Name: Robyn Hawke
Position: Owner and Principal Designer
Location: Castle Hill NSW Australia
Commercial clients – solve issues with physical branding, help with decreasing staff turnover, improving staff morale and office culture. Increasing productivity, solve physical work flow issues
Residential clients – how to make their homes both functional and beautiful. Maximise storage, create ambience, make a house feel like a home, maximise the ROI in their property . Create happiness for them
What products/services do you offer?
Full interior design services for both the residential and commercial markets – from floor plans, DA approvals, schedules, colour consultations, space planning, alliances with reputable trades
Why did you start your business and how long have you been running it?
Registered in 2005 and has been running it ever since – started as had a disabled daughter that I needed to work around her needs.
What struggles do you think most businesses face in your industry and what would you say they need to do to overcome them?
How do you charge for a creative service – very difficult to quantitate – when can you start charging, only when you are at the desk or when you are creating in your mind at the traffic lights
- Educating people our profession is not a luxury but a necessity
- That we are entitled to earn an income and doing it for exposure will not pay my bills
- Brief creep – work so long with a client on projects that it is hard to charge for variations
- Cash flow – as each project we only receive 4 payments which often stretches to 2 years
What has been your greatest accomplishment?
Still being in business after 15 years without any business back ground
What has been your biggest ‘fail’ so far?
Not charging what I am worth
What do you love most about your business?
I don’t feel like I work – and the smile on the clients faces when they see the finished result
What do you find most challenging?
Charging and not doing more than what the client has paid me for
How do you promote your business (please include as many details as you can)?
- Weekly blogs
- Professional shots
- Seminar presentations
What business skills do you have (eg. graphic design, customer service)?
ArchiCAD, Fohlio, public speaking
What lessons have you learnt during your time as an entrepreneur?
That I am a businessperson who happens to be a mum rather than a mum with a business
What key tips for success in business would you like to share with others?
Set up procedures and systems as you go, outsource what you are not good at, don’t be scared to ask for help and share ideas and thoughts with others in your industry
What is the one thing that you want everyone to take away from this post?
That anyone can change their career at any time in your life and if you set a goal it is achievable