848 episodes

In today's world being a talented interior designer isn't enough to ensure that you have a profitable and successful business. Design school curricula doesn't always equip you with the business skills to have your interior design business be everything you imagined it would be! A Well-Designed Business® is here to fill in the gaps and give you real live business skills from some of the top interior designers. Your host, LuAnn Nigara shares her 40 years of success in the interior design industry, and she finds the most successful guests to share their interior design business best practices. This podcast is sponsored by Kravet Inc and Mydoma Studio.

A Well-Designed Business® | Interior Design Business Podcast LuAnn Nigara

    • Business
    • 5.0 • 3 Ratings

In today's world being a talented interior designer isn't enough to ensure that you have a profitable and successful business. Design school curricula doesn't always equip you with the business skills to have your interior design business be everything you imagined it would be! A Well-Designed Business® is here to fill in the gaps and give you real live business skills from some of the top interior designers. Your host, LuAnn Nigara shares her 40 years of success in the interior design industry, and she finds the most successful guests to share their interior design business best practices. This podcast is sponsored by Kravet Inc and Mydoma Studio.

    Amy Youngblood: Why Your Contact Form is Critical in Identifying Your Ideal Interior Design Client

    Amy Youngblood: Why Your Contact Form is Critical in Identifying Your Ideal Interior Design Client

    Today With Amy Youngblood
    Welcome to A Well-Designed Business. It’s no secret that I love systems and processes. They are the absolute backbone to increasing your profitability. My guest today, Amy Youngblood, principal of Amy Youngblood Interiors, has a very specific process that has helped her not just increase her profitability and bring in more clients, but also to bring in the right clients. She’s taking us through her intake process and discussing why and how it works to ensure that she works with her ideal clients.
    Pick It Apart
    [0:57] Amy shares her story of why she realized she needed to make a change in her business. 
    [7:07] Amy and LuAnn begin a deep-dive into Amy’s contact form.
    [20:58] Amy highlights why it’s important to ensure that partners in a home are on the same page.
    [43:58] Amy and LuAnn discuss the value of thinking outside of the box, even when you have systems and processes in place.
    LuAnn Nigara and Amy Youngblood' Ah-Ha Moments
    “What you’re saying is the first critical key in finding the happiness and joy in your business if it’s lacking is, are you working with the type of people and the type of projects that you enjoy.” - LuAnn Nigara
    “What I love about this is that we’re having an inside conversation about our reaction to consumer’s responses. But even if you have ten inquiries a month, if you have two or three every month that are searching for designers but plan to shop on their own, it’s a disconnect of the garden variety consumer disconnecting with design. They think of it as a commodity industry of you just picking things out for them.” - LuAnn Nigara
    “People want to hear back from you. Even if it’s not a good inquiry, I still respond back and say why, and I say it as respectfully as possible.” - Amy Youngblood
    More About Amy Youngblood:
    Amy began her career in interior design over 20 years ago. She has worked for several design firms, both residential and commercial. With a strong background as an accomplished artist, Amy fused her creative abilities along with her business and design experience to launch Amy Youngblood Interiors in 2009. Both Amy’s artwork and design commissions have been featured over the years in the local and national media. Amy’s appreciation of all styles has made her known for her clean-lined, yet comfortable, sophisticated look.
    Born in Michigan, Amy received her Bachelor of Arts degree at DePauw University with a Major in Communications, and later received a degree in Interior Design at Mount Saint Joseph University, graduating Magna Cum Laude with an emphasis on Art History. Amy has since taught interior design courses at the Mount Saint Joseph University in addition to having served as President of the school’s ASID Chapter. Amy also serves on various charity boards and is a consultant and investor in the local fashion and design industry in Cincinnati. As past President of Cincinnati Business Network, Amy enjoys networking with and mentoring other entrepreneurial business owners. She is also an active member of the OTR Chamber of Commerce, a member of the ArtsWave's Women's Leadership Roundtable, a founding member of the Contemporary Arts Center's prestigious Women's group, and a regular expert guest on local television. In addition, Amy has been named one of "Ohio's Top Interior Designers" by The LuxPad, an international publication specializing in high-end interior design. Her work is also regularly featured on HGTV.com. Amy has also been a featured speaker at NeoCon, an honor of being chosen among hundreds of interior designers. 
    When Amy is not growing her eponymous firm, she enjoys traveling with her husband Tom and two teenagers as well as exploring the food and culture of Cincinnati. An avid fitness buff, she can be found at her trainer's studio or at a Pilates class. She is also a fashion lover and integrates it into her designs. Check out Amy's fashion, style, and local events blog, Cincinnista. Amy

    • 1 hr 14 min
    Flashback Friday: Chris Loves Julia: Quality Content Creation is Key to Their Success

    Flashback Friday: Chris Loves Julia: Quality Content Creation is Key to Their Success

    Today With Julia Marcum:
    Welcome to A Well-Designed Business! Today’s show is a Flashback Friday, an episode from the archives that was so good, and so relevant, we wanted to share it with you again! I hope you enjoy Julia Marcum’s episode that originally aired as episode 480!
    Julia started blogging more than ten years ago, and her readership has grown to include millions of people. In 2016, Chris left his day job to join Julia as a blogger on a full-time basis. With their blog, this remarkable couple shares their original, authentic, and sincere perspective on the daily coups and challenges of their DIY home renovations. People follow them to learn how to improve their space and to get inspiration, tips on trends, and motivation to get things done. 
    In today’s episode, Julia explains that they know exactly why they’re doing what they do, and they know who they do it for.
    LuAnn Nigara and Julia Marcum's Ah-Ha Moments
    “There is zero downsides to growing your Instagram presence” - Julia Marcum
    “Maximize whatever you already have on hand” - Julia Marcum
    “Consistency is what really drives audiences, they want to know when and what they can expect from you” - Julia Marcum
    More About Julia Marcum:
    We’re a couple of progress-embracing home renovators, bloggers, brand ambassadors, and educators. We love: modern cottage design, s’mores around the fire pit, and our three cute kids (but not in that order).
    We started this blog in 2009, the year after we got married. But it wasn’t always a business! Like most bloggers back then, we were all about showing off our home projects and cute pictures of our kids. Our budget for home improvements was $20/month, and we were DIYing our hearts out (with borrowed tools).
    In 2015, we took Instagram by the horns and started photographing our home and our projects with a *real* camera. We started talking to our audience every day. We got really consistent with our content, and we took big, go-with-your-gut risks. 
    A year later, Chris quit his day job, and we were pinching ourselves: We get to work on our house as a *job*. And we get to work right alongside each other. 
    Looking back, I probably should have known that the girl who would beg the local bakery to let her design their store window (and get paid in cookies) would find a way to make a living out of making spaces beautiful — a truly sweet life.
    Connect with Julia Marcum
    Website
    Instagram 
    Good Influence Courses
    What’s new with LuAnn Nigara
    luannuniversity.com
    http://www.luannnigara.com/cob
    Get The Goodies!
    For checklists, resources, and extra goodies from A Well-Designed Business sign up for free here.
    To Get on LuAnn’s Email List, text the word designbiz to 444999!
    Purchase LuAnn’s Books Here:
    Book 1: The Making of A Well – Designed Business: Turn Inspiration into Action
    Audiobook: The Making of A Well – Designed Business: Turn Inspiration into Action
    Book 2: A Well-Designed Business – The Power Talk Friday Experts
    Pre-Order Book 3: A Well-Designed Business – The Power Talk Friday Experts Volume 2
    Connect with LuAnn Nigara
    LuAnn’s Website
    LuAnn’s Blog
    Power Talk Friday
    Like Us: Facebook | Tweet Us: Twitter | Follow Us: Instagram | Listen Here: Podcast
    Other Resources Mentioned:
    Jessica Helgerson Instagram
    Josh Young Instagram

    • 1 hr 20 min
    Kellie Burke: If You’re Not Failing, You’re Not Risking

    Kellie Burke: If You’re Not Failing, You’re Not Risking

    Today With Kellie Burke:
    Hi, welcome to A Well-Designed Business! Join me this week as I sit down with Kellie Burke, owner of Kellie Burke Interiors. One of Kellie's philosophies when designing a home is that "it should feel like a well-traveled home and not have a matching, store-bought look." Tune in to hear about her journey, the importance of failure, and the ups and downs of having a business.
    LuAnn Nigara and Kellie Burke's Ah-Ha Moments
    “The failure comes the lessons.” - LuAnn Nigara
    “I think we mistakenly see all the beautiful things and believe that that is the business of it, and it’s not.” - LuAnn Nigara
    More About Kellie Burke:
    Kellie studied design at Skidmore College in New York and overseas in Florence, Italy. While abroad, she soaked in the design principles associated with many different countries, including Portugal, Russia, Italy, France, Brussels, England, Estonia, and Scandinavia.
    After working as a studio artist and a faux painter, Kellie established her West Hartford, Connecticut-based interior design firm, Kellie Burke Interiors, in 1995. The firm expanded to include a design studio filled with trendy, high-style home products and accessories. One of Kellie's philosophies when designing a home is that "it should feel like a well-traveled home and not have a matching, store-bought look." Instead, she gravitates toward an 'Old World' style with modern, functional accents. Kellie is also very aware of the needs of clients with families and coordinates her efforts to make sure her designs meet all of their practical needs.
    Kellie was featured in OK Magazine in 2005 for designing Brooke Burke's Mediterranean Mansion. Hartford Magazine has named Kellie Burke' Best Interior Designer' in 2006 - 2015 Readers Poll. Kellie has been featured in Luxe Interiors + Design, Hartford Magazine, New England Home, and was a national finalist in the 2015 Zillow Digs Design Awards.
    Connect with Kellie Burke
    Website
    Instagram
    What’s new with LuAnn Nigara
    luannuniversity.com
    http://www.luannnigara.com/cob
    Get The Goodies!
    For checklists, resources, and extra goodies from A Well-Designed Business sign up for free here.
    To Get on LuAnn’s Email List, text the word designbiz to 444999!
    Purchase LuAnn’s Books Here:
    Book 1: The Making of A Well – Designed Business: Turn Inspiration into Action
    Audiobook: The Making of A Well – Designed Business: Turn Inspiration into Action
    Book 2: A Well-Designed Business – The Power Talk Friday Experts
    Pre-Order Book 3: A Well-Designed Business – The Power Talk Friday Experts Volume 2
    Connect with LuAnn Nigara
    LuAnn’s Website
    LuAnn’s Blog
    Power Talk Friday
    Like Us: Facebook | Tweet Us: Twitter | Follow Us: Instagram | Listen Here: Podcast
    Other Shows Mentioned:
    #844: John McClain: Turn Failure into Success

    • 55 min
    Power Talk Friday: Sandra Funk: Stop Apologizing and Start Communicating

    Power Talk Friday: Sandra Funk: Stop Apologizing and Start Communicating

    Today’s Show is Sponsored by the “Interior Design Standard.” Welcome to a Well-Designed Business. On today’s sponsored show, Sandra Funk is here to share all the details of her upcoming course, the “Interior Design Standard”.
    I’m so excited to share Sandra Funk’s business program, the “Interior Design Standard”, with you because I know it will be the best investment for your business.
    Enroll here: https://interiordesignstandard.com/luann
    Today With Sandra Funk:
    Welcome to A Well-Designed Business. Have you ever found yourself apologizing for delays due to elements that are completely out of your control (backorders, supply chain issues, labor shortage, etc.)? My guest today, Sandra Funk, believes it’s time to stop apologizing. 
    Sandra shares her insights into why designers do this, why they need to stop, and how to take back control of your communication with your clients.
    Pick It Apart
    [1:30] Sandra picks apart why designers need to stop apologizing for things that are out of their control.
    [7:28] LuAnn and Sandra discuss why setting expectations upfront is important.
    [17:30] Sandra shares why and how she implements a restart fee when projects are delayed past a certain point. 
    [26:30] Sandra highlights the value of templates in the Interior Design Standard.
    [35:11] Sandra breaks down the upcoming opportunity to join the Interior Design Standard.
    LuAnn Nigara and Sandra Funk's Ah-Ha Moments
    “You need to communicate the facts, accept our new reality, and get strategic on how you are going to stretch what you thought was going to be a six-month project into a year-long project.” - Sandra Funk
    “Just because it’s not the client’s fault, doesn’t mean it’s your fault or your responsibility to bear the burden of all the chips that fall because of whatever you’re dealing with.” - LuAnn Nigara
    “You can’t change labor shortages, you can’t change supply chain issues, but you can change the way you describe it, the way you share the information, and the way you handle it internally, and that so much affects the way your client will handle it.” - LuAnn Nigara
    More About Sandra Funk:
    Sandra Funk is the CEO and Principal Designer of House of Funk, a greater New York area design firm working wherever great clients need us.
    This is interior design with a soul and a sense of place; reflecting your desires, personality, and style.
    House of Funk creates thoughtful homes with an emphasis on clean lines and soulful touches, all rooted in tradition.
    Sandra is an Accredited Professional for the Sustainable Furnishings Council.
    Sandra’s award-winning design work has been featured in publications such as Elle Decor, House Beautiful, The Huffington Post, Apartment Therapy, Aspire Design & Home, and Luxe Interiors + Design.
    With almost two decades in the interior design industry, Sandra is launching the Interior Design Standard in the spring of 2020 – a template for designers to utilize her streamlined processes and business structure to bring joy and profit to their own design business.
    Connect with Sandra Funk
    Website 
    Instagram 
    Facebook 
    Pinterest
    Other Shows Mentioned:
    #801: Power Talk Friday: Sandra Funk: How Mistakes and Obstacles Led to Growth & Transformation
    #753: Sandra Funk: How to Grow a Thriving Luxury Interior Design Business
    #660: Sandra Funk: Level Up Your Business Through Mentorship, Coaching, and Classes. Sponsored Show: “Interior Design Standard”
    #585: Sandra Funk: Helping Designers Improve Their Business Systems
    #520: Power Talk Friday: Sandra Funk: The Interior Design Standard is Here!
    #145: Sandra Funk of House of Funk: Why and How She Re-Branded her 10-Year-old Firm
    #02: The Importance of Systems for a Profitable Interior Design Business With Sandra Funk Levy

    • 54 min
    John McClain: Turn Failure into Success

    John McClain: Turn Failure into Success

    Today With John McClain:
    Welcome to A Well-Designed Business. Today I am joined for the second time by John McClain. John is an accomplished interior designer, business coach, and author of The Designer Within. In this episode, he shares a bit about his back story with us—from crisis to conquest.
    John is here to help you understand that you can learn and grow from your mistakes, and success can be born out of failure. John shares his dark night of the soul story with us, but it didn’t end there. He turned that rough patch into a catalyst to organize his business for the better. Since then he has implemented a “How We Work” document, detailed client contracts, flat fees, and non-negotiables because his business is worth it. He is worth it. And you are worth it.
    Pick It Apart
    [6:38] John shares his dark night of the soul story involving client credit cards, attorneys, a factory fire, and armed guards.
    [20:35] John discusses the importance of knowing your company policies and non-negotiables, for example, he does not take credit card payments. 
    [31:40] John and LuAnn discuss the importance of formal agreements and transparency with clients.
    [35:41] LuAnn and John pick apart his pricing structure and flat fees, including his creative fee and project fulfillment fees.[57:29] John talks about the online courses for designers he offers, as well as his new book The Designer Within and the online course for homeowners that goes along with it.
    LuAnn Nigara and John McClain's Ah-Ha Moments
    “Until you've been through a serious business crisis, it's hard to know how it really cuts you in your gut.” – LuAnn Nigara 
    “I don't care if you're a solopreneur or if you have 25 people working for you. Your company policy is your company policy. And that is what you have to stand by.” – John McClain
    “A lot of people don't take the time to sit down and come up with the rules [of their business]. ” – John McClain
    “You do have to take time—really getting clear with who you are, what you do, how you do it, why you do it, and your non-negotiables.” – LuAnn Nigara
    “I want to be an advocate for other designers and out in the world, to really stand up for themselves. And to have a company philosophy, have a company vision have a company backbone that they can stand behind.” - John McClain
    More About John McClain:
    John McClain is an accomplished interior designer, business coach, speaker, on-air contributor, and writer who has turned his lifetime passion for interior design into an opportunity to do the same for others through his book, The Designer Within (available now at thedesignerwithin.co). John McClain Design has offices in Central Florida and Los Angeles, CA. His projects have received numerous awards and have appeared in many publications including Traditional Home and Elle Décor. John's design advice can also be seen regularly in print, television appearances, and online in publications such as The Wall Street Journal, Us Weekly, and many more.
    Connect with John McClain
    Website 
    Instagram
    Book and Designer Courses
    What’s new with LuAnn Nigara
    luannuniversity.com
    http://www.luannnigara.com/cob
    Get The Goodies!
    For checklists, resources, and extra goodies from A Well-Designed Business sign up for free here.
    To Get on LuAnn’s Email List, text the word designbiz to 444999!
    Purchase LuAnn’s Books Here:
    Book 1: The Making of A Well – Designed Business: Turn Inspiration into Action
    Book 2: A Well-Designed Business – The Power Talk Friday Experts
    Pre-Order Book 3: A Well-Designed Business – The Power Talk Friday Experts Volume 2
    Connect with LuAnn Nigara
    LuAnn’s Website
    LuAnn’s Blog
    Power Talk Friday
    Like Us: Facebook | Tweet Us: Twitter | Follow Us: Instagram | Listen Here: Podcast
    Other Shows Mentioned:
    #472: John McClain: Running His Firm from Two Coasts Makes Systems and Tools Critical
    #145: Sandra Funk of House of Funk: Why and How She Re-Bra

    • 1 hr 16 min
    Power Talk Friday: Carla Titus: Think Like a CEO By Outsourcing Your Numbers

    Power Talk Friday: Carla Titus: Think Like a CEO By Outsourcing Your Numbers

    Today With Carla Titus:
    Welcome to A Well-Designed Business Podcast. Today we are joined by financial expert Carla Titus, founder and CEO of Wealth & Worth Within, a financial planning company offering fractional CFO services to transform business profitability. 
    Carla helps us understand what a fractional CFO is and how this service can provide the financial support and insight many businesses need to achieve financial clarity and plan for a profitable future. She specializes in helping 6- and 7-figure businesses gain control of their numbers with a 5-step framework she calls 2C3P that tackles financial health from all sides. Listen in to find out more.
    Pick It Apart
    [3:08] Carla walks through the roles of bookkeeper, CPA and CFO and the conversations you as a business owner should be having with each.
    [8:58] Carla and LuAnn discusses the goal of hiring a CFO and improving the financial picture of the company .
    [15:19] Carla talks about changing your mindset and thinking like the CEO of your business by looking at five key components in a framework she calls 2C3P: Cashflow, Capacity, Planning, Pay Compensation, and Profit.
    [24:42] LuAnn and Carla discuss the seasonality of business, and the importance of being in tune with this as a business owner.
    [31:32] Carla lists her non-negotiables she helps business owners set as goals for a successful business: cash in the bank, profitability, and paying yourself.
    LuAnn Nigara and Carla Titus' Ah-Ha Moments
    “The beauty of bringing an expert into your business is that you do not need to know everything. That is the whole point of outsourcing your finances. You're bringing that knowledge, and also that person that's going to guide the process from beginning to end, [to] make you feel empowered and comfortable around your finances and your numbers.” – Carla Titus
     “Don’t overthink what you don’t know.” – LuAnn Nigara 
    “There's times where you need to step into that CEO role and work on your business, not in your business.” – Carla Titus
    “Managing the influx and outflows of cash really can help a business be more financially stable, but also feel completely in control of what's happening.” – Carla Titus 
    “If you want to sell your business one day, if you want to run a successful long term company, there has to be a salary for someone that is in charge.” – Carla Titus
    More About Carla Titus:
    Finance expert with over 15 years of combined corporate financial planning, analysis, strategy, and established online businesses fractional CFO consulting experience. Our company provides a vast array of on-demand CFO services that leverage our industry expertise. A well-rounded CFO team with Finance, Sales & Marketing, HR, Supply Chain, Online Business, Operations, Execution, Planning, and Tech background.
    She provides fractional CFO services and financial consulting to business owners. Wealth & Worth Within’s mission is to empower business owners to achieve financial clarity and peace of mind, so that they can get back to what they enjoy.
    She is dedicated to imparting financial knowledge in order to properly manage finances and achieve profitable results. She has applied that expertise to businesses, helping them grow by creating simple yet effective systems to improve cash flow management and bottom-line results.
    Connect with Carla Titus
    Website
    Instagram 
    Facebook
    What’s new with LuAnn Nigara
    luannuniversity.com
    http://www.luannnigara.com/cob
    Get The Goodies!
    For checklists, resources, and extra goodies from A Well-Designed Business sign up for free here.
    To Get on LuAnn’s Email List, text the word designbiz to 444999!
    Purchase LuAnn’s Books Here:
    Book 1: The Making of A Well – Designed Business: Turn Inspiration into Action
    Book 2: A Well-Designed Business – The Power Talk Friday Experts
    Pre-Order Book 3: A Well-Designed Business – The Power Talk Friday Experts Volume 2
    Connect with LuAnn Nigara
    LuAnn’

    • 55 min

Customer Reviews

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3 Ratings

Renu Soni ,

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So informative and ideas that can be easily implemented- thx so much

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