Designing a Niche Business

After a varied and successful career that took her from accounting and finance to real estate and development, and eventually to her own building and construction consultancy, Leslie Bowman found her calling as an interior designer. She went back to school to get her masters degree in interior design and decided to launch her own firm, Wells Street Design in Burr Ridge, Illinois, focusing on high-end residential design.

Although Bowman had a business degree and extensive experience in the industry, she really didn’t know much about running an interior design business. Plus, she was looking to carve out a niche for herself, drawing on her past experience to work closely with builders. She needed guidance from someone who knew the ropes and could help with marketing her unique set of services. That’s when she called on Lloyd.

“He really helped me,” says Bowman. “I didn’t know how I should price my services. Lloyd understands all that. He prepared a pricing format for me, including a special pricing structure I could use when working with builders. He showed me how I could actually increase my business by setting my rates higher. Then he walked me through the entire proposal process.”

Lloyd also advised her on branding and social media strategies. He suggested she participate in a local showhouse, which helped increase her visibility. “I only had a few clients before I started working with Lloyd,” says Bowman. “Now I have twenty.” She has since expanded her brand to include The Design Bar, which she markets as a complete design concierge service for homeowners.

“I had my vision for my firm,” says Bowman. “Lloyd pointed me in the right direction to make it happen. Thanks to him, I’m now prepared to have my unique value conversation with a prospective client.”



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