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Why Processes and Transparency are Important for Your Interior Design Business with John McClain

John McClain is the Creative Director and CEO of John McClain Interior Design, based in Los Angeles, CA, and Orlando, Fl. John has built his successful interior design business on a foundation of processes and transparency. John experienced a pivotal moment in his design career that prompted him to implement formal processes and an extensive client agreement into his business model to protect his profits and his sanity. 

That experience helped him develop an office environment of trust, independence, and growth, which has enabled John to pursue other creative endeavors like his new book titled “The Designer Within” – a professional guide to a well-styled home.

Read on for John’s perspective on transparency and the importance of implementing clear systems and processes.

Systems and Processes

John learned the hard way that you don’t get to only do the fun things in business. You have to clearly define your expectations and lay down a solid foundation that your clients and team understand. By creating a plan for each project to follow, you are also defining who your ideal client is. 

John says, “If you don’t define your ideal client, then the wrong client will define themselves for you.” John learned who the wrong client is for his business; therefore, he created a process so there would no longer be any surprises and everyone involved would be on the same page.

Additionally, John has two offices: Orlando and Los Angeles. John needed a clear set of standards so the team could perform without John’s involvement, and the client would always be informed on every step of the project.


John stresses transparency in his business as well. His clients always know what to expect and that John and his team are humans. Many interior designers are afraid to let the client know if they don’t know the answer to something. John shares that it’s important to let your client know if you don’t have an answer but that you will find out. 

John offers courses, along with his new book, where he gives his students the permission to succeed, fail, or adapt to a new method. Everyone is allowed to create their own processes and take as much as they need from what he teaches. He simply offers a common sense approach and allows his students and his clients to receive it however they need it.

Everyone deserves to have a designer-styled home, regardless if their home is high-end or in the middle.

If you want to learn more about implementing systems and processes for your interior design business, visit

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