My friend Sarah Winchester invited me to the Design Salon, a group of professional women (sorry boys) who work in design related businesses who meet once a month to talk about design, business and all things between. Of course I jumped at the chance to be surrounded by talented, smart, strong woman entrepreneurs.
Denise Korn of Korn Design was the featured speaker. It was intimate and cozy as we listened to Karen talk about everything from her favorite projects to how she determined the value of her work and what to charge to advice on starting your own business.
The underlying theme seemed to be “keeping it real” she said there is “no secret sauce” and that you have to find what works for you when it comes to time management.
“Don’t position yourself as a commodity, find what you are good at and stick with that” she said. When you bid on a job if you are the cheapest they will probably think that you are the least qualified…. As a rule of thumb I was once told if you can get 3 people in a row to pay what you say you are worth then its time to increase your price!
One of the questions that a woman who owns an online magazine was “I am not good with the business side of the company, do you think I should take on a partner with a business development specialty?” Denise response was surprising to me – as she sat back in her chair she said “I am so sick of design oriented people opening their own business and saying they don’t have a clue about the business aspect of it” – she said “if you don’t want to mind the store then don’t open your own business”. I was so surprised by this – assuming everyone cant be good at everything so you should hire people that are strong in the areas you lack. It makes so much sense though, I think about my mother for example who always used this excuse with her custom window treatment business. She never knew what was going on and it drove me nuts!!!!
The next Design Salon will be held on April 27th at Mohr McPherson – the featured speaker, Marni Katz will tell us how to get some buzz and keep it!