1 cover back spring21
Spring 2021 | Issue 19

The first part of BOH’s Business Accelerator series explored how to land your ideal clients. But once you’ve done that, the real work begins: building a relationship so that you can execute the home of their dreams. That can’t happen without their unerring belief in you and your team. In this issue, we look at what it takes to forge a creative partnership that truly works, and how to cultivate that confidence every step of the way.

In the second installment of our four-part guide to building a better design business, we’re looking at what it takes to forge a creative partnership that truly works—for you and for your clients.
BY Kaitlin Petersen
Your contract should be more than just a formality—it can also define your services and protect your business. Here’s how to maximize its impact so that there’s nothing but smooth sailing for the rest of the design process.
BY Haley Chouinard
There’s no such thing as a stupid question—but there are ways to guide your early conversations with clients to elicit more meaningful results. We asked eight designers how they unpack a client’s needs, wants and wildest dreams.
BY Kaitlin Petersen
Keeping a client engaged in and excited about the design process is one of the more underrated keys to a project’s success. Here’s how seven designers bring their clients along for the ride.
BY Kaitlin Petersen
Great design ideas can come while driving, in the shower, or even in a dream. But how do you put a dream on an invoice? We asked designers how they define, quantify—and bill for—their design time.
BY Fred Nicolaus
“Clients don't know what they want.” It’s a cliche of the profession that’s half true. Clients generally know what they want, but rarely do they know why. Solving that particular puzzle is key to these two designers’ psychology-driven approaches.
BY Kaitlin Petersen
Understanding what makes your clients tick is just as essential as having a firm grasp on their likes and dislikes. Can personality tests like the Enneagram system help designers improve their business?
BY Fred Nicolaus
After weeks or months hard at work, it’s time to present your vision. But how?
BY Marina Felix
Some designers love giving their clients multiple options, which allows them to feel like they’re participating in the process. Others feel that offering too many choices can overwhelm clients—or worse, lead them to question the whole design scheme. Communicating the atmosphere of a room without showing all your cards can be a tightrope walk. We asked four designers to let us in on how they manage this stage.
BY Marina Felix
How designer Michel Smith Boyd stopped talking about money with his clients to protect the romance of the creative process.
BY Kaitlin Petersen
Design Dispatch
d2c brands
A lifelong fascination with fragrance inspired Alicia Tsai to create a candle company driven by storytelling.
Designers may love browsing the latest product introductions—but they also cherish their tried-and-true favorites. Three noted designers share the pieces they can’t get enough of.
50 states project
Ten stars of BOH’s 50 States Project weigh in on the secrets of employee retention.
book review
A few years ago, designer Bria Hammel read a business book that changed the way she approached her firm’s growth. Now she’s telling her own story.
on the beat
These pieces are increasingly designed to appeal to a 360-degree view. 
real estate
The latest housing craze might be smaller than you thought.
designers debate
Chopped pillows—do they make a room feel complete or contrived? In the latest Designer's Debate, designers Kesha Franklin and Joy Moyler get into a pillow fight.
The Handbook
A growing number of designers are weaving social justice, mission-driven work and philanthropic endeavors into their firm’s DNA. Here’s how to make giving back (and maybe even changing the world) a building block of your own business.

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