Due to the recent global pandemic, are you finding yourself navigating through difficult times in your Interior Design business? It can be challenging to decide which direction you should steer your business on any given day, but it’s even more harrowing during the tides of uncertain times.
I know it can be tempting to consider throwing in the towel when things are so chaotic, especially when there’s no definitive end in sight. If you were thinking of traveling to a destination you’ve never visited before, would you determine the best mode of transportation and/or use your GPS to figure out the smartest route? Or would you just start walking?
Planning for the future of your business really isn’t much different. Let’s look at a few strategies to help you get back on course and moving forward again when navigating through difficult times.
Map Your Route
If you haven’t already developed both a business plan and marketing plan, there’s no time like the present.
Take honest stock of what your strengths and weakness are. Your plans should include strategies that maximize your strengths and allocate time and resources to enhance the areas that need improvement.
If you do have plans in place, set aside time to review them. Consider what has and hasn’t worked well for you in the past and make adjustments as needed. Don’t waste time on marketing efforts that haven’t helped to boost your web traffic or fill your pipeline.
Take all factors into account (including those beyond your control) and be realistic with your expectations… but challenge yourself by setting a goal or two outside your comfort zone.
Don’t let a temporary setback cause you to lose momentum or steer you away from your bigger goals. Rather than allowing yourself to get frustrated when you encounter obstacles, plan ahead for them.
Have you defined your ideal client? Once you determine that, you can target your marketing efforts and use best practices to reach them. You can use my ‘Your Business in Words’ process to help you figure this out.
Have you created SOPs (Standard Operating Procedures) and documented them? By establishing and then (the most important part) following them, you will stay on track and inside your timelines. If you streamline your process, you will be less likely to spend more time than you should on smaller projects.
Do you stay current on industry trends? One of the best ways to do this is by attending design-related networking events and conferences. While attending these events in person is sometimes not possible, many are going virtual and offer lots of information on trends and the future of the industry.
Stay Your Course
Once you know where you’re going and how you want to get there, it’s much easier to determine your best next steps.
Create several small action steps to get from where you are to where you want to be. And check them off as you complete them! It’ll give you a sense of accomplishment and help raise your confidence.
Research and find technology you can use to reduce time spent on repetitive tasks. And use networking opportunities to find out what tech is working well for others and figure out how you can use it to improve your business.
Less time spent on these activities is more time you can spend on what’s important… marketing your services, building relationships with existing and potential clients, and moving your business forward.
There’s a really great quote from Elizabeth Edwards that inspires me when I find myself navigating through difficult times in any aspect of my business:
“…they will be able to say that she stood in the storm, and when the wind did not blow her way — and it surely has not — she adjusted her sails.”
Don’t allow the storm to consume you. If you learn to adjust for whatever storm you’re in, you can weather it and come out even stronger when it passes.
Take time to set a strong foundation for your business through a strong business plan, an engaging and targeted marketing plan, and solid processes. Use them to position yourself well during the downtime so you can charge full steam ahead at the first opportunity.
You don’t have to do this alone! If you’re overwhelmed and need help, sign up for an introductory business strategy call, and I’ll help you make decisions on the next steps for you and your business.
Hop into my private FB group, the Interior Design Business Forum here to get my daily inspiration, lessons, thoughts of the day, and let the community help you become an actionable entrepreneur!!