As 2023 comes to a close, many of you may be spending some time reflecting on the efficiency of your business over the past year. Tell us honestly: how many late nights did you spend in your office, drowning in administrative to-dos and struggling to finish client proposals? Finding that sweet spot for the perfect work-life balance can be the biggest business challenge of all, especially when you’re trying to do everything yourself. If you feel like there’s always too much to do and never enough time to do it, take a look at our suggestions for how to have better work-life balance below. They will help you transition into the New Year with a clear head, feeling ready to take on anything that comes your way!
1. Streamline Your Business Operations
First things first, take a look at your business operations and figure out where you can save yourself some time. If you aren’t sure how to begin revising your systems of procedure, it can be helpful to work with someone who understands the ins and outs of the business. We aren’t talking about a “coach”; instead, we’re suggesting a partner who can work alongside you and skillfully take on some of your leadership responsibilities.
As the owner of two successful design-related businesses, 4Dbiz Founder and CEO, Shayna Rose, partners with interior design business owners as their Fractional Chief Operating Officer (COO). She provides foundational business consulting, as well as ongoing operations support.
Shayna offers guidance and resources to help you close jobs faster with more confidence. Before you send a proposal to a client, she recommends setting up a closing call with them to talk it out. If the client is concerned about going over budget, identify their top priorities and negotiate with them to reduce the scope of work. This will make your clients feel heard, so they will be comfortable moving forward with the project in a timely manner.
Once you have closed a job, she can also show you how to create a Project Roadmap that itemizes the design process from start to finish. You can apply it to all of your projects, so that you have a clear understanding of how long a project will take, how to price it accurately, and how to delegate to a team when the workload gets too heavy. Best of all, you will get access to a Custom Project Estimator that allows you to create thorough pricing proposals in 30 minutes or less.
To learn more about all of the advantages of working with a Fractional COO, check out our blog.
2. Use Technology as a Tool for Success
In addition to working with a Fractional COO, you can use technology to spend less time on administrative tasks without sacrificing quality. Although each project is different, you will probably find that many parts of the interior design process overlap for each one. Templates are the perfect solution for documents that you use often. Whenever you have a new project, all you’ll need to do is duplicate the template and fill in the blanks. You can register for a free account at 4Dbiz to receive access to a variety of useful templates that will make project setup quick and easy.
If you are spending a lot of time going back and forth with clients over email, you might also want to consider setting up automated workflows. You can create automations that send an email automatically when a certain client action triggers them. By doing so, you avoid having to copy and paste a template every time you respond to a client. Automations are also useful for networking. They can be set up on sites, such as LinkedIn, to collect contact information for leads and send introductory messages to new connections.
Our marketing team offers professional support for setting up automations, and all of your other marketing needs. Create a 4Dbiz account and sign up for a marketing onboarding session to start working with our team.
3. Don’t Forget to Delegate
While it is commendable to try to do everything on your own, this is not a sustainable practice in the long run. You have to be able to scale your business to remain profitable and maintain work-life balance as it grows. That is why it is so important to learn how to delegate effectively.
Delegation will free up your own schedule, expanding your capacity to take on more clients, or to simply enjoy more time for yourself. It can be distracting when you have too much on your plate. Having additional support and an extra set of eyes on the details can help you improve accuracy and efficiency for your business, too.
4Dbiz offers diversified team support for interior design business owners, no matter the size of your business. Our team of virtual assistants has extensive experience in the design industry, and we understand how to work productively within a variety of design systems, software, and applications. Consider delegating any of the following tasks to our team:
- Drawings – 2D design drawings, technical drawings, 3D renderings, video walk-throughs
- Sourcing & Product Research
- Administrative Tasks – client correspondence, paperwork, time logs/billing
- Marketing – social media management, blogging, copywriting, logo/brand development, etc.
Learning how to have better work-life balance is not something that happens overnight. Consistency is key. When you are consistent with your strategies, it is easier to identify what’s working, what isn’t, and how you can make adjustments to save yourself some time.
If you need help developing a strategy or maintaining consistency for your business, our 2024 Commitment to Success program might be the solution you need. It includes 21 hours of monthly and quarterly 1:1 meetings with our executive team, as well as 4 hours of on-call support to be used for foundational efforts. Want to learn more? Sign up for a call with Shayna to find out if this program is the right fit for you!