Getting started with a new client project is exciting, however, taking on new projects without proper preparation can be a daunting experience. There are some essential interior design project documents that every designer needs.
It is better to be well-equipped and organized from the start so that you don’t have to scramble and make haste while dealing with potential surprises.
Designers and business owners always have a lot on their plate; from managing sales and marketing to the little details that haven’t been delivered on time.
However, getting organized and delivering a great client experience is essential for the success of an interior design project.
In this article, I’m covering the 5 essential documents that you need for a successful interior design or architecture project!
The Essential interior design project Documents every designer needs
1. Initial consultation questionnaire
Learning about the potential customer’s situation, pain points, timelines, and budgets is an essential first step to start considering the project. Your signature client experience needs to start with an inquiry form, where your potential clients can describe their needs and desires.
This also acts as a gatekeeper to your business. If a potential client is not willing to fill out an inquiry form, they are most likely not serious about working with your business either.
Many designers act on all signals – be it a text message inviting the designer to come over to the potential clients’ house to “look at some things” or a DM on social media. While those are great signals that a potential client might be interested in hiring you, you need to take commando right at the gate and guide them through your process, which often starts with an inquiry form and a questionnaire.
2. Consultation checklist
So, you have booked a consultation – paid or unpaid – how exciting! You have most likely talked with the client on a phone, and know quite a few details about their project. You have internally decided that you want to move on with this project, so you’re on your way for a consultation.
At this point, it’s very easy to get carried away with all the exciting things you might be doing for your new clients. Regardless of the size of the project, there are thousands of details that you need to collect to be able to manage the whole interior design project.
This is why you need to have a consultation checklist. The checklist keeps you organized and allows you to collect all the important data in one go. It also shows your clients that you are in control of the project, you are organized, and have a process for delivering your excellence.
3. Interior design contract
Too many designers jump head-first into exciting projects and never really sign and walk through the contracts. Creating a solid contract is, however, the most important step in your sales process, but one of the tasks that designers often shy away from.
Have a lawyer draft a standard contract that you use in all your projects, with add-ons depending on the type of project. Talking about, and asking the clients to read and sign the contract is not frustrating for the clients, it makes them feel safe with you.
4. budgeting tool
In most cases, your clients have very little to no idea what an interior design project can cost. They see beautiful designs online and in glossy magazines, but don’t really grasp what the investment looks like. To help your clients to understand the budget, you need to have a budgeting tool.
A great budgeting tool offers examples of the different items that include in the project. As a professional service provider, you need to create your budgeting tools in advance, so you can easily use them in your onboarding process.
TIPS: Check out our shop – we have budgeting tool templates you can use in your work!
5. welcome package
Lastly, you need to have a professional welcome package for your clients. In this article, I cover what should go into your interior design welcome package, why it is so important, and how you can design a package that delights your customers and makes your projects run smoothly.