Interior design is a competitive industry, one that demands a lot of the individuals involved in it. That’s why it is so important for interior designers to ensure they have the right tools at their fingertips—this is a business where not having the right tools could make or break you. If you want to be successful in interior design, make sure you have these five essentials in your metaphorical tool belt.
5. A Tool Belt (Literally)
The first thing you will want to add to your list of essentials is a tool belt. This one is not metaphorical, however—this is an actual tool belt, with actual tools. As an interior designer, you will soon find that you need to take measurements more often than you thought (and you should always measure twice!), so keep that measuring tape handy. You will also likely hang a lot of pictures and mirrors, so be sure to bring a level with you—there is nothing worse than a painting that is hanging crookedly on the wall.
4. Business Management Software
Another tool that all interior designers should have at their disposal is business management software, particularly a package that has been designed with their needs in mind. With specialized software made specifically for interior designers, you will be able to run your business more efficiently and effectively. You will be able to schedule and manage projects from end to end, generating invoices, tracking payments, and running reports along the way. Fully integrated accounting and project management software can give you a better idea of how to improve your business, and it can help you track your finances more efficiently. Best of all, business management software can help you automate some of the more time-consuming tasks that eat up your time—allowing you to get back to the business of designing sooner.
Personal and professional connections are the bread and butter of any good interior design business. Without connections, you will be less likely to win accounts and projects; that means fewer clients and less work, which ultimately spells trouble for your business. Maintain connections through social media—you never know who might refer you to a friend after they have been reminded of your amazing skills when a quick “hello” arrives in their inbox. Of course, to win referrals you must always prove your skills—but you have that in the bag already. Now it is up to you to get the word out.
2. Note-Taking and Organizational Apps
Today’s interior designers live in a mobile world, and that means smartphones with a dizzying array of app options for all your note-taking and organizational needs. Keep yourself organized on the go (whether it is between client jobs or between the store and the office) by taking notes using an app like Evernote. You can use other apps to help you schedule your day and ensure you stick to it. If you need to drive a lot, you may find a dictation app that lets your phone take a memo, just like a personal secretary. All of this will help you keep your notes—and your business—organized.
1. Design Software
Design software is probably an interior designer’s best friend. While there are plenty of options, and selecting just one program can be difficult, design software can help you do everything from create a floorplan to create a fully realized 3D room. Some software will allow you to add pictures of the items you want to put in a room, just to see how it all goes together. Doing a virtual design session can help you before you get to the real thing—which means fewer costly mistakes and do-overs.