The Business Model Canvas | exciting new Metier workshop

Launching our new Workshop…..

Last week we held our first Métier Academy event led by Karen Fugle, Executive Coach and Founder of SleepingGiant Consulting. The focus of this debut event was The Business Model Canvas.

The Business Model Canvas is a strategic management and start-up template for developing and documenting new business models. Many successful business owners would say that a business model is one of the fundamental building blocks in creating a strong business foundation.

Working specifically with architects and designers for several years, Karen has been helping individuals improve their personal and business effectiveness. She helps designers understand how to best build resilience and confidence, and increase leadership capabilities.

The aim of the Business Model Canvas Metier Academy workshop was to help interior designers to think outside the box. We also wanted to enable clear thinking on the strategy, direction and goals of their own businesses.

We addressed key issues often faced by interior designers such as finding the right clients. How did they define their business objectives. What to charge for and the importance of having a trusted accountant.

Post event we received some fantastic feedback. 100% of the interior designers who attended the workshop said that they would continue to use their Business Model Canvas to aid them in the development of their businesses.

The workshop was capped in numbers so that the attendees could talk openly within a small friendly group environment. This will likely be the case for all Métier Academy workshops and master classes. So make sure that, for the next Métier Academy event, you book your place early to avoid disappointment.


Chatting with Karen….

We caught up with Karen after the sold-out event to learn a bit more about her and why The Business Model Canvas is key for those who have started their own interior design company, or are thinking about doing so.

Business Model Canvas
Karen Fugle of sleeping Giant

Karen, how did you get into the role of an Executive Business Coach?

As a CAD/BIM consultant in the architectural industry I saw many people lose their jobs during the recession. I could see how the upheaval and change affected their work life and mental health, and wished I could help. I knew then that it wasn’t technology that I wanted to be working with for another 20 years, and in hindsight it seems like it was a natural progression to transition from consultant to mentor to coach.

How important do you feel it is to have a Business Model Canvas?

It is said that about 60% of architects don’t have a business plan and I suspect the number might be matched by Interior Designers! Most of us don’t start our own businesses because we think we are savvy at business but because we are good at what we do, and need the flexibility or autonomy to work the way we want to. We think visually and therefore a visual canvas of our business makes sense and allows us to ‘work on our business’ – often in the areas that we have the least experience and confidence.

What are three things you need to have before starting your own business?

1. Self-Belief
2. Perseverance
3. Resilience

If the self-belief is not present, then you may find you put limits on your ability to achieve success. Perseverance you need in bucket loads to get you through the “am I doing the right thing” phase(s) and resilience to get you though all the ups and downs, trials and challenges of starting your own business.

What is something you have worked into your daily routine that our members might benefit from?

When starting up I realised that I need to build up my contact list and I’m not exactly an extrovert! I made a concerted effort to be on LinkedIn every day for 15-30min just to connect with my client base and build relationships. It pays off now – several years later, and I still do this, but as well as the connecting, liking aspect, I’m always reading something worthwhile on LinkedIn that inspires me.

Any advice for our future designers out there on how you “juggle it all”?

Don’t. You may be doing a lot, but are you doing the right thing? I’m a fan of essentialism (I recommend reading the book). I used to describe myself as a “multi-multi-tasker” in my consulting days. It was hectic overwork and I didn’t have time for myself or my family. Now I work less hours more efficiently and I’m a lot more happy and less stress because of it. Make your business work for you.

For those who weren’t able to claim a spot in this month’s workshop, what is one take-away from the session they can benefit from?

Start with a clear appraisal of where you are in your business today: What is going well, what is not going so well. To give it more focus use the nine business building blocks as guidance:

– Your services (how you help)
– Your clients (who you help)
– Your customer relationships (how you interact)
– Your channels (how your clients know you & how you deliver)
– Your key resources (who you are & what you have)
– Your key activities (what you do to keep your business running)
– Your key partnerships (who helps you); your cost structure (what you give)
– Your revenue (what you get)

Then you are in a position to see the where your gaps and weaknesses are and the question is: How can you address these?

Due to the success of this first event, we will look to hold another Métier Academy Business Model Canvas workshop later in the year.


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