If you are a creative person with an eye for what looks good inside a property or an office, an interior design business could prove to be an attractive proposition to you. However, like all business types, it is one that involves plenty of planning and preparation to ensure that you give yourself the best possible start. After all, this can end up making a big difference in terms of how you go on. So, let’s look at some of the steps that can help you out in your quest to start a successful interior design business.
1 Get Some Experience
If you do not have a solid portfolio of work, it can be tricky to get started. This is why many interior designers work for other people first before striking out on their own. If you are not able to show off what you can do, how are people going to be able to put their faith in you? Of course, you can still create online floor plans as an initial starting point. Another potential option is to offer some of your services free of charge to get this initial experience. Make sure that you get plenty of hard evidence of your work, such as photographs, to show off what you can do.
2. Define Your Services
Next up on the list, it is a good idea to define what it is that you are actually offering. Interior design is a broad field, and it is going to help your potential clients if they know what it is that you have on offer. Of course, you still have the traditional interior designers who focus on designing a room or even an entire house. Also, online interior design has risen rapidly with more and more pros offering this service.
The advancement of technology has helped out in a big way, and you can also target more clients in this way. Product sourcing is another potential option that involves finding suitable products for a particular home. Alternatively, there is home staging, which involves making a property look as ‘sellable’ as possible. Sometimes, this is an extra arm of the business and a way of generating additional revenue.
With more and more people renting properties rather than buying them, renter room styling is a service that some are looking to engage with. Once your services have been defined, you then have a better idea of who you are trying to target.
3. Create Your Business Brand
The process of branding your business is next up on the list. This is such a crucial element of starting up a company of this nature as it involves you defining who you are and what it is that you stand for. There are various aspects involved in this overall process, including choosing a name for your company and a logo, color scheme, etc. These aspects are even more important when you are in the business of design yourself! As for names, they are often quite simple in this industry and clearly state what it is that you actually do.
Your website needs to act like something of a portfolio for your potential clients to show them what it is that you have to offer. Then, everything needs to be properly promoted, and social media is an invaluable part of this in the modern age. Also, social media campaigns on a low budget can be very effective.
4. Arrange Your Processes
There are two different aspects of your business processes that you need to think about in closer detail – your client-facing processes and your internal processes. Let’s start off with the former. This involves detailing all the steps that are going to take place along the way from that initial client enquiry right the way through until the end of the project as a whole. After you get the initial enquiry, you then want to set up a consultation. Following on from this, you will want to send the client a detailed proposal and continue with presenting mood boards and 3D modelling so that they can see your vision coming to life. You can then get feedback and make the little adjustments that are needed along the way. This way, you can iron out any issues before you go too far down the path of creation.
Behind the scenes, your internal processes will involve something different entirely, which your clients are obviously not going to see. This is something to set up for yourself and should involve the different members of the team working together in harmony. Over time, you need to continue to refine these and seek ways to make them even better. Internal improvement is what a successful business is all about, after all.
5. Set Your Pricing
The amount you charge depends on where you are going to be positioning yourself in the market. Ultimately, it is worth doing some competitor research along the way as this can help to tell you how much the others are charging, and you can position yourself accordingly. There are several different ways that you can set your pricing scheme. First of all, you can choose to set an hourly rate, which many interior designers find to be the most straightforward.
Alternatively, you could seek to charge a flat fee, which can help to entice clients as they know exactly how much they will be paying right from the offset. Alternatively, you could have a retail fee, which means that clients are paying full price for the furnishings and everything else, but you negotiate with suppliers to lower your own costs. A common approach is an hourly rate plus retail cost, which means that the cost of the subcontractors is also covered by the clients.
Following these steps can help you out in your quest to start an interior design business of your own, so why not follow them and get started for yourself? With perseverance and dedication, who knows what you could achieve.