A common mistake when starting out is to try and do everything yourself. While cutting corners to lower costs may initially feel like a good idea, it can cost you later on. For a studio to run smoothly, we at Camberyard know there are certain tasks that must be done right the first time. You don’t want to be the designer that miscalculated their taxes to save money on an accountant, for example, or who lost potential clients due to unprofessional messaging on company social media channels. A small mistake can quickly become something bigger in the business world, so it is important to identify strengths and weaknesses early, helping you avoid unnecessary problems.
Visualise two versions of your new interior design practice. The first has only one staff member – you. You haven’t outsourced anything, you are working from home, and you are pulling in clients at a comfortable pace. The second sees you working in a team of professionals. You are still drawing in clients, and still working from home. However, unlike the first scenario, you are able to spend time pandering to your strengths, using your skills to deliver designs that showcase the best of your ability. You are not, as in the first scenario, single-handedly dealing with aspects of studio life that do not play into your skill set. Invoicing, admin and marketing campaigns, for instance, can quickly become tedious and time consuming for someone that does not have the required skills.
Now, which of these two versions is most likely to bring you joy? Which, when considered purely from a business perspective, will be the one to succeed?
Everyone has different strengths and weaknesses. To identify yours, consider:
WHAT ARE YOUR STRENGTHS?
If you’ve ever had an interview, you’ll know this question comes up often. For good reason. No one wants to waste time putting someone in charge of a task unsuited to their skills when they could be using their expertise more effectively elsewhere. To frame the situation when considering your own strengths, ask yourself: where do I add the most value? Make a list of everything you are good at, and think about how this can help your studio. Only you need to see the list, so don’t worry about appearing boastful. Now is not the time to be modest!
WHAT ARE YOUR WEAKNESSES?
As with strengths, it is important to know your weaknesses. By identifying the areas you may need help with early on, you can avoid potential problems later. Make a list of tasks you find difficult, and recruit others to take on those jobs. There will always be something you cannot do but, if you’re willing to ask, there will always be someone that can help. Similarly, consider handing over tasks you don’t enjoy. You do your best work when you’re having fun.
WHAT CAN YOU DO ABOUT IT?
Admitting what you can’t do gives you the freedom to focus on what you can. The best studios are run by people that are happy to delegate, giving them room to focus their attention on the jobs they love. When in doubt, make a list. You’ll be amazed by how much you learn about yourself once you start writing it all down!