Choosing Your Place of Business

One of those considerations when building a brand is its "place." The location, destination or access to a brand reflects the essence of the brand. Interior designers certainly know the importance of place. Form and function intersect visibly in a designer's place of business, forming the stature of the brand and functioning as a creative green house.

Should you work at home or establish a studio or boutique? There are designers who feel strongly about each option. For some designers, the benefits of working at home, with a studio and office in a separate room or building, are efficiency and economy. But the distractions of daily life, and the temptation to work too much, often interfere. And space for assistants or associates is limited. While some designers who work at home invite prospective clients to meet there, most client interaction happens at the client's residence, business or in restaurants or hotels.

Other designers prefer greater separation of work and home and appreciate the ability to focus on the task at hand. The studio or boutique can also serve as a sample library or showroom for the designer's aesthetic. If a boutique, the designer also can earn some retail income.

Naturally, the return on the investment in a place has to be considered wherever that place is. But the decisions often depend more on the working style of the designer and the representation of the brand. What about tax issues? I would like to stay away from tax advice for obvious reasons, and because tax laws vary in so many locales. We already advised them to seek advice from Accountants.

And while we are at it, clients often "buy" the designer before they buy the design, so professionalism matters: promptness, dress, business etiquette... you know the rest.

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