Designing a Better Business
Sophie Zollmann
October 14, 2022

One of my favorite things about hosting a podcast is that I get to talk to interesting people from so many different industries!

This week, I was so excited to welcome Melissa Tossell, registered interior designer and owner of Sanura Design. We’ve never had an interior designer on the program before, and I was really interested to see what business-building advice Melissa would bring to the table.

I was NOT disappointed!

Melissa has been doing the work to expand her own business over the last year, and she has 3 awesome tips for entrepreneurs who are poised to make the leap to the next level:

  1. Connect Your Success to the Success of Something You Really Care about

    Your business can be a vehicle to support your community or causes that are very important to you.

    Melissa uses her skills and expertise to support her community by volunteering her time every Monday at her local furniture bank and by donating a portion of her design fees to community programs. She believes that when you connect your success to a cause you care about, it increases your drive to succeed exponentially.

    She’s so committed to volunteerism that it’s become one of the founding principles of Sanura Design. Melissa generously volunteers her time every week, and she requires her salaried employees to do the same, thus ensuring a stronger community, and a team that truly cares about others.

  2. Process, Process, Process

    Building a thriving business requires clear processes, not just a series of great ideas!

    Melissa advises business owners to get everything out of their head and onto paper. “Nothing should live in your brain anymore. It should be somewhere else because the more things that live in your brain, the less someone can do for you or help you with.”

    She suggests documenting your processes BEFORE you think you need to. That way, when you’re ready to hire and expand, you’ll already have a clear definition of HOW you do things and WHY you do things so onboarding new team members will be easy and seamless.  

  3. Treat Your Team Like Gold

    Melissa has focused a lot on building her team this year, and she reminds us that it’s not just about filling space, it’s about building relationships.

    “I need a real team environment. I need them to treat it like it’s their business, and you’re not going to get that if you just treat them like employees or butts in your seats.”

    Melissa says you need to make sure that amazing team members know how much you value and appreciate them.

    “Listen to your own instincts. Listen to your relationship with your team. Don’t listen to what people try to tell you about what you SHOULD be doing.”

What happens when you follow Melissa’s stellar advice? You get great results!! You have a team that cares about your business, works hard, and understands what you’re trying to achieve and how you’re going to do it.

To get more great tips from Melissa Tossell, check out this episode of Building Your Empire with SophieZo. Then visit to connect with Melissa and access her free checklist of things to ask before you hire a contractor, designer, decorator, or any other home service professional!


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