Before creating your final design proposal and presentation, it’s important to make sure you can source all the products and furnishings you're proposing for your client’s design. That way you won’t run into any surprises or unavailability later and run the risk of disappointing your client.
Your proposal provides all the budget and timeline details for completing your project, so being as thorough and accurate as possible are key in this stage. Meanwhile, your design presentation should be compelling, professional and reflect the desired vision your client expressed in their questionnaire while being guided and refined by your expertise.
Always assure that you have a contract in place before making any purchases on behalf of your client. Make sure it’s signed and dated by both parties and that your files are digitally backed up.
After you have your contract in hand and your client has approved your design you can now move forward to making purchase orders of products and furnishings. Make sure to allow enough time for the ordering itself, the processing or creation time needed from the vendor, as well as shipping times.
Contractor Bids, If Needed
If you’re hiring any contractors for your design project, you’ll want to allow time for this in your project schedule. Pro tip: make sure to keep lists of your favorite go-to contractors and back-up contractors in case anything comes up or your preferred contractors are unavailable. What’s important is hiring quality subcontractors while keeping your project moving forward, which sometimes requires some compromise.
During the course of your design project, you will definitely want to make regular on-site visits to see how the work is progressing. If you don’t, then you run the risk of things not going according to the original vision, which can delay your project completion.
With your space prepared and products delivered, you’re ready for the exciting completion phase of your project. This can take anywhere from one day to one week or more depending on the scope, so make sure to account for this accordingly in your timeline.
Whether you’re invoicing your client along the way at different stages or all at once at the end, you need to set aside time to create detailed invoices for your client. This will greatly indicate your level of professionalism, organization and will help your client pay faster and on time if everything is thoroughly outlined.
Client Thank You
After you’ve sent your final invoice to request payment for your project, it’s a great business practice to send a thank you note, small gift of gratitude and any referral marketing materials you might have to your client to both thank them and provide a strong closing impression at the end of your work together. It’s a very helpful strategy to contribute to repeat business and receive recommendations from your clients.