Featured in this week’s episode of The Productive Designer host Crystal Collinson interviews fellow interior design professional and author, Phyllis Harbinger.
Phyllis is an Interior Designer, Educator, Strategist, Speaker, and Author of the Interior Design Productivity Toolbox. She has owned and operated her award-winning boutique firm, DCI Studio, for almost 30 years. Serving the luxury residential market.
In this episode, Phyllis shares the story of how she came to writing her book. It all started when she was in a mastermind class. And her mentor challenged them all to create an evergreen product. Then she thought about the budgeting tool and checklists she had created. It could become an evergreen product, and it did.
Crystal and Phyllis move the conversation to discuss the best methods for scaling a business. Phyllis points out that we all live in a very different world now. One that allows us to work remotely, and therefore the ability to hire part-time or “fractional” is very easy to do. This allows small business owners the flexibility and freedom to hire. Without having the responsibility of a full-time employee especially when you’re starting out.
Phyllis shares her best hiring practice. As an Educator she has an advantage she likes to call her “secret sauce”, and that is to hire through her class. She gets to really know who the students are. As a Teacher, she gets first-hand knowledge of their work ethic. Their personality traits, and their unique brilliance. She sees all that because she is interacting with them on a regular basis. And she learns of their capabilities. And nine out of 10 times, they exponentially show more than anticipated.
Phyllis and Crystal briefly touch on fee systems. Phyllis’s preferred method is a substantial design fee for the conceptualization and creative services portion. And then her DCI Studio team move into purchase management. DCI Studio keeps all of their client’s credit cards safely password-protected. Using their cards to make purchases on their clients’ behalf. A “Purchase Management” fee is then added on which allows for complete transparency. And worrying about her clients “shopping” her.
So join Crystal and Phyllis as they discuss her book, ideas on scaling and managing an interior design business. Then, “Do something today that your future self will thank you for.” and pick up Phyllis’s book.
How to reach Phyllis:
Recommended podcasts: Deepak Chopra
Recommended books: Get A Grip by Gion Wickman & Mike Paton, Traction by Gino Wickman