Running a business isn’t for the faint of heart, and with several years of experience now under my belt, I have waded through lots of business tools for interior designers and found a solid list of those I know I can rely on to help me to juggle a variety of tasks. From project management tools to what the KPD team uses to make pretty templates for Stories on Instagram, there’s something for everyone on this list, but it’s curated especially with my fellow interior designers in mind.
The Best Business Tools for Interior Designers:
Favorite CRM: Dubsado
Dubsado is a GAMECHANGER for me and my business. It does it all – it tracks leads and where they’re coming from, takes care of invoicing (even lets you set up recurring invoices if you need it to), schedules clients, automates workflows (like sends follow up emails, and payment or appointment reminders), and is worth every penny.
Project Management Tool: Ivy
If you’re an interior designer, you NEED Ivy in your life. The community is amazing. Ivy has a lot of indispensable features, so let’s dive in. To start, you can virtually clip and save photos and info of products you’re sourcing to use in projects in one single catalog, you can create branded invoices and proposals — even inviting clients to approve or disapprove of your product selections in your proposals if you so choose! You can track your time, expenses and projects, Ivy how much do I love you? Let me count the ways! This tool is seriously a workhorse.
This one isn’t going to surprise anyone, because if you own a small business, you most likely use Quickbooks. From tracking expenses to mileage, it’s a classic choice for a reason. That, and having a smart bookkeeper and accountant keeps that side of my business running smoothly.
Scheduling: iOS Calendar + Dubsado
I do most of my scheduling within Dubsado, but I also live and die by the Calendar app on my iPhone. There’s just something about its ease of use (and probably since it’s always close-by) that makes it my go-to.
Fohlio is a must on any list of business tools for interior designers because its features are catered specifically to our industry — you can use it to clip products from the web to add to a personal library, organize FF&E schedules, get quotes from vendors, create tear sheets and presentations, and more.
Initial Mood Board: Pinterest
Are there any interior designers out there who DON’T use Pinterest at this point? This is how I like to initially gather all of my ideas for a project. I’ll create a private client board and pin images that inspire color palettes, or specific products. I also pin rooms and spaces that have a beautiful design that inspires me, business advice, food, and more. Find my profile here.
Social Media Scheduling: Later
I brought someone on my team last year to handle all of my marketing and she swears by Later to plan and schedule social media posts on Instagram, Pinterest, and Facebook. Later also has some robust analytics, an excellent tool for searching for images by hashtag, or adding them by URL, and they also have an incredible library of content that educates its users on all things social media.
Editorial Calendar: Trello
My marketing gal and I just started mapping out the KPD editorial calendar on Trello and love how visual and user-friendly it is. You can use it for a myriad of things and have a ton of templates to choose from: from email workflows, to order tracking, and more. This tool is quickly becoming indispensable for my team.
Website: WordPress + Show.it
WordPress is hands-down the best CMS for SEO and offers an unbeatable amount of customizable options and Show.it makes the prettiest WordPress templates around. I’ve been so happy with my website, thanks to my incredible web designer, Anthem Creative.
E-mail Marketing: MailChimp
You can’t go wrong with choosing the OG of e-mail marketing, MailChimp. I’ve been happy with their easy templates that help craft a newsletter in no time, but keep hearing a lot about ConvertKit…anyone want to sway me?
Instagram Stories – Unfold + Steller
My marketing gal designs my IG stories on Unfold and Steller and likes them for their user-friendly interface and clean, minimalistic templates.
Which of these business tools for interior designers do you use? Any you’d add to the list? Leave your favorites in the comments.