According to recent reports, interior designers are feeling optimistic about their business opportunities for the rest of the year, having seen their activity rebound in the past several months. As peak vacation season winds down and we head into the fall décor and design season, now is the time to renew contacts with those in your network who can serve as sources for leads and referrals.
In my previous blog I spoke about the importance of maintaining contact with ideal client prospects and former clients. The same holds for suppliers, vendors, industry reps, real estate agents, builders, contractors, specialists, consultants, and others who are likely to come in contact with current or new homeowners wanting assistance with design and remodeling projects. They, too, likely have had some time away from their businesses or had their minds on other matters during the seasonal lull. Get back in touch, remind them that you’re still around and looking for clients, and, in turn, would be able to send some business their way, too.
Depending on the depth of your relationship, you may just want to send a friendly email or make a quick phone call. For more important sources, invite them for coffee or a meal. Pass along a few of your business cards, and confirm you have their most current contact information and preferences. Make sure you have something to offer in return, even if it’s just to be available when they need a favor or some information. Reciprocity fuels relationships.
Also check out the calendar for upcoming business community and civic events, such as Chamber of Commerce meetings or fall fairs and festivities, and make an effort to attend. Take part in local design activities, like showhouses, tours, or free consultations. It helps to be visible and recognized as a leading local professional.
And don’t forget to update your website, social media channels and marketing materials. If you’re not satisfied with the amount of business your firm is getting, contact me. I can help you devise a marketing strategy to get your business back on track at this critical time.