In an increasingly fragile world, every industry and every business is impacted by the coronavirus pandemic. The scenario is the same for the interior design world too. They have been severely impacted by invoices on hold and the shrinking volume of new business. In the face of lockdowns and stoppage of business functions, companies in the interior design world need to rethink conventional ways of working. And this is not a choice anymore. It has become a necessity that we all must look at.
Here are some ways in which interior designers will have to inculcate a new way of working in the present situation
1 Tighter Budgets
Be prepared to justify harder why an extra roll of floral print in a particular section of a wall needs to be purchased. Increasingly, customers are tightening interior design budget so that every item and every dollar needs to be accounted for and justified. Hence interior designers will have to be sharp about a 360-degree perspective at the estimation stage itself. This way the eventual billing will not exceed the estimate and the user experience too will remain brilliant as always.
2 Increase In Tech Usage
Ever since social distancing has become the new normal, people prefer using laptop and mobile screens to interact with interior designers. Right from submitting quotes and digital contracts, to showing design mockups on the internet, many aspects of business operations will change for the interior designers. The question does remain – will this change be for the better or for worse. But considering our collective positivity in such a bleak situation, the increase in tech usage will lead to improved customer servicing and better value in service offerings.
3 An Extra Dose of Creativity
The present time is apt for being nimble and creative to customer preferences. Small business owners need to keep up their collective inspiring frame of mind. Experts agree that all problems have a solution if you are creative. Interiors designers will have to deepen their engagement with customers while still keep a hawk-eye on the budgets and costs. Any unwanted costs need to be trimmed down in order to adhere to the revenue and profitability forecasts. Make sure to check that the cost-cutting measures do not dampen employee morale or take a hit on fruitful client nurturing and relationship management endeavors. Once you have figured out this part of the business, you would be ready to take on the next few difficult months with confidence.
4 Build Pet Projects
Less work doesn’t mean you have to sit around twiddling your thumbs. Take the case of Angela Belt from 28 Black Tastemakers. She is now perfecting her podcast program to share snippets of insights and her experiences in the interior design domain. Her project, the Mood Board Design discusses the race and culture of interior design. Experts can also offer online services to clients such as e-designs and new vendor on-boarding.
Many have also started blogging and utilizing image-based social media platforms such as Pinterest and Instagram to pique interest around their brand. Such inbound marketing techniques offer a low-cost avenue for gathering maximum visibility online and building a strong brand reputation over the Web for a competitive edge. These digital marketing avenues will ensure that your brand keeps its leading position on your target audience’s minds. This way when they are actually ready to discuss a new interior design project, they will directly connect with you.
5 Look Forward To Increased Lead Times
Many European and US regions are under stringent lockdowns. As a result, the vendors’ fulfillment might be affected. You need to be ready for this delay and accordingly inform your client too. It should not happen that there was no news from your side, and with a day remaining for the delivery, you tell the client that the delivery will not happen the next day. The result will be an annoyed client frustrated by poor client servicing experience. When you anticipate such delays, it will make sense to loop in the customer as soon as possible. Since it is a global pandemic, they will completely understand your predicament. The idea is to keep communicating with the customer so that they don’t feel that no one is looking after their on-going project.
To Sign Off
These were the ways in which the domain of modern interior design will undergo a change due to the harmful impact of the COVID-19. The pandemic has surely impacted the top lines of interior design firms. But now we need to move past the issues of the last few months and re-wire our way of working, to extract maximum leverage as world-class interior design firms. Stay tuned as we keep bringing more highlights on a post-Coronavirus world and how it will evolve the interior design industry for the better.