Have you ever taken on a new client or job and discovered (to your dismay) that the client wants to run the job? They want to order what they want first, do things out of logical order and cause you to spend way more of your time on the job than what’s really necessary?
The solution to this frustrating situation is in managing the job from the start through your Letter of Agreement.
One of the most important things you can do to keep your design job on track is explain how your design process works in in the beginning. That way there is no question about what’s going to happen and how. When you skip this step, you run the risk of being someone’s design slave … responding to their beck and call, “do this”, “find that”, and provide way more than you should!
Here are few tips for organizing your services and managing your client with Letter of Agreement:
Be very clear when presenting your Letter of Agreement in the beginning that this is a contract is for the design portion of the job only. Explain that you’ll move into purchasing once the entire design solution figured out and when you both agree on all the pieces necessary. Then tell them how many meetings you’ll have, the purpose of each meeting, and the decisions that they’ll need to make by each meeting. It’s also appropriate to add a statement about how your purchasing services work.
Here’s an example:
Good Times Design Group will provide procurement services for all items needed to complete your interior design. Merchandise purchased in the client’s behalf by Good Times Design Group is sold at wholesale invoice cost, designer net or best possible price plus a 30% purchasing coordination fee (NOTE: you chose your procurement fee rate, I recommend between 25% and 50%), and applicable delivery charges and state and local sales tax. Freight charges are billed separately to client, at cost.
Since you’ve now told them exactly what to expect, and how your design process works, they’ll be ready to buy when you complete your design phase of the job. Having a structured system for completing your design services organizes your process, frees up your time, and gives clients confidence that you are a real pro!
There’s more training on this system in the Job Profit Secrets: How to use your Letter of Agreement to Create Happy Clients and Profitable Jobs That You Love.
Letter of Agreement Master Class 2.0 Home Study Program