3 Tips for an Effective Client Pipeline
One of the crazy parts of the interior design business (and there's a LOT of crazy - ha!) is that we can have such an up-and-down cycle of business. Sometimes it really does feel like feast or famine. But I've found a way off that stressful rollercoaster ride by using my client pipeline! I have a document that lists clients - and their payments - through the year. Where I see gaps, I work hard to find another client or service that will keep the money flowing in a more steady way. If you don't have a client pipeline (or you're asking what the heck I'm talking about), just click here to learn more! If you do have one - and I hope you DO! - here are 3 tips to make it work even better for you!
1. See the Future
The MOST important thing you can do with a client pipeline is USE IT. I know that sounds like a DUH moment, but too often designers will create systems and documents like that and then get "too busy" to use them. A client pipeline that's been properly filled out really does let you see into the future. You can track your clients and their payments and see which months are looking a little lean. And then you can start marketing NOW to fill in those gaps. It keeps you from hitting a month that has far less income coming in than you thought there would be. It evens out your cash flow, and that's KEY for running a successful business.
2. Savvy Services
Filling those gaps can include your full service projects OR other services that make money with a quicker turnaround. Many savvy designers offer a step-down service, with names like Designer for a Day, Design Consultations, etc. These are usually quick design days that give advice or help clients select colors or furnishings. You can make a good profit on those services because there is very little in the way of expenses! And they are an easy access for people to start working with designers. AND - most importantly - these often lead to full-service clients who quickly realize they need you more than they think they do!
3. Make Time for Marketing
The one thing that a client pipeline with really teach you is that you HAVE to carve out time to be really intentional with marketing; otherwise you won’t EVER make the time to do it. You have to consistently market your business in order to keep those projects rolling in. That includes building an email list, keeping in touch with former clients, using your social media effectively, networking, and more! Don't put off your marketing - it will definitely help keep those projects flowing in.
Former clients are a HUGE source of new business, either for their own homes or by referring you to other fantastic people! So download my FREE Guide to Keep & Retain Clients so you can keep that business rolling in!