You have to be a people person to be a successful interior designer. Not only will you be dealing with clients on a wide range of issues, you will also have to connect with suppliers, project managers, builders, and other tradespeople to ensure that you get the best for your client. But along with being good at communicating, there are a whole host of additional skills and traits that will help you in your quest to become the best in your field.
Interior designers need to be incredibly flexible when it comes to designs. Not only do you need to understand the space you are working on in the context of the surrounding areas, but you also need to be flexible with regards to the client’s wishes. All too often an interior designer will have a certain idea in their head that doesn’t match with the client’s view, and won’t change to respect this. Interior designers are there to assist and guide, but ultimately, we work for you.
Clients want their project finished as soon as possible, and when there a large number of third parties all on the same project coordination can become difficult. While your exact remit will change depending upon the project, a successful interior designer needs to understand the time frames and how different aspects of the project fit together. If you can show your client you understand the project on a holistic level and can discuss realistic time frames, then you can show your professionalism on all levels.
As the first point of contact between suppliers and your client, it’s inevitable that conflict will arise, and it’s your job to get the best result for everyone involved. If you can tactfully manage all situations and dissolve conflict before it adversely affects your client and their project then you will solve all sorts of problems. The main reason that projects run over time and over budget is due to conflicts not being resolved early on; being well versed in mitigating such situations will help your productivity and efficiency enormously.
That’s not to say you only need these three skills to manage a successful interior design business! Successful interior designers need a whole range of skills, and these can always be improved. I’m constantly looking to better myself, and learn from those around me in order to pass the benefits to my clients.