Happy New Year

Happy 2020 from Designer Society of America! 

New Beginnings
The new year is a perfect opportunity to implement new practices and energize your design business, so if you haven't already notified your clients of significant changes taking effect in your business for the new year, now's the time. This month, we explore topics that all designers must eventually address: raising rates, increasing productivity, and setting client boundaries. 

High Point Market will be here before you know it. Spring dates are April 25–29 and this year's theme is “Reimagine.” While it's certainly possible to navigate the world's largest furniture show on your own, it can be daunting. Why go it alone? Instead, join up with fellow DSA members and exchange ideas and conversation that'll leave you feeling inspired and reinvigorated about your business. Our High Point Market Tours are fun, informative, and typically sell out well in advance—something to think about when you register for the show. Look for more information about this year's DSA Tours soon. 

Remember, we love to share positive, productive and inspirational stories from our members. Did you land a dream client? Were you inspired by a trip or life event? If so, we'd love to hear about it. Email us at  support@dsasociety.org and we'll share your story with the DSA community.

Cheers to a happy, healthy and successful 2020,

Natasha Lima-Younts DSA
Designer Society of America

Use our online power tools to custom fit Market to your needs:

Improve Your Design Business in 2020 

by Davina van Buren

We all enjoy the creative side of design, but it's equally important to attend to the practical matters that keep the wheels of business turning. Here, we explore three ways to set yourself up for success in 2020. 

Set Client Boundaries

We all want to make sure clients receive the best customer service experience possible, but establishing boundaries with your clients is a healthy thing to do. In order to avoid burnout, designers need to carve out time for themselves. 
Step one: decide exactly what your work parameters are and stick to them. This looks different for everyone! Some designers prefer to stick to a 9–5, Monday through Friday schedule, while others are okay with being available on the weekends. The ideal schedule for you may not be identical to other designers—and that's okay. LuAnn Nigara, a design industry business coach and podcaster, suggests scheduling not only professional appointments, but personal pursuits, family and friend time, and self care. 

Raise Your Rates

Do you know your profit on each service, your monthly overhead, and how much profit you want to make each year—or are you just winging it? Understanding these facets of your design business is critical to establishing your ideal rate. 

Interior design rates vary by region and of course, experience. To determine your rates, take a long, hard look at the previous year's numbers. Are you where you want to be? How much more money would you like to be making? Thinking in terms of yearly numbers can be overwhelming; instead break down your goals into quarterly, monthly and even weekly goals to stay on track. Don't forget to factor in vacation and personal time. 

Ideally, you would have already let existing clients know about your rate increase at the end of Q3 so they can plan accordingly, but there is still ample time to raise your rates for 2020. A short email detailing the rate increase and when it will take effect will do. Just make sure your increased fees also reflect your value proposition. 

Get Your Home Office In Order 

Most designers do at least some of their work remotely, so it's essential to set yourself up for success when working from your home office. You may want to invest in a good office chair or perhaps a standing desk. Choose a sturdy filing cabinet to organize your past and present projects. And use those design skills to add some personal touches: a plant, family photos, or inspirational artwork can go a long way when it comes to warming up space. 

Shout out to Kristin Rinn Design!

Most importantly, keep your space clean and decluttered. Your home office shouldn't be the default dumping ground for papers, boxes, clothes, or the kids' toys. It may be psychological, but a tidy workspace is one less thing you need to worry about in the middle of a stressful project or when you are working on a deadline. 
Do you have a home office you love? If so, we'd love to hear your tips on how to work more productively.
Send photos! 

—Davina van Buren, Senior Editor, and VP of Marketing, Designer Society of America

Trend Ahead - Product Knowledge Leads to Success
2020 Winter / Spring Style Report

Style Spotters pick the rising trends of 2020
All of our Style Spotters raved about attention to detail during the Fall 2019 Market. As a diverse group with a wide range of opinions, they reported back with a vast assortment of new products and trends, but there were also a few highlights that seemed to resonate with the majority of the group.

Stay in the loop! Go to HPMarket ,  and form your own opinions!