Design Camp weeks 1 + 2 are officially wrapped, and as we plan for the next one and its curriculum and break-out sessions, our minds keep going back to all the questions asked by our amazing campers over the past few weeks. There are so many details to attend to as a small business owner, and if you don’t have a community of like-minded designers or a reliable sounding board, it can be so difficult to navigate the complexities of running a profitable creative business like what to outsource vs. hire.
Every business experiences growing pains. The choice to hire help or outsource tasks is not an easy one, and then you have to choose what to delegate. Putting your hard work in the hands of a near-stranger will make you want to stay a one-person show as long as possible, often to the detriment of your business and you.
I know exactly how that feels, but trust me: it doesn’t have to be that difficult! Today, I’m sharing my recommendations on what to outsource and what positions to hire (in order of priority) based on my experience growing my team the last few years.
Design: McGrath II | Photography: Read McKendree
Are you tired yet of us stressing the importance of good photos + how they impact your interior design business? Okay, good. So, outsource your photos. Here’s how to prep for your first photoshoot + here’s what to do with those photos when you get them back.
If you read our recent blog post about where to invest in your business first, this might look familiar. Technical drawings give you such a leg-up over local competition.
There is no replacement for quality branding. Hire a professional that you think can give you the imagery + feel that is authentic to you and your work. Invest in quality and it will become the launching pad for the rest of your business.
Design: Heidi Caillier Design | Photography: Haris Kenjar
Web presence is so important. You need a well-designed website with branded copy, professional photography (see item #1), and search engine optimization.
If you’ve outsourced all of the above, the next step is marketing. This will be a pretty seamless transition if you already have the pieces in place (photography, branding, web, etc.).
Social media is such an important component of any well-constructed marketing strategy for an interior designer. If managing your profiles is taking away from your actual work, time to outsource it to a professional.
Design: Jean Stoffer Design | Photography: Stoffer Photography Interiors
My best advice for hiring is to hire for roles, not tasks. You need to fill a gap in your business, not find a random person to delegate to-dos too. For example, an assistant is not an effective hire for everyone. For some, it just adds more to your plate as you have to make a conscious decision every day about what to pass off for them to do. Instead, look for weaknesses in your business. What part do you find difficult? What is time-consuming for you?
Here is our list of who to hire first. And, if you’re nervous about managing your new teammates, there’s a post for that, too.
As for how to prepare, we recommend saving up six months’ salary and getting your processes as seamless as possible so that they have measurable tasks and set expectations.
If you find the process of finding the right people (because that is the real KEY) daunting, try asking your friends. Word of mouth can be very effective and you’ll learn so much more from a mutual friend than a résumé. If that doesn’t work out, take to social media. Instagram is the new classifieds section.
Take it from a convert to delegation: growing your team can grow your business in ways that you cannot imagine. Find the right people for the right jobs so you can get back to designing.
For more tips for elevating your interior design business, check out these posts:
IDCO Studio is a full-service creative studio for interior designers and boutique lifestyle brands. Offering bespoke branding, web design and social media content creation, we help brands built around beautiful living elevate their digital presence to represent the physical spaces they design. Our recently launched limited-release website templates are the perfect way for interior designers to get a luxury website on a budget. These templates allow designers to maintain control of their content. Want to work together? Shoot us an inquiry here.
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