Elite Interior Designers Offer Talent and Business Skills

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The Best Practices Network (BPN), an exclusive membership organization for interior design professionals, announces a new Web site designed to help interior design clients make responsible decisions about new projects.

The Best Practices Network (BPN), an exclusive membership organization for interior design professionals, announces a new Web site designed to help interior design clients make responsible decisions about new projects.

The Web site, http://www.thebpn.org, explains to prospective design clients why the complexity and investment of an interior design project make it imperative that they choose a designer who is not only talented, but who has acquired the business skills necessary to bring complex projects to completion on time and on budget.

Announcing the new Web site, BPN Executive Director, David Shepherd, noted that, "Few interior designers receive sufficient business education in their coursework, yet their business models are extremely complex. Through the BPN, our members are exposed to 40-hours of advanced, university-level business training each year, and have a rich library to call on, as well as the expertise of their fellow members."

The Best Practices Network (BPN) was formed by Shepherd, a former University of Texas at Austin business school faculty member. While teaching the nation's largest course in small business finance and strategy, Shepherd fell in love with the complexity and potential of the interior design industry after several consulting engagements in the field.

"The irony is," Shepherd continued," that by developing more sophisticated processes, systems, and workflows, designers find that running their business is actually easier than before, yet the client is kept informed and projects are kept on time and on budget. No wonder so many BPN members have continued to thrive, even during the recession."

BPN members represent some of the nation's top interior designers, ranging from sole practitioners to mid-sized firms. Members have been featured in the New York Times, Architectural Digest, dozens of regional shelter magazines, and have also held executive positions in the largest interior design associations.

Through the Business of Design Conference each September, and a Winter Conference in February, BPN members are taught business skills ranging from cash flow management, to the time value of money, to project management and direct marketing. They also study new software technologies and share the "best practices" of their own firms in terms of operational procedures, human resource issues, and client satisfaction. Members further share resources through a members-only library and online forums. To stay current in between conferences, they receive a monthly audio newsletter produced by David Shepherd and filled with up-to-the-minute business strategies and provocative personal challenges to improve their skills, thus enabling them to better serve their clients.

The debut of the Web site at http://www.thebpn.org is the first initiative to educate the general public as to why it is essential to evaluate the business skills of an interior designer--and not just his or her portfolio--before making an investment.

Design clients may find a BPN member in their area through the Web site at http://www.thebpn.org.

Interior designers interested in learning whether a BPN membership is available in their area may also submit their contact information through that Web site. Membership is restricted in number and by competitive markets and thus is not available in all areas.

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