There are lots of things you wish you knew before you figured out that you want to start an interior design business and turn your interior design ideas to into cash. Starting your own interior design business is not that easy as you think, you’ll spend money on some things that you don’t need to. You changed your services to what seemed like every two minutes and felt like you were running around like a chicken with your head cut off trying to chase every bit of knowledge that could set your business off into the stratosphere.
There are no shortcuts to success, but if you can start off lean and focus on the important shit, you’ll still be in business a year (because your first year is one of the hardest) from now on your way to being a successful interior designer.
Don’t Your Business Like a Hobby
This means that you set it up properly from the get-go with proper business licenses, insurance, and legal structure. It also means setting up a website, a branded email (no gmail.com or yahoo.com), and a separate phone line. Businesses have separate bank accounts and credit cards, hobbies don’t.
Get Yourself a Contract
Always do work with a proper, legal interior design agreement. This is to protect both you and your clients. You’re opening yourself to a world of trouble working without one.
Know Your “Why”
So often people start their business but never take the time to figure out WHY they started a business and it can lead to unmet expectations, disappointments, confusion, and hard decisions later. Your path to a successful design business starts with your why.
Be the CEO
If you’re starting an interior design business, you’re going to be the CEO. Probably for a long time, if not forever. That means that it is your job to do business development – marketing, advertising, financial growth, client acquisition, legal stuff – in addition to client work. The majority of running an interior design business is not going to be spent doing interior design. If you’re not prepared for that, consider working for someone else.
Know What You’re Getting Into
Running a business is hard. Running a design business is extra hard. Maybe it’s because it is such a personal job being in someone’s home, up close with their life and family. Maybe it’s because interior designers are generally creative-types that aren’t especially gifted in the left-brained business-running tasks. Whatever the reason, go into it eyes wide open.
Build up Your Online Presence
Create an online presence up quickly. Unless you have some other channel, this is the best way to start getting clients. Be as visible as possible and as helpful to potential clients as you can be. Being visible online is the cheapest, fastest way you can start marketing your business.
Invest Your Money Wisely.
When you are first starting a business you must walk the line of a professional appearance and be conservative with your money. Unless you have a large budget, a $10,000 website is not spending money wisely. Don’t spend thousands of dollars on a branding package, you’ll need a few projects and clients under your belt before you can really flush out your brand. Don’t feel like you need to buy all the things when you’re first starting.
Do you know someone from interior design business who needs to hear this? Help them out by sharing this post with them. And go to sleep! I mean it!