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How Coaching Can Help You Grow Your Interior Design Business

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Coaching for Interior Designers with Jacqueline Green At Behind the Design

As an interior designer, you want to grow your business and take it to the next level. It can be challenging to find new clients and establish yourself in a highly competitive market. However, with the right guidance and support, you can achieve the success you desire. One way to do this is to work with a coach who specializes in helping interior designers. In this blog post, we'll explore how coaching can help you grow your interior design business, what to look for in a coach and if coaching is worth the expense.

The Challenges Facing Business Owners

I don’t know about you, but when I went through school for my interior design degree, no one taught me how to start my own interior design business. Yes, I took one course on professional practice, which at the time was okay. Interestingly, years later, I revamped that entire program for my college. (It is much better now.) Luckily, I also had 20 years of business and marketing experience under my belt. I can tell you, running your own business isn’t easy.

Starting and managing an interior design business is much more than designing beautiful spaces. Unfortunately, if you own your own business, you are not designing nearly as much as you want. What is holding you back? Well, there is maintaining your finances, developing marketing campaigns, managing your website and social accounts, finding new customers, and a whole range of other items that can feel overwhelming, in addition to being time-consuming.

Where do you turn for help? A Business Coach, of course.

Think about it for a second. If you ever played a sport, danced, or did anything competitive as a child, chances are you didn’t do it alone. There was someone there cheering you on and helping you get better. Even in school, you probably had a teacher who channeled energy to her students just like a coach. So, why wouldn’t you need a coach for business?

10 Ways a Coach Can Help You Grow

A great coach offers encouragement, support, insight, and even a little more honesty than you might want. But, having the right coach can take your career or business from where it is today to the business you always dreamed of.

Here is how a business coach can help you.  

  1. Clarify Your Vision and Goals
  2. Improved Leadership Skills
  3. Enhanced Communication
  4. Strategic Planning
  5. Improved Performance
  6. Greater Self-Awareness
  7. Improved Self Confidence
  8. Stress Management Skills
  9. Networking Opportunities
  10. Better Decision-Making Skills

Let’s dig a little deeper and look at each one.

Clarify Your Vision and Goals

Finding clarity in what you want to achieve and where you want to take your business can be difficult when you're in the thick of managing everything. A coach can help you identify your vision and goals for your interior design business and help you create a roadmap on how to achieve them. This includes defining your ideal client, narrowing down your services, and setting SMART goals that can help you achieve success.

Improved Leadership

A business coach can also help leaders within an organization to become more effective in their roles. Coaches can provide guidance on how to manage people more effectively and how to create a positive work environment that encourages creativity and innovation. They can also advise on how best to set goals, delegate tasks, and resolve conflicts within the workplace.

Enhanced Communication

Business coaches are skilled at helping organizations develop better communication strategies. They understand the importance of clear communication between all levels of an organization and have expertise in developing effective communication channels that allow information to flow freely between departments or teams. This helps ensure that everyone is on the same page when it comes to projects or initiatives.

Strategic Planning

Business coaches are adept at helping business owners create strategic plans that will guide them toward success in the future. Through one-on-one meetings, a coach can help identify long-term goals and develop actionable steps for achieving those goals over time. This ensures that you are working toward the objectives and allows for better resource allocation within the company.

Improved Performance

Business coaching can also help individuals within an organization improve their performance by providing feedback on areas where they could be doing better, as well as offering tips on how they could improve their skillset or knowledge base in order to become more successful in their role. Coaches often use assessments such as personality tests or 360-degree reviews to gain insight into individual strengths and weaknesses so they can tailor their advice accordingly. Understanding your or your team member’s strength and weaknesses will help ensure everyone is working at their max performance level.

Greater Self-Awareness

Working with a business coach gives individuals an opportunity for self-reflection, which is essential for personal growth and development, both professionally and personally. Through conversations with a coach, individuals learn more about themselves, including what motivates them, what values are important to them, what skills they possess, etc., which helps them become more aware of who they are as professionals and as people overall.

Increased Confidence

Coaching sessions often give individuals greater confidence in their abilities by helping them recognize their strengths while also addressing any areas where improvement is needed so they feel empowered rather than overwhelmed when taking on new challenges or tasks at work.

Stress Management Skills

Business coaching provides individuals with stress management tools that enable them to approach problems from a different perspective so they don't get stuck feeling overwhelmed or defeated by difficult situations at work.

Networking Opportunities  

Business coaches often have extensive networks within various industries, which they leverage when working with clients so, as well as improving their professional skillset through coaching sessions; individuals may also benefit from increased networking opportunities through contacts made during these sessions.

Better Decision-Making Skills    

Business coaches provide guidance on decision-making techniques so that individuals learn how to make decisions based on facts rather than emotions, leading to better outcomes and reduced stress levels due to improved problem-solving skills.

Utilizing a coach can help you overcome the barriers holding you back and help you focus on the priorities that will propel the business (or your career) forward.


What Makes a Good Coach

Not everyone person is meant to be a coach. Much like a teacher, it takes a special type of person who can provide feedback that motivates and inspires you to act. Guess what? There are many coaches out there. I have probably met over 50 coaches in the past few months. But not every coach is right for you.

Many coaches are specialized in certain areas. For instance, I met a coach last week that specializes in productivity. Another coach specializes in helping retirees. Although there are many coaches, it is important that you find the one that works for you.

A great coach possesses a unique blend of qualities that sets them apart from others. In searching for the right coach for you, here are some key characteristics that may help you find an exceptional coach:


Knowledgeable In Your Wheelhouse

It is important to choose a coach that specializes in your area of need. If you are struggling with your interior design business, you may want to find a coach who understands the industry and has lengthy knowledge of businesses. The right coach can help you work through your unique challenges by giving applicable advice that works.

When I first started my marketing consulting business, I met with a coach for an introductory call. I remember meeting him through a networking group. This was way back when coaching first started becoming a thing. We sat at a small table at a coffee shop, and he explained his program. It was interesting until I asked about his qualifications. I promise I did this in a nice way. Turns out he was a manager at a retail tire company before taking a 6-week coaching program online, which was about eight weeks prior. Although he seemed like a nice guy, I felt like he could not relate to me. He had never worked in or around marketing consultants.

When identifying a coach for you, don’t be afraid to ask questions about what they bring to the table.


Pick a Coach that is Goal-Centric and Results-Oriented

Business coaches aren’t cheap. You will want a coach that is goal-centric and results-oriented. A great coach helps you set clear, achievable goals that will result in the desired outcome. If you don’t have goals, then how do you know where you are going? I guarantee you are going nowhere fast. Your goals should be established and discussed on day one.

Next, discuss how the process looks before you sign up. This should include a discussion about what results you want to achieve and how long will the coaching program require to achieve those results. Of course, you need to be realistic about the results desired, but you don’t want to get into a situation where you are spending time and money and not getting results.

A good coach knows the importance of setting your intentions and goals to ensure you are moving in the right direction. If you aren’t achieving your goals, then either you aren’t following your coach's advice, or you aren’t getting good advice.

It is also important to understand that business coaching isn’t therapy or counseling. Rather it is helping you to identify actionable goals, and building strategies to implement that will result in your desired outcome.  


Choose a Coach that Speaks to You

I realized not too long ago that I needed a coach if I wanted to take my business to a whole new level. Over the past three months, I have sought out coaches at networking events. I hate to say this, but I was looking for a connection. When I mean connection, I mean a gut instinct that this was the person I could trust. I found a great coach, and I love her energy. But I passed over many before I finally said yes.  

Your coach should be an excellent communicator and clearly convey expectations, feedback, and strategies. Communication starts with listening. Be mindful that your coach listens to your specific needs without a preconceived agenda. Don’t fall for a cookie-cutter solution that may not apply to your goals.

A great coach knows how to inspire and motivate. Although they often push you out of your comfort zone, they do so in a way that helps you believe you can go beyond your limiting beliefs. They often help you brush it off and keep moving forward when you fall. They encourage you to push beyond your limits and strive for excellence. As you leave your coach's office or end the Zoom call, you should feel empowered to achieve your goals.


It Starts with Respect and Trust

Respect and trust are a two-way street in coaching. Great coaches respect their clients and work hard to earn your trust. In return, they often expect the client to work equally hard to achieve their goals. Your coach can’t want it more than you want it.

Trust is crucial in a coaching relationship. Coaching sessions are a safe place to share your intimate concerns. Discussing what is holding you back is hard. It often feels like there is something wrong with us. That we aren’t doing enough or not good enough. You should feel comfortable sharing your thoughts, challenges, and aspirations in your coaching sessions. It is also important that those discussions stay private unless permission is given. A good coach is supportive and allows you room to grow.


Remember, being a great coach isn't just about winning or achieving goals. It's about influencing lives in a positive way and leaving a lasting impact.


Are Business Coaches Worth the Investment?

Hiring a coach is an upfront investment, but the potential benefits in terms of clarified goals, expert guidance, and increased revenue make it a worthwhile consideration for many designers.

Here's why:

  • Business coaches are experts who offer guidance and mentorship to entrepreneurs and small businesses. They can help you define your business strategy and avoid common mistakes.
  • A good business coach helps you clarify your goals, making creating a roadmap for success easier.
  • While the cost of hiring a business coach can vary, many find that the return on investment is worth it. Typically, coaching clients can expect to pay anywhere from $500 to $5,000 per month for professional business coaching.
  • The increasing demand for business coaching services indicates that more people are recognizing their value. There are over 71,000 business coaches working worldwide.
  • Every business is unique, and a good business coach will tailor their approach to meet your specific needs and circumstances.
  • Many businesses find that hiring a coach leads to increased revenue, making the investment in coaching self-funding over time.

It is important to find the right coach for you. Look for someone you find knowledgeable about interior design and the unique challenges you face in your career and industry.

It is also important to connect with your coach. You want someone you respect, trust, and will be comfortable sharing details about you, your career, and your business. Not everything you explore in coaching will be easy. A good coach will help you dig deep and find what works for you to reach your dreams.

Here is the truth. Every single person has something holding them back, whether it be in business or personal. It is nearly impossible to overcome that challenge on your own. I hear it all the time from extremely successful businesswomen. At some point in their business, they got stuck in growing further, so they sought help from a coach.  It was that coach that took them over that hump.

You may turn to self-help books, podcasts, a therapist, or a business coach, but you are more likely to succeed if you commit to growing with the help of others.

Lastly, coaching can be the game-changer you need to take your interior design business to the next level. A coach by your side can help you refine your business strategy, improve your marketing efforts, identify your niche, develop your leadership skills, give you emotional support and accountability, and help you make more money.

If you're ready to take your interior design business to the next level, hiring a coach might be the solution. With the help of coaching, you'll be able to turn your passion for interior design into a profitable and successful business.

I am excited to announce our new coaching program. If you are feeling overworked and underpaid, we should talk. Schedule an introduction meeting with me.  

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