09 July, 2009

"In this Troubled Economy . . . '

Greetings all,

Of all things that inspire my blog posts, my hope is that this will be one of the *few* based on a facebook status . . . lol.

Yesterday was a tough day at the office and I made a silly facebook posting that "one of my more troublesome clients might need a spanking . . . lol." (and let me put some parameters on 'troublesome' - paraphrased, sort of - "can you please place the order for the new fabric today, tell the workroom to rush the project, and I'll send you the payment when I have a moment." um, no.) My 'status' brought out a flurry of responses from fellow designers and friends alike with everything from - "after you finish, could you spank one of my clients" to "in this economy, you need every client you can find."

It was that last statement that has had me thinking for most of today. In this economy (or in any economy), should you cater to every person who wants your services?

Discuss . . .


Renee Finberg said...

i just posted (2nd post down) on an article in NT mag. about people treat their decorators.

the link to the full article is there


MaryBeth said...

That is the rudest thing, do it now and I'll pay you when I get a chance, jerk.
There are people who think they can demand anything because you need my business but these are also the people who no matter how bad business is they aren't worth it they will cost you time, effort and sometimes sanity.
If you can't or won't spank this person call me I will. xo, MB

Preppy 101 said...

Well, I always think that people get respect when they give respect. And if a client is disrespectful and condescending, said person doesn't deserve the same attention as the nice, respectful, cordial, friendly client who offers you something to drink and homemade brownies {like me.}

Yes, you should tend to them as this is your livelihood, but you are NOT an underling who gets treated with that snobby attitude of your simply being the "hired help".

As my mother used to say - "You catch a lot more flies with honey rather than vinegar."

Have a fabulous weekend!!

tartanscot said...


I certainly don't, in any way, feel like I should be exempt from the day to day challenges of running my design business . . . lol. And, yes, honey always works better.

My question was more - how much do we change the way that we operate our businesses during our present economic situation? Would you take on, or keep, a project that is not a good 'fit' for you?

I'm still thinking . . .

Christine said...

Hi - i am a long time consultant and come across all sorts of clients. about 10 years ago i made a conscious decision to only accept clients whom i found enriching to me, not demanding or demeaning. i have held firm to this rule because it has such a direct impact on my day to day life and there is no room in it for soul sucking people. there will be down time but the people you want to work with are out there and so much better to work with than pimping yourself out to the wallet.

my thoughts from the trenches.

Blushing hostess said...

Stand your ground, if your instinct is aroused it is enough reason not to stake your livlihood on wishing you could trust someone.

Anonymous said...

No, you should not cater to people who do not respect your business. People who respect your talent will be with you no matter what the economic climate. Hopefully you have treated them with respect and they will treat you with the same. The people who demand the most - often give the least - in good times and bad. Anna Marie

Alicia said...

I think its a piss poor excuse that due to the economy I can get away with acting soo rude since I'm giving you business.
The client is not always right. Its a fact. While no matter the industry top drawer service should be the norm not the exception, always, not just when times are tough, there is a natural limi to what people should expect. Pardon my french but my cantakerfabulous gran use to say... do they want you to wipe their behinds too????

tartanscot said...

The good news from this particular project - we have a meeting planned for Monday evening . . . and will have most everything (other than the aforementioned window treatments . . . lol) delivered and installed.

I've appreciated everyone's thoughts, encouragement, and feedback.

onward to better and more exciting projects!

GrannySmithGreen said...


My initial response is, "If you can't pay, you can't play".

Well, I've learned that it may be a bit harsh too. Yes, if one is not able to finance a project, it should not even be started. If a project is in the works, and hard times come upon a client--well, do what you can to help them out.

That's what we'd all want in return. The old "Do unto others" motto.

red ticking said...

oh i had to add as i just saw this... WOW can i relate... and how no one knows what we really go thru unless you have walked in our shoes. it is amazing... it is SO EASY to be nice and respect one another... and shame on all of us but...exp those who do this! we could sit for hours... one designer i know actually went in to help a client, ended up cleaning her kitchen and bathrooms while the client was out playing tennis...guess she did not have time to do it... can you believe that???? one of the most horrid stories i have ever heard... she then told her client when she rtned home, you can pay me what you pay your cleaning lady, she dontated the $$ to the cancer foundation and told her, "dont you ever treat anyone the way you treated me today" and told her she quit.
BRAVO. (dont think i would have done her dishes)

Pamela Terry and Edward said...

My workroom simply adds on a PITA charge for clients such as these.
This, of course, stand for Pain In The A.....

Believe me, that extra fee takes the irritation down just a wee bit for all of us.

katiedid said...

My feeling is this: if a project is not a good fit, or client is not "nice" it will end up tarnishing your reputation, whether you deserve it or not. In the long run, this could cost alot more than the price of one set of drapes. However, there are times when a client who at first may seem to be tedious turns out to be a perfect fit afterall. Hard to pin down.

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