Organizing in a creative business:
Katie Skoloff of In Site Designs
To introduce a new series on my blog, I’m interviewing my friend Katie Skoloff, (who is fabulous at getting things done in style) for advice on organizing and being productive in the creative business. Katie is a nationally Certified Interior Designer, and her company, In Site Designs, is a small interior design firm focusing on interior architecture, custom residential decorating, building, and remodeling.
Q: Juggling multiple projects like you do is VERY demanding. What tools or habits do you use to stay productive on a daily basis?
A: In order to stay organized I use my phone for most all day-to-day tasks. I use the calendar for all activities, and all employees and family have their own color coded calendars that invite them to join the event.
I also use emails and voicemails as task lists and try to always keep these completed and answered by the end of each day. For client management within my office, we have systems for filing and defined processes for work flow – and I require that my employees keep their desks organized. (A huge part of what we do is keeping projects organized so that we don’t miss any details- our work is all about the details!).
When all else fails, a good old-fashioned pen and pad check list is great, and I love scratching things off my to-do list.
Q: What’s a typical day like for you in action, managing everything on your plate?
A: I am fortunate because there is no ‘typical day’ for me! That is one fantastic thing about my career – diversity in all aspects. Every project (and client) is different, so no two days’ tasks are alike. This means a lot of organization is needed to keep the day’s activities on track.
I often bounce from client meetings where I need a note pad, my iPad, & my phone (for the calendar and emails), to desk time which entails answering emails and paying bills, and then lastly, to office time, which consists of putting together product selections for clients. The amazing designers that work with me come along to each meeting and take notes, which are then typed and emailed to the clients after each meeting we have Meeting minutes include the date, time, who attended, and what was discussed. We send them out to all parties in attendance and ask that they be reviewed and approved. Once the meeting minutes are approved, we put them into action and onto schedules.
Q: Katie, SO many women I meet have a desire to go into a creative business, or side-business, of their own. What attracted you to entrepreneurship?
A: After graduating college, I did a lot of industry research, and found that in order to insure I was going to spend my design career doing the types of projects and work I wanted, I was the only one that could make that happen for myself. I wanted exciting projects that were high end and diverse, and it’s been a great ride getting there.
Q: What advice would you give to someone trying to make the move towards working for themselves?
A: I would tell a woman wanting to go into business for herself that it is the best choice they can make for themselves. You have to want to be great to succeed today, and huge part of that is having drive + vision. I would say that just below that, you need to be organized and task-oriented. Starting your own business will take a huge piece of your life; it’s like having a child, it’s a huge commitment – but you’ll never regret the time invested, and it will give back to you as much as you put into it.