Kimberly Timmons realized she had a knack for interior design when she was just a little girl. After reading Miss Hickory, she decided to replicate the miniature log house in the book with the help of her father. “I made all the furniture, draperies, and soft goods for the log cabin,” Timmons recalls. “It wasn’t very fancy, but it was nice for my first interior-design project.” After graduating with honors from The Art Institute of Colorado, Timmons went on to the prestigious Denver-based firm Designworks, where she was being groomed to take over. After some soul searching, Timmons decided to set off on her own, starting Kimberly Timmons Interiors in 1997 out of the guest room of her home. Now, not only is Timmons’s team a year away from wrapping up its first international project in China, but the firm is also celebrating its 15th year in business. Here, the designer discusses the strategies that have made her firm successful.
1. Exceed Expectations
Staying relevant in the design industry, especially in this economy, requires going above and beyond what’s expected. In this way, Kimberly Timmons truly delivers. Timmons and her team routinely exceed client expectations by producing high-quality design on time and within budget, which has resulted in the firm being awarded many projects over the years. “Gone are the days of just providing a written proposal,” Timmons says. “We go beyond what is expected, because we know we have to stand apart from our competition. The expanse of our resources and buying power sets us apart, and so do the additional goods and services we provide that are not offered by most interior-design firms.”
2. Keep Customers Coming Back
Focusing on its strengths and serving its existing client base enabled Kimberly Timmons Interiors to build a solid foundation to grow upon once the economy began to improve. Not only does this stability and the firm’s exceptional customer service attract new clients, but it also reassures existing clients. According to Timmons, it’s the service that brings clients back again and again for future projects.
3. Focus on Branding and Promotion
Timmons has created a consistent branding strategy for the firm, utilizing a wide array of marketing strategies—from newsletters to proposals—to position Kimberly Timmons Interiors as a professional and well-respected design firm. In spite of success in this realm, Timmons and her team continue to explore new means of promoting the business, including using Facebook and regularly updating the firm’s blog. According to Timmons, this is becoming an integral component to her firm’s portfolio of business strategies.
4. Remain Nimble
Being the owner of her own firm requires Timmons to wear different hats, and a large part of her job is monitoring emerging industry trends and being on top of her firm’s competitors. “We must constantly be alert to competitive pressures and adjust our business strategies accordingly,” Timmons says. “We are also continuously adjusting to the market by remaining dynamic, staying on top of current trends, remaining flexible, and changing our strategies as changes in the environment dictate.”
5. Diversify in Design
By being diverse in the type of design projects Kimberly Timmons Interiors offers—from hospitality and commercial design to high-end residential—the firm has been able to maintain its revenue flow during the ups and downs of the market. Timmons is always looking to diversify— and not just from a design perspective. The firm is currently looking to expand into new geographic markets locally and internationally, hoping to take on more projects like the high-end resort its currently working on in China.