Are the prices (fees) you charge your clients in line with the value of service you’re providing? 

When clients understand the full extent of the services you’re offering, you’ll be better positioned to pitch your proposal based on value over price. 

And when you’ve broken down the stages of your design service, you’ll have a helpful reminder of the time you’ve allowed for each part of the design puzzle.

If you don’t already do this, we encourage you to try this strategy when presenting your next fee proposal. You may have your own terminology for each phase, but we’ve developed a ‘C.O.R.E’ order to help get you started:

C | Collaborate and Collect

In the Design Survey stage, you’ll be collaborating with your clients to ascertain their practical needs for the design, along with their style preferences. You’ll be determining their budget, and discussing their expectations around timing. You will also be collecting physical site details – measuring up the existing space, identifying site parameters, locating existing services and assessing structural limitations. 

How long do you allow for this comprehensive collection of data?

O | Organise and Optimise

If you’re clever, you’ll collate the information you’ve gathered above within a few hours of your meeting. You’ll set out a clear and concise design brief, and make sure you have all the information you need about the site. To ensure both you and your clients are on the same page, you’ll also want to send them a summary of your findings, and get them to sign off on your design brief. 

What is your procedure for this stage of the game? How long do you allow yourself to organise and optimise your brief?

R | Research and Review

Finding finishes, fixtures and fittings that meet your client brief can be a time-consuming exercise. 

This research phase is a critical part of your Concept Design/Design Development work, but when you’re lost in a Google-vortex, are you keeping track of time?

E | Execute and Deliver

You’ve gathered your information, organised your findings and researched the best products for the project – let the fun begin! 

How much time do you set aside for Design Development and Documentation? Is this the ‘weightiest’ component of your project, or is it relatively light work when you’ve laid out ‘C, O and R’ above?

With a comprehensive scope of work set out in your fee proposal, your clients will see that there’s much more to design than picking pretty colours.

Our KBDi Design Consultancy Agreements are designed to help you formalise the above when the contract is being settled. The document sets out all stages, from Design Survey to Project Consultancy/Management, and helps keep you and your client on the same page. Remember this contract is FREE (and exclusive) for KBDi Members – if you haven’t seen it yet, contact us today, and we’ll send you a copy.

Do you have a ‘top tip’ to share when it comes to selling value over price? Do you have a favourite tool to keep your time tracking tight? We’d love your input – comment below if you’ve some worldly wisdom or queries of your own.

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