Interior design can be an incredibly lucrative field for those who have a flair for the creative and want to create their own business. When it comes to running your own interior design business, being able to decorate a room is only a very small part of your success and this juggle can be hard for many in the begging.
These are just a few factors to consider when setting up your interior design business.
Figure out your brand identity. This is not just about finding the right logo, there is so much more to building a brand identity. A big part of this process is deciding what it is that you want to do exactly. Do you want to take on the design of an entire house or would you prefer to work on smaller, more bespoke projects like the design of kitchens or bathrooms? You do also want to consider where you live – if you are in the city, then it will probably be profitable to focus on designing for rentals or smaller homes but if you want to focus on a more family-orientated neighborhood, then redesigning entire homes would probably be a better option. When you have a clear vision of what projects you want to work on, it makes setting up and marketing your business a lot easier. Once you have refined the demographic you can refine your marketing strategy to make sure you reach as many of those people as possible. Do not underestimate this step – it is very important when setting up your interior design business.
It is all in the name. Once you have defined what areas of interior design you want to focus on, try to find a business name that is going to be easily associated with that. Ideally what you want is someone to see your name and immediately think of interior design. If you have decided to focus on an eco-friendlier way of designing – find a name that speaks to that. You want your name to resonate with your ideal clients and to be easy to pronounce and remember. If your business name is too complicated or hard to spell, people won’t remember it. You can also keep it simple and use your name, some names lend themselves well to being used. The advantage of this is that you will be able to change focus in the long term if need be.
You need a website. Your website can become your online portfolio showing clients exactly what you can do (and have done). Investing is a clean, beautiful website is an essential step in setting up your interior design business – it is not a “nice to have” but an essential part of your new business. If you are just starting out, showcase changes you have made in your own home or share mood boards for potential projects. As your business grows share the projects you have worked on – before and after photos work really well showing what you are capable of. Add testimonials to your site, this helps to build credibility and shows people that you are really good at what you do. When people arrive at your website, make sure they clearly understand exactly what services you offer. Make it clear what you are really good at and how you can solve their problem. The quicker you can build trust and showcase your work, the quicker you can get clients and start growing your business. Investing in a good quality website is an essential component of setting up your interior design business.
Work on promoting your brand. When you first start your interior design business, you will probably have to take on smaller projects, possibly even do one or two for free. By saying yes to new projects will help you gain experience, build your reputation, and eventually lead to bigger projects. You do want to make sure that you are not taking on too many projects at one time, rather focus on doing your projects perfectly than taking on as many projects as possible. The aim of this is to build a data base of clients who will potentially refer their friends, family, and colleagues to you. This is one of the best ways to grow your new business and build a client base. Use social media to also help you promote your business. Share projects you are busy with as well as the services that you offer and ask clients to leave reviews for you on your sites. Basically, you want to try promoting your new business in as many places as possible so that you can become a household name!
Know your rate. Spend some time working out exactly what you are going to charge and how you are going to charge your clients. Are you going to provide packages? Or are you going to charge per hour? Do you have a list of suppliers you will work with; can they offer you discounts? This is vital information when it comes to setting up your pricing models. You need to know how long it will take you to complete specific projects as well as what your overheads will be so that you can work out, you’re pricing. Do not rush this process. If you overprice yourself for your niche, you will struggle to get clients but if you undercharge you will end up losing money and your business will fail. Avoid undercharging for your time and your expertise – these are more valuable than you think.
Network Constantly. Networking will help you to grow your business in the long ter. Focus on building relationships with suppliers, contractors, and appliance distributors. When they trust you, they will deliver and possible even offer discounts to help you meet the clients budget. Trade shows are a great way to grow your network of suppliers but also to build potential referral partners. When you attend these events, hand out your business cards to everyone you meet, connect with them on LinkedIn. Basically, everyone you meet is a potential client so gather as much information as possible.