Red Flags, but not missing out.

Posted by Catherine Wiersema on January 02, 2017 . 0 Comments

As 2017 dawns and most designers finally have the opportunity for reflection, it is a great time to think through the bumps we all encounter in our practices. 

One of our most frustrating hurdles is no doubt making the call on whether to take on a project when your gut tells you a potential client might be trouble.  You want the project because it will fill out your schedule, and add to your income stream.  But red flags are popping up on that first phone call. Maybe because the prospect sounds entitled; or because she tells you they fired their last designer; or because their expectations seem out of whack with the budget sbe mentions for the project.

In the absence of a better project coming up that will save the day/allow you to take an easy pass, how do you resist the siren call?  Will you miss out on...

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Review on APLD's The Designer!

Posted by Catherine Wiersema on March 15, 2016 . 0 Comments

Cathy Carr, APLD, wrote a great review of the book in the March issue of APLD's quarterly publication, The Designer.  It runs from page 32 to page 35 and include some of her takeaways from the book.  Here is the link: 

https://issuu.com/apld/docs/2016springapldthedesigner

I have been very pleased with the positive reactions very experienced designers such as Cathy have had to the book.  It is clearly providing them a fresh way to look at their successful businesses and allowing them to find more ways to increase success and profitability. 

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The chicken and the egg problem: figuring out your fees.

Posted by Catherine Wiersema on February 19, 2016 . 0 Comments

Information on hourly rates or how much to charge for a design is hard to come by. Landscape designers have little data to anchor their fees and the subject has always seemed taboo. When I started my Landscape Design studies at Radcliffe 18 years ago, no one discussed it. Period.
The reality is that context is probably the most important factor in figuring out an hourly rate or what you can reach for with your design fees. To support this notion, here are a couple of powerful questions you can ask yourself:
- Who are my clients? Are they people with more time than money, or do they have more money than time? That will hugely determine whether you encounter price resistance.
- What are my clients' hourly rates? As I state in the book, if your client is a lawyer who bills out at $400 an hour, your $60...
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Economic Justice for Landscape Designers!

Posted by Catherine Wiersema on February 19, 2016 . 0 Comments

Economic justice for Landscape Designers! That is the core of my book, written in the knowledge that the profession is all too often underpaid.
I was lucky to enter the profession with a strategy and marketing background, and those skills served me well in both establishing a thriving practice and developing my Professional Practice course for landscape designers at Radcliffe/Harvard.
Bottom line, the whole course and more is contained in the book. I will share here in coming weeks and months questions and answers raised in the various chapters, and add new thoughts as well. All best, Catherine.
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