How to run an interior design business during coronavirus

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It is difficult to be creative while you watch the world slipping into chaos and uncertainty. Facing the Black Swan event and the coming recession we cannot but wonder how the design world is going to be affected over the coming months.

Now more than ever it is time for creativity to flourish and light the way ahead. We have to act fast and rethink our strategies to stay resilient, but also prepare for the opportunities that will inevitably emerge from the turmoil. Our brains and our kindness are key to navigating the uncertainty ahead.

How to run an interior design business amid coronavirus | SampleBoard software

Are you still visiting clients face to face? Are you still contemplating getting on that flight to close the deal?

The safest place we can be right now is working from home.

The coronavirus is here. It’s everywhere. It’s proven that our era of jet setting and global availability has made it super easy to do business abroad, but it’s a real eye-opener to the reality of how this epidemic is spreading.

We've seen the construction industry come to a halt. Large projects have been put on hold, foreign investment paused.

We are eternally thankful to be among the few that can work remotely and continue to do business in the safety of our own homes.

Others are not as lucky.

As designers we have to keep ahead of the game, it’s our job to keep inspiring people, to make homes and offices and hospitality spaces beautiful and inviting. To allow people to have a little sanctuary where they can recharge. Even amidst the chaos, we’re finding ourselves in.

Probably even more so!

image credit: @viktoria.dahlberg

In times like these, it’s vital to pivot. Change strategy. We have families to look after and the job at hand needs to continue.

And since the e-design business is still booming, we would highly recommend relooking your interior design business during coronavirus pandemic and find ways to make it more digital.

This too shall pass, but while we may have to wait this out, being proactive will help us weather the storm and land on our feet. 

Let’s move from a ‘coping mode’ into a ‘managing mode’.

How to run interior design business during coronavirus pandemic?

What interior designers can do to adjust to the COVID-19 pandemic?
mood board made for ItalianBark using SampleBoard software

Move your interior design business online

With strong social distancing rules being employed, we have to rethink the way we do business. Instead of an in-person meeting, make a video call. Consider digital moodboards for client presentations and work on your online portfolio to attract new clients.

These days when no one seems to be shopping, facing a lockdown, people still choose to invest in making their homes feel more comfortable and uplifting. And this trend will continue once the economy starts opening up as our perception of the importance of the interior space has shifted.

If you haven’t already, create an online offering. Where full-scale projects are not possible to complete (this will depend on where you and your clients are based), consider using your blog and social media to offer paid consultations and tips the clients can easily pull off by themselves.

Move your interior design business online
made by Inside Vision using SampleBoard software

Edesign - the new frontier

If you haven’t already, consider edesign as a perspective for the future. We can only contemplate how long it will take for the storm to calm, but no one can guarantee that things will ever be quite the same as they were before the outbreak.

Establishing a strong foundation for your online practice is crucial to securing the positive outcome for your interior design business during coronavirus pandemic. And going further.

Edesign will quite probably become the new frontier!

How to run an interior design business amid coronavirus
designed by BIC Interiors using SampleBoard software

Discover potentials of working remotely

Staying home means you won’t have to spend precious time commuting, allows for some extra sleep in the morning and let’s you stay in your PJs for as long as you fancy. 

However, while not everyone thrives in a standard office environment, those who do will struggle adapting to doing business from home. 

Creating a dedicated, well-organized home office is crucial these days, but so is establishing new, healthy routines and structure, necessary to prevent the working hours from stretching from dusk till dawn. 

For some parents, reducing working hours will be a painful necessity. 

How to run an interior design business amid coronavirus | SampleBoard software

Establish boundaries between personal and professional lives

Working from home is hardly a new thing for most interior designers, but having a whole family around all the time can be a disaster for productivity. 

What will be the best solution for you will greatly depend on your personal situation and lifestyle. However, it is of the utmost importance to develop strategies for establishing both physical and mental boundaries or you may easily slip into a trap of postponing work for family and household matters.

Remote working is the new reality for many. But unlike you, some people don’t have knowledge and insights to design a proper working space, so consider addressing this topic with your marketing efforts.

Edesign - the new frontier
made by Hannah Knoll Design using SampleBoard software

Change your perspective and marketing strategy

Priorities are shifting. With home becoming more important than ever, it is our responsibility to teach people how to improve their home environment in a way that will bring them joy and comfort. We need to encourage them to look beyond the trends and see their homes for what they really are, or can be with your help and minor interventions. 

Anything that preaches gratitude and encourages people to cherish their homes for the security they bring will be most beneficial for both the audience and your brand.

If you are experiencing slow down with your schedule, consider using the extra time to speak out and connect with your followers on social media. Now is the perfect time to engage with the audience and create posts for your blog as you are likely to receive a record number of eyes on your content. 

Overwhelmed with anxiety and stress, people seek escapism in the form of home improvement and design inspiration. By addressing the needs of your audience you will not only lighten their load, but also be remembered as someone who understands and brings positivity.

Rethink your process

We need to learn how to nimble in order to adapt to the new circumstances. Luckily, many interior design practices can successfully be conducted in the digital environment.

Client briefings can be done via conference calls (think Zoom or Skype).

Client presentations and consultations can be pulled off using digital mood boards (SampleBoard is cloud-based and empowers collaboration).

To avoid physical contact, hard samples can be discussed online first, and later be shipped to clients for confirmation.

In certain parts of the world even site visits are achievable with some precaution measures.

How to run an interior design business amid coronavirus
student work, Sydney Design School

Support local businesses

There are two major reasons to choose to work with local businesses.

• With supply chains being disrupted, the delays are inevitable. Small businesses that use local resources to conduct business are more likely to make timely deliveries as they don’t rely heavily on the international supply chain.

• Also, choosing to support local businesses and artisans will help the local economy be more sustainable and resilient.

The future of interior design
image credit: Homes to Love

Stay connected with clients, colleagues and retailers

No man is an island. And this is particularly true during the crises. Interior design is considered a non-essential business which triggers a staggering amount of stress and uncertainty for everyone involved in the industry.

Staying connected is crucial. Make sure to keep in touch with, not only your family, but your colleagues, clients and suppliers too. Building a strong community is essential to both our mental health and business success.

Consult the suppliers about the delivery times so you can make informed decisions about the ongoing projects.

Do regular client briefings to inform them about the situation and prevent unrealistic expectations. This will build much-needed trust and understanding and secure positive outcomes.

Open conversations with others in the industry can be therapeutic, but even more importantly spark new ideas and solutions. You can even go as far as creating a platform for other creatives to exchange ideas and successful practices. Many are starting webinars and online interactive tours, but also Instagram live conversations everyone can join.

But don’t just look within our industry. See how others are responding to the crises and learn from their experience.

We are all in this together.

edesign software and practices
made with SampleBoard software

Catch up with the tasks you’ve been postponing

Break the bad habit of putting off those tasks you’ve been avoiding for months.

Make a fresh start for your interior design business during coronavirus by using the extra time at hand to clear what’s been holding you back.

Focus on your wellbeing and mental health

But none of this will be possible unless we practice self-care. Check-in with yourself first and learn how to prioritize your physical, mental, and socio-emotional health.

Mental wellbeing is equally important as physical and needs to be handled with patience and care.

Many are turning to yoga and meditation to help them deal with the pressure, while others prefer cardio activities and arts & crafts.

Whatever resonates with you the most - by all means find the time to do it.

How to run an interior design business amid coronavirus
made with SampleBoard software

The seismic changes in our industries are certainly about to happen.

Stay strong and connected so you can contribute to ensuring the changes will be for the better.

How to run an interior design business amid coronavirus
How to run an interior design business amid coronavirus

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