How to Scale Your Design Business
After beginning her career at a Fortune 50 corporation, Ann Lowengart saw the opportunity to apply her consumer goods strategy experience to a creative field, cultivate happy clients and grow a healthy bottom line. After spending a decade building a successful interior design business, Ann came to Coupar after identifying three key areas to take her business to the next level:
Manage the risk – and reduce the headache – of running a large firm
Uplevel clients and project budgets
Achieve a work-life balance while maximizing revenue
The first step in accelerating a firm’s business is to gain a baseline on how it works. We integrated our design consultants into Ann Lowengart Interiors' projects to provide support while observing and gathering data. At three months in, we took these data points and worked with the client to implement a “blueprint” of how a design firm functions at its most efficient and profitable, customizing processes the firm. At 6 months – and biannually going forward – this blueprint is evaluated and iterated to realign with the firm’s growth objectives. Monthly billings quickly increased as processes were normalized and inefficiencies were eliminated.
The objective of the next stage was to diversify Ann Lowengart Interiors' pipeline and uplevel the target client, removing the barrier that the firm was the “best kept secret” in the Bay Area design community. Ann Lowengart participated in the 2016 San Francisco Designer Showcase with metrics to break down this barrier: design a room that engaged visitors and the media, garner press features, sell pieces from the room and gain the interest of a new client.
Leveraging the success of Showcase – and the awareness it brought to the firm – Coupar continued to hone business objectives. In parallel, the team focused on scaling the business to support the intake of new, elevated clients that came through key industry contacts: architects, builders and realtors as well as word-of-mouth referrals. Marketing initiatives were scheduled for brand positioning, PR, social media, website development and events to maintain a steady message drumbeat keeping the firm top of mind and in-demand, supporting continuous bottom-line growth.
Increased billing revenue in first year by more than 50%
Upleveled clients and projects budgets 5-10x on average
Featured in national and regional publications including: House Beautiful, Traditional Home, ArchitecturalDigest.com, ElleDecor.com, Luxe Interiors + Design, California Homes, Modern Luxury Interiors
Featured in 30+ online and print media publications for the 2016 Decorator Showcase
Refined and created continuity for brand identity through positioning, messaging and digital channels
Diversified pipeline growth from Houzz referrals to healthy mix of luxury realtors, high-net-worth word-of-mouth, architects, and builders
What We Do
Our leadership team offers expertise to support design businesses no matter their stage of growth. We work alongside our clients at an operational level to navigate the business of design by providing a staffing solution that is both agile and reactive to the market as well as fits the needs of the principal.
1-3 months: Integrate + observe processes for key data points
3-6 months: Implement custom process blueprint that ladders up to business goals
6 months+: Scale the business to scale the clients with ongoing realignment to goals