The 3 Beliefs That Could Be Holding Back Your Design Business (and How to Avoid Them) | Architectural Digest

Design business owners often ask me how they should justify their prices, or explain their markups, to clients. But what this question indicates to me is a fundamental misunderstanding about what it is that designers do, and what clients are after. Over and over I see the same three mistaken beliefs hold them back—here’s what they are, and how you can reframe your thinking to boost your bottom line (not to mention your morale).

Belief #1: Your clients are looking for the biggest discount.

If you are worried about justifying your markup to your clients, you probably internally believe that your clients are looking to save money. But here’s the deal: Your clients aren’t coming to you because you charge the lowest rate. They are coming to you because you offer an experience. Design is a luxury service. Clients who are paying for an interior designer are not shopping around for the cheapest rate on furniture—they’re looking for the best project. 

Your client is not going to ask you to break down your markup, then shop around and ask other designers to do the same before they choose who to go with. (And if they do, that is not your ideal client.) If you believe that your client wants the biggest discount, you will hold yourself back from charging what you’re worth. I always say, “Don’t save your client’s money for them.” You can’t be confident in your prices, your service, and your worth if you’re not confident in the value you bring to the table. 

Belief #2: You deliver a shoppable product.

Your worry that your customers could order the sofa you picked out online is also misplaced. As a designer, you offer more than just pieces of furniture: You deliver a service, not a commodity. 

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