This short episode is chock full of hard-learned wisdom so listen up! I’m sharing the top 3 most important things that I would do if I were starting my interior design business from scratch again, today.

Since I don’t have a time machine, I’m going to settle with sharing these tips with you. These 3 steps would have made the biggest difference in the early success of my business, not to mention the headaches and stress it would have saved. There were things I avoided or didn’t think were that important until I became completely overwhelmed and finally tackled them, so take it from me and get ahead now!

Stay till the end where I share a bonus tip and you may be surprised with the one thing I do not suggest doing as you launch your own business. Take it from me and cement these into your brain now!

Read the Full Transcript ⬇️

Hey, hey, hey, it’s Rebecca and you are listening to resilient by design. Today I’m doing a shortie episode sharing with you the three things that I would do differently if I were starting my business from scratch today. If I were starting my business from scratch today, I would definitely do a million things differently, but let’s focus in on really the three things that I think would be the ones that would make the biggest difference.

And I’ve reflected a lot on this and I really tried to think, okay, what were the first three things that came to mind that I thought were like the most powerful that I would have done differently if I could have. And so the very first thing that I’m going to share with you that I would do differently, if I was starting my business from scratch today, I would hire a bookkeeper admin from the start.

I’m not saying would be a full time role, but that was something I waited way too long to do. One of the two areas that I struggled with the most in growing my business. The second area was hiring and managing people. But the money is the key.

So essential and it sucks when you’re a creative to talk about money, to have to look at the spreadsheets, to have to be the person to do it. And it’s funny because I remember having this conversation inside designer’s room and somebody saying in one of the zoom calls, I think I’ve got it sorted out. My account is doing the forecasting and she’s doing it every month.

And then she just comes and she shows it to me. She’s like, I don’t want to be the one to look at the numbers as long as like they’re doing it. I can trust this getting done. And I kind of took a deep breath and I said, Oh my God, woman, I can relate. Because that was me. And I used to think that way, but it actually did me a disservice.

So if I were starting again, the first thing I would do would be to hire a bookkeeper because I only had an accountant at the beginning, which meant that person was coming in once a year to help file my taxes. I didn’t realize because nobody told me like, this is how, how little I knew about business starting out is I didn’t know I needed a bookkeeper.

I’m serious. I didn’t know what the point would be. So I would keep all these receipts, or I wouldn’t, in a box, and it would be tax time. And I would be on the floor, I still have visuals of this nightmare time. Also, I would always file my taxes late.

And, oh, the luxury of having a guest bedroom. Then I would have piles for each month of the year. And I would write on a piece of paper, organized. Where I would put, January. And I would just pile all the receipts I had.

I would try printing things. I would print maybe a bank statement. Took me a while to figure that out. Get a bookkeeper. They will hold you accountable so that every month you give them receipts and they can, what is called in the bookkeeping accounting world, reconcile. So that come tax time, you’re ready to go.

It’s just a matter of pulling a few different numbers, figuring out a few key expenses, and you’re off to the races and your accountant can do their job. You do not need an accountant to do this monthly. This was my other mistake. I thought I needed an accountant. And so I was paying arm and a leg for my accountant to reconcile every month.

You just need a bookkeeper. And the second thing that I would do if I were starting my business from scratch today that relates to the money is I would open a business bank account. You don’t need to have hundreds of thousands of dollars coming through the bank in order to make a business bank account worth it.

When it was tax time, because I didn’t have a bookkeeper, I would really struggle with what expenses and I would have to go through my Statement and I would highlight personal business personal business It was so time consuming like guys and then I never knew what money was mine because I would just be like Paying for things personally and then the business money was coming in and oh my god It was so messy what I finally set up a business bank account.

Yes It’s an effort. You got to go into a branch. You got to bring your ID. You probably have to set up an appointment. You got to sit there. Then they got to run some things and you may not get it right away. it takes time to open a business bank account. Start the process. Now there might be a fee.

Usually when you’re starting out, you can get them to refund that. They’ll give you like a rebate for like the first year or something. Ask for that. Get that business bank account. The money goes there. You pay for all of your purchases for your clients from that account. You can pay yourself from that account for the longest time for many years.

Both my business and personal account were just under the same login because no one else had access and I would just transfer myself money. Open a business bank account. I would have done that day one if I had known better.

Keeping the finances clean and tidy from the beginning would have saved me a lot of time. I was often late in filing taxes. I was always late in making payments. I was very disorganized because I was so busy and so focused on being inside my business, delivering for my clients, running around, creating the designs, working with my team members.

that I really always put the finances on the back burner. And then when it was time for me to finally get to them, I was so overwhelmed. You guys know what I’m talking about. Number three. If I were starting my business from scratch today, I would take a course, I would get a template, I would get a business blueprint to see how others are doing it. And I know this might sound salesy coming from someone who has a course like power of process is this course. And I know this course didn’t exist, but maybe other things did.

And I didn’t even think, it didn’t even cross my mind to think. Oh, huh, I could go pay someone, maybe a couple thousand bucks, so that I can save myself in hundreds of thousands of dollars of mistakes! Like legitimately, I wish I could have done something like that or I wish I had seen the power of investing that money early because it would have short cut in my learning curve.

I was making things up for a really long time, did not know what I was doing and as a result I did not have confidence. I really would have signed up for a course. I highly recommend you get on the wait list for when it comes back, but it’s so helpful to see how others are doing it.

But more than that even is to have like A baseline to have a foundation for running your business. I literally went to design school. I worked for a designer for five years and I still had no idea how to run my design business, how to run a project from start to finish in an effective way so that I could get incredible raving fan clients.

I was so far from being able to do a reveal day. It wasn’t even funny. So I would take a course to help me get set up in business. So those are my three tips. Get on top of the money. So the two things for that would be hire an admin or a bookkeeper. Even if it’s freelance, even if it’s only a few hours a month, they can also do your invoicing.

I would have done that. Like instead I hired junior designers. That was not what I needed. I thought it’s what I needed, but ideally I should have had someone who got the books and the numbers and the invoicing and could do the spreadsheets early. That’s number one. I would have opened a business bank account from the get go.

I think I waited maybe three or four years to do that. And then number three, I would take a course to get a business blueprint, to figure out exactly what I needed to do so that I could fast track my learning curve. And then I just wanted to give you a bonus tip.

So it’s not really if I could do it differently as if I was starting today, like if you’re listening to this and you are about to jump ship, you’re about to quit your day job and you want to open a design firm and you want to be a decorator and you want to run your own business. Here’s what I would do if I was starting from scratch today, I would find other designers I could connect with in community.

I would plan to meet them every month on zoom or in person to pick their brains, talk about what I’m doing here. What’s going on in the industry to stay tapped in. That’s why I created designers room because I just want a place where designers can meet and share their ideas. Their secret share, what’s working question, what they’re doing, whether it’s the right thing, ask questions of each other, share, get feedback from one another and learn.

And so I would really recommend if you don’t already have a designer bestie or two, or have a community of designers who are. At least where you are, if not a little bit further ahead than you, find it. Find it in your city. Join us inside designer’s room. I don’t care where you go.

But that is my bonus tip, because you can’t do it alone. And even though we try to prove to everyone that we could do it without help, why? Why put yourself through that stress and agony? Okay. Those are my tips for if I were starting my business from scratch today, what I would do differently. send me a DM on Instagram.

Let me know. Was this episode helpful? Do you have these things? Do you agree? Or is there something else that you think is a non negotiable? Let me know.