flexiblefullpage - default

Design Coaching Center: LuAnn Nigara — The Value of Processes & Systems

LuAnn Nigara shares how implementing processes and systems in your design business can change the game.

LuAnn Nigara
Printer Friendly, PDF & Email
LuAnn Nigara, Design Coaching Center
LuAnn Nigara shares insights on how systems and processes affect your design business

Systems & Process for Your Design Business

You have heard countless business advisors tell you the importance and the critical value of building processes and systems into your business. So, what exactly are these?

Processes are the nitty gritty of how you do everything. How you book an inquiry call, how you schedule your trades, how you put together a design proposal. The process is the detailed step within each task. We answer the phone this way. We gather information and record it that way. We provide this specific information, we set up a consultation appointments on these days, within these parameters … 

Systems are sets of processes that combine to create the workflow for each area of your business. For example, the system for on-boarding a client includes the processes of the intake call, the consultation appointment, the proposal, the contract signing, etc. 

Buzzwords or a true necessity?

If you have ever experienced a productive system, you know its value. Think about something as simple as painting a room. Would you paint one wall, then switch to the ceiling, then switch to the trim? Would you paint the trim with a roller? Would you paint the ceiling with an edge brush? No. You would follow a process for painting the ceiling, walls and trim, which includes the details of which goes first, which tools to use, which techniques to use. This is the system for painting a room. It increases the efficiency of the project and produces a better outcome aesthetically. If you happen to do it for a living, there will be a better outcome in the profitability as well. If we can acknowledge how something as straightforward as painting a room can be improved with a system, is it a stretch to imagine the dramatic impact a defined system would have on something as complicated as a design project? 

So, why do we resist? For one, it is actually quite challenging to create a process for the many facets of any business let alone an interior design business. We have to put the brakes on, step back and analyze what we do, how we do it and then put into writing the way we do it. I know this because over the years I’ve had to it in my businesses. It is no joke taking a deep dive into everything you do in a day, week, month and year. Thankfully, as we have evolved and grown and our processes have needed to be updated, I task my staff with documenting our systems. Why? Because although I know how to do it, I hate doing it too. 

The point is, not liking doing it, not having the time to do it and not knowing how to do it are excuses we tell ourselves to rationalize doing the same thing every day and hoping it’ll turn out better the next time. 

Draw the line in the sand today

Do yourself and your business the favor that your one-year-from-now self or your 10-years-from-now self will hug you for! The years will pass; the projects will come and go. The question is, will you still have that “scared you’re going to drop a ball” terror or will you be the confident designer with a definite process that has the details locked down and accounted for?

Results you can expect from processes

  • You will gain clarity on your firm’s deliverables. Result: Projects are quoted accurately and profitably. 
  • You will gain clarity on the execution of your firm’s deliverables. Result: Efficiency for you, your clients, your team and your trades. It also eliminates the dreaded, “I didn’t know I was supposed to” and “I didn’t know I would be billed for that.” 
  • You will gain the ability to deliver reliable, impeccable customer service every time
  • to every client. Result: Not only an outstanding relationship with your client but also an outstanding business reputation. Bonus result: A lifetime of loyal, repeat clients as well as a pipeline of those highly coveted referrals.
  • You will gain freedom from the thousands of decisions a day it takes to run a business. Define how things are done, then live it, teach it to your team, clients and trades, and everyone will know what is next and how to do it. Result: More time to be the CEO, the rainmaker, the leader of your business. 
  • You will gain the confidence that comes when you know, in your core, that your business is well run. Result: You will be running a real business with real systems and real processes. Bonus result: You will charge your worth. 
  • And, this my friend, is priceless. Do it for you, your team, your clients. Decide to be excellent.

LuAnn Nigara is a speaker and author and podcast host of A Well Designed Business, with a foucs on building a business that works for you. Learn more at www.luannnigara.com

leaderboard2 - default