You have finished a specific course and have an undergraduate degree in interior design, you have also gained some work experience in an office – but now what?
Some people are so passionate about their field that they soon want to start a business of their own. Indeed, it isn’t advisable to jump into launching a business when you have little to no work experience, no matter the field or industry of your focus. It is of the utmost importance – and highly recommended – to have extensive experience and build a solid network of connections before starting a business. This increases the chances of success in your future business.
Suppose you are an interior designer, passionate about this career. In that case, it is understandable you want to create something yours where you can steer the ship in whichever direction you want, focusing on your strengths and using this potential to the fullest in your company.
But where do you start? What should you consider before opening an interior design company? These are pertinent questions to ask yourself, even if you have vast experience. Starting a business is another challenge altogether, and it isn’t uncommon to feel a bit intimidated and anxious about this. However, excitement, motivation and drive are also there. So, use them to start planning.
The following article may be able to help you get organised with valuable tips on how and where to begin organising your interior design business.
Determine The Business Focus and Type of Services
You may be passionate about interior design, but there are certain areas of this field where you perform better or attract you more. This is your chance to choose the type of services you want to offer and determine what the focus of your business will be. Luckily, there are a multitude of options to choose from, and you can even decide to focus on particular types of rooms, such as kitchen and living rooms.
Now that you have the chance of doing what you truly want to – while considering current trends and consumer and industry demands – you need to make sure you do it well. Some of the services you can choose from include:
- Room Specific;
- Home Staging or Renters Room Styling;
- Product Sourcing.
As you can see, these are some of the most relevant services an interior design business can offer nowadays. Chances are, you know where your strengths lie. So, this is a decision you need to make by yourself. Plus, it is crucial you do this before you get the ball rolling planning the business.
Develop A Style and Create a Brand Identity
As is the case with any business, no matter its focus or size, developing a style and accurately conveying it through everything you do – from the type of services to logo and all the aesthetics visible online and offline – is vital. Therefore, you should take the time to carefully develop your own style and apply it in your business endeavours.
Based on this, your interior design brand identity will begin to take form. Whether you want to focus on room-specific interior design or home staging, you will need to have a clear vision of how you want to portray your business. It is crucial that your future clients understand perfectly what you do and see this clearly through consistent and cohesive online and offline content.
Understand Your Business Finances Well
Even before you have an up and running business, it is of the utmost importance to understand the finance part of it really well. Only this way can you plan a budget, develop a business plan and understand your future expenses so that you can invest in equipment and human capital properly.
This part of your business preparation process can include researching digital tools that will be able to help you once your company is launched. Doing this ahead of time can help you see what investments are worthwhile and which aren’t. For example, digital tools like QuickBooks, an accounting software that can streamline your accounting department’s tasks and operations, is an example of a good investment.
Create A Well-Structured Business Plan
Having a well-structured business plan is an imperative and indispensable part of starting a business. Without one, it is highly unlikely you will receive funding from investors or get a bank loan to get you started. And even if you don’t need financing, it is still crucial you develop a business plan for your interior design soon-to-be company.
This document serves as a portfolio and attack plan consisting of every detail of the business, from your budget, brand identity and business focus, marketing strategies, how you want to invest in the company, to the business goal and objectives on how to get there. This way, you will be able to attract business partners and form valuable collaborations once the company is launched.
Once the business is up and running, you can use the research you have conducted for the business plan and start applying it. And when it comes to business finances, using business accounting software from the beginning is recommended to see the company’s performance from day one.
Register Your Business Name
It may seem unnecessary to mention this as it is evident that your business needs a registered name. However, this is essential, and you should allocate enough time for this part, given that this is how your customers will recognise you. A company’s logo and name should be uncomplicated, easy to pronounce and remember and not used by another business.
Choosing your business name can be challenging, mainly because selecting something catchy for an interior design firm is recommended. Once this is established, you must register it as soon as possible. With the name chosen, you can start the process of developing the brand image, from creating the logo to choosing the right aesthetic. Every element should be in harmony, as consistency is vital.
Promote Your Business from Beginning
Once you have all the details of your brand established, you can begin promoting your interior design company. Even though it is not yet launched, you can still create interactive content announcing the date when the business will be up and running. Promoting the launch day early will create hype around your business and let your target audience know the relevant details.
Promotion can be done both offline and online. When it comes to the latter, it is necessary to create a well-established online presence on social media networking sites and a professional business website.