The saying ‘time is money’ is certainly accurate for many businesses nowadays. With so much competition to go up against, it’s critical to use every hour of the working day to its full advantage. For those that own an interior design business, saving time can be important in order to help prioritize attention to the design process.
There are plenty of ways in which you can save time, so here are five ways to save time in your interior design business.
1.Time your tasks
It’s scary sometimes, how time can fly by and you can feel like you’ve only got a handful of things done in the day. If your interior design business is overwhelmingly busy right now, a good way to help utilize every second is to time your tasks.
Each task will likely vary in how long it takes and it’s important that you’re realistic with what the task involves and how quickly you can work on it. Setting too tight of a deadline for a task is going to stress you and your employees out so much that it becomes counterproductive in its efforts.
You can use a simple stopwatch or timer on your mobile phone to set alarms that will go off when you’ve run out of time. It might take some practice and you’re not always going to get things done within that time you’ve allocated. Distractions can occur and that might eat into the time you’ve set to do the task.
However, timing your tasks is better than not timing them at all. When you time your tasks, it’s almost as though you’re more aware of the minutes and seconds ticking down. Just like when you set goals for yourself, it encourages you to work harder and faster than you’d usually do. That countdown is going to help anyone who gives it a go, so encourage your staff members to do it too.
This can be a great practice to do when you’ve got projects that have tight deadlines or perhaps the business is getting more popular and therefore everyone needs to up their game when it comes to the amount they get done during the day. Don’t criticize yourself though if you don’t manage to time it properly the first time around, it’s a learning opportunity to discover what works best for you and your employees.
2.Keep employees organized with project management software
It’s natural to have peaks and dips on the working day. Sometimes, an employee could have a really difficult week where they struggle to even stay motivated for longer than an hour or so.
When this happens, it’s likely due to needing a bit of organization within their day. Allowing your staff to work on their own is crucial but not everyone works best when left to their own devices. Some will need guidance and a bit of encouragement to get themselves into the mindset they need to be in and that can be done with project management software.
There are so many different applications to choose from but it’s worth picking one that everyone will be able to use, regardless of their technical ability. Platforms like Asana are fairly simple to use and can be great for connecting everyone together and having different groups, depending on the projects that are ongoing or the departments you have in the company.
Training is important to give when using these project management systems because that way, everyone is on the same page and you’ve got a method of communication in place that everyone uses efficiently. It saves time on meetings or hour-long phone calls that would usually happen and that perhaps, aren’t needed.
3.Have the right tools for designing
In an interior design business, there can be a lot of time wasted using software programs that are outdated or no longer providing the high-quality work that you need. So when you’re brainstorming projects on latest interior design trends, then it’s good to ensure you have the right tools for the job.
A lot of clients might not be able to envision the final design or look you’re creating and often, interior design projects can be a collaborative process that changes and gets tweaked along the way. Having something visual and ideally in a 3D format, can show the client exactly what to expect, and with today’s technology, it’ll look like the real thing.
There are plenty of software options out there but you’re going to need something that has plenty of design options to choose from and perhaps some pre-made templates to work from too. Foyr is a great place to start if you want something that’s reputable amongst a lot of interior designers and companies.
The right tools can really help to quicken the process of every project. You can cut down some of that time in the initial conversations or meetings that you have with the client. It helps set a good first impression and shows to the client that you are keen to bring their vision to life.
4.Try to avoid multitasking
There are some habits in our working lives that we feel are productive but in fact, they might not actually be helping at all. Multi-tasking is often something that we feel is useful but it might only be spreading your attention too thinly. As such, it may take you longer to get everything done because you’re dashing from one task to another.
It’s like when you have a dozen or so internet tabs open on your desktop and for some reason, it feels like you’re doing lots of work. In reality, though, are you using all of those tabs at once? There’s a likelihood that you are distracting yourself more by having all of those tabs open. If you need more than two or three, then it’s a bad habit that you want to stop where you can.
If you’re a stickler for multi-tasking, then here are a few tips that can help you to be more efficient with your time:
- Schedule your tasks, starting from the hardest ones to the easiest. Once the hardest are out of the way, the rest of the day is a lot more enjoyable.
- Turn off distractions and look for tell-tale signs of procrastination.
- If you get bored, switch to something else or take a break. Trying to get through something you’re fed up with, is likely going to waste precious hours or days in the working week.
Multi-tasking has become something that has been ingrained in many of us as being a seemingly good thing to do but for many, it can only reduce the amount of work that gets done. Try to find a method that works for you and make use of the tips above to see if they help the multi-tasking habit.
5.Consider hiring more staff or outsourcing
If you feel like your time is flying by and there’s a mountain of work that keeps on building up, then it’s important to think about your workforce. Do you have enough employees to take on the demands of new clients, to help with design, or deal with the marketing side of your interior design brand?
For a small business, it might be difficult to hire more staff internally, so that means outsourcing is your next best option. You will only waste more time by trying to spread your workforce too thin when the demand of your clientele is so high.
Outsourcing is a great thing to do for those businesses that don’t have the financial ability to hire in-house. There’s no worry about committing to an employee beyond their wages, like benefits, pension, etc. Instead, you simply pay the person or company for how many hours they work or on a contracted basis.
If hiring internally is doable, then it’s certainly something you’ll want to consider when expanding your company. The only way you can help save time is if you have more staff members to take on the overwhelming workloads of others. This will also lead to a happier workforce in general as stress levels are likely to be lowered as a result of distributing the work more evenly.
Regardless of the size of the interior design business, you should always be monitoring the need for growth. Make sure that your hiring process has been well-thought-out and detailed so that you pick the right individuals for your company. Pick the wrong person and it could end up wasting a lot more of your time than you hoped it would.
Being able to save some time in any business is helpful and there are certainly some weak spots that are likely in your company that need speeding up. Whether it’s down to individual staff members or not having the right resources in place to help. Use these tips to get the most out of your working day and to give your business the best chance of success for this year.