You have a business and it requires a location from where you will run it. This is an amazing thing! Are you truly ready though? SOOO many business owners don’t know the next steps to creating their new business environment, so here’s a step by step guide on how to handle that location. I have seen far too many do this wrong and not realize how deeply this affects the success of their business.

First off, what kind of business are you opening? Do you have a salon, a barber shop or spa? Are you opening a restaurant, lounge or club? Do you have an office or store? Are you providing a medical service or a consultancy? Have you done any research on anyone else in your field who have the same type of business? I can firmly tell  you the one thing that all of the successful competitors have in common- a well-planned environment. Let’s simplify this… The whole point of having a place for your clients or customers to come is to attract their business. Unless you are running a take out window, you need your customers to WANT to come to youIf you are running an establishment that performs a service, you need to make that environment comfortable enough for them to want to stay a while. As much as you may want to believe that you can do this on your own, there are actually people who are trained in this art and skill, who can help deliver the environment you need to succeed.

I get frustrated when I see new business owners immediately start to talk to plumbers and contractors and electricians before they ever consider talking to a designer. I don’t blame you, but I hope to reach enough of you to understand exactly what a designer does so you’ll be empowered to work in the right direction for your business and not waste money. First off- AN INTERIOR DESIGNER IS NOT A DECORATOR. So many people think we just come in and pick colors and furniture and decor for your business. NO! Any good-looking business you like to go to had an interior designer plan it. We are the ones you should speak to first. We work with you to design the entire look and feel of your space. A good designer, such as myself, will work with you on your overall branding, fusing your logo, signage, business cards and core values and reflecting those in a cohesive manner through the design of your space.

The design of your business space dictates what plumbing, electrical and contracting work will need to be done!

This is why we need to be the first one on the scene. The various contractors work with plans that we create for your space, drawn to scale (blueprints, floorplans). They do not know where to move the sink until we tell them. They do not know how much of your square footage will have tile versus carpet or where to add a wall or remove one until we design your space. If you have any sub-contractors at your job first, you are wasting time and potential money. They can make recommendations, but, in the end they only know what they are good at, and that’s the labor. It’s kind of like asking a painter what color to paint your walls. Their job is to apply the paint… leave the color selection to someone who’s profession it is to select them, which also so happens to be a designer.

People are fearful to hire us because we are not cheap, but we actually SAVE YOU MONEY!

I have to give kudos here where they are due and call out those who are not going to want to hear this… Most successful business owners are not minorities. Why? If a minority and a Caucasian attempted to open the same type of business, let’s say a salon, for instance, the Caucasian will do all of the research into the total costs involved to open their space. They will have a designer in their plan and have that designer bid the contracting work and have those figures incorporated into their start-up costs. They will have their business designed well and open to rave reviews. The minority will not do the research required to know her or his overall start-up costs. They will consider a designer an expense they cannot afford. They will hire cheap labor and friends to help them ghetto-fy (yes, I just made that a word) their space and open up as cheaply as possible, telling themselves they can do better and remodel when they get some money. There’s a very wise saying, “presentation is EVERYTHING!”  Most minority businesses fail because they were not properly educated on the process for start-up, or growth and expansion. I’m not going to spend $60 on my hair if I don’t want to sit in your chair for an hour. You need to create an environment that shows me that You Want Me To Be There! If you didn’t care enough about me, your consumer, to provide me with a comfortable environment to receive your service, then why should I come to you? I can go down the street to your competitor who’s place is bright and welcoming and comfy. That business owner gets me. They know what I want and I reward them with my dollars. Your first impression is a lasting one! You never get a second chance to make it! This is nothing new, just business 101.

So, again, here’s the list:

1. Hire a real estate agent to help you find a space

2. Hire an interior designer prior to hiring anyone else (this includes and architect, contractor, plumber, electrician, painter, floor installer)

3. Relax, because they will help you with the rest from here…

4. Open your business and be proud!

If you’re ready to take your business to the next level, call me. I’ve worked with many business owners who are still thriving after years and decades. I’m proud to have worked with them and can help you achieve the same success!


Congrats on your new business space, Now what?

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