6.23.2011

talking business & family photos

Have I mentioned there is a learning curve to this whole starting-your-own-business gig?

I've written about the difficulty of setting your prices before, but today I think 
I've made hiring me more accessible and seamless...

First, I had set prices for each service.  Then, I took my prices off my website and asked you to contact me for pricing.  I'm not sure either option was really best.  Finally, I've decided to make each service hourly.   How is this better for you?  
This allows me to cater my design services to your needs instead of charging you a flat rate. For example, if you know you only want to pay for three hours of services, you could get a board like this. For a more finished look like this, add more time.  Plus, this takes the mystery out of my fees. {$50/hour}  Simply answer a few questions and we can get started! 

Phew.
Anyone still reading?

Now let's get personal.
 I asked my friend Marta to put her fancy camera to work and
 take a few photos of my boys and me.
Our time together basically consisted of Holden being obsessed with a vacuum in their garage, and Jack not  wanting his picture taken.  When we left, I doubted there would be any decent shots because the boys were so crazy.  This was done very last minute--no new outfits, {next time for sure!!} and this mommy needed her hair done in the worst way.

But Marta worked her magic and 
my hubby loved his Father's Day present!  
Scroll down for a ridiculous amount of pictures.










Thanks for reading and for the continued support!

Did anyone give a home made gift this Father's day?


24 comments:

  1. When I was designing I would charge a $75 hrly fee. I also charged a (teensy) bit for anything I sold my clients. I registered with all of my local design shops and fabric stores and got a designer discount, and charged the client the retail price. That discount that the shops gave me was my 'cut'. It's not easy starting out to stick to the fee, especially when you become close with your clients. You want to discount everything got them ;). But I learned you have to value your time because if you don't, no one else will. :). Good luck! I love your blog, and your design style!

    Btw, your family pics are too cute! What adorable boys you have :)

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  2. Oh, i forgot. When I would initially meet with a possible client i would tell them up front what my fees were. I never had a website and it was before i had a blog, so i was kind of "old school" when it came to that. There was never an issue with it, and it worked well while i was working. :).

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  3. Thanks for your comment Lori! Yes, I always talk through my fees before the first consultation. I don't want there to be any surprises along the way! :-)

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  4. I charge like Lori and agree with everything she said! When I first started out, a rep at the Chicago Merchandise Mart told me to charge for my time as that was the most valuable part of the service I was offering and to not try to make money off of the products because in the end the client may not buy them through you. Lori's approach is perfect because there is time involved in purchasing and this way you get paid for that time. I think is is also important to stay flexible in how you charge as every client/project is a little different. That is why I don't post pricing on my blog.
    Cathy

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  5. Thanks Cathy! There are just so many ways to go about charging in this business. My hope is that by removing the "flat rates" for e-design I can be more flexible.

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  6. Hi Abby! Those pics are wonderful! And no, no home made gifts here - this is the summer of fishing, so hubster got a fishing pole! The boys got theirs from the Easter bunny!

    Biz pricing - I think you have to decide and hold your value so that which ever way you present it (market it) you'll still make your price. In your initial consult you can describe various pricing, but bottom line is you need to meet your price.

    I'll be opening my biz soon and because the products are expensive, I know everyone will be doing knock-offs! But as my hub said, I shouldn't put in all the time only to make $20!

    Sending you an email.

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  7. not a career women yet, but love the photos and your card...SO cute!
    xoxo emily

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  8. Lovely photos!!

    And it's definitely hard to set prices & how to let people know what they are. I think that is a fab way to do them!

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  9. Abby theses photos are all darling and a great Fathers Day gift! You look just great by the way!

    Xoxo
    Karena

    Art by Karena

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  10. I learn something new from you in each of your posts. Just tucking it all away in my brain for *maybe someday*
    And your photos turned out great!

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  11. Hi Abby, your boys look sweet, as expected! I don't know what's going on in your market, but my first impression is that you're pricing yourself too low. You can always raise your prices down the road, when you have more clients under your belt and more confidence in your wonderful talented style!
    Best wishes,
    Barbara, The Treasured Home

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  12. Great post! Sounds like a great switch to charge an hourly rate. I was also thinking of not posting the price on my blog when I start. Sometimes, it's better to talk to the clients and see exactly what they need, because every decorating job will be different. That's why I like your idea of the hourly rate. Your time and the way you work, is important. Thanks so much for the tips. (And the family photos are so precious!)

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  13. I charge hourly too. I find that if I don't, I end of spending more time on it and end up being paid very little for my time. I think you're off to a great start! Love the darling photos of your kids, too!

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  14. I love the family photo's!! Adorbs.

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  15. Abby.. you are so right! I have the hardest time paying myself what I am worth! But in the end most clients feel they are getting a deal! Charging hourly is great... I like to give a "Estimate of Design Time" based on the scope of the project to my hourly clients. And typically I add on a hour to what I think it will be... I have never had any complaints!! When I get close the the time I estimated... I communicate with the client. Anyways....

    Great pics of the boys! I love non posed, candid shots!

    Tiffany {Living Savvy}

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  16. oh... PS. where did you order or fabulous business cards from??? LOVE THEM!!

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  17. aw.. what a special present. Those are such wonderful pictures, Abby. I love it when you mix in a bit about your little guys - x

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  18. The photos are fantastic! I know exactly how much *fun* photo shoots with two little boys can be! Your boys are adorable!

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  19. These pics are adorable!! and I did actually give my dad a homemade card! It was more heartfelt and didn't cost $4.99!! ;)

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  20. Love seeing a more personal glimpse into your life! Your boys are adorable, and your business will be a success!

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  21. Your kids are so cute and she managed to get some great pictures!!!

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  22. Funny how similar our cards are. I received mine several weeks ago and almost forgot to post about them. You have great taste girl :) and your family is adorable!

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Abby M. Interiors is a boutique design firm based in Grand Rapids, MI. Combining the new traditional, vintage and a dash of the unexpected is her ideal. Contact Abby M. Interiors for more information on available interior design services for clients near and far. abbyminteriors@gmail.com

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