i+D - May/June 2019 - 28

Business
of Design
Contracts
ASID Updates Commercial,
Residential Contracts
The American Society of Interior Designers (ASID)
recently updated its commercial and residential
contract packages, which are available to both
members and non-members for differing fees. The
new and improved ASID Commercial and Residential
Contract Packages are key to crafting comprehensive,
customizable contracts that will help design
practitioners protect their businesses and mitigate risks.
The enhanced commercial contract package features
comprehensive, easy-to-understand individual
schedules covering key decision point topics, such as:
interior construction-related design services; project
furniture, fixtures, and equipment (FF&E) selection
and specifications; project administration; purchasing
services; compensation and fee structures; termination
rights; claims and disputes; and important clauses to
protect intellectual property and limit liability.
The enhanced residential contract package delves into
topics, including: design concept services; designer
compensation and fee structures; merchandise
selection; purchasing services; administration services;
contract termination; and dispute resolution.

Communicating Your Value
The reason many designers struggle
in business is because they fail to
communicate to clients the importance
of what they do and charge accordingly
for it. Nigara says designers must have
a process in place to do so "because
if you can convey your value, then
I will give you money for that."
The problem, she explains, is that
designers today erroneously believe
because clients can source and
purchase products online that their
role is diminished somehow. Nothing
could be further from the truth.
"It is even more incumbent upon the
design professional to consistently
express the value that they bring to
the table-the intangible things that
cannot be clicked and bought on
the internet or walked in and
duplicated by watching a TV show.
That's the secret."

For more information, visit www.asid.org/resources/
asid-advantage/contracts.

As designers convey their worth, they should bill
correspondingly. On the residential side, Siegel
says the industry is moving away from the cost-plus
and list-pricing discount models toward fixed-fee
arrangements based on the size and scope of
projects. This payment structure gives clients
upfront pricing and has the advantage of giving
designers predictable cash flow. And, because
savvy clients can find product pricing online, it's
not as if they can't determine what a designer's
fees will be based on the budget.
Rather, Siegel says the fixed-cost structure "adds
clarity, and predictability, and it's a fee arrangement
that ought not to scare off the designer. The designers
ought to embrace them because, in many ways, this
is where I believe the profession is heading."
Ultimately, Nigara encourages designers to stand
up for their strengths and realize that the work they
do is significant and needed. If they've successfully
communicated their worth to a client who doesn't
(or refuses to) understand it, it's time to cut ties.
"You can't worry about that person because there's
thousands of us [who] understand the value,"
she concludes.
ROBERT NIEMINEN
is a freelance writer and regular contributor to
retrofit and Retail Environments magazine,
as well as the editor-at-large of
interiors+sources.

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For more information about advertising in i+D, contact:
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i+D - May/June 2019

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