Welcome to the world of interior design! You’ve probably had an interest in home decor for a long time (or you’re just tired of the same old look). And now that you’re ready to start your own business and make money off your passion, it’s time to learn all about how to start an interior design business. This guide will walk through everything you need to know about getting started and making sure your business thrives.
What is Interior Design?
Interior design is a multifaceted profession that involves developing plans for spaces within buildings to meet specific requirements. Interior designers may also be responsible for specifying furniture, lighting, flooring and other materials required to furnish a space.
Interior designers typically work with architects or builders on large projects such as office buildings, restaurants and hotels. They may also work independently on smaller projects in private homes or apartment buildings.
What qualifies you to run your own interior design business?
There are several ways to get your degree in interior design. You can go to college, earn a bachelor’s degree and then apply for jobs at a company or start your own business. The second option is to go online and earn an online interior design certificate from one of the many schools that offer this type of program. You also have the opportunity to earn an associate’s degree in interior design from two-year colleges, which will give you some experience working with clients before graduating into the world as an independent contractor.
Consider your experience and qualifications
You don’t need to have a degree in interior design to start your own business. If you have experience working in the field, that’s great. If not, consider taking some classes to gain the knowledge and skills needed for success.
Figure out how much money you’ll need to start up your business
You’ll need to come up with enough funding for all of your startup costs, including any necessary licenses and permits, fees for accreditation programs and certification exams, office space rental fees, furnishings and equipment purchases (including computers), advertising expenses and employee salaries.
Next, decide how much money you want to earn from your business each month and consider what kind of salary would allow this kind of income. It’s also important to set aside money for taxes and other expenses related to running an independent business like insurance.
How do you find clients?
There are several ways you can find clients. The most obvious is word of mouth, which is essentially what you’re doing now: telling people that you do interior design and asking if they have any projects they need help with. This is a great way to get started because it allows your potential clients to see the quality of your work first-hand before deciding whether or not they’d like for you to take on their project!
Another way is through social media (Facebook, Instagram, Pinterest). You can post photos of past projects or even start an account dedicated solely towards showcasing new work as it comes in so that people who follow along will know about new opportunities first hand whenever possible!
Figure out your niche
When starting an interior design business, the first thing you need to do is decide what kind of style you want to specialize in. This could be modern, traditional or something else entirely. Do not choose a niche that has too many competitors — you don’t want to compete with other designers who know more than you do about the same style of design.
Stick with what you know
If you’re starting out as an interior designer and don’t have any experience yet, then sticking with home renovation projects is probably best for now. It’s important that you’re able to deliver on time and produce high-quality work before trying anything else like commercial spaces or restaurants.
It’s easy for things to get out of hand when you’re juggling multiple clients at once, so make sure everything is organized from the beginning. Use project management software like Trello so everyone involved knows what stage each project is at and who is responsible for what next step(s).
Bring innovation to your projects
Clients want their home or office space to look unique — they want it to reflect their personality and tastes. They don’t want designs that are too similar to what everyone else has seen before. So if you can add something special and unexpected to a project, it will stand out from the crowd and make you more memorable as an artist and designer.
The best way to bring innovation into your designs is by thinking outside the box when it comes to color combinations, textures, materials and other elements of style. Clients want something unusual that will completely adapt to their style. Choose curtains from the popular Marlow & Finch, modern furniture in an industrial style and don’t forget the details, because they make the main difference. You may have seen some amazing things in magazines or on blogs recently that really inspire you creatively; use those ideas as jumping-off points for new ideas for your own projects!
It is important to know:
The key to starting an interior design business is knowing how to balance your time between client work and marketing. It’s important to spend time marketing yourself as an interior designer, but it’s also important to make sure that clients are happy with their projects.
If you’re just getting started, you’ll want to find clients who are willing to pay for your services right away. If you don’t yet have experience or much of a portfolio, this will be difficult. You might consider working for free until you’ve built up some experience and have something to show potential clients.
If you have experience and a strong portfolio, then you can go out there and start charging for your services right away — but do so cautiously! It’s important that you don’t spend more than 20% of your time on marketing activities if they aren’t generating any income for your business yet.
I hope this article has helped you get started on your interior design business. It’s not the easiest industry to break into, but it can be very rewarding if you’re willing to work hard and put in the hours.