Being a freelance interior designer can be rough some days. The highest number of projects that come across my desk is redesigning of offices using a 2D map and 3D rendering. The customers send me measurements of their room along with pictures.
I did not mean to get into business consulting and design. I initially went to school because I wanted to learn how to make cartoons online. I found myself obsessed with the various ways to organize my own office. I realized that with my drawing skills, I could help other people.
So, as the craze for room design and organized office space increased, it became clear where my life was heading. So, with my drawing tools and a few pictures of my own office, I showed other people different options of office design.
There are some things that have helped me along the way that I want to share with you. I think that these tips fit for all consulting type businesses.
Getting Help for your Business is Hard at First
There are a lot of people who are excited for you when you say that you are going to start a new business. While they are happy for your possible success, it is very difficult to get people to commit to helping you in tangible means.
The best remedy for this is to keep a side job. The side job is meant to earn money to pay people to do the things you are not willing to do. If you are dragging your feet on certain tasks, pay someone to do these for you.
Basically, you are designing your team one freelance professional at a time.
Keep an Informal Mistake Journal
You are going to make mistakes in your business. This is inevitable.
People know that it is a good idea to fix a mistake and then never repeat it. The problem with this is that it is hard to learn from your pattern of mistakes.
What I do is keep a small journal. I write down the mistake and then what I did to immediately correct it. Sometimes, it is a quick fix.
With both the mistake and the fix together, I try to think of three or four other ways I could have handled this situation differently.
Also, writing everything down made me realize that a common mistake I made was saying yes to too many things at once.
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It is Really Okay to Say No as a Freelance Interior Designer
The hardest part of doing freelance work is taking on too many clients at once. Every project tends to snowball. I have learned from experience that I can feasibly handle 8 clients per week.
Once I have reached that capacity, I tell new clients about my waiting list or I refer them to other freelance interior designers.
Another thing that is is hard to say no to is people who need quick fixes. Maybe a client needs a garage designed in order to have a labor day project. These time crunch projects have not gone well for me in the past. If there is anything less than 3 weeks lead time, I just say no.
You Need to Accept Credit Cards
You are going to lose so many clients due to the simple fact that you cannot accept credit cards. People are getting used to paying for things with cards. Trying to get someone to write you a check or send a money order is seen as a huge inconvenience.
Any business that deals with consulting is going to have a hard time getting a merchant account to accept credit cards. Basically, you are being paid for your opinion. There is no physical good to return or resell to recoup money lost.
Because of this, there are business like High Risk Solutions that has been in business for over 20 years. They do merchant account consulting and help freelancers move from checks and money orders to accepting credit cards.
As a freelance interior designer that works online, this is necessary.
To fill out the application, click below.
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