EP 106 | 5 Fast-Track Tactics to use in your Interior Design Business with Sara Malek Barney

April 1, 2019

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About this Episode

Starting from ground zero with no clients and no formal training, we learn how one entrepreneur launched her design business using tactics she picked up in the entertainment field she worked in previously and applying her Business of Design™ membership.

In this episode we learn:

  • a flexible business plan is a guide to growth and a catalyst to identifying what makes you stand out in the market
  • contrary to popular thought, not all designers see themselves as creative
  • a niche focus on young families is a long-term strategy for success
  • outsourcing can support fast growth
  • get comfortable with networking
  • consider a co-working space to surround yourself with other business owners


Take Aways

  1. Prepare a business plan as a guide to growth
  2. Outsource tasks you’re not good at
  3. Go to markets (like High Point and Las Vegas) to make new connections
  4. Determine the income you need to make in order to maintain your lifestyle and then figure out what that would take
  5. Schedule time to learn something new each quarter.

Client Expander SEO company that Sara recommends.


Design Intervention

Create a website that features great photography. Focus on one social network only and get good at using it strategically.


Sara spent the first 15 years of her professional career working in the fast-paced entertainment and sports industries, as an executive at companies such as SXSW, Creative Artists Agency (CAA), and The Ellen DeGeneres Show. Always sitting at the intersection of creativity and business, her true love for design emerged after years of helping friends and family turn their spaces into meaningful, accessibly beautiful areas. She believes the design process should be highly collaborative and feel uniquely authentic to each individual. An Austin-native, Sara spent nearly a decade in sunny Los Angeles, California, where she met her writer husband, Dana, while they were both chasing the Hollywood dream. Now back on home turf, Sara and Dana enjoy endless amounts of queso and college football with their two daughters, Blake and Decker. Sara has a Degree in Corporate Communication, with a minor in Business from the University of Texas at Austin and a Degree in Interior Design from the Interior Design Institute. She was named one of Fortune Magazine‘s Most Powerful Women {Next Gen} and is also a member of the American Society of Interior Designers. When not interior designing, you can find Sara drinking rosé, wearing sequins, dancing to boy band music, trying to solve a NYT crossword, watching Seinfeld (yes, still), trying to be a cool mom, and daydreaming about Napa. www.bandddesign.com Insta: @jointhebandd

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