The Most Profound Variable on Profitability?

When I begin working with a new interior design coaching client, I set up a shared “dashboard” using a program that many designers use as well—Basecamp. (

The Basecamp dashboard becomes a very convenient place to share messages, documents, and to-dos that each of us has agreed to. It also allows for as many “reminders” as you want to set. For example, I can create a reminder for my client to be sent at 9 a.m. on Monday morning asking, “What are your three most important goals this week?”

Naturally progress on those goals becomes one of the topics of our next call.

With my most recent interior design coaching client, I asked, “What are some key things you’d like to ask me?” Her question was immediate and led to a very important discussion, one that you and I need to have as well.

“What is the most profound variable on profitability?” 

The answer is both simple and complex. The answer, with no close second, is pricing. That’s the simple part. The complex price is that anyone who thinks “pricing” is merely about adjusting hourly fees or product markups has barely scratched the surface of the iceberg.

Pricing is a philosophy. Pricing is driven by sales skills. Pricing is the result of a carefully chosen strategy and even wording. Pricing drives the development of “smart contracts.” Pricing can differentiate…in a good way.

And, alas, no matter what I write or advise here, pricing will never be the same between two designers. At least I haven’t seen two the same, and I’ve looked at hundreds. So, for this all important strategic area, you’ll have to find the combination of tools that works best for you in your market. If someone tells you they have a one-size-fits-all solution, put your hand on your wallet and run for the hills.

Our online course on Strategic Pricing may or may not be available at the time you read this post, but if not, rest assured that it’s coming soon. Meanwhile, we plan many other posts and supporting details to be added to this site.

NEW - IDMBA Program

Learn about the new Interior Design MBA - one academic program to deliver the complete business education interior designers need.