Tuesday, September 13, 2011

The Business of Design

The Washington Design Center offers a series of lectures on different topics of interest for designers and we just had our first one today.  They are usually really cool topics like how to catch an editors eye and increase your chances of getting published or branding and licensing your own line.  We also have the privilege of hearing fabulous designers talk about what inspires them and attend their book signing.

 Keith Granet spoke to us today about his new book The Business of Design. There was a full house of designers packed in this morning to hear him speak.  All of anxious to hear what he meant by the "Business of Design".  Would we hear about balancing our checkbook?  How to organize our office?  Or would it be about increasing our business by changing our billing strategies?

Well, we got an amazing earful!  Keith Granet's client list is the who's who in the industry.  Barbara Barry, Charlotte Moss, Fortuny, Drake Design, Victoria Hagan, Waterworks, Mary McDonald and the list goes on!  The New York Times wrote a great article about him in August that was really inspiring to read and I was ready to hear what he had to say.

His firm specializes in four different areas: management consultant, licensing, design leadership summit and his book. He spoke to use about all four of these areas and gave us a great insight into his new book.

He talked about how important it is to have a great business plan. Describing it as a road map I think took out a little bit of the intimidation factor and spins a business plan into something that I really want to work on now.  He emphasized that without it, how would you know where your buiness is going?  Although I have heard this before, with my business heading into new directions, it seems like the perfect time to tackle it now.  Keith did go over his "Top Ten Business Practices".  Some we have heard before but he suggested we take ten percent out of every check we receive and deposit it into a separate savings account.  That's something I'm starting today. 

Over the past few years I have been teaching at the college level.  My favorite course to teach is Business Practices.  I strongly believe that in order for a designer to be successful they have to understand more than a color wheel.  Keith is hoping to incorporate his book into interior design curriculums.  I would love to add that to my list of books for students to read.  I zippped over to the Holly Hunt showroom to buy a signed copy, but I was too late, all gone!  (Of course last night I ordered my copy from Amazon and yes, paid for the next day shipping!)  Can't wait to start reading it!

A marketing plan timeline is in Business of Design and that was of great interest to me too.  It suggests how often you should send out an email blast for example, do your adverstising, etc.  I'd love to paste that on my calendar and know that there is some rhyme or reason to my marketing. 

Will I ever need his help on licensing?  Or be invited to his exclusive Designer Summit?  Maybe not, but I know that there is so much I can learn from him and his book to help keep my business strong and moving forward.  I feel like I am not alone and want to hit the ground running!  Thanks Keith!

Email me about a post, project or partnership at Victoria@victoriasanchezinteriors.com


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