I think design school is a great way to build a solid knowledge-base as an interior designer. I, myself, went to design school and learned a ton about subjects like structural integrity, drafting, construction documents, and what the flammability rating on textiles mean. My four years of hard work in design school earned me my design degree and my official license to practice Interior Design. But while design school taught me how to design, it taught me nothing about how to BE a designer.
The sad truth is I see more design school graduates failing because they know nothing about the business side of being a designer. Most design schools teach how to draw a detail elevation but fail to explain how to fill out a P.O. or how to bill your clients for your time without being taken advantage of. Schools teach you everything about furniture history and nothing about customer service. I've never ever heard of a class on overcoming objections in a presentation without losing your patience, or how to handle the, 'nosy neighbor' who decided to tag along with your client unexpectedly.
These are the obstacles that bring down a talented designer. Designers don’t fail because they can’t create a beautiful room. They fail because they’ve never learned how to make a living doing what they’re good at: DESIGNING.
Here are a few of the things they did not teach in design school, but I wish I had known before jumping into my design career:
- How to set up a legal business
- How to work to your strengths
- How to market yourself
- How to find your ideal clients
- How to sell your services and products
- How to diversify your income streams
- Bookkeeping and taxes
- Developing a house call system
- How to deal with difficult clients
- How to romance your presentation to knock your clients' socks off
- Covering yourself with contracts
Whether you choose to go to design school or not, these are things you really need to know if you are going to run a successful design/decorating business that makes money.
Being a creative designer is a God-given talent that not everyone is blessed with. If you are one of the few that possess this gift, then you are already halfway to being a successful interior designer/decorator. Once you've learned the tricks of the trade to running a successful design business, then you've got everything you need to start designing for a living!
If you’re interested in a Quick-Start Guide to starting your own design business, you should check out this awesome eBook here. It’s so simple, anyone with the passion can have their own design business up and making people happy (and making money) within days. I promise! Check it out…