Covid-19 is a global pandemic affecting each and every one of us – in all aspects of our lives. How we live, how we move around and importantly, how we work. Some businesses and markets have been forced to close. Others have taken this opportunity to adapt to the ‘new normal’ of isolation, self-distancing and quarantine.
For interior designers, this may mean that some projects have been ‘put on hold’. This doesn’t mean you have to stop working and offering a high-quality service. There are still things you can do during this period. This phase in time will be significant in many ways, both for you and your customers as everyone adapts.
Tips for Working Through Covid-19
1. Keep working!
Although times are difficult, as lockdown eases, interior designers can certainly get back to business. Quoting on new jobs is perfectly possible. You can proceed with designing and costing for new projects just as before. Designers will be able to progress further with some projects if social distancing can be maintained and all the materials easily obtained.
2. Source online
Although some of your suppliers may not have re-opened yet, it is possible to source many items including paints, light fittings and furniture from online companies with no supply chain problems. If you are looking for antique and vintage pieces of furniture, this is easy too. There are many antique shops with excellent websites. As for bespoke pieces, almost all craftsmen are already back in their workshops.
Reupholstery and curtain making is usually undertaken by people in their homes. So again, you will find that most are already back at work – if they ever stopped!
3. Keep up with creativity!
Many artisans have used lockdown to create wonderful new custom made wallpapers, light fittings and fabric designs. So it’s the perfect time to keep abreast of the latest ideas that you’ll be able to incorporate in your work. Several interior designers are currently looking at offering clients ‘decorative consultations’. A service where you can advise on colours, fabrics as well as accessories to give rooms a fresh new look. Budget is an important consideration as many people do not have so much disposable income right now.
4. Offer Virtual consultations during Covid-19 !
Communication methods have changed dramatically in the last few months and these changes are here to stay! You may well have been using CAD for drawings and designs, but you can show these to clients and discuss all aspects using Zoom/ FaceTime / WhatsApp and be able to give your clients digital presentations at every stage and minimise face-to-face meetings.
A number of interior designers are now offering house owners short, reasonably priced virtual consultations to advise them on how to make changes to their living space and these are proving very popular – especially those with clever recycling and upcycling ideas.
5. Time for marketing
Whilst you have more time at your disposal, it would be good to research the contact details of companies that could be interested in your services once lockdown has eased. Rethink or adjust your sales pitch accordingly and show that you are very happy to undertake projects of all sizes – especially those making socially distancing easier as health and safety will now have the highest priority. Consider whether your website is current and adjust the text to make reference to the last few months. It may well be worth exploring advertising opportunities that will reach the many house owners who have discovered through lockdown that they need to make modest alterations to their homes.
Lockdown doesn’t have to be an end to work. With creative thinking, this could be a new opportunity to develop your skills and your business.