunities for brand ambassadorship.
  • Claire's best apps for pre-planning and creating content.
  • Growing your #following on Instagram.
  • You attract the right kind of clients when you're authentic on social media.
  • Claire has an awesome giveaway for you today!

Links:

Claire's online shop pages:

Centered By Design

Centered By Design

Claire's Instagram and Pinterest:

Instagram: Claire Staszak

Pinterest: Claire Staszak

Claire's blog

Claire's giveaway - Social Media Prompts for Seasonal & Evergreen Content Goodies

Process Leads To Profits

Profit With Window Treatments

What Would Lu Do

LuAnn and Claire will be speaking at the Power House Smart Luxury Conference this February 5, 2020

For tickets

Previous shows mentioned in this episode:

Claire’s 1st episode #166

Kelsey Grose- The Farmer’s Daughter #167 - Winner of Best New Design Blog 2017 by Design Influencers Conference

Shea McGee - episode #’s: 236, 270 - Keynote Speaker 2017 at Design Influencers Conference

Amber Lewis – episode #’s: 168, 184 - Keynote Speaker 2017 at Design Influencers Conference

Wendy Cohen: #483 - Organizer of the 2020 Power House Smart Luxury Conference

 

 

 

Jan 3, 2020

Welcome to Power Talk Friday! Today, we have a business strategist, Kim Dawson, joining us. Kim enjoys working with business owners, helping them earn more and grow their businesses into successful enterprises. Her superpower is helping the owners of service-based businesses work out their ideal pricing formula. In other words, she guides them through a process of figuring out how much they should be charging, either per hour or for an entire project, to be profitable. Kim's advice is to always start with the numbers so that you can plan and strategize to accomplish your goals, rather than wishing for them to happen. Be sure to listen in today, to find out what she has to share.

Kim is a lifelong entrepreneur. She has started many businesses of her own, including a local health and fitness studio, and she has also co-founded a software setup. Kim's experience lies both in locally-focused, service-oriented businesses, and in online product-based businesses. Tune in now, to find out how to set and track your yearly financial goals, and make more profit from your business.

Show Highlights:

  • Kim works with many different industries.
  • Running a business is not for everybody.
  • Owning a business does not mean that you know how to run one.
  • Making a plan to earn your money.
  • Getting your priorities in order.
  • Looking at your numbers.
  • Kim shares a formula for working out how much money you need to bring in each year.
  • You need to know your market.
  • Evaluating the whole situation before deciding to take something on helps you stay on target.
  • Kim advises charging a flat fee, rather than an hourly fee.
  • Working out your hourly rate.
  • Finding the right market for the rate you're charging.
  • Using a strategic plan to get where you want to go.
  • Tracking your time makes your billing easier.
  • Kim used to have The Sassy Strategist Podcast.

The shows to go with this show:

Krista Coupar #60

Kim Merlitti #361 and #442

Alinda Morris #429

Cheryl Clendenon #482

Michele Williams #395

Kae Whitaker #114

Links:

Kim Dawson

LuAnn Nigara

Profit With Window Treatments

Kirsch

My Doma Studio

Kravet

Well Designed Article

IWCE Vision

 

 

Dec 31, 2019

Welcome to the last podcast for 2019! Today, we have Sally Williams, the owner of Colorful Concepts Interior Design, based in Raleigh, New York, with us on the show. Sally knows who she is, what she is capable of doing, and what sets her apart from other designers. And this comes across very distinctly in her carefully thought-out and exceptionally well-written bio. Listen in today, to hear what Sally has to share about the way she markets and grows her design firm.

Sally is very clear about what she will do and what she won't do in her business. And she knows precisely what to say when she has to have difficult conversations with her clients. This is Sally's secret sauce because certain conversations can be very hard to have if you're not prepared. In today's show, Sally explains how she's equipped herself for having these hard conversations with clients, and she talks to us about two changes that she made in her firm, which have resulted in a 40% increase in her gross sales in just one year. Be sure to tune in today, to find out more!

We wish you the happiest and most successful of years in 2020!

Show Highlights:

  • Sally explains how she achieved a 40% growth in her business this year, by making two changes.
  • Changing to charging an hourly rate, rather than a flat fee.
  • Sally explains how she estimates the cost of a design project.
  • Sally's mechanism for billing her clients for additional work.
  • Sally explains how she and her team track their hours.
  • Sally walks us through her strategy wall for new projects.
  • Setting things up for a new project.
  • Sally explains how she persuades new clients to hang in there, and bear with her until she's ready to start with their project.
  • How Sally and her team coped with a 40% growth this year.
  • Creating touchpoints for keeping the communication with the client open throughout a project.
  • The wrapping-up process.
  • Susan Brunstrum (#36) has developed a great process for wrapping up a design project.
  • Charging the same mark-up percentage on products across the board.
  • Sally explains how she builds her pipeline and markets her business.

Bio:

Sally Williams, the Owner and Principal Designer of Colorful Concepts Interior Design has a design aesthetic that is timeless and free of stylistic premises working in contemporary and traditional spaces alike.

Sally is a CQRID-certified Interior Designer who has also earned an Accounting degree from the College of William and Mary.  She worked in Corporate Accounting Management prior to following her life-long passion for Fine Art and Craft by opening a Gallery in downtown Raleigh, North Carolina.  During her seven years of Gallery ownership, Sally’s eyes were opened to the world of Interior Design.  With the encouragement of Gallery clients, friends, and family, she pursued vigorous self-study of the field. In 2002, Sally closed the Gallery and Colorful Concepts was born. 

The gallery and artists Sally worked with continue to inspire her design approach today.  She begins her designs with the color palette, which sets the tone for the entire project.  Sally transforms a space artistically, providing balanced composition and soulful color schemes set in crisp optimistic environments.  She has a strong philosophy that environments impact peoples’ daily lives, and she works with the client to deeply understand what they want and need in their space.

​As the daughter of a United States Foreign Service Officer, Sally spent much of her childhood overseas.  A multi-cultural heritage of French-Canadian on her Father’s side, and Peruvian on her Mother’s, has also inspired Sally’s creativity, which is delivered beyond her client’s expectations.

Sally is a Past President of the Triangle Chapter of the Interior Design Society; a member of numerous Professional Associations including the Home Builders Association and the Remodeler’s Council; and is a volunteer with the Leukemia and Lymphoma Society and the Carolina Designer Craftsmen Guild.  Sally has lived in Raleigh for thirty years, where she and her husband, Richard, raised their two daughters - Angela and Nancy.  

Colorful Concepts Interior Design is a full-service Interior Design studio providing professional services in residential renovation design, space planning, new home materials selections, custom window treatments, and furnishings, fine art and craft consulting, and more.  At Colorful Concepts Interior Design, long-term client relationships are valued, and we look forward to working with you on future projects as well. We are fortunate to serve clients in a way that truly enhances their lives.

Previous shows mentioned in this episode:

Cheryl Clendenon # 482

Susan Brunstrum # 36

Nicole Heymer # 125, #317, and #466

Fred Berns #22, #48, #96, #174, #226, #289, #337, #393, and #460

Links:

Colorful Concepts Interior Design

Instagram

Facebook

Dering Hall

Luann Nigara

Well Designed Article

My Doma Studio: A Well Designed Business

 

 

Dec 27, 2019

Welcome to another Power Talk Friday! Today, we're very excited to be talking money with our guest, Gerri Detweiler! Gerri understands just how to talk to creatives like us about money in a way that we truly get it.

As designers, we need to understand that working intentionally with our business finances will ultimately allow us to bring our design talent to the world. However, many creatives struggle to understand the nuances of money and finance, so, in today's episode, Gerri talks to us about business finance and she explains how to get access to a line of credit. Be sure to listen in, to get a clear understanding of credit and financing for your business.

Gerri has been guiding individuals through the confusing world of credit for more than twenty years. Her articles have been widely syndicated, and she is either the author or co-author of five books, including her most recent, Finance Your Own Business: Get on the Financing Fast Track. Gerri is also the Education Director for Nav, which matches small business owners to their best financing options and gives them free access to their personal and business credit scores. Tune in today, to find out more!

Show Highlights:

  • Gerri admits that she's not a numbers person. She does what she does because she loves helping people.
  • Gerri hates seeing people making bad choices.
  • Why you need to have a good financial buffer available for your business.
  • Setting your business up smartly, for success.
  • Protecting your personal finances from your business's ups and downs.
  • There are a lot of misconceptions and misunderstandings about which cards to use in your business.
  • Some clever strategies for saving on bank charges.
  • Avoiding fraud with credit cards.
  • Using business credit to benefit your cash-flow.
  • Establishing a line of credit.
  • There are many different loans available for small businesses via the SBA.
  • Checking on business credit.
  • Why you need to keep your personal credit scores separate from business credit scores.
  • Business credit- use it or you'll lose it.
  • How Nav helps business owners.
  • You can set up your business credit for free with Nav.

Links:

Nav: The coupon code for opening a premium Nav account is PODCAST.

Nav Blog

Find out which small business credit cards don't report to your personal credit: Nav

Small business credit cards that DO help you build business credit

Get Nav's free Build Business Credit Checklist at Nav Podcast

Facebook: Nav

Twitter: NavSMB

Previous shows mentioned in this episode:

Peter Lang #349 and #464

Kimberley Merlitti #361 and #442

Michele Williams #137, #180, #395, and #424

Taylor Spellman #467

Ashley Micchice #468

 

Dec 24, 2019

Welcome! We have Mimi Goldsmith, a loyal podcast listener, and the principal owner of her referral-based business, Style by Mimi G, with us on the show today. Mimi's bio is a perfect example of the lessons that Fred Berns, and Nicole Heymer, of Curio Electro, have been teaching us. Although Mimi has only been in business for a few short years, she has created a bio that draws the reader's attention to the uniqueness of her work. In today's episode, she talks to us about her business, how she started it, and all the shows that influenced her and helped her get her business off the ground. Be sure to listen in today, to hear what Mimi has to share about her journey!

Mimi Goldsmith, an interior decorator, and stylist is the principal owner of Style by Mimi G, which she opened in 2016. Mimi provides full-service interior decorating, e-design service, interior consultations, space planning, paint color consulting and home styling packages. She specializes in creating one-of-a-kind residential and commercial interiors for her local full-service clients. She also specializes in creating tranquil therapy offices for therapists across the world through her online services. Tune in now, to find out how Mimi got her business up and running!

Show Highlights:

  • Mimi describes her spontaneous decision to start her interior design business.
  • The kind of research Mimi did when she started her business.
  • Mimi didn't know how much to charge when she started.
  • The magic of attending a LuAnn Live event.
  • Mimi explains how she found this podcast.
  • The groups that can be found via the podcast.
  • How Mimi has been growing her business.
  • Where Mimi found the necessary information to grow her business.
  • Some lessons that Mimi learned from getting her clients' feedback.
  • To work after business hours, or not?
  • Mimi takes Friday, Saturday, and Sunday afternoons off.
  • Some very valuable lessons that Mimi has learned.
  • Making use of My Doma's services.
  • It's a great idea to create various design packages.
  • Learning about vendor relationships.
  • Buying from local vendors and learning from their expertise.
  • It's essential to run your business with integrity.
  • When you charge more, you can deliver more, and you create loyalty.

Links:

Mimi Goldsmith's website: Style by Mimi G

Instagram: Style by Mimi G

Facebook: Style by Mimi G

What Would Lu Do?

LuAnn Live

Get the Goodies

LuAnn Nigara and Friends Facebook Group

Claire’s Facebook group: Interior Design Business Strategies

Veronica’s Facebook group: What They Don’t Teach You in Design School

Darla’s Facebook group: The Wingnut Social Media Lab

Previous shows mentioned in this episode:

Fred Berns #22, #48, #96, #174, #226, #289, #337, #393, and #460

Nicole Heymer (Curio Electro) #125, #317, and #466

Summer Tannhauser #292

Stefan Spencer  

Sandra Funk  # 02 and #145

Groups to be found in the podcast:

Claire Jefford (# 237, #325, #485) - Interior Design Business Strategies

Veronica Solomon (#50) - What They Don't Teach You In Design School

Darla Powel (#203, #330)l - Wingnut Social

Leslie Carothers (#458) - The Design Wealth Group

Cheryl Clendenon (#482) - Small Business, Think Big

Email LuAnn at info@luannnigara.com if you think she could be your partner in making 2020 your amazing year!

 

 

Dec 20, 2019

Welcome to Power Talk Friday! Today, we have Vita (Vitalia) Vygovska joining us on the show. As most of you know, Vita is LuAnn's Window Treatment Friday co-host. Ever since they launched the series last summer, they have been getting awesome feedback from designers and the window treatment community. Vita is an award-winning window treatment specialist with an impressive career path. In today's episode, you will learn all about her life, her career, her business, and her superpowers, so be sure to listen in, to get to know Vita a little better!

Vita has an MBA. She is a CWFP (Certified Window Treatment Professional), an award-winning window treatment specialist, and an author. Her company, Vitalia Inc. Her company, Vitalia, Inc., provides all-encompassing concierge-level, tech-driven fabrication, measurement, installation, and project management services, exclusively for interior designers. Tune in today to find out more!

Show Highlights:

  • Vita talks about what her career path looked like before she started doing window treatments.
  • How Vita came to open Vitalia Inc.
  • Vita has a flair for finance.
  • The corporate world can be brutal.
  • Vita truly appreciates the skills she developed and the lessons she learned in the corporate world.
  • Why Vita decided to leave her corporate career.
  • Productivity is very important for Vita.
  • The kind of confidence that corporate gave Vita.
  • Learning the skill and finesse to stand her ground in the face of bullies.
  • Looking back to learn from your past mistakes.
  • Vita is like an extension of the team of the designers she works with.
  • Entering the window treatment world with her eyes wide open.
  • It took Vita two years to decide to leave the corporate world.
  • Being very clear about your mission and vision.
  • It's not necessary to go it alone because there's so much help and support available out there.
  • What you will learn in Vita's eight-week Profit With Window Treatments
  • Remember- your success starts with a decision.

Bio:

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.  In business for over a decade, Vita and her team are experts in their narrow field, providing designers with superb quality product and excellent communication.  Most importantly, they take off the stress, save time, and give peace of mind in the job is well-done.

A big thank you to Kirsch for sponsoring Window Treatment Fridays!

Links:

To learn more & register for Vita's course: Profit With Window Treatments

To learn more about working with Vita and Vitalia Inc

To learn more about working with Window Works

To receive a free subscription to Window Fashion Vision Magazine

To attend the IWCE where both LuAnn and Vita will be presenting

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

To learn about Exciting Windows

To learn about Mydoma Studio

 

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