How to Start an Interior Design Business

Interior designing is one of the most famous businesses in today’s time. While it may seem simple to step into the industry, you should know how to make the perfect start. In this article, you will see the ideal way to start an interior design business.

How to Start an Interior Design Business

A vast number of people, nowadays, are interested in revamping their homes. That’s why an interior designing business is a sure source of good profit. However, just like any business, you should know the proper steps for its attainment.

Step 1: Identify Your Services

The first step to any interior designing business should be identifying your services. Interior designing can be done for the entire home or just some parts like bathroom or kitchen interior design. That’s why you will have to decide which type suits your brand.

It’s best to decide it as per the location where your business is established. Make sure to check the population nearby and see what is in demand. Once done, prepare yourself to provide the services accordingly.

Step 2: Provide a Brand Name

Next, decide on a suitable name for your business. Brand names provide recognition to your services. Thus, you should come up with a title that instantly connects your interior design business with the customers. The texts should be appropriate and directly indicative of your services.

For that, you can use a good business name generator. It can provide you with some innovative ideas for the company names. Moreover, these tools suggest unique titles straight from the mind of branding experts. So, you can stay assured of an outstanding company name.

Step 3: Create a Website and Promote Your Websites

When a customer finds out about a company, they instantly search them on Google. That’s why you should always create a website for your business.

How to Start an Interior Design Business

Besides, it can be a great platform to showcase your work samples. You can display the initial designs that you may have done for a friend or family member. However, keep updating the samples as you spread the roots of your business.

Other than websites, make sure to create social media accounts too. Did you know 55% of buyers do their research on social media platforms?

With digital marketing being the future of marketing, you can utilize these free platforms (Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, etc.) for brand exposure. By creating active copies, images, and content, you can attract a vast number of customers.

Step 4: Decide Your Charges

Moving on, you should also know the rates or charges for the designing services. This can be decided as per the relevant materials, time, and resources used during the process. By doing a few projects first, you will get a fair idea of what the rates can be.

After that, you can create design packages for the convenience of the clients. You should also decide whether you will charge on an hourly or project basis.

Step 5: Connect with Industry Professionals

Lastly, you should connect with every relevant individual in the interior designing industry. From material suppliers to contractors, try to meet the experts and build a strong relationship with them. If you are getting invited to designing sessions or parties, interact with the guests. Also, create a business card and hand it over to the new designers you meet.

How to make your interior design business grow?

Opening an interior design business doesn’t guarantee success. You need to manage many aspects to make sure that your company becomes as profitable as you plan. Details come next.

Market yourself

You need to place your business in the marketing spotlight; updating the business cards and the signature line is one to do it. Even if so many things are digital these days, there’s much power to paper publicity still.

Having said that, see that your business card shows about your appellations. LEED, PMP, or NCIDQ are some to name. Don’t hesitate to call your professional memberships like IIDA and ASID. The best business cards are those that are out of the ordinary—always think outside the box!

If you work with a firm that doesn’t update the cards often, you should do it yourself whenever you feel it’s time for a refresh. A new business card will get you new clients and help you stay connected to the current contacts. Remember to have the email signature line consistent with the new card.

Refresh social networks

Being present on social media is no longer enough; you need to refresh and keep updated as often as possible. Your presence has to reflect your most recent projects accurately. You should update your backgrounds and profile headers on LinkedIn, Facebook, Twitter, Houzz, Pinterest, Snapchat, Instagram.

Keep in mind to stay connected with peers and colleagues in the industry. Also, always link your posts to the website.

You don’t need to be online 24/7. Select some of the most worthwhile projects that speak to people you want to connect with. Be consistent and stay on the network of your choice. If it’s not useful for you, it’s best to concentrate your energy on a network that matters for you.

Update your digital portfolio

Not many clients can say if your projects speak to them and suit their preferences and style. Some customers may pass you by if they don’t have many projects to see.

Ensure that you constantly update your portfolio, whether it’s on your website, Houzz, or anything else similar.

Give your website a refresh

Customers may skip a website that looks outdated, so make sure you refresh your website from time to time. If the website doesn’t run smoothly on mobile, make sure you fix it. Similarly, if navigating your website is complicated, possible clients may not re-access it any time soon.

Refreshing the website gives you the possibility to reinvent it and improve its functionality. Needless to say, look for a creative web designer able to meet your requirements, preferences and give you the website that reflects your work the best.

Speak your mind

Every time you have the chance to speak about your work, take it! Participate in interior design events and take advantage of every public event to get press coverage.

You can also be part of semester portfolio reviews at nearby colleges. You will meet fellow professionals and connect with students who might be a great asset to your company once they’re out of school.

If speaking to people isn’t your cup of tea, you can still make your voice heard through writing. Start or update your blog or have constant contributions to established blogs.

Stand out from your competition

Check out your competition and examine what they don’t cover or where they overcome you. Make sure to do valuable and various jobs. Some residential designers compete for free. You don’t have to devalue your competitors, but show your skills to as many clients as possible.

How to Start an Interior Design Business

Expand your client base

No matter what you may have heard, word of mouth is still the best advertising. Happy customers share their excitement with family, friends, and neighbors, which are more valuable than any other kind of publicity.

You should join groups and organizations to attract customers you want to work with, even if not all of them are professional. Here are some other ways to reach more people:

  • Go to local Chamber of Commerce meetings
  • Host happy hour at your office or open house
  • Show off in a show house

Never stop learning

The interior designing industry is always on the move and you should always stay connected to the most recent ideas, products, and technology. Save yourself some time and get your CEU’s online. Attend conferences quarterly and annually or take online classes from time to time.

You can take a class or workshop according to your client’s requirements and interests. Have you found that your customers are interested in 3D creating to visualize their ideas? You can work with remote teams or join a class in Photoshop or Revit. It’s common for interior design schools to provide designers with continuing education courses on various subjects.

Get or update your apps

Learn how to use new tools such as Whatsapp, Messenger, Slack. Use Pinterest private boards to share concepts and mood boards with your customers and team.

You may share your expertise and reach people via Facebook and Instagram Live if you fancy live video. Take advantage of social networks as much as possible.

Don’t forget to manage your notifications and set a time when to get it done.

Participate in interior design industry events

Always find new products, travel whenever possible, and get your inspiration at trade events. Trade shows let you discover new products, establish vendor relationships, etc. Check out the big trade shows and local ones and enroll as often as possible. Write down the numbers for spending so that you stay within the budget.

Surfaces (Las Vegas), KBIS (Orlando), Neocon (Chicago), or Maison Object (Paris) are some of the most notable events to attend throughout the year.

 

Frequently Asked Questions

Is it profitable to have an interior design business?

Interior designing is still a profitable business. Customers tend to hire experienced home decorators but should check out the various services interior designing offers according to their specific needs. For instance, some clients look for interior design services only for furnishing their homes.

Is interior designing a risky business?

The American Home Safety Council highlights that five events represent the causes for 90% of home injuries: poisoning falls, fires and burns, drowning, choking, and suffocation.

When it comes to interior designing, the hazards of asbestos are the most concerning. The inhalation of asbestos fibers can cause lethal diseases such as lung cancer, mesothelioma, and asbestosis (pneumoconiosis).

What qualifications does one need to become an interior designer?

Relevant degrees, foundation degrees, or HND are necessary to become a professional interior designer. Industry employers look for qualifications in relevant subjects, such as fine art, architecture, interior/spatial design, furniture design, interior architecture, 3D design, and textile design.

Is it difficult to become an interior designer?

When you lack a degree, it isn’t easy to accept a reputable interior design firm. Most firms ask for at least licensure and a bachelor’s degree. Should you plan on starting your own company, you need a master’s degree in design.

Is it possible to be an interior designer without a degree?

Technically, it’s not mandatory to have a degree to become an interior decorator. However, knowledge is essential. Additionally, clients and firms trust professionals with a degree.

Interior decorator and interior designer– is there a difference?

The professional interior designer has to comprehend interior architecture and works closely with architects to design the space. To put it simply, decorators aren’t involved in the design process, whereas interior designers will design and decorate a room.

About Amanda

I love to buy a lot of products for the home, and dissect them out. I split them into duds and winners, and share the findings here on my site. As a reader of my site, I'm aiming for your next purchase to be an informed and inspired one.

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