How would you say your client’s budget affects your business’ creative process?
That’s exactly what I asked Kayla Weiner of Homeward Hound Interiors, a seasoned interior designer with over 12 years of experience. If there’s anyone that would know a thing or two about budgets, it would be an experienced interior designer.
Are you ready to dive in and give your client’s budget a whole new perspective?
Take these 3 tips straight from the expert:
1. Your client should always have a budget in mind, a specific number or range. This is needed and should be shared with you, before you start working.
"Believe it or not, with each project I have worked on, a budget was always needed. I tend to ask my clients to share their budget with me, . No matter what I was doing – custom window treatments, custom furniture, picking out fabric to purchase by the yard, full renovations of rooms, kitchen and bath designs and renovations, and new construction, it was necessary for my client to have a number in mind and share it with me. Sure, it may not have been the top number or it could have been a range, but I always asked the question and made sure I’d get the answer before I started designing.”
2. Everyone has a budget, even your clients. It’s that number they have in mind, that maximum they won’t go over. Sometimes, the budget may have some “wiggle room” and the client may be willing to adjust. It’s important for you to know this, as it could be that your client is willing to pay more for something he/she fell in love with, or maybe he/she prefers to work with you, even if it means at a higher price, only because of the way you made him/her feel, or maybe your client noticed he/she wasn’t realistic in the initial budget. Identify which of these is right as you work with each individual client.
“I know not everyone may know what their ultimate budget is, but I guarantee, there is always a maximum line somewhere in their mind. I often have those for myself! We all have budgets in our mind with almost anything we are going to spend our money on. For example, it could be that you’re shopping for clothes, dog food, tires, gasoline, etc., but there’s always a maximum line that you don’t want to cross. You probably don’t share that with anyone else, either, but it’s there. Often, there are times that your budget line has a bit of wiggle room, maybe it is something you fell in love with, maybe you want to work with the higher priced company because they treated you better, or maybe you weren’t realistic in the initial budget – these are all okay and valid reasons to adjust!”
3. It is important for your client to know that their budget is not a limiting factor, but rather, when broken down and dissected properly, a tool for open and honest dialog that ultimately helps the solution-making process.
“I think that the word budget is often associated with some type of bad connotation. It’s very secretive and something you want to keep private from , but the word “budget” doesn’t have to be a bad thing. It is always one of my first questions I ask a potential client when I’m starting a project. As an interior designer, I am designing a space that is for , my client, not me. My favorite thing about doing design work, is that each project is different! The spaces I design are for my clients, so the solution to the design problem, in my eyes, needs to reflect that. Sure, I will include my design flair into your project, but the joy I get at the completion of each project is knowing that the space is something love. Which carries straight into the budget of a project. A budget is another tool that I utilize in my design process. It is always in my mind when I am working on each project and imperative to each project I do. I don’t judge budgets. EVER. I may be honest if I feel that the budget will not allow for what you are asking for, in your design project request, but sharing your budget with me allows me to have that open and honest dialog. It is not my intention or desire to design something that you cannot implement. It is critical to me that I not only am finding the right solution for your project, but that I am specifying products that you can afford to implement. I may suggest some splurge worthy items, but I tend to also suggest some places where you can save, too, giving you balance and the control to decide the path you want to take.”
And finally, in the words of lovely Kayla:
Keep these helpful tips in mind as you discuss your next client’s budget, give this fresh perspective a try and expect great results! If you'd like to learn more about Homeward Hound Interiors, feel free to stop by homewardhound.net!
Want to learn more financial tips & strategies you can implement in your own business? Book a Financial Strategy Session to learn more! Also, don’t forget to download your FREE Financial Checklist, your step-by-step guide to starting your business or just making sure everything’s in check!