Being a small business owner means you are a professional with countless skills and responsibilities. No doubt, you’re very good at what you do. However, that doesn’t mean you’re good at everything.
For example, you may not have a knack for interior design. Fortunately, there are professionals out there who can maximize the visual appeal of your commercial space, which can improve your business on multiple levels. Customers and clients will feel more comfortable in an aesthetically pleasing environment, which can lead to more sales.
But how can you hire interior designers you can count on? How can you properly vet your options?
Keep reading for everything you need to know.
Get Referrals from Other Business Owners
If you’re on a friendly basis with other local business owners in the area, ask them if they designed their interior themselves or if they hired interior designers. If they hired someone to design their space, ask who they used.
Were their prices reasonable? Did they work with the business owner to make their vision come to life? Would they recommend the designer to other business owners?
If you don’t feel comfortable talking to other business owners, talk to friends and family members who have well-designed homes. It’s possible that they hired interior designers to create their captivating interior space. See if they have any recommendations for interior designers in the area.
Look at Before-and-After Pictures
Interior design is all about aesthetics. As such, it’s important to see samples of their work before you hire interior designers. Log onto their website to see if they’ve posted pictures from any of their previous projects.
Most interior designers use social media platforms like Facebook, Instagram, and Tik Tok to show off their work. You should be able to find links to their social media profiles through their website. Here, you’ll find endless pictures and videos of the spaces they’ve designed.
This should give you a pretty good idea of their style and what they’re capable of. Just keep in mind that some design aspects are based on specific requests of their other clients. If something seems quirky or inconsistent, it’s probably a reflection of the client, not the designer.
Find Online Customer Reviews
While you’re doing this research online, you should also search for online customer reviews and testimonials. It’s important to understand the customer service and communication skills of the designers, not just the results they produce. Before you hire interior designers, make sure they’re easy to work with and know how to communicate well with their clients.
Do they take the client’s opinion into consideration or just do what they think is best? Were they kind, considerate, and professional? Did the commercial interior designers complete the project within a reasonable amount of time?
Consider Interior Design Experience and Expertise
While it’s important to recognize that everyone has to start at the beginning, you might feel more comfortable hiring commercial interior designers with more experience under their belts. Ask them how long they’ve been in the industry. How many projects like yours have they worked on in the past?
Additionally, do they specialize in any specific areas? For example, if you own a restaurant, you might want a designer who knows more about restaurant design. They can help you choose the best lighting for restaurants, seating, colors, and decor.
Ask About Licensing and Insurance
Next, ask the interior designer about their licensing and certifications. Have they gone through any sort of schooling for interior design or is it something they just picked up? Do they have an up-to-date business license through the city?
Additionally, you need to hire interior designers who carry business liability insurance. The interior designer you hire will be working in your building, around your staff, and potentially, around your customers.
If an accident occurs that causes damages or injuries, they must have insurance to cover the costs. Their business liability insurance will cover the costs to repair/replace damaged items or compensate the injured person.
Comparing designer fees is essential if you want to hire interior designers. We recommend reaching out to several local designers in your area to get a free quote. They will likely come down to your building to get a clearer picture of the potential project.
You can talk to them about your vision and they can throw in their own ideas. Then, they’ll provide you with an estimate of how much it will cost and how long it will take.
Once you have a few quotes, you can compare and contrast their costs based on their proposed plan. However, remember that the cheapest interior designer may not be the best choice. They might have less experience, poor customer reviews, no insurance, etc.
Find commercial interior designers who are competitively priced, yet come recommended by their previous customers. Find a designer who fits your budget, but never settle for sub-par work.
Don’t Have Unrealistic Expectations
Finally, be realistic when vetting potential interior designers. Keep an open mind regarding costs and timelines. After all, you’re looking to hire interior designers, not miracle workers.
The project you have in mind could cost more and take longer than you expected. If you can’t afford the services you want or need the project to be completed sooner, you might need to compromise. Scale back on your designs and find a happy middle ground.
Most interior designers will work with you to find the right balance. Identify your top priorities. What are the most important aspects of the design that you want and how can you make it fit within your budget and timeline.
Looking to Hire Interior Designers?
If you’re looking to update your commercial space with a fresh design, it’s time to start looking at interior designers in your area. Before you hire interior designers, however, follow the tips listed above to make the right choice. Don’t rush your decision and don’t simply hire the cheapest designer.
And if you want more helpful insight, check out some of our other articles to find more business tips and ideas for design. Our website is full of content created to help business owners like you improve their companies.