The COMPANY ASSESSMENT catagory is step one in building your business. If you want clarity on areas that your business is lacking systems or where your trouble areas are, take the time to do the assessment documents in this category.
The Interior Design Business SYSTEMS CHECKLIST is highly recommended. It will basically provide you with all the areas of the business that need to have protocols developed and documented, many of which you will be able to attain right here through the MMG VIP Membership.
We are adding new assessment tools every month, so be sure to check back periodically for additional tools to help you identify your business development needs. To see the business tools in this category, go to the PRODUCTS drop down menu below and select this category.
2. Company Identity
The COMPANY IDENTITY category is step 2. Having a very clear sense of the the brand and the business you are building is paramount. If you are starting an interior design business or at a point in your business where you have outgrown your current branding or identity, you will find this section to be quite powerful.
The clarity you get from going through the worksheets and exercises in this category will provide you with a stronger sense of direction. That clarity is a source of empowerment. If you are striving to manifest your dream design business, it is essential that you clarify for yourself what that is and get it down on paper. This is an important step in activating the law of attraction.
This category also has company policies that relate to the company culture. If you have team members, this is critical. Your company culture and key characteristics are the guiding principles that your team will navigate with. It is your job as the CEO to provide this for them and your company.
This category will help you in defining those characteristics and company codes that are so critical to a clear sense of identity and purpose for your brand and your team. To see the business tools in this category we've added thus far, go to the PRODUCTS drop down menu below and select this category.
3. Business Documents
The BUSINESS DOCUMENTS category is step 3. This is a fundamental step in establishing your company's foundation
In this category you will find legal documents and business forms specific to an interior design firm. We are adding new documents every month. These will include client contracts for various different billing models, employee and 1099 forms and agreements, Non-disclosure, confidentiality and the like. Remember, all legal documents on this site do need to be reviewed by your own legal counsel, but they are a great place to start and can save you quite a bit of time and money.
To see the business tools in this category we've added thus far, go to the PRODUCTS drop down menu below and select this category.
4. Office Logistics
The OFFICE LOGISTICS category is step 4 in developing a strong foundation. This category contains business tools that are centered around the little processes and details that make the administration of your interior design business run smoothly.
Office logistics is generally an area of the design firm where the business owner and admin assist, waste a ton of time on trial and error and loose protocols. This ends up costing the company dearly. All that waste is uncecessary now.
These documents and videos provide you with the best practices on all types of office administrative tasks and procedures. We are adding new tools every month, so be sure to check in periodically for additions to the product list in this category.
To see the business tools in this category we've added thus far, go to the PRODUCTS drop down menu below and select this category. Also, if there is a process you want a procedure or training on, ask in the next Q&A session or send us a message thru the Contact Us form and let us know what you need and I will add it right away!
The ACCOUNTING category is step 5 in developing a strong interior design business. Many of these procedures will tend to be based on an office that runs Studio Designer or Studio Webware. Getting the right processes in place is crucial to streamlining your firm for profit.
This area of your business should not take that much time, especially if you are using Studio Designer or Studio Webware. In this category you'll find lots of training videos and standard operating procedures. We literally have hundreds of tips and processes on this topic and are adding to the products list in this category almost every week so be sure to check back often for additional tools that will save you years of trial and error.
To see the business tools in this category we've added thus far, go to the PRODUCTS drop down menu below and select this category.
6. Project Management
The quality of your project management processes will literally determine your success level. Many mediacre designers, who have developed effective processes are wildly successful and leave their more talented peers in their dust.
A streamlined workflow will facilitate the Principal Interior Designer in focusing on building the business, cultivating clientele and creating a luxury experience for their clients. These processes will also determin how profitable a firm is, making this aspect of your business extremely critical.
The PROJECT MANAGEMENT category, you will find a multitude of tools. We are adding new materials and videos every month so check back often. To see the business tools in this category we've added thus far, go to the PRODUCTS drop down menu below and select this category. If you need a more personal approach to addressing these issues in your firm, please don't hesitate to call. We have several solutions we can offer you.
7. Team Management
Most interior designers start their own firm with little to no team management or human resources training. This is a challenge because hiring, training and managing an amazing team to help you build your firm is critical. Those first couple hires are expecially critical and that is exactly when you generally will have fewer resources to do so.
This category will give you tools that you need and provide guidance to you as you develop a team. You will also want to reference each role category so you have a clear understanding of all the roles inherent to the design business. To see the business tools in this category we've added thus far, go to the PRODUCTS drop down menu below and select this category.
If you need a more personal approach to building or managing your team, please don't hesitate to call. We have several solutions we can offer you. Especially as firms are striving to build capacity and handle new work coming in, this aspect of your business is critical.
8. Principal Designer / CEO
Do you really understand your role as the CEO and Principal Designer of your firm? Most designers do not. The PRINCIPAL DESIGNER category will provide you with clarity on your role as well as guidance and tools you will need to do it.
It is imperative to have a clear understanding of what role does what and avoid cross over. Those blurry lines create confusion and loss of morale and a host of all sorts of problems. You need to understand all the roles in your firm, including yours.
You'll want to review all the role categories and build your firm strategically. These role categories can help you do this. To see the business materials in this category we've added thus far, go to the PRODUCTS drop down menu below and select this category.
9. Office Manager
Your key admin, whether a part-time Administrative Assistant or a high level Business Manager or Operations Director, this role is fundamental to the proper functioning of a design firm.
The OFFICE MANAGER category will help you to avoid a common mistake designers tend to make is hiring more design staff and leaving their admin roles poorly staffed. This can be avoided by understanding what this role does and how to hire and train and manage this key team member.
I recommend this role is the first hire, even if it is part time or an outside contractor, you need this admin aspect of your business well managed. This also means you'll need structure and processes in place as well. Use this membership for all of this and create a strategic advantage for your firm.
To see the business materials in this category we've added thus far, go to the PRODUCTS drop down menu below and select this category.
Expediting as I define it, is everything post purchase order creation and for those of you who provide procurement as part of your service offering, know that this part of the process represents a huge amount of follow up and time.
I generally recommend that this is done by one person and someone NOT on the design team. There are exceptions to this, but generally this role is best conducted by your Office Manager or Admin Assist, until you have enough volume to have one dedicated person for the task.
The EXPEDITOR category provides guidance on creating, training and cultivating this role in your firm. It is not an overstatement to say, the better your firm handles this, the more profitable you will be. To see the business materials in this category we've added thus far, go to the PRODUCTS drop down menu below and select this category.
11. Junior Designer
I recommend the Jr. Designer role be the second role you bring on as you grow your business. This person is going to be instrumental in keeping you on high level, and billable tasks. The JR DESIGNER category will help you avoid a mistake I see all too often; not providing enough structure, procedures, training or ways for the Jr. Designer to realistically be proactive for you. This is hugely detrimental to the firm, for it leads to frustration on your part, poor performance, turn-over and a huge amount of wasted time, energy and money. For a small firm, it can easily set you back years.
Avoid all of this and use the tools in this category to provide structure and clarity for both you and your team member. To see the business materials in this category, go to the PRODUCTS drop down menu below and select this category.
The Designer role is to be the third team member you bring on, in my view. This happens when you've got to increase capacity to keep up with the demand for your services. A few things shift at this point and one of them is bringing on a stellar designer to lead execution on your vision. They work hand in hand with the JR and together, they execute on your design concepts and get everything to the point of P.O. creation, and then pass it on to the Expeditor. They also handle oversight of hard surfaces installation and project management for all their assigned projects, freeing you up to handle concept and client relations. Use this category to put the pieces together and provide role distinction for everone. It's imperative that each person knows what they are accountable for. To see the business materials in this category, go to the PRODUCTS drop down menu below and select this category.
13. Signature Experience
What is your unique style of luxury? Are you intentional in the way you create an experience for each interaction your clients have with your firm? These are some of the things that you are able to refine once your operations are stable enough and you have the bandwidth to expand your vision for your firm.
Your interpretation of the luxury experience is critical in diferentiating your firm and also in attracting a flood of new referrals. The SIGNATURE EXPERIENCE category provides worksheets, guidance and tools to help you refine your firm's signature experience. To see the business materials in this category, go to the PRODUCTS drop down menu below and select this category.
Strategy is the 14th step in your interior design business development, but it really is instrumental at any phase of your growth. It is such a powerful thing when you step back, develop your strategy and move forward intentionally. The STRATEGY category provides videos and guidance to help you expand your awareness, stimulate new ideas and help you piece together your next steps and long term targets.
Manifest to the greatest extent you are capable, step back periodically and create it in your mind first, then to paper (or ipad) and then its creation is so much easier. To see the business materials in this category, go to the PRODUCTS drop down menu below and select this category.
Once you are clear on your strategy, you are ready to approach branding and marketing. Marketing is step 15 in your interior design business development. The MARKETING category includes guidance and tools for creating an authentic and congruent brand presence, messaging and marketing ideas.
Use this category to refine your brand's key characteristics and an authentic presence. Many of the business tools you'll find in this category are videos and recordings of Q and A sessions where members collaborate on marketing ideas and what has worked well for them. We will be adding to this category regularly, so check back often for an updated product list. To see the business materials in this category, go to the PRODUCTS drop down menu below and select this category.
Growth is the 16th and final step in your interior design business development. I put this category at the top of the pyramid because once you have a stable and well structured business, you are better capable of expanding your business model. The GROWTH category provides guidance, tools and insight on more complex models, like Showrooms, General Contracting, Architecture, Staging and other divisions you might expand into or already have.
We will also be adding content that addresses licencing, product lines and creating alternate revenue/marketing streams, like book deals, TV shows and the like. To see the business materials in this category, go to the PRODUCTS drop down menu below and select this category. .