THE INTERIOR DESIGN BUSINESS HANDBOOK
A Complete Guide To Profitability
Third Edition Mary V. Knackstedt, FASID, FIIDA
JOHN WILEY & SONS, INC.
This book is printed on acid-free paper. Copyright © 2002 by Mary V. Knackstedt. All rights reserved. Published by John Wiley & Sons, Inc., New York. Published simultaneously in Canada. No part of thispublication may be reproduced, stored in a retrieval system or transmitted in any form or by any means, electronic, mechanical, photocopying, recording, scanning or otherwise, except as permitted under Sections 107 or 108 of the 1976 United States Copyright Act, without either the prior written permission of the Publisher, or authorization through payment of the appropriate per-copy fee to theCopyright Clearance Center, 222 Rosewood Drive, Danvers, MA 01923, (978) 750-8400, fax (978) 750-4744. Requests to the Publisher for permission should be addressed to the Permissions Department, John Wiley & Sons, Inc., 605 Third Avenue, New York, NY 10158-0012, (212) 850-6011, fax (212) 850-6008, E-Mail: PERMREQ @ WILEY.COM. This publication is designed to provide accurate and authoritativeinformation in regard to the subject matter covered. It is sold with the understanding that the publisher is not engaged in rendering professional services. If professional advice or other expert assistance is required, the services of a competent professional person should be sought. Library of Congress Cataloging-in-Publication Data: Knackstedt, Mary V. Interior design business handbook : a completeguide to profitability / Mary V. Knackstedt, with Laura J. Haney.— 3rd ed. p. cm. Includes bibliographical references and index. ISBN 0-471-41232-5 (cloth: alk. paper) 1. Interior decoration firms—United States—Management—Handbooks, manuals, etc. Interior decoration—United States—Marketing—Handbooks, manuals, etc. I. Haney, Laura J. II. Title. NK2002 .K57 2001 729 .068—dc21 Printed in the UnitedStates of America. 10 9 8 7 6 5 4 3 2 1
This book is dedicated to designers, especially to those who call me with questions or to share information. Together, we can continue to raise the standards for the field of interior design and to increase our ability to serve our clients.
Chapter 1 Chapter 2 Chapter 3 Chapter 4 Chapter 5 Chapter 6 Chapter 7 Chapter 8Chapter 9 Chapter 10 Chapter 11 Chapter 12
Preface ix Acknowledgments xiii Finding Your Place In Interior Design 1 Starting a Business 29 Planning For Profit and Growth 51 Setting Up a Design Studio 63 Developing a Team of Staff and Consultants 79 Marketing and Selling 117 Succeeding in Project Management 191 Charging For Your Services 217 Working With Sources and Contractors 241 Managing YourOffice 271 Mastering Financial Management 315 Growing as a Professional 371 Recommended Reading 377 Design Schools 385 Index 387
When we use the right procedures, the business portion of our organization can
beautifully complement the creative process. As interior designers, we deal with business issues every day. We engage in business development when we seek new clients. Wedeal with finance every time we handle money. We sign contracts and letters of agreement, address personnel problems, and seek out new resources. We cope with masses of paperwork, including writing specifications and placing orders. Often we do these tasks without the background and advisors available to many other kinds of professionals. To stay in business, we have to understand business. Wedon’t have to earn business degrees or be personally capable of performing every business function, from accounting to devising retirement plans, but we do have to be able to talk with and understand the people who are specialists in these fields. To pull our weight as members of financial planning teams and to help our firms end the year with a profit, we cannot afford to wear blinders to...