Design Services and Rates Guide A FREE Resource for Your Interior Design Business
When Should You Hire Staff for your Interior Design Business?
Hiring staff – a very timely vlog topic as we are presently going through this exact process here at Claire Jefford Inc.
We are on the lookout to fill an Office Manager position. We’re in the final stages and I followed the criteria I lay out here for you.
I’m breaking down this topic into two areas:
When is it time to hire?
What jobs or tasks should I be outsourcing/delegating?
Watch my video to learn if hiring staff is something you should be considering for your Interior Design or Decorating business.
How do you know when it’s time to bring someone onboard?
At what stage should your business be at before you consider hiring a staff member?
I broached the subject of staff in my last vlog on Monthly Expenses.
Paying staff is a huge monthly expense. Therefore, you need to make sure your business is at a place where you can afford it.
Tips on When It’s Time to Hire Someone
1. Consistently busy for 6-12 month period
There’s no let-up in the number of design projects you have on your calendar.
You may prefer to work on one project at a time. Other design and decorating professionals like it better when they have a few on the go.
Regardless of which way you work, if your projects are back to back to back with little or no breaks, this is a huge sign that it may be time to hire some help.
2. Working 8-12+ hours 5-7 days/week
If you are anything like me, I bet you work over 40 hours a week.
I love to work, but when I do extra hours, I prefer to be creating videos or engaging with my audience on social media!
You’re filling your days meeting with clients.
You are designing, creating floor plans, sourcing and procuring.
You are attending important industry events.
And then at night, you have to put on a different hat to do admin, customer service, maybe even some bookkeeping.
You cannot effectively perform all these roles if they are consuming all of your time. You will burn out.
Avoid this by getting help. Hire a staff member and propel your business!
3. Feelings of Decreased Productivity
Or said differently – feeling like you could be way more productive if you weren’t bogged down by all of these menial tasks.
Not that these tasks aren’t important or necessary. They are for sure. But generally, they are not billable so you don’t make any money doing them.
If you could spend more of your time actually designing and doing work that you get paid to do (and enjoy doing!), you’d feel much more productive.
4. Spending too much time doing jobs you don’t love
This one follows on from #3. And that is, you are spending way too much time doing things you don’t love.
In fact, you might not even like doing them or worse, detest them.
Do you find yourself procrastinating from looking at your inbox and replying to all those emails?
Or, do you leave filing your monthly expenses until the last minute?
Are there tasks you completely avoid? Filing client information, posting to Social Media?
If you answer yes to any of these you should probably look into hiring staff to take care of some of these tasks.
It’s okay to share the load. In fact, it might be completely necessary if you want your business to continue to grow and be profitable.
Your priority should be the areas that you love and are good at. If possible leave the rest to someone who works for you.
Tasks to Outsource
Speaking of the areas of your business that you absolutely love doing, let’s look at all the different jobs you do and how you feel about them.
This is a fantastic way to clearly see which duties you should continue to do and which you should outsource.
Here is my suggestion on how to figure this out.
I went through this exercise myself and it helped me identify those tasks I should spend the majority of my time on and the tasks that I should be delegating to someone else.
Categorize your tasks into 4 categories -or ‘buckets’ as I like to call them.
1. Jobs you’re great at and love doing
2. Things you’re good at and don’t mind doing
3. Things you’re pretty good at and don’t like doing
4. Tasks you are not good at and don’t like doing at all
Make a list of all the tasks you do for your business
This list will be long and varied.
Many jobs that you perform will relate specifically to how you have set up your business.
Not all professional interior decorators and designers will have identical lists.
Here are some examples from my own list of jobs that I carry out daily, weekly or monthly.
- Colour and design consultations
- 3D designs
- Measuring / site visits
- Sourcing and procurement
- Presentation preparation
Adiministrative & Customer Service
- Manage emails
- Reply to phone calls
- Follow-up on orders
- Scheduling Discovery calls, consultations, 1-on-1 coaching calls
- Scheduling client/trades meetings
- Documenting processes
- Film and edit videos
- Write blog posts
- Create graphics for blogs
- Write campaigns to your email list
- Create graphics for Pinterest
- Create Instagram stories and other social media posts
You can see how the list goes on and on!
Okay, now based on the 4 categories listed earlier, assign a number to each of your tasks.
Anything that falls into categories 3 & 4, you should not be doing. These are the jobs you need to look at hiring someone else to do.
Your main focus should be categories 1 & 2.
These are the areas that you excel at and love doing! This is where you must focus your time and energy.
As my business has grown and evolved I have found myself needing assistance in certain areas.
I love making videos but realized I could no longer handle doing all the filming and editing on my own.
So, I hired a videographer to help me film my colour review videos and she edits some of them too.
A design student was brought on board as well and she assists with organizing client projects and scheduling my social media posts.
And now I am nearing the final stages of finding an Office Manager who will take over many of the day-to-day tasks.
All of this will leave me with plenty of time to concentrate on my #1 and #2 jobs – the things that I LOVE THE MOST!!
Is it time for you to seriously think about hiring staff to help you run your business?
Do you already have staff? What roles do they perform? Comment below, I love hearing from you and learning what your experience has been.