Hi Everyone! I hope you are doing well. Wow, this year is zipping by! Well, I told you a while back that I would have some big announcements for you. As many of you might have gathered, I did go ahead and purchase the 10 year strong, annual Business of Design (BOD) Conference! David Shepherd decided to retire and offered the conference to me. Eventually, I said yes and I am now an international conference owner! It was a big step for my company, but it is the best thing I ever did! Fortunately, I was ready when the opportunity presented itself and I was craving a more dynamic platform by which to advance the design industry and empower designers, which as you know, is my mission.
The BOD, while very impressive, did not quite embody the luxury touch that I resonate with. So, I re-branded the event and it is now called the Business of LUXURY Design Summit or BOLD Summit for short. I shifted the event to be more focused on the particular business needs of luxury oriented interior designers and architects, as this is what my firm, Molloy Management Group has been guiding the industry on for the last 9 years and well, it’s what I know best!
It has been a wonderful adventure putting it together over the last 10 months and way more work than I thought! I absolutely love it though, so no complaints here! This first year I decided to keep it the same days as it has been for the last 10 years, the Thursday and Friday right before labor day, the 28th and 29th of August.
To my great delight, we have been able to gain the support of so many thought leaders in the industry. We have some AMAZING designers coming to share their secrets, namely Mario Buatta, Clodagh, Richard Landry and Vicente Wolf! We also have some big dogs like Crans Baldwin and Lloyd Princeton coming to share with us what you need to know about billing for time and product in this new age of design, as well as some leaders in the design publication arena to talk about what you need to know about how to get published. Michela, President of Dwell, Traditional Home, Hospitality Magazine and Mike Peterson of Luxe will be there.
The list of brilliance at the event is long, but suffice it to say, if you are building your design business and are striving to become a more powerful presence in the world of high-end design, you will want to be there. I’ll share more with you over the coming weeks and you can also take a look at the event here:
If you know me, you know that I am a rubber-meets-the-road kind of person.The BOLD Summit is not going to be a fluff fest, but packed with real business critical content that propels your business forward. This is extremely important to me. This is also why I am giving all of the attendees the recording of the presentations so that you can share the ideas with your team and really implement change back at the office.
Here are a few highlights that our faculty of Design Masters are bringing you at this year’s event!
• Massive amounts of information, knowledge, and strategies that took the most successful masters in the industry DECADES to learn, you’ll learn in TWO DAYS. Why reinvent the wheel? They want to show you how to catapult to success, earning more revenue in less time.
• They’ll explain how they created international luxury brands, how they run their businesses, how they became published, and how they maximize profitability.
• Meet publishers and editors from: DWELL, ROBB Report, Traditional Home, Hospitality Magazine and Luxe!
• David Mandell will discuss ways to streamline operations & cash flow and practices for productive wealth management & protection, tax shelters, etc.
• Lloyd Princeton, Kim Kuhteubl and Chris Ramey will discuss innovative marketing strategies in a changing clientele – what it means to attract your ideal luxury clientele and how to negotiate accordingly.
• Mike Peterson of Luxe Magazine will discuss the importance of branding and HOW to brand yourself for a changing clientele.
• We will take an in-depth look at how other design firms are billing and making money! Including: discount from retail vs. markup, value-based fees vs. time billing, and price-per-square foot strategies and answer that pressing question, WHAT IS THE BEST BILLING MODEL FOR MY FIRM?!
Anyway, I am excited and I am so incredibly blessed to be able to provide this experience to our lovely design community. The coming weeks are all about preparation for the big day. I’ll share more about the award ceremony and how the event is giving back to a few special causes soon.
Until then, let me know if you have any questions on the BOLD Summit and as always,
Expect great things!
Julia A. Molloy
Hi Everyone! I’ve been thinking a lot lately about manifesting abundance. I wanted to share a situation that came up a few days ago, that went metaphorically, something like this;
“I have a fruit tree you can plant and it will begin to bear all the fruit you can eat for a lifetime within 4 days.” A woman says to a very hungry man.
“What does it cost?” The man asks.
“One of the 5 apples you have in your pack.”
The man scoffs and says, “Are you kidding? I only have these few apples to eat for the next week! I don’t have enough to buy that tree!”
THAT is scarcity mentality and it is a program imbedded into our brains from an early age. It is a self-perpetuating circumstance of lack, and staying in that thought process keeps you in that perpetual state.
Train yourself to continually reach for a better feeling thought. This is how we hone our thoughts into resonance with abundance.
In business we make choices every day. The path we choose on a daily basis is a direct reflection of our belief system. Do we believe there is not enough to do what it takes to expand? Or do we have a belief in abundance and choose to make strategic choices to invest in perpetuating a state of abundance?
Our thoughts create our choices and our choices create our experience. Our thoughts reveal themselves through our words, our businesses, our relationships, our health and our happiness.
I’ll give you an example that comes by my desk almost weekly.
A design firm has too many projects. Their tiny, recession sized team can’t handle the work well anymore and more work is coming in. Things are getting missed. Everyone is overwhelmed. Clients are becoming increasingly dissatisfied. The owner must make a fundamental choice. Do they believe in scarcity or abundance? Invest in process flow improvements and possibly another team member and perpetuate growth, or bet on the pipeline drying up, thus perpetuating the possibility of such.
There is risk either way. I say, be smart about it, expand slowly, but betting on good things happening will create an environment that perpetuates good things happening. That is abundance mentality.
We automatically manifest whatever level of abundance that our energy is vibrating at. As we begin to align with the thoughts and feelings of abundance, it will show up in our lives. It’s that simple.
I’ve been working on really listening to my thoughts and my words for quite some time now; refining the way in which I perceive the world. Our words do tell all. I can still catch myself sometimes in a thought cycle that is of lack. It’s a matter of retraining or simply refining the way we think.
I know there are so many of us now practicing the art of aligning our thoughts with abundance. When I catch myself in a negative spin, I listen and accept my current fear. Then talk myself through it by reaching for a better feeling thought, an encouraging though and then the next even better feeling thought and so on. Abraham Hicks has been a great resource for me. If you’re not familiar. Check it out. It can be a little out there, but I’m drinking the Koolaide these days and I loving it!
Our reality starts within. That’s what I mean when I say “One becomes luxury from the inside out.”
What do you bet on in your business? Are you holding on to thought patterns of lack or do your thoughts beacon in abundance? Let me know your thoughts!
Expecting great things-
Julia Alexander Molloy, President
Molloy Management Group
Hi there! I hope you are well. I want to focus on finance today. There has been a lot of movement in the industry, especially as it pertains to billing models and profit. We all want to make and keep more money. But how do we do that? How do you know where you’re making money and where you’re losing it? These are the tough questions that Principal Interior Designers must face every day. Ultimately you’ve got figure out the formula for becoming as profitable as possible. There are 3 components to a healthier bottom line; efficiency, financial awareness and a high revenue to man hour ratio. Mastering these components is the winning formula for financial success.
Just because your revenue is up, does not mean that your profit is up.
The First Component is Efficiency
We’ll start with the most elusive of the three components, efficiency. In this service business, efficiency IS money.
In fact, efficiency or lack thereof, is the number one silent killer of profit. The first rule of efficiency is; do more with what you’ve got! First, identify areas you need to tighten up efficiency. In which of the following areas are you losing money?
Top 5 sources of inefficiency and a weak bottom line:
Inadequate structure: Without the proper systems and processes, workflow is disjointed and efforts are not optimized. Every team member needs to know what needs to get done and who is responsible for it. The average poorly structured, 3 person firm spends about $18,000 in extra payroll and over $20,000 in opportunity costs each year due to inappropriate tools, roles and task assignments.
Disorganization: Without a place to centralize information it is difficult to coordinate and quickly find important information when and where you need it. The average 3 person interior design firm wastes over $4,500 a year in extra payroll costs just looking for things!
Poor delegation: Leverage your time; dedicate it to activities that truly require YOUR attention. Spend your billable hours on billable tasks or other revenue generating activity. Having better systems will facilitate you being able to delegate and get quality and timely results from your team members or contractors. Developing your ability to perform well through other people will increase capacity and productivity which translates to a stronger bottom line.
Interruptions: Strive for prolonged periods of high concentration. This is the most productive state. Every time you and your team) get interrupted you lose a few minutes of productive time. The start and stop mentality is an epidemic in this industry and it costs the average inefficient 3 person firm over $10,000 in extra payroll every year!
Firefighting: Time is wasted fixing things, repeating efforts or redoing something. These disruptions redirect time and resources and indicate that you do not have adequate control of your processes. Proactive 3 person interior design firms save an average of 30,000 a year in actual payroll costs over firms that are in reactive mode.
This is all cash that could flow straight to your bottom line!
Your efficiency is directly proportionate to your profit. The first step is to identify your money leaks.
Keys to Efficiency
- Proper organizational structure: roles and responsibilities, even if it’s just you and a part timer or two
- Centralized information that streamlines processes. We strongly recommend Studio Webware for this. See www.studiowebware.com
- Strong delegation skills and a weekly team sync meeting
- Appropriate technology choices for your firm
- Simple to use, easy to maintain systems, tools and methods
- Well-structured and documented workflows
- Eliminate redundancies and duplicated efforts
Having these foundational elements will facilitate the next two components falling right into place.
In the meantime, take a look at your efficiency measures. How efficient are you? Identify key processes that need improvement and feel free to be in touch if you’d like some help.
Can you guess what the second component of increasing profit is?
Expecting great things!
I’ve been thinking a lot about how I want to approach this year. This year feels different. It IS different. Heck, last November felt different. The economy picked up, the energies shifted. Whatever the cause, I knew my approach to my life and my business had shifted along with it and I see it in many of you too. What is the shift? I wanted to answer this question for myself before I reached out to you all again. It took me until March to develop a vocabulary around it that felt complete. And that brings me to my word.
I asked myself what was the essence of my new approach. What word encompasses the shift I sense all around me? I have been so pleased to see that the words authenticity and resonate have caught on and are now included in conversation all around. Spoken by every day people that have little ethereal leaning. This is all a sign of our evolution as a community, as bosses, as business owners, as people, spouses and parents. But these do not accurately describe the shift. They are RESULTS OF the shift.
Do you feel the shift this year? It’s everywhere and it is good.
For me, the word that best expresses my new sense of focus is …. ALIGNMENT. And over the last few weeks, I have come to realize that it has been my word all along. That is what I do! I help firms, more specifically, designers, creatives, business owners and their teams to align with their flow, their authentic client, their team work, how they express themselves. Alignment is the key!
Alignment to what you may ask. Well, the answer is different for everyone and that’s what keeps things fresh for me. Regardless of the specific point of alignment, we all end up lining up our lives in a similar pattern. Alignment results in the same things for just about everyone; more time to spend enjoying the people who matter to us, more ease in our work, an increase in output with less effort, a sense of relief, a sense of fulfillment and something else pretty miraculous. More of the right clients show up at our door. More amazing opportunities and synchronicities occur regularly in an upward spiral. Not unlike a bird spiraling up and soaring in a thermal. Effortlessly and joyfully we lift up closer to our full expression. And then it gets really fun!
Are you ready to play a bigger game?
A year ago, this would have sounded out of reach. We at Molloy Management Group were in the middle of some serious heavy lifting as a company. It was hard. Fulfilling in many ways, but difficult. Now, as we enter a new year, things have shifted and the ease is settling in as we become more aligned with…. Well, with ourselves. Are you experiencing this too?
I think as a group, we are more aware of our true desires and becoming more cognizant that we REALLY CAN create the lifestyle we want through our businesses and when we become honest about what that is for us, our paradigm is a lot more simple than we thought it would be. I know it’s not just me. I hear your stories every day and there really has been a shift for so many of us.
What does this mean? We each have to answer that for ourselves, but for me, it means a more inclusive approach to my business. This means that I will share a bit more of my journey with you all. It means I will include my thought processes and perceptions more openly with you. Many of you who I talk with understand my little magic touch I bring into the conversation. I will no longer reserve that special nuance to personal work with clients alone, but will share it openly with you all.
What does your new paradigm look like?
As I align this year, you will begin to see shifts in my branding, our website, my head shot, my bio and the scope of Molloy Management Group. A little softer, more luxurious, more expansive, more, well, more authentic. It feels a little like coming out of the closet, but more like the blooming of a flower.
What does your alignment look like? As you more closely align your life and your business with your authentic desires and gifts, what will we see? An updated business niche, a new logo, new company name, new website, a different approach to how you run your projects? Bring it on! Be fearless. Strategic and fearless!
This is such an amazing time. I have never felt more inspired and jazzed about every day! I am ready for alignment. And I know you are too.
Welcome to the new age, my friends.
Let’s DO THIS!
Come on! Let’s DO This!
Expecting Great Things,
Hi there! I’m looking forward to heading out to beautiful Atlanta tomorrow and wanted to make sure to invite you to join me if you are going to be in Atlanta this Wednesday. I’ll be sharing a powerful presentation on elevating your interior design business to provide a more luxurious client experience. Here is a a little info on the event.
Nov. 13, 2013
“Seven Secrets of Top Luxury Designers” presented by Julia Molloy
From 10:00 am until 11 am
Join thought leader and design industry business expert, Julia Molloy as she walks you through a powerful, hands-on workshop on becoming luxury. Bring your iPad or tablet and be ready to work on brand development. You will emerge from the event transformed and prepared to make next steps in refining your brand’s signature experience for its clientele. During this action-packed workshop, Julia will provide guidance, ideas and help you take action in the following areas:
• Define your brand’s characteristics of authenticity
• Define and refine all your points of contact with the client
• How to become fully congruent with your unique style of luxury
• Use innate milestones to create a signature experience
• Develop your roadmap for brand refinement and luxury status
To come join me this week at the beautiful ADAC design center in Atlanta, click on this link above and register for the event. I hope to see you there!
Expecting great things-
I just received another email this week about an issue that has been revealing itself more and more lately. There is a growing number of designers in a strange situation. I feel compelled to share this because I know there are so many of you out there and I think I may be able to help.
The story goes something like this;
“I have been a designer for a very long time. I have always loved what I do, but it is not feeling the same to me now. I am burnt out. I am not excited anymore. I don’t like my logo, my site, my business cards, my business in general. I almost feel like quitting. I don’t want to give up all I have worked so hard for, but I have no drive to keep going. I need a change. What is wrong? What do I do?”
Once you can see the path ahead of you, you will no longer be in limbo!
Is this something that you can relate to? If so, this post may be an important turning point for you.
First of all, please know you are not alone. I believe there is more of this now because the industry has changed so much over the last few years. A new environment will always call for adaptation and you are simply feeling this need. This is actually very healthy… and very necessary, for all of us at different points in our lives. This is your time and it is important for you to accept it and just roll with it!
I believe what you are experiencing is the first phase of the rebirth process. I think your inner knowing is telling you that you have outgrown your current state and you need to revamp what you are doing. This is uncomfortable, but once you accept that you are in for a little upgrade, this can become the start of a new you and THAT is very exciting. (A little nerve racking, but exciting!)
You’ll need a very clear mission and key characteristics for your firm to help you navigate through all of your options
The anxiety comes from not having the answers. (Especially for those of you with a J in your Myers-Briggs personality profile!) Do your best to be OK with this mystery for now. Next, I want you to listen to your inner knowing. Answer the question, “What gets me most excited, happy, fulfilled?” This feeling is your navigational system. Honoring it is wise and I can help you hone it in and translate it into something tangible.
The first step is to create in a limitless way with your mind. I want you to create and visualize what would make you happiest with your thoughts. In thought form, there are no logistics, no limits, no real world realities. Keep it that way!
Use that first dimension to craft what is possible. Do not let any thoughts of fear or practicality come in to play. That should be reserved for the next step.
The first step is to imagine the perfect scenario and ideal situations and outcomes. In step 2, we’ll figure out how to navigate the real world to make that happen. Make sense?
Now, this brings me to an opportunity that happens to be rather synchronistic.
I am doing a small group deep intensive next week and I have 2 places I can make available. It will address this VERY ISSUE head on and if you want to jump in last minute, there is still a small window of opportunity. Here are a few of the details on the intensive.
It is time for a new sense of purpose and clarity.
LUXURY BRANDING AND MARKETING INTENSIVE with JULIA MOLLOY
For High-End Interior Designers
Are you looking for an assessment, feedback and relevant guidance on your business, brand and marketing so that your business feels truly authentic to you?
Do you need an expert that truly understands interior design and your market better than anyone else?
If so, this intensive is going to rock your world!
It is intended to help you address these circumstances:
- You are in the process of trying to attract more of your ideal clientele.
- You find your branding no longer feels authentic to you.
- You know you need to make changes to your site, brand, messaging, business and marketing approach, but you are just not sure what exactly to do.
You will emerge with clarity, confidence, a deeper understanding of your brand, tangible solutions and a real roadmap for moving forward.
When and where:
- First 2 hour Session- Wednesday, October 16th, 2013 at 12pm – 2:00 PDT
- Second 2 hour Session – Wednesday, October 30th, 2013 at 12 pm – 2:00 PDT
This will take place in online meetings via GoTo Meeting.
Be in touch with me at 503-208-2757 or send me an email if you are ready to get out of limbo! You’ve got until end of day Monday.
If the intensive is not an option, but you want some guidance getting through this, be in touch. This special kind of work is my gift and I can help you.
Hope you have been well and I hope for some of you, this was exactly what you needed to hear today.
Expecting great things-
It would be great to see you there!
Do you Know the Newest Secret to Creating a Truly Extraordinary Client Experience?
Are you looking for ways to make your interior design business distinctive from the others? Are your clients comfortable with technology? Do you strive to provide the highest level of service possible? If so, you will want to know about advances in the industry that are catapulting interior design firm ahead of the others. One of these is the interactive capability of Studio Webware.
I know I talk about this software a lot. I want you to know that I do not make a referral fee or a commission of any kind. I have simply found it to be a serious strategic advantage for most design firms. As the interior design industry’s Operations Specialist, it is my responsibility to share with you the industry’s best tools and best practices. Studio Webware is absolutely one of them. And thus, you are hearing about it from me… yet again.
Think about it; five years ago designers could only dream of the possibility of having their clients log into their system into a beautifully designed interface, see only what you want them to see and have them provide feedback that is delivered into your email box, review and approve proposals with a click, see the balances on proposals and invoices and even pay, right there on the screen! Talk about service and efficiency!
The interface is well designed and very impressive.
Some of the more exciting possibilities it presents is the ability to attach a link to another file or images. Think about how powerful providing a link to a little video you shoot on your iPhone describing how great the item proposed will work in their space. All of these things are describing the future of the interior design industry and those who embrace this capability and provide it to their clients first, will take the lead in the next seven years.
Its capabilities and intuitive interface is changing the future of the industry. And this future is coming up quickly. I want to share the new module they recently introduced. It’s called Studio Projects and it will transform the way you interact with many of your clients. This new way of providing service to your clients will save you time and make you look like a rock star.
I have invited Lance Haberle, the developer of Studio Webware to join me for a webinar on September 24rd at 10am PDT.
To register for this complimentary online presentation, click here.
During the presentation, Lance will log us into the system and show us how you can use Studio Projects with your clients and create a truly impressive client experience. I will also make sure you get a chance to ask questions.
If you are curious about Studio Webware’s fabulous new feature, I would love to have you join me. I hope to see you there!
Expecting Great Things –