Department Store Buyer Becomes Interior Designer
A market analysis gives direction to a small business.
A man contacted me about promoting his commercial interior design firm that he was starting. At that time he was working as a department store buyer where he was very bored in his job. He was interested in making a career change to interior designing. He had no formal training but had educated himself in interior design and had worked on some very small showroom and office design projects in an assisting role.
After meeting with him and learning his goals, I did some research into office and showroom designs, and the correlations between new designs and increased business. I discovered that office interior designing was a lot more plentiful but more competitive. The larger design firms concentrated on the office designing market. I decide for my client that it would be best if he would concentrate his efforts on the showroom design market which was less competitive and easier to break into.
I helped my client create a web site that would express his unique approach to designing showrooms. The web site allowed clients to request information on the different types and styles of showroom designs that my client has to offer. There would be articles and links to articles that would be of interest and help prospective clients with what type of showroom design would be best for their business. The web site would provide examples of other projects that were successfully done.
I wrote articles on the positive correlation between new designs and increased business and distributed them on the internet were clients would be looking for information. I included links in the articles back to my client’s web site. I created a newsletter for my client that contained helpful information to prospects by explaining several different ways of how new showroom designs can increase business. The newsletter contained links to my clients’ web site as well as links to articles and sources of information that would be of assistance to any potential prospects.
I created a print ad for the New York Real Estate Journal and wrote an article under my clients’ by-lines that appeared with the ad. After the article and ad appeared, I ordered reprints, wrote a solicitation letter, and bought a list of approximately 500 real estate lawyers (new showroom tenants typically have their lawyers negotiate their leases). The solicitation letters gave my clients web site address and where to find his newsletter. The solicitation letters were mailed with a bulk mail permit from a local post office. They were also sent via email.
A few weeks later after sending out the solicitation letter and reprints, a lawyer who represented a men’s suit designer company responded to our ads. I prepared for my client a four color brochure, a PowerPoint presentation, and a script to follow during his presentation. My client was up against 3 other firms competing for the contract. My client was rewarded the contract. The contract was for 1.5 million for a showroom on a very fashionable Manhattan street.
Five months after getting the contract to design this showroom my client completed the project. The showroom turned out to be a huge success for the men’s suit designer company. The company even recommended my client to an accessory manufacture and design company that the suit company was doing business with.
With the permission of the men’s suit designer company I arranged for several stories about their work to be published. I made changes on their web site to include the success that my client had with the suit design company’s show room design. I also included it in the next company newsletter that was going to be published. I repeated the process with the mailing list both of them (conventional mail and e-mail) promoting the success of my clients work. As a result, my client got three additional clothing design companies each of whom required large showrooms and offices
The success of the first contract allowed my client to break into a new market segment which is designing offices, which is the largest and most profitable in the interior design business. Here is where my client decided to expand his business; and in order to do this he must hire others who have the skills to execute the appropriate tasks at hand.