Building a successful interior designing business is like building any successful business. It requires hard work, dedication and skillful management of your finances in the beginning stages. It also means building up a reputation for doing good quality work so that you start to build up a solid and reliable client base.
Here are the basics of how to start an interior design business.
Save Up Some Money For Investing in Your Business
Starting an interior designing business is not like other businesses that just rely on skills alone such as content writing, teaching or consulting. Setting up an interior design business requires investing money in your business, up-front.
Expenses you will need to get yourself started could include:
- A website
- 3D Design software
- A 3D Design portfolio
- Money to pay contractors upfront
- Paint pallets
Whilst some of these might sound like minor expenses they can add up and you do need to budget for them. If you are a kitchen designer then you might want to consider investing in this design software.
Also, remember that the initial few months of setting up a business are crucial and you may find yourself working long hours without the business generating much revenue so it is important that you have funds in reserve to pay for your living expenses.
Decide on the Nature of Your Business
In today’s market niches pay really well. Trying to be all-things to all-people simply does not work. When thinking about how to get interior design clients, remember that clients look for a business that can fulfill their requirements. Therefore it is important to decide what kind of interior design you are going to specialize in.
You could choose to just focus on one room in the house, for example, the kitchen or the bedroom. Or you could do the interior design for one type of home such as retirement bungalows, modern apartments or older Georgian homes.
Once you have completed your first project you will have learned invaluable skills that will help you improve for future clients.
Formalize Your Business
It’s important to make sure you have formally registered your business. This can make you feel as if your business is professional and this can affect how you think and act around clients.
The process of registering your business also involves coming up with a company name and this can help you to consider the branding and marketing strategy that you might adopt.
Marketing Your Interior Designing Business is Everything
Marketing is always important but when you are running an interior designing business it is particularly important. Clients will be looking at the way you have designed your website and the kind of messages you are putting out to decide if you are the right person to design their dream home.
Website and Portfolio
The most important aspect of your marketing is your website and portfolio. Although word of mouth is important most people begin their search for an interior designer on the web and there is a lot of competition. It is worth thinking about what makes a good website.
You might want to consider setting aside a marketing budget and paying for someone to create your website for you. Websites like Upwork can be useful but you might want to consider spending more rather than less on a website to ensure it is of high quality and you get the design that you want.
Even if you can’t afford a huge marketing budget it is worth considering these budget marketing tips.
Creating a portfolio can be difficult if you have yet to secure any clients but you can still display 3D designs that you have created to give potential clients some idea of the kind of designs you hope to create.
If you have worked as an employee for a company before and have parted on good terms it might be worth asking your previous employer if you can display any work you completed for them on your website.
They may well decline this offer and it may be against your contract to do so so it is important to check.
If you can’t list the designs on your website then you can at least list your experience in your biography.
Your rate is really important when you are just starting out as an interior designer as this will define how many clients you need to take one and the nature of your business.
If your rate is too high then it could put some clients off and this means you don’t end up securing any clients but if your rate is too low it can mean either your business isn’t viable or you could end up working really hard for very little money which can make you feel undervalued and burned out.
It’s also important to think about the types of clients you want to work with. It is important to remind yourself that you can turn clients down. There is nothing worse than working with a client you don’t really like or where this a conflict.
Finding a good client can be very rewarding and when you have a strong connection with your client it can make them keen to help you find new clients and recommend you.
Dealing with Contractors
As an interior designer, you need to ensure that you have contractors you can trust to carry out the work to a high standard and to the deadline. Choosing the wrong contractors can reflect badly on you.
It is important to spend time choosing contractors that you work with. Recommendations can be really helpful in this regard but so too can trialing contractors on smaller jobs that do not matter as much as the larger jobs.
Planning is the Key to a Good Business
The best way to set up a successful interior designing business is to plan it effectively and to have a clear idea of who your clients are and what they want.
Marketing is crucial so investing heavily in a website and a strong portfolio is also very important.
If you are interested in setting up a business be sure to check out other articles on our website about business.