The Top 10 Business Coaches and Mastermind Groups to Help You Grow Your Interior Design Business

Samir Sampat

The business of interior design is a good one, but only if you have the business part down pat. It can take a lot of time to set up a successful operation, but you don’t have to go it alone. Today, the Internet has opened up the world of available resources even further, making it easy for any business, anywhere, to find the help and support that it needs. 

Interior design can be a rewarding career. There are several perks of being your own boss and having your own business. Even if you grow to a point where you bring on employees, you’ll still find that there is a lot of autonomy on your part. Speaking of growth, people talk about business growth strategies all the time, offering insights and opinions on how you can improve your operations—but few people mention one of the most valuable resources. 

Business coaches and mastermind groups are out there in all forms. There are some that specialize in small business, along with some that may even specialize in interior design. Then, there are general business consultants and those who offer support with things like:

  • Marketing
  • Business structure
  • Sales strategy
  • Goal setting
  • Soft skill development (relationship building, confidence, etc.)
  • Engagement strategies
  • Branding

No matter what you need, you can find it out there. You've just got to take the time to look. Of course, as we always do, we’ve already done the hard work to make it easier for you. In this guide, we’ll go over 10 of the best business coaches for interior design businesses, including those that are solo operations and design firms with a few (or several) employees. 


What does a business coach do? 


People hear the word “coach”, and they automatically think of sports. That's not exactly how business coaching works, though. Sure, you have someone there guiding the way, offering moral support and cheering you on, but they are far more of a consultant than a coach. They will teach you valuable skills, look at your business from an outside perspective, and give you honest, accountable feedback so that you can make the appropriate changes. 

Business coaches will provide you with clarity, too. It can sometimes be hard to truly clarify your business goals and ideas, but when you have someone to help, it becomes a bit easier. By taking the time to work with a coach, you will be able to craft a clear vision for the future growth of your design business and then implement the actions to achieve the goals you’ve put in place. 

Coaches teach everything from confidence and communication skills to systems development, proper goal setting and strategizing, branding, growth strategies, and so much more. If you can dream it, they can help you learn to do it. 

There are so many things you can gain from working with a coach or coaching group, no matter what type of design business you have or what stage it’s at in development. Before we look at the best coach to consider for your benefit, let’s talk about how to pick the right one for the job. 


How to choose a coach or coaching group 


Of course, before you can reap all the rewards that come with coaching, you’ve got to make sure that you’re choosing the best coaches for the job. What works for you might not work for everyone, after all. Take the time to explore your options and while you do, think about what you want in a coach or training group. 

Typically, people are looking for things like experience (both in coaching and interior design or other creative fields), types of coaching or programs available, areas of expertise or focus, reputation, and related elements. You can ask yourself the following questions:

  • What do you hope to gain from coaching?
  • What kind of coaching would most benefit your business?
  • Are you more interested in online courses, books, or one-on-one training and coaching?
  • What type of reputation and reviews does the coach or group have?
  • What kind of skills (soft skills and hard skills) do you want to develop?

Another important consideration that some people overlook or just don’t think about right away is the chemistry and connection with the coach or group that you choose. If you hire a coach that rubs you the wrong way, it’s doubtful that you’re going to learn much from them because you’re too busy being bothered. 

Make sure that you find someone you can relate to and that you feel comfortable learning from and having mentor you in your business growth. Now that we’ve covered the important elements in hiring a coach, here are the best ones to consider for your business coaching needs. 


Top 10 business coaches and groups for interior design 


  1. Claire Jefford

When you search for interior design coaches, Claire Jefford is the first and most common name that you’ll find, and for good reason. On her website, podcast, and through other resources, she offers valuable insight and coaching assistance for interior designers so that they can find the success that they’ve always dreamed of. She offers straightforward, transparent pricing and packages for consulting, training, and other business leadership solutions. She offers online coaching and in-person solutions, along with a blog and a portfolio of her own experience to give you peace of mind. She even has discount packages and specials from time to time, making it easy for the small-time designer to get the coaching support that they need. 


  1. Gail Doby Coaching & Consulting

Gail Doby has been in the business of interior design for more than 20 years. Through many of these years, she’s overcome several challenges and fought the status quo when she rebuked everything her “traditional” business degree offered and started embracing the real way to sustain a profitable business in interior design. She offers clarity and confidence, helping companies learn how to motivate themselves and set goals. There's also the chance to connect with other groups and peers to create a professional community of support, and you’ll find books, blogs, videos, and other resources in addition to one-on-one coaching. 


  1. Nancy Ganzekaufer

Nancy specializes in service businesses and is a professional business coach and speaker. She's also a published author and body language trainer. She specializes in helping entrepreneurs maximize profits while growing their client base and finding ideal clients for their future goals. She works as a partner to your business, helping you learn confidence in decision making, how to develop efficient systems, and more. Communication is another area she coaches on, giving you the tools to improve your business one conversation at a time. 


  1. Ms. Glamour Nest

Ms. Glamour Nest is a great coaching resource for interior designers. She works specifically with small firms and solo designers who are out of resources and looking for ways to grow and expand. She can provide streamlined operations and maximum time saved and you won’t have to take some boring online course, read tons of books, or watch hours of videos teaching you the “secrets to success”. Set up a coaching call and you’ll be well on your way to getting your hands on some actionable steps that will make it easy for you to grow your own design business. 


  1. Desi Creswell

Desi Creswell is a former interior designer-turned coach that is certified in coaching and works specifically with interior designers around the country and around the world. She offers a very intimate program for group coaching and support along with private coaching services, and other solutions and resources. Her focus is on helping designers create practical strategies that can help them progress toward their goals. She knows that when you change your mindset and take the time to formulate meaningful goals, you will find much more success and she coaches you on how to do it for yourself. 


  1. EMyth

EMyth starts everyone with a free business assessment to figure out where you stand and how they can help. Then, they combine their own tried and tested systems with the support and accountability of a personalized mentor and coach to help you grow your business and your own abilities as a leader and business professional. They have several solutions for businesses of all sizes and have even helped names like OtterBox get their business off the ground. They’re preferred by their clients because they offer an all-encompassing coaching solution that practically guarantees business growth if you follow their guidance. 


  1. ActionCOACH

This group was founded by Brad Sugars, who pioneered the concept of business coaching all the way back in 1993. What started as a one-man operation is now a worldwide enterprise, offering coaching solutions for all types of clients, including small creatives like interior design businesses. Brad’s own methods are used in the coaching programs, and everyone gets a personalized plan for success based on their goals. The coaches in this group work by finding and tapping into your true potential and identifying new revenue streams while teaching you to do the same. 


  1. CEO Warrior

For service businesses, including interior design, CEO Warrior is a great resource. Not only does it offer all the coaching and insight that you need, but you can trust that you’re getting it from someone who’s been there. The founder started with a couple of workers and a broken truck, and today he’s created a million-dollar business and turned to coaching to help others like him beat the system and master the service industry once and for all. There are online resources available, including courses, and you can request one-on-one coaching or group training solutions, based on your needs. 


  1. Coachfirm

Coachfirm offers several coaching solutions for the modern small business. They have been around for several years, and their focus is on helping companies stay ahead of the changing business world to the best of their ability. They work well with small businesses like those in the service and creative industries, offering solutions that are usually only available to enterprise clients and those with bigger budgets. They offer online resources and tailor a solution to your business specifically to help you grow your bottom line. You can also setup one-on-one coaching and consulting to get a personalized mentorship and more. 


  1. Melinda Emerson

Although she got her start with bigger names like American Express and Staples, Melinda Emerson is now the one and only SmallBizLady and she’s helping small businesses of all kinds revolutionize the way that they do business. She is a published author and noted speaker, has a blog and also offers other online resources to assist people in their own business growth. Plus, she provides one-on-one coaching and consulting to anyone who requests it and with over 15 years of her own experience in business under her belt, you will offer plenty of useful insights. Her focus is on marketing and engagement strategies, along with heavy emphasis on client relations and delivering on client expectations. 


Take your design business further when you partner with Smith.ai


You're building a business; you’ve hardly got time to spend answering calls and fielding live chats, let alone scheduling consults and client appointments, and everything else that needs done in a day. Fortunately, you’re not on your own to do it all. Our virtual receptionists are available 24 hours a day, seven days a week to act as the face of your brand to assist with all kinds of client communications and admin needs. 

Even better, we’ll work with you to craft your ideal strategy for handling it all, no matter how involved you want us to be. That way, you’ll know that everything’s handled and can focus on growing your business and improving your client relationships, all the while knowing that our professional agents are focused on the same goals. 

You can learn more when you schedule a consultation to discuss our 24/7 virtual receptionists, including after-hours phone answering, live website chat, and so much more. You'll also be able to reach us at hello@smith.ai or (650) 727-6484. 


Samir Sampat

Samir Sampat is a Marketing and Events Associate with Smith.ai. He has experience working with businesses of all sizes focusing on marketing, communications, and business development.

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