Some time, ago I wrote a post on how to start a home staging business which has garnered some interest. That post was born out of my interest in the world of interior design.
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P.s: There are affiliate links in this post, please see my disclaimer policy. When you buy through the links on my blog, you help me to keep this blog running without extra cost to you.
In this post, I will be looking at how to start an interior design business. It’s not enough to just have interior design skills.
It’s important to know how to use your skills, talents, and passions to start a home business.
This post on starting an interior design business is going to come from the angle of someone who wants to run it as a home business.
I love all things home business and I am passionate about helping stay at home moms start a business that supports their lifestyle.
That’s why all my posts are geared towards that mom who chose to get off the career ladder and stay home to take care of her kids.
I want to give her a chance to fulfill her passion and desires of earning her own income by starting a home business.
The beautiful thing about interior design business is that you can start it at any stage in your life.
Be it as a new stay at home mom or a woman who has not been working for a while because you wanted to focus on your kids.
Your kids are now grown, so you wish to pursue
It might even be that you are stuck on your job right now and you desperately desire to get off your 9-5 job to pursue what you really care about.
You are welcome to the post because I am about to teach you how to start your interior design business up to the point of launching it.
If you have never started a business before or perhaps you started one without really knowing what you are doing.
I invite you to join my email list and get free 5 days training on how to define your business idea and find your ideal customers in just 5 days.
My 5 days training is quite comprehensive with templates and resources to help you really do the work and come up with your business idea in just 5 days.
If you are ready to take that step, sign up below.
Steps to starting your interior design business.
1-Define your Niche:
For any business you wish to do, you have to determine what segment of that business you want to serve. A niche business is easier to build than a business for all that attracts no one.
You want to know who your real target market is before you set off to develop your marketing message.
What are some of the niches you can find in the interior design business?
Luxury Interior design
Antique based designs
Old homes remodelling
Small space design
New building design
Health care apartment designs
Nursery /Kids designs
Office/home office designs
Importance of picking a niche for your business
✔You are able to focus your energy on developing expertise in that one niche, hence you become an expert for that niche. This means you can charge more.
✔You are able to concretize your marketing message and get it across to the people who need it most. This means you attract people who are interested in buying from you.
✔You reduce waste when marketing because you are laser focused on who you want to attract.
✔You are able to build a brand around your interior design business as your expertise grows.
2-Asses your skills
Now that you have picked your niche, the next thing you need to do to affirm the niche you have picked is to assess your skill, passion and talent. This will help you to know if you are ready to take on the niche you have picked.
I call this the brainstorming stage, where you are cross matching all the skills you have with the passion you have and the talent you possess.
You see, in the first instance, you can pick a niche, but if you are not passionate about that niche, you will not be able to pursue it with
Passion is the real thing, because once you have it in place, even if you do not have the skills to go with it. The passion will drive you to go and take courses to improve your skills.
To help you to carry out this exercise, I designed
It’s a planner that is specially created for anyone who desires to start a home business. It will help you to brainstorm and come up with a one document plan for your business.
Its specially designed to lead you from idea generation to product delivery.
It’s an important tool in starting your home business.
To get my planner, click the picture below
The home business
With it, I do not lose my ideas or thoughts, I am able to compile them into a working document that I can use.
Go here to get it.
Now, back to why you need your passion in place, a little story here.
In 2013, before I had my first baby, I was really interested in starting an interior design business.
It was something I was so passionate about and I am still, even though I have kept the practical aspect of it on the back burner for now.
To pursue that passion, I took an online course on Interior design which practically changed the way I perceived interior designs.
The online course was designed by a group of interior design professionals who know how to deliver the goods.
The company that is offering this course is the Interior design institute, one of the foremost companies when it comes to delivering Interior design business courses.
The course practically opened my eyes to wonderful aspects of the business which I had no idea before then.
Their course is what I will recommend to anyone willing to skill up to start an
Take a look at the benefits.
Because I belong to the Facebook group, I have seen
See the testimonials of people who took the course
To take this course in other to ramp up your skills go here
3-Choose a business name
So you got your skills all lined up and you are ready to go, it’s time for you to take the first visible action for your business- that is, name this new business.
What shall we name the business? what is in a name?
Before you decide to name your business, here are key things to consider.
Is it easy to remember ?- No names that twist the tongue lol.
Does it describe your niche– This is a toughie for people who love to name their business after themselves. Including keywords in your business name will make it easy for your customers to find you.
Is it available? When you do a domain name search, If your name is already taken, you will not be able to use it. It’s important that you use a name that is available on .com not .net or
To do a domain search for your ideal name go here
Register your business:
Before you set out to do your business, you need to have a business formation. You can make up your mind how you want to structure your business, whether it’s an LLC or sole proprietorship.
Visit small business administration website for more clarification
4-Build a webiste:
Gone were the days when building a website for your business, set you back by thousands of dollars. These days you can set up your own website for your business from the comfort of your home.
For an interior design business that you would run from your home, you must have a website because that will be like your virtual office where you get to showcase what you are capable of doing.
All your portfolio of jobs completed can be posted there. What is more, you can also relate to your clients through blog posts, emails, etc. More on that later.
It’s as easy as setting up your Facebook page.
To set up a website for your business here are steps to take.
Buy a domain name plus hosting:
Once you have decided to set up a website for your interior design business, you then go on to purchase a domain name.
A domain name lays claim to your business name online and stops another person from using that name.
You would want to host your site somewhere, that’s why you get to purchase a hosting plan.
Hosting plans are sold by companies that offer to host
One of the best and cheapest plan is Bluehost
This means that for as small as 3.95 you are able to purchase your hosting for a month to set up your website.
You will be required to pay for a full year subscription, but the great thing is that you will get a free domain name given to you.
A domain name will usually cost you 10- 15 dollars per year, but you get that for free.
So this means that for literally for just less than a 100 dollars you are set to start building your website.
If you are not a techy person, don’t worry, I have a training video you can watch and implement in order to start creating your website.
So long as you choose WordPress as your content management system, you are good to go.
My video product will help to get you from just collecting your hosting information details to the place you have a website ready to be launched.
Who would not choose WordPress anyway, it’s the easiest way to create your website, because they avoid any coding as much as possible.
Most of the requirements you need for your website is taken care of by using a plugin.
My entire website is built on WordPress so I can attest to its ease of use.
5-Create your portfolio
For people to take your interior design business
Your portfolio will consist of projects you have done before, this may be your own personal project or projects you did while interning for others or even offering free services to others in order to gain credibility.
Whichever way you choose to build your portfolio, ensure its something you worked on so that if your customers want a repeat of that design
Choose the services you can offer:
Now that you are through with creating your portfolio, it’s time to create your income streams. These are the services you will offer to your clients.
You see, as a business, you need to have different streams of income so as to have a diversified way of earning for your business. Often times, building your business on just one income stream is not the best.
This is because should anything happen to that income stream you will be stranded.
Examples of services you can offer to your customers include:
House decoration shopping list
Fabric identification and blending specialist
Space planning consultant
3D rendering of a planned house
Mood board drawing.
6-Brand your business.
Most small businesses do not bother with creating a brand for their business from the beginning because they imagine they are small so it does not matter.
Unfortunately, branding no matter how small determines perception which also determines how much you can charge.
Your branding is evidenced in your packaging, your presentation and in the way you serve your customers.
When it comes to branding you can do a lot with a small amount.
Here are few things you can do to brand your business.
Create a logo: Create a beautiful logo for your small business. This you can do by getting online businesses like Littleguylogos to make one for you.
Their logos are quite creative and very innovative. They convey the essence of your brand and make your company look much more professional even if you are just starting out.
To get your logo design go here.
Business cards: Design a card which you can hand out when you meet with customers in person. If you are short of cash, you can get one made for you at Etsy.
Your business story:Find a story around which your interior design business will be built. This will form the base of your marketing message.
For example, if you want to go the route of eco-friendly and sustainability, you may choose to use only eco-friendly products for your designs. With that
It could also be minimalism, less is more and less clutter is good for your mental health.
Whatever message you choose to build your brand around, make sure it’s something that resonates with your values and you are passionate about.
7-Market your business
Social media Pages
It’s now a given that once your business is set up, you have to set up social media pages so as to interact with your customers. This includes Facebook, Instagram and Twitter at the minimum.
Setting up your social pages will not only give you credibility, but gives you the opportunity to create a followership.
Another importance of being on Facebook is also joining groups that are in your industry.
You will learn more by interacting with like minds who are building small businesses like you.
You can join my group on Facebook.
Is a major search engine that drives traffic to people who know how to use it. The beautiful thing about Pinterest is that it curates all types of topics. A great strategy for easily marketing your business without paying for adverts is using the power of Pinterest and blogging.
More on blogging below
Statistics has it that businesses that blog about their service offerings do better than businesses that don’t. This is because the online world of business requires lots of education and it is only those who are seen as an authority on a topic that people trust enough to buy from.
So setting up your blog as part of your business is a major part of your marketing strategy. The good thing is that you do not need a separate hosting plan to set up your blog.
Your blog can be set up to be part of your website just like I have my blog shop on my Blog.
On the blog shop, I sell my Printables while my online business which is the home business blog is ongoing.
To learn how to set up your blog, you can read my post on how to start a blog even if you are not techy
Once you are done with your website and blog set up, the next activity is to set up an email list so as to attract and keep your customers.
An email list is the greatest investment you can make for your business. People on your email list are your loyal fans.
When you have a new product or service, it’s your email list that gets to know it before others.
Your email list will also help you to build connections and credibility, as long as you are willing to nurture them with the information that you provide to them.
The best email list provider I will recommend is SENDPULSE. They provide a great amount of help and solutions for just a small amount of 9.95 USD.
Other email list providers pricing starts from 29.99 but
You also will get a 50 dollar discount off any plan that you buy.
To get your Sendpulse subscription,
Build industry connections and credibility:
You can build industry connections and credibility by attending conferences, seminars and exhibitions, where you get to connect with industry leaders and showcase your services.
8-Launch your business:
Now that you have got your interior design business all set up online
✔Pick a launch date for your business
✔Sensitize your social media followers, friends and family
✔Offer your services for free in exchange for testimonials that you can talk about on the launch day.
✔Invite people to your online event if you want to launch online alone, otherwise host a small in-house get together to introduce your business to your neighbors, friends, and acquaintances.
If you have a garden or a patio where you can do your program outside, it is advisable to host it outside so you can take advantage of passers-by.
✔Design flyers and cards and hand it out to people who come to your business opening.
You can pay for radio announcements if you can afford it, or simply do an online advert that will get people to sign up to your email list.
Starting a new interior design business can seem daunting at first, but if you are able to follow these steps outlined, you will have a great home business before you know it.
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