Benefits Of Opening An Interior Decorating Business
The benefits to opening an interior decorating business are as thick as deep pile carpets. Chief among them is that you get paid for being your creative self! The average interior designer salary is $69,990, though that number is impacted by your location and your client base.
Owning your own business also lets you set your schedule, choose your clients, and build the professional community and life you desire. And, as a bonus, there are no educational requirements to interior design. However, you may benefit from some of the higher-education opportunities in this field, and a few states do require licensing.
Create A Business Plan
Remember how we said youll need to be not only creative, but also organized and dedicated? Heres your first chance to showcase those skills. Writing a business plan is your opportunity to put your dream on paper, figure out exactly how this adventure could play out successfully, and avoid common, costly business mistakes many small businesses make. To write your small business plan:
Want more info? Check out this set of interior decorating business plan templates.
How To Market Interior Decoration Business In 2021
No matter the area of interior decor you are into in 2021 make the most of online and off opportunities.
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Step : Create Your Business Website
After defining your brand and creating your logo the next step is to create a website for your business.
While creating a website is an essential step, some may fear that its out of their reach because they dont have any website-building experience. While this may have been a reasonable fear back in 2015, web technology has seen huge advancements in the past few years that makes the lives of small business owners much simpler.
Here are the main reasons why you shouldnt delay building your website:
- All legitimate businesses have websites – full stop. The size or industry of your business does not matter when it comes to getting your business online.
- Social media accounts like Facebook pages or LinkedIn business profiles are not a replacement for a business website that you own.
- Website builder tools like the GoDaddy Website Builder have made creating a basic website extremely simple. You dont need to hire a web developer or designer to create a website that you can be proud of.
Using our website building guides, the process will be simple and painless and shouldnt take you any longer than 2-3 hours to complete.
Recommended: Get started today using our recommended website builder or check out our review of the Best Website Builders.
How And When To Build A Team
You likely wont need to hire a team unless your workload spins out of control. In that case, you may want to hire an accountant or secretary before hiring additional decorators. This can ensure your style isnt corrupted by another decorator, so you don’t risk your reputation.
Check out our How to Start a Business page.
Sign up at the Business Center to access useful tools for your business.
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Build A Personal Brand
If you want to know how to start an interior decorating business, theres no better place to begin than by figuring out your brand. Every solid business has a brand. By brand, Im referring to:
- Thoughts, feeling, and/or emotions you automatically think/feel when that business comes to mind
- Colors and/or aesthetics associated with that business
- Moods and/or tones associated with that business
- Goals and overarching messages that business is known for supporting/having, etc.
How To Price Your Home Decor
One of the most challenging aspects to starting a home decor business is determining how much to charge for your home decor.
When businesses under-price their product, this can be extremely detrimental to their bottom line and reputation.
Often times, businesses under-price their products to drive demand and volume, but that last thing you want is for customers to view your product/service as “cheap.” Additionally, this can have a big impact on the type of customer you attract, which can be difficult to recover from.
On the other hand, when businesses over-price, this tends to be just as damaging to the business.
When customers buy, it’s likely that they will explore the internet and look at other competitors to ensure they’re getting the best value + deal. This is why it’s so important that you research your competition and understand where you land in the marketplace.
Here are some factors to consider when pricing your product:
Understand your customer
It’s important that out of the gates, you identify the type of customer you want to attract and how much they’re willing to pay for your service. One great way to do this is by surveying your customers. Here are some important items you’ll want to takeaway:
- Customer demographic: Age, gender, location, etc.
- Buying habits of your customer: What they buy + when they buy
- Level of price sensitivity with your customer
Understand your costs
The actual cost of your home decor may include things like:
Create revenue goals
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Discuss With An Agent To Know The Best Insurance Policies For You
In the United States and in most countries of the world, you cant operate a business without having some of the basic insurance that are required by the industry you want to operate from. So, it is important to create a budget for insurance and perhaps consult an insurance broker to guide you in choosing the best and most appropriate insurance policies for your interior design business.
Here are some of the basic insurance cover that you should consider purchasing if you want to start your own interior design business in the United States of America
- General insurance
- Business owners policy group insurance
- Payment protection insurance
Focus On Your Style & Specialty
We all have our own style, and we tend to excel at what we know best. If you specialize in mid-century modern style or rustic style or traditional style, that is what you should focus on.
Thats not to say you need to only take on clients that share your style, but when you start an interior design business, you want to be targeting your ideal clients.
Ask yourself these questions:
- What is your design style?
- Do you want to focus on condos or bigger homes?
- Do you want to design homes for families with kids or just couples?
- Do you want to design both indoor and outdoor spaces?
- Do you only want to design kitchens & baths?
You get where were going with this. Find your niche, find your style, and youll attract the right kinds of people.
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Interested In A Home Decor Business These Are Well Known
When it comes to home-based business, it is often a great idea to start researching direct sales businesses. There are many benefits to becoming a direct sales consultant, the biggest of which is that you can choose what you want to sell and you also get the freedom to set your own hours while you work from home. The choices are almost endless when it comes to products you can sell from home. One option that you may not have heard of before is selling home décor through direct sales. Here is a list of some of the most popular home décor direct sales businesses with a tried and true record of success.
Set Up An Accounting System
Setting up an accounting system for your home staging business is critical to the long-term success of your business.
Staying on top of taxes not only keeps the business out of trouble with the government but the numbers can be used to track and monitor trends and cash flow in the business and maximize profits.
Related: Setting up accounting for your business
How To Start An Interior Design Business Without A Degree
The first step to starting an interior decoration business is by gaining experience either on your own projects or working with someone else, that is why they say theoretical learning is a waste of time if you dont have practical field experience.
- Define your niche and know your area of strength, decide what services you are going to provide to your client, dont expect the industry to welcome you with open arms, you will have to work for it, do a couple of free job.
- Define what your business stands for and who are your clients, build a brand style that will distinguish you from the others designer and what clients problems your business will be solving.
- Costing is a huge part of interior designing. You need to know the market value of your services and how long it will take to execute a project, pricing is an integral part of your targeted client, and this will invariably affect your office running cost.
- Name your business this is very important, you need to register the name and if you cant just add interior design to the name.
- Get the necessary permit needed for operation in the local state where you intend to start from and get the license for operation.
- Start from, you can work from home, build a portfolio, let people know you are open for business and you make your presences visible online.
- Put your brand online by building an attractive website linked to social accounts , build a website, keep a catalog of done projects, and promote your business online.
Choose A Suitable Location For Your Business
In starting an interior design business, it is very important to be strategic with the location you chose to pitch your tent. It is important to note that interior designers are in high demand in places where massive construction jobs are ongoing and also in places where you can easily find property management companies, property development companies, interior decors/facility, makeover professionals and construction companies.
Aside from the points stated above, these are some of the factors that you should also consider before choosing a location for your interior decoration business
- The demography of the location
- The purchasing power of the residence of the location
- Accessibility of the location
- The numbers of interior designers/interior design companies in the location
- The local laws and regulations in the community/state
- The nature of construction and real estate activities within the location
Skills Experience And Education Useful In Running A Home Staging Business
You dont need a degree or certifications in interior design or business to run a home staging business, but there are specific skills that can help.
- Design experience. Even if you only have experience designing your own home, as long as you have a good eye for design for home decor and interior spaces, youll have an advantage.
- Knowledge of trends. Its good to be able to keep up with design trends like colors and textures, and its easy to do by keeping an eye on design publications and sites like Pinterest.
- Business knowledge and experience. While a home staging business is not complicated to run, its good to have some knowledge of marketing, contracts, and finance/accounting.
- Customer service. Youll need to be able to build rapport with your customers and provide timely, reliable, and professional service to keep them engaged and satisfied.
- Networking. One of the most valuable things that you will do for your business is reaching out to realtors and network with them at events. Previous networking experience in any field is an asset.
Determine Your Business Costs
What will it cost to start your interior design business? It can be helpful to think of costs in terms of one-time and ongoing expenses.
One-time expenses include furniture, computer equipment, tools of the trade, logo design, and business registration fees. Consider what is truly necessary right now and what could wait until the business can afford it.
Ongoing expenses could be your salary, taxes, consultant fees, and office rent. Factor in skills and relationship development costs as those will be key to achieving success. This means travel to trade shows and meetings, meals, classes, and thank-you gifts.
It can be tempting to take everything on yourself to keep costs low. Really consider the worth of your time, though.
The design industry is a very specific industry when it comes to fees and commissions, Ellie Cullman, cofounder, Cullman & Kravis told Architectural Digest, and so I would recommend that from the beginning you should bring on board an attorney and an accountant who has knowledge of the design industry.
Cullman also recommends hiring a bookkeeper to handle the paperwork. Bookkeeping can be a very tedious process. You probably wont want to waste time that would be better spent shopping for new clients.
How do you fund your startup costs?
Check out these forms of government assistance for small business owners. Loan programs from the Small Business Administration may be available at your bank, or a personal loan could make sense.
Have A Dedicated Work Space
Now that youve taken care of the digital side of starting an interior design business, you can focus on creating a work space for yourself. We know, working in your jammies on your couch is always fun, but youll be more productive if you have a dedicated work space.
Make sure your home office
- Is clutter-free
- Has a desk/surface
- Has good lighting
If you have the budget to rent office space, by all means go for it. But if youre on a tight budget, you can work from home and meet your clients at their home or at coffee shops.
Ask Friends And Family For Referrals
Another common thing prospective clients will look for when browsing your website and/or social media will be testimonials from past customers. But when first launching your interior decorating business, you probably wont have any paying jobs to your name yet.
So, how are you supposed to gather these necessary reviews? Moreover, how can you find new clients and begin filling up your calendar with bookings?
Your friends and family might once again be able to help!
Firstly, if you provide your subject-matter expertise to the people you know personally, you can then ask them for testimonials once your work is complete. These testimonials will be a great addition to your website and social media! Secondly, you can also ask your friends and family to refer you to people they know who might be in need of a professional decorator.
There are countless entrepreneurs who were able to gain traction and get their businesses off the ground, thanks to a little assistance and word-of-mouth from their inner circle. So, as you begin this exciting journey, dont be afraid to reach out to people you trust and see if they can help get your name out there.
Chances are, theyll be more than happy to do so!
Collect Tools And Resources
Though it may be hard to purchase tools before you have a decorating project in mind, you can begin accumulating several tools that you will need for common projects. For example, you will most likely have to paint a room at some point, so it may be useful to invest in essential tools for painting a room. You can also start identifying vendors who supply quality fabrics, furniture, or brands of paints that you prefer.
Step : Open A Business Bank Account & Credit Card
Using dedicated business banking and credit accounts is essential for personal asset protection.
When your personal and business accounts are mixed, your personal assets are at risk in the event your business is sued. In business law, this is referred to as piercing your corporate veil.
Additionally, learning how to build business credit can help you get and other financing in your business’s name , better interest rates, higher lines of credit, and more.
Open a business bank account
- This separates your personal assets from your company’s assets, which is necessary for personal asset protection.
- It also makes accounting and tax filing easier.
Recommended: Read our Best Banks for Small Business review to find the best national bank, credit union, business-loan friendly banks, one with many brick-and-mortar locations, and more.
Open net-30 accounts
When it comes to establishing your business credit, net-30 vendors are considered the way to go. The term “net-30,” which is popular among vendors, refers to a business credit arrangement where the company pays the vendor within 30 days of receiving goods or services.
Net-30 credit terms are often used for businesses that need to obtain inventory quickly but do not have the cash on hand.
Besides establishing business relationships with vendors, net-30 credit accounts get reported to the major business credit bureaus . This is how businesses build business credit so they can qualify for credit cards and other lines of credit.
Know Your Major Competitors In The Industry
These are some of the leading interior design companies in the United States of America and the globe
- Gensler San Francisco
- Fentress Architects Denver
If you are looking for a business that requires less stress and perhaps minimal start up capital, you can consider starting an interior design company. The cost of running an interior design company when compared to the turnover you get can be poles apart .
People that venture into interior design business can as a matter of fact start the business from their home and still make headway in the business. One thing is certain when it comes to interior design business, you are sure of making profits when you successfully give your clients the expected design for their facility.
As a matter of fact, the cost of running the business process from start to finish could be restricted to the cost of making phone calls, transportation and internet subscriptions, PR and in some cases materials such as TV air time, Radio air time, digital billboards et al.
This is excluding the cost of materials that your clients are expected to pay for based on what they want. With that, it is easier to place a projection on the profits you are likely going to make if you are able to successfully seal an interior design deal from an organization or household.