“A business without a path to profit isn’t a business, it’s a hobby.” This quote from Jason Fried, founder and CEO of the multi-million-dollar software company 37signals, hits the nail on the head when it comes to running an interior design business.
Undoubtedly you will have started your interior design business because designing was something you felt innately passionate about. Good design inspires you every day, and to make a living from it is, truthfully, a dream come true.
But the design is just one side to it. The other side, of equal weight and if not more importance is the business management. You might be carving out a strong reputation among industry peers, clients, and the press. Still, if you’re not running your business professionally and at a profit, then you’re only setting yourself, your firm, and your employees up for a loss in the end.
However, with the right help on your side, running an interior design firm profitably can be made easier. The secret? Having access to accurate business information so you can tinker with, tailor, and tweak your design firm’s operations to ensure they’re running at optimal efficiency. DesignDocs gives you this and more. So read on, as we uncover 4 ways DesignDocs helps generate higher profits for interior designers.
1. INSIGHTFUL & INTELLIGENT REPORTING
Part of generating profit is knowing where your money is going. The problem can be, if you’re using one system to handle the project management side of the business and another to tackle the accounting, it becomes much harder to see a picture of where your design firm financially stands overall.
With DesignDocs however, this isn’t the case. As an all-in-one project management and accounting solution, both of these sides of your business are linked. This gives you access to valuable design firm data that is just waiting to be explored and utilized.
Through our suite of detailed financial reports, you’ll develop a deeper understanding of your firm’s earnings and expenses, and reveal trends in your business that can help you improve processes and procedures. For example, maybe you’re doing a task two or three times over when you only need to do it once. Or perhaps there is a more profitable way for your business to structure its fees. Generating these financial reports can show you where you can improve things that lead to better efficiencies, higher cost-savings, and greater profits.
2. CONSISTENT CASH FLOW
With so many different payments coming in and going out daily, the cash flow of an interior design firm is indeed a complex one. You might get paid by way of client retainers or take a fee-based or milestone approach. Either way, you need positive cash flow to ensure that when the time comes, you have the funds to pay your vendors, trades and staff. Having a positive and consistent cash flow is imperative to grow your interior design firm as it allows you to plan for the future and follow through with these plans.
Thankfully, DesignDocs makes it easy for your firm to collect payments with built-in credit card processing. When a client pays you by credit card, the associated bookkeeping is automated in your DesignDocs account. Sit back and relax knowing that the funds are deposited directly to your bank account, helping your firm get paid in a timely fashion.
DesignDocs also helps keep you on top of your firm’s cash flow with our built-in cash flow report. This allows you to see the in and outflow of cash relating to a project. With this report, you can also see at a glance where you stand financially on both the client and vendor side across all items, and even fixed fees.
3. KEEPS YOU UPDATED ON THE NUMBERS
You are likely making countless business decisions on a day-to-day basis, and having a clear picture of the current financial position of your firm is crucial to its long-term growth and sustainability. Without this knowledge, you’ll find you and your business are flying blindly through the competitive design world and just hoping to come out in one piece on the other side.
But by utilizing an interior design project and accounting software like DesignDocs, you’ll benefit from a whole world of information that can help you increase the productivity and profitability of your design firm. When bookkeeping is automatically connected to the management of projects, everyone’s life is simpler and the amount of duplicated work being done by staff is reduced. Business owners and staff can access the information they need at any time, project reports are available as needed, and company financial reports are accessible anytime. You’re in control and can plan your design firm’s path to profit with complete transparency.
4. TRACKS TIME, ACCURATELY
Time is money, which is why time management is essential when you’re looking to increase your business's profitability. Our cloud-based software allows you and your team to easily track their working day time – accurately. You can use a running timer or add a manual timesheet entry (whichever you prefer) and then assign it to a project and task. This naturally leads to your billable hours increasing, which in turn also increases your firm's bottom line.
Taking it a step further, DesignDocs allows you to track both billable and non-billable time to easily see where time is being spent that might not be the most profitable choice. The powerful built-in Time Analysis tool, helps you to analyze all of your business time, assess where it’s going, and make any of the necessary adjustments to ensure your business remains as high earning as possible.