Your Guide to Starting an Interior Design Business

Starting an Interior Design Business
Starting an Interior Design Business

You always knew that the work you currently have is just a phase before switching to what you really want to do for a living, i.e. interior design. Do you think now is the time you go through with your plan and ditch your office job?

This guide will help you set up everything before you take this important step. You have to be prepared to do the boring things first, though. Here’s where you start.


Polish Your Business Idea

Unlike retail or accounting, interior design is a business that takes a lot of creativity. However, you cannot escape the part that every business must have, which is planning. Without it, all your creative ideas for beautiful homes will go unnoticed. So, start with the basics.


What Services Do You Offer?

Business is about matching demand with supply. Your local grocery store does that by stocking up on avocados and gluten-free bread, for example. However, your task is a lot harder.

You can start doing every bit of interior design work as your business grows. It will be a lot easier if you focus on one niche and dedicate yourself to it. First, figure out where your services could be useful. You can do it by thinking about what problems you are going to solve for your customers.

  • Are you helping a rich customer create a custom luxury apartment?
  • Are you helping a real estate company create typical interiors?
  • Are you helping middle-class people plan their apartments?
Once you’ve figured that part out, think about what style you will work in. Is it going to be a trendy one or your own? Will it be minimalistic, vintage, or mainstream? Will your key element be installations, abundance of small details, or free space?

By answering these questions, you’ll be able to focus on what works for you and expand the scope of your work later on.


Google Search Results For Vintage Design
Google Search Results 


Name and Branding

Name and branding are everything in the world of design. As you progress and gain more visibility in your industry, you will get a lot of clients based on these two factors. You’ll have to put in a lot of work to increase awareness of your brand.

Creating a great name is key to any online business and changing it means starting your branding efforts all over again. Make sure your name is:


  • Unique
  • Has an open domain name
  • Lets customers know what you are doing

Uniqueness is paramount because you want your website to pop up first in the SERP when someone searches for your name. For instance, if you call your business Vintage Designs, it will be dominated by at least four similarly named companies on the SERP.




Registration and Taxes

This is what you probably don’t want to do if you’re thinking about starting an interior design business. However, you will have to do it eventually. Figure out the legal issues beforehand to save yourself the trouble later on. These are the questions you want to answer:


  • Can I work without a license in my state?
  • Can I work part-time without registration?
  • What form of business registration should I choose?
  • Do I have to pay a sales tax?
  • What tax deductions does my business qualify for?

When you’ve figured out everything from the list, apply for a business tax ID from your state and you’re ready to go. It can be done online and won’t take you more than 5 days.




Organize Processes

Business is about processes. If you do everything from lead generation to creating a final product chaotically, your business won’t last long. Here are some of the main things you’ll want to plan beforehand.


The Team

If you’re not starting out on your own, this is arguably one of the most important things to figure out. Over 40% of startups fail because of poor team management.

Don’t be among that 40%. If you’re starting a business with your friends, make sure it won’t fail because of the tension in your relationships. If you plan to hire someone, make sure you manage them correctly and have the willpower to sack them when they start failing you.

Include managing your own time in this category. This is especially relevant if you’re starting doing interior design part-time. You should also know how many productive hours you can dedicate to the cause.



The Contractors

Every business depends on contractors. You know how it works if you ever ordered college papers online. You wouldn’t work with someone without checking up on them first, would you?

Whether you’re working with renovation teams or suppliers of decor, you have to make sure their product is of top quality and can be shipped on time.



The Workspace

This step is not as important as the others but you don’t want to waste your time finding another office when you’ve got lots of work. Find yourself a suitable workplace beforehand and sign a contract with the owner. If you don’t have the money for an office yet, you can choose the nearest coworking space or work from home. Those working from home should make absolutely certain that they won’t be disturbed during work. Make one of the rooms your home office if you have rooms to spare.


Promotion

No business is going to succeed without promotion. It’s a huge part of any business, and it may take you more time than actually doing your job at first. Here’s how you can make sure these efforts aren’t wasted.


Know Your Clients

The first step towards presenting yourself online in a favorable light is knowing who you’re communicating with. Since you’re already settled on what kind of audience are you going to serve, it’s going to be easier for you.

Brainstorm what factors can be important for a person who is willing to pay for interior design. If you have the opportunity, find people who worked with an interior designer and ask them to share their wishes and pain points with you. Then, base your message on your audience’s needs.



An Interior Design Company Website
An Interior Design Company Website


Create a Website

Even though many businesses rely solely on Instagram, you’ll be better off with a website. Make sure it mentions these key things:


  • Your portfolio
  • Your price range
  • Multiple ways to contact you

At first, you don’t even need to hire someone to create a website. You can make one by yourself in one of the many website builder apps. Make sure to visit Awwwards for inspiration so your website looks professional.




Guest Blog

The best way to quickly gain visibility is to do guest blogging. Writing quality content for an already established website exposes you to thousands of visitors. Some of them may be looking for an interior design company and choose yours. Even if they don’t, a link from a blog that has a lot of traffic is good for your website. This is why guest blogging is a top priority for 53% of businesses.

Find blogs that talk about interior design and hit them up with fresh content. Write articles about what you know and love, share your expertise with the world, and leave a link back to your website.

Here’s a pro tip that only works for interior design businesses. If you want to get a lot of links without writing too many articles, go for lists. Find list-style articles that feature something you are proficient in and offer your 3D rendering.




Your image can be on this list. Many blogs like that are interested in regularly updating their list articles, so you can get a lot of exposure by just sharing your work on half a dozen websites.



Social Media


Interior Design On Social Media
Interior Design On Social Media
Mastering social networks is one of the key components of success in interior design business. Just like clothing and makeup, interior design is the industry where customers judge you with their eyes more than with their rational minds. This is why you need to share your work on social media.

Choose Instagram and Pinterest - the two online platforms where people search for inspiring imagery most often. Create amazing content and make sure people can find it by using hashtags.



Networking


Online marketing takes time. You have to spend months on creating and testing content before you get any results. The odds are, you will find your first clients by networking.

Visit a nearby industry event and talk to the people there. Go to a bar where lots of designers hang out. Don’t treat it like a job interview, though. You’re just having a good time with people from the industry, and there’s a chance you may get a profit out it.

It’s a win-win situation, and you can often get your first client from a random encounter.



The Bottom Line

Work on your business idea, business process, and promotion. If these three factors are accounted for, you’ll have a successful business. However, don’t delude yourself into thinking that you’ll be a success overnight. The path from nothing to a successful business takes multiple months but it’s doable.

Don’t postpone it, start with planning now.




Your Guide to Starting an Interior Design Business Your Guide to Starting an Interior Design Business Reviewed by Padraig Cahill on August 02, 2019 Rating: 5

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