Interior design is a lucrative and growing field, and starting a home design firm may seem like a tough hurdle to jump. Fortunately, it’s a lot easier than you might think.
The following outlines the best pathway toward launching a successful home design business:
Get The Right Education and Experience
Most career paths require a college education, and home design is no exception. The good news is a bachelor’s degree in interior decoration and design is more than enough to start your home design business. Depending on how you want to specialize, you may need to work on math, geometry, or even history to get specific designs right.
Once you have the right education, you’ll need to do some small projects to get your name out there. These can even be free projects for friends and family. The important thing is to create something photogenic enough to fit into your portfolio and show prospective clients.
Define Your Identity
There are lots of different home design business models for both general and specialized work. For example, you could choose to go into E-design, which means you’ll do most of your business over the internet. You could also be a kitchen or bathroom designer if you enjoy those rooms over others. Whatever you choose, dedicate your time and resources to making that your public brand. Look for the right clients that fit your goals and tailor your marketing strategy to bring them to you.
Find the Right Name and Website
A name should be simple and make people think of home design when they hear it. The same applies to any logo you may consider. The classic route is to use your name for your company as it makes your name widely associated with your brand. You could also choose a snappy title that shows what you specialize in.
Next, you’ll need a clean website that clearly shows what you excel at. Use some of those photos from before to give potential clients an idea of what to expect. If you have any testimonials available, publish them somewhere on the site that’s likely to see traffic. Make it clear what you’re providing and what services you’ll offer.
Set Your Rates
Home designers usually prefer hourly rates since they don’t always know how long a project will take. Usually, this will cover the expenses for materials, furnishings, and labor. Flat fees are not encouraged since they can lead to you working longer hours for less money than you’d otherwise get. Eventually, you’ll be able to charge on a cost-plus system as your business grows. This means that you can add a set percentage to the costs of labor and materials.
Find Your First Paying Clients
Just like with any business, your first paying client should be a referral from your friends or relatives. You’ll need to make sure that they share your website and any social media presence you may have to get the word out. Have them share the sight while you use social media to show your brand to others. It may take a few weeks to get that first phone call or social media message, but you’ll soon have plenty of paying clients to make your home design business a success.
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