How interior designers benefit from a business coach

In this guest blog, Andrew Brown sets out why he thinks interior designers can benefit from the personalised, tailored advice provided by a business coach.

To illustrate how interior designers benefit from a business coach, here’s a quote from Melissa Lee of New South Home, “If I’d hired a business coach years and years ago, I would have jump-started my business.”

Melissa learnt the hard way. To be a successful business-owning interior designer takes more than creative brilliance. You also need strong business knowledge and skills to succeed

Despite this seemingly obvious statement, the UK interiors industry isn’t following the global coaching trend. A trend, according to the International Coaching Federation’s 2020 Global Coaching Study, that’s going up and up. Yet, when UK interior designers have received coaching, it’s often executive or personal coaching. And not business coaching

What is business coaching?

Business coaching for interior designers is a form of business advice. As is mentoring, consultancy and training. All of which can deliver amazing business improvements. The difference is coaching is personal to you and your business

Mentoring is about the mentor’s experience; do it as I did, and hopefully you’ll have the same success. Consultancy concentrates on your business processes and environment. Training, by its nature, is a one-size-fits-all approach. In reality, the four disciplines, aren’t distinct. There’s a degree of overlap between all of us

Why a business coach benefits interior designers?

80% of UK interiors firms are no more than 2 people. This means the business is often an extension of the owner. For the owner, the business is more than a financial commitment. It’s an emotional commitment as well. Therefore, interior design practice owners will hugely benefit from tailored advice. And the personal nature of business coaching sets it apart from other business advisory services

Key areas where a business coach benefits interior designers

In truth, there are many ways. But let’s concentrate on just three:

  • Business Goals and Strategy: define your business goals. And then achieve them
  • Be a Better Business Owner: treat your mistakes as catalysts for progression
  • Get the Life You Want: fulfil your creative passion, without working yourself into the ground

Business goals and strategy: A goal is a ‘what’ and a ‘when’. To use a non-business example, ’10 stone by Christmas’. Strategy is the ‘how’. For instance, sign up for a local Pilates class, swap pasta for courgetti. A business coach can be a crucial sounding board when forming your ‘whats’, ‘whens’ and ‘hows’. More importantly, a business coach will challenge your thinking by asking searching questions

Be a better business owner: Every successful entrepreneur admits their failures outnumber their successes. What makes them different is their capacity for self-reflection. Put another way, their ability to learn from mistakes. An experienced coach can be your guide on your journey of self-reflection. So you use your mistakes as a springboard for self-development. And not as an excuse to shy away from future challenges

Get the life you want: Often the day-to-day demands of a business mean we’re no longer able to see the wood for the trees. A problem exacerbated by some common traits: small business owners immersing themselves in every detail, interior designers’ tendency to be people pleasers. Coaches are adept at helping you establish what really makes a difference for you and your business. This knowledge can help get you back to your creative passion. Moreover, have a life!

Take the next step to business success

Let’s face it, we all could do with some support to achieve our dreams. And personalised, tailored advice from a coach can make a huge difference to your interior design business

Andrew Brown is the founder of YourCoachApproach a business coach specifically for interior design professionals

If you enjoyed this business feature, you might also like my piece on The Importance of Professional Contracts

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