The Mindset Behind Posting Project Minimums for Your Design Business with Christine Lin

Episode #091 the Wingnut Social Podcast

Christine has been in the design space for only two and a half years, but she’s already making waves in the San Francisco Bay Area. Eighteen months after she launched her firm she decided to implement project minimums. To find out what that looks like for her and how it’s impacted her business, listen to the whole episode of Wingnut Social now!

What You’ll Hear On This Episode of Wingnut Social

  • [0:55] Going to Disney World!
  • [3:10] Project Minimums with Christine Lin
  • [7:20] The scope of Christine’s first projects
  • [10:40] Taking the leap: Setting a minimum
  • [12:50] The basics of markups
  • [16:50] How did inquiries change? 
  • [18:20] Advice for new designers
  • [19:20] The Form + Field Intake process
  • [21:50] Setting realistic budgets
  • [27:30] The pros of an office space
  • [32:35] What up Wingnut!
  • [36:00] Connect with Christine

Connect with Christine Lin

Resources & People Mentioned

Does a project minimum make sense for your business?

When you’re just getting started, it’s imperative that you take the work that comes your way to build a portfolio. But as you’ve adjusted and begin to settle into the niche you desire, do you toy with the idea? According to Christine, there is a point where you need to stop taking on small projects that don’t net any profit. 

You have to be able to cover your overhead expenses.

Are you covering the costs of your office? What about paying your staff? Christine also notes that setting a certain minimum cost will determine the types of projects you receive. She loves large projects where she gets to renovate and design an entire home. Setting a design fee minimum of $10,000 and a budget minimum of $50,000 helped weed out the smaller projects. It allowed her to focus on what brought her joy.

How did a project minimum budget affect her business?

When Christine implemented her project minimums, she didn’t experience a gap in clients or loss of business. Instead, she started getting leads for larger projects that fit her vision and expertise. She will accept lower project budgets on a case-by-case basis if it piques her interest—such as the project she did with Ayesha and Steph Curry

Christine is clear about her project minimums on her website and in her contact form. She enjoys vetting client inquiries and answering their questions. She often finds that when she speaks with them she is also educating them on costs (which can be quite high in her area). The process allows her to help adjust expectations while also feeling out if the project would be a great fit.

Her take it or leave it approach suits her and her business continues to thrive. Listen to the whole episode for her insight on the topic, acquiring an office space, and more!

Connect With Darla & Wingnut Social

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