When Non-Design Pros Go It Alone

Have you ever decided you wanted to save a few bucks and try going it alone?  Instead of hiring an accountant, you decided to file your very complicated tax return by yourself.  Or rather than hire a plumber, you figured you could fix the toilet.  Or maybe your car was making a funny sound but you figured you knew what it was and the kid in auto shop down the street could easily fix it for you.

Have you then regretted intensely your determination to save a few dollars and do it yourself?  I know I've certainly had those moments.  Now, sometimes you don't actually have the extra cash to be able to hire what you consider reasonably simple tasks out.  I've certainly been there too.  But if money isn't in extreme shortage, what IS the best reason to try and go it alone?

We've All Seen It Done On TV.... How Hard Can It Be?

This is always my favourite.  Many people, my clients and myself included, can be HGTV junkies.  And I don't have anything against HGTV.  I think their programs are fantastic, sometimes quite funny and it helps us think a bit differently about what's possible.  But the disservice that HGTV does is that it leads every viewer to believe that they can do it just as well as the pros.

A few weeks ago, I had a few close friends over to celebrate my birthday (yay!) and while I was chatting with one of my friends, who works at a fairly high end law firm, she mentioned that the office had expanded in physical space and that the partners had chosen to do the design work themselves, rather than hire a professional.  What I found most interesting about this is that most of the lawyers I know strongly suggest you hire a well-qualified lawyer if you are about to engage in any kind of legal situation, be it divorce, contract law, family litigation, etc.  And rightly so.  The ins and outs of the legal system are intensely complex and, save for a very straightforward small claims court suit, you are probably indeed better to hire a lawyer.

What interested me is that these are pros who know the benefit to hiring a professional to help in tricky situations and yet, they figured they'd save some cash and try to create a unified space on their own.  I haven't been in the space yet but from what I've heard and seen in pictures, rather than a polished, unified office, this firm is creating a hap-hazard, mish-mosh of material-, colour- and pattern-clash.  Not exactly giving the impression that "We're great lawyers and well-worth the hard-earned dollars our clients pay us".

However, I don't want to pick on lawyers.  Maybe you're an accountant, and you have contacts in your circle that own their own business and pump you for information on how to do this and that, but refuse to hire your services.  Or perhaps you work in sales and you have customers come in, spend hours of your time researching product and getting to know what's best and then ordering it online to save $50.  No matter your line of work, I'm sure you've come across a similar situation at some point.

A Better Way To Save Money...

As a startup business myself, I've had to learn, sometimes the hard way, that I can't do it all myself.  I certainly find any kind of bookkeeping intensely frustrating (it baffles me that my Mom is an accountant and my older sis has her MBA - I certainly did not inherit those talents), however, in my case, it is extremely important to me to learn how to read and track my numbers.  So, with the gracious help of my Mom, we are working our way through.  And it certainly would be faster and less painful to just hire her, or my very good friend here in YYC, to keep me up to date, and one day I will gladly pass the baton onward but for now, I'm in learning mode.

I have however, hired out other parts of the business, as much as it pained me to pay the dollars initially, and found that the results I received from a pro working in their genius were FAR BETTER than any I could hope to achieve myself.

And this is how it is when it comes to design.

For the many hours of time it takes you (and your partner/family) to come up with a colour palette you all like, that works with your home and you feel confident about, it would likely take less than 2 hours to have a pro come in and help you.  Depending on the time spent and the rate of the designer, for less than $200 you could have great selections and no stress!

Here's another bracing thought - what does your weekend involve?  Do you love spending all your time prepping, painting, cleaning up, waiting for paint to dry, re-coating, re-sanding, painting again, cleaning up again, re-sanding...... it could go on for days!  Or, do you prefer to spend your weekends spending time with your friends and family, going for hikes or to parties, sleeping in and having a relaxed morning breakfast.... mmm bacon......  Unless you love painting, you probably would rather spend your free time doing things that fill you up and raise your energy to help you through another work week.  Am I right?  Again, depending on the size of project and the painter hired, for a few hundred bucks, you've saved your weekend and your home looks fantastic!  And any touchups are the responsibility of the painter.

The Lesson To Be Learned...

I am extremely blessed to work with some amazing, powerhouse clients who are outstanding professionals in their own fields.  Each one also realizes the value of an hour (or 40) saved by hiring a uniquely qualified professional to help them with their home.  My dear friend, and favourite client (don't tell the rest ;-P ) Jacquie, sums it up perfectly:

"I am a busy professional and she helps me by scouting and sourcing material and providing me with options that allow me to make the best use of my limited time. I could never have picked the fabrics, wallpaper (never thought I would do that!) and tiles that she guided me to from an array of stores where I would have been lost. "

Before you think "It's cheaper to do it alone", give me a call.  You may be surprised with what can be accomplished without a 5-figure bill!  And if you're not convinced yet, here's what my Mom, one of my toughest clients, had to say about working with a pro:

"Do you want to hire an interior designer for your project?  I would say definitely, they are more than worth the fees, through the better finished project you get, the avoidance of potentially mistaken purchases that would not work out otherwise and can add up significantly, and saving you much needed time that you can put to better use elsewhere, plus saving you from the severe stress and frustration a renovation project can bring."

Now Booking For October!

We are nearly half-way through September and I have four projects in full swing.  I am now booking creative work sessions for October so if you, or someone you know, could use some professional help, please connect with me today to reserve your spot!  I only take a few clients at a time to ensure I give the best possible service to each client.  And to make it a little sweeter still, I reward quality referrals with love and dineros!  Check out the deets below:


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Interior Design Calgary, Home Decor & House Plans | Gratitude Heart Signature | Dutch Touch Interiors