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Interior Design Trade Secrets: 5 Tips To Tame The Paper Tiger, Stay Organized And Make Money

When working with design professionals in their businesses, it seems that many are operating with random stacks, sticky notes, and a chaotic office. The organization saves precious time, creates greater confidence in your business, and allows you to always know exactly where you stand for success. There are simple and proven techniques to get and stay on top of the paper tiger.

Mastering client files

Each file folder must be clearly marked with the client’s name, address and telephone contact, also email. To make it really easy, use project management folders, available at any office supply resource. These provide a chart that you can record your clients’ visits and progress on the face of the binder. Keep all job receipts, samples, product printouts, and customer notes in the file folder. When a job is complete, move the folder to inactive, but follow up regularly!

Organization of commercial receipts

Non-customer related receipts, such as those for marketing, office supplies, auto expenses, insurance, employee meals, and more, must be submitted monthly, if not weekly. You can just use an accordion file folder, or if (like mine) you have too many, use 6×9 manila envelopes in a file drawer and clearly label each one with the expense category and year. You can then easily deliver them to your accountant or bookkeeper in time for tax preparation and annual and quarterly finances.

Win purchase orders

While if you are really on top of your game you will do all of this electronically, it is very difficult to avoid the role of providers! So print one copy of each order, store it in a three-ring binder with dividers per month, staple all relevant paperwork to each order. This makes tracking and follow-up easy. Be sure to record the name and date of anyone you spoke with regarding the order on the original purchase order. Also, for quick reference, you can keep a log book of all orders, including date, number purchase order, supplier, requested goods, expected expiration date and receipt date. Old fashioned but it works, yes you can do this in an excel spreadsheet too! For ease, I make my own purchase order numbers, they are sequential, but I include the customer’s initials before each number.

Track your time

Yes, most of us work at least part or full hours, be it consulting, creation, design, coaching or project management. You will earn more money from a daily log than from a mental shock once a week or once a month. Create an Excel spreadsheet on your laptop or PDA or in a green column notebook and keep it in your car. Assign values ​​to the time you spend (on the left side), is it consulting, resources, design, space planning, installation, project management? Assign project names at the top and then record dates and times. The increment in which you work depends on you, some do it in 15 minutes, others in 30 minutes or a full hour. Biweekly or monthly invoice.

Regular billing maintains cash flow

Too often you don’t bill until you need cash, forgetting that there is always a delay between the time you request payment and the time you receive it, often a delay of 30, 60, and even 90 days despite the terms. that he established. payment upon receipt. So the first bill often. That means a minimum of biweekly and monthly. Also, for your services, write off an advance. You can provide retainers for as little as 5 hours or for a percentage of the project estimate. This commits the client to the project and allows you money up front. To the expenses of each advance, a marked invoice paid with the detail of its use is sent and then the next advance is included. This will keep you on track rather than behind. You own a business, not a bank!

Using the easy-to-implement system here will tame your paper nightmares, keep you organized and on track to attract the dollars. Passion for work is paramount, but useless if you are not benefiting!

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