Here at Camberyard, we believe a good business begins with a strong foundation. Just as you wouldn’t build a house without preparing the ground, you shouldn’t jump feet-first into your new design venture without thinking through your long-term plan.
When discussing foundation-building with our clients, we like to use this analogy: Visualise two sisters, Martha and Meg. They have been given adjacent plots of land and are using them to build their dream homes. Martha and Meg have very different requirements for their new space and design them accordingly, creating houses that are completely bespoke, perfect for their individual needs.
Now picture a flood. Martha wakes up to see it has been raining heavily, but fortunately her house is completely unaffected. Meg wakes up to find the ground floor of her house filled with water. Why? Martha took the time to research before building on her plot of land. She ran a risk assessment and took measures to ensure she would be protected from any floods. Meg, on the other hand, was in a rush to begin and, as a result, the worst has happened and she will suffer a loss.
How does this translate to your interior design business? Quite simply, it demonstrates how crucial it is to properly lay your foundations before building your dream. Don’t skip this valuable step!
Before you become tempted to start in the middle, ask yourself: Are my business foundations in place? If you’re unsure, keep these points in mind:
HAVE YOU ESTABLISHED YOUR USP?
When entering an established field like design, it is important to know your unique selling point (USP). Everyone has one – whether it’s your friendly approach, your creative expertise, your unusual take on a brief, or something else entirely, you as a person and as a business will have something no one else does. The tricky part is identifying what it is. We have a specific piece on finding your USP, but in brief: you must first think about who you want to work for, why you want to work for them and how you will get hired. From there, you can decide on your personal approach, and how you’d like to be remembered when leaving a job. Your USP will make itself known during this process!
HAVE YOU CONSIDERED YOUR STRENGTHS AND WEAKNESSES?
In business, as in life, everyone has strengths and weaknesses. The trick is to play to your strengths, and seek help with your weaker areas. Fantastic at interior design, but troubled by the idea of managing your company taxes? Don’t worry. A good business is a business that understands its shortcomings, and has a plan to overcome them. If you keep your motivations and aspirations in mind, you will be able to propel forward. And don’t ever let a perceived problem hold you back; no one can achieve everything by themselves! If you want more information on understanding your strengths and weaknesses, see our piece dedicated to it!
HAVE YOU THOUGHT ABOUT HOW YOU WILL GET TO WHERE YOU WANT TO BE?
So, you know your USP and your strengths, what’s next? Now is the time to make a plan and really think about what you want to achieve. To get you started, ask yourself these questions:
- How are you going to do it?
- Why do you want to do it, and is it for the right reasons?
- Will it fit into your lifestyle, and if not, are you willing to make sacrifices?
- Do you have a marketing plan in place?
Write down a detailed plan – including all of your ideas – and return to it time and again, until you’re ready to move forward – you’ll know when the time is right.
No matter what happens next, you will never regret putting your foundations in place. With a strong foundation, you are more likely to achieve all your goals, and realise your passions on your own terms.