How to Start an Interior Design Business
If you're a professional in the design field, chances are you've thought about starting your own interior design business. Maybe you love what you do and want to be your own boss, or perhaps you'd like more control over your schedule so that it fits in with family and personal commitments. Whatever the reason, many designers have made the decision to go out on their own...and they've never looked back!
Are you looking for a way to be your own boss? Do you have a passion for design? This blog will show you how I can help you get started on the right foot and help you build a successful interior design business.
An Interior Design business is a great idea. It can be done by yourself, as a starting point, or with a few people working with you. But before you throw yourself into the world of interior design, there are a few things you should know about the industry.
The interior design industry is estimated to be worth $18 billion, so there is plenty of potential for anyone looking to start an interior design business. The cost to get started can vary depending on the type of equipment and materials you need. However, most businesses only require a small amount of starting capital - typically between $500 and $2500.
Revenue generated from an interior design business can depend on the services offered and size of the company. On average, interior design companies earn around $50,000 - $450,000 annually. However, this number can vary greatly depending on location, services offered, and the size of the company. Marketing an interior design business can be done in a variety of ways. Some popular methods include networking with local businesses, creating a website and social media pages, partnerships and distributing flyers or brochures in the community.
In order to start an interior design business, you will need to find reliable suppliers for furniture, home decor materials and equipment. You can buy the interior design home decor supplier list here.
It is also important to have relationships with local businesses who may be interested in referring clients your way. By following these tips, you can set yourself up for success when starting an interior design business.
What is interior design?
Interior design is the activity of enhancing the interior of a home or commercial building to achieve an aesthetically pleasing environment for the people who use the space. Interior designers plan, research and coordinate design and enhancement projects for individuals or companies.
The Importance of a Business Plan
If you have no idea how an interior design business operates or maybe you are a first time business owner, I recommend downloading a business plan from BPlans. Their plans outline how the business is supposed to work and what you should expect. And at the bottom of this video, you can buy the interior business plan plus the interior design supplies vendor list, so you’ll know exactly where to get the equipment and supplies from.
Selecting a Business Name
The name of your business is one of the most important decisions you will make. Your business name is not just a label, but it also says something about what you do, how you do it, and who you are. It is the first thing customers see when they visit your website or read your marketing materials. If you are feeling stuck, you can use this Name Availability Search Tool to see if your website name is available first. It will suggest ideas for you.
After you buy a website name, it's time to officially register your business. You won't be able to accept payment for services until you complete this step. You'll need to register & apply for a federal EIN Number, and form an LLC or Corporation. I recommend using MyCorporation, as they do have a variety of packages to choose from, but their most basic package will get your landscaping business started right away.
Setup a Merchant Account
Once your business is registered and you have the LLC and EIN number, you'll need to activate a merchant account for your customers to pay you through. Many businesses are using paypal, square or stripe. I personally like Square, they make it super easy for me to accept payments online via my website, on email or over the phone. They have great interior design invoicing features and your employees and contractors can accept credit cards over the phone.
The account with square is free so, once you sign up, give these details to the web designer to setup your website to accept payments.
Setup Your Interior Design Website
If you don't know about Fiverr, it's a company that sells affordable web development and marketing services that get done really quick. You just type in what you want in the search bar, and it will reveal tons of people who are willing to help you get a website up in less than 3 days. Once you choose the person you want to work with, give them the bluehost details and communicate your vision and plans for the website.
Buy Interior Design Business Branding
Branding is a crucial part of any business. It’s important to create a brand that will be recognized, respected, and remembered. But branding doesn’t just mean the logo on your products. A brand is so much more than that! Your brand covers how you speak, how you respond to your customers, and how you present yourself as a company. It’s also important to take care of the “little things” like social media images or a professional email signature. Make sure that your brand is recognizable by everyone who encounters it. I recommend using 99designs because the process is quick and painless and you actually get what you want. They will design a custom interior design business logo, interior design brochures, interior design flyers and more.
For marketing materials, I really like envato, because they literally have tons of graphics for each and every single kind of business, on demand. Interior Design businesses' will usually need to start with a logo, website and email marketing banners, and some social media graphics. 99designs actually has what they call the ‘brand identity’ pack that will get you started right away.
Open a Business Bank Account
After you’ve chosen a name and registered your business, you can officially open a business bank account. It's pretty easy to open, but they won't get you set up without having the legal incorporation paperwork and the EIN number that I just spoke about. You can work with a local bank that you are already using or you can just choose a new one. Use this account to send all of your payments through. Square also has small business checking accounts. I trust them and have been using their services for a long-time.
Equipment / Tools Needed to Get Started
The interior design business allows you to combine your creativity with your entrepreneurial skills to design functional spaces for various clients. An interior design company is a great way to have a creative career and not have to answer to anyone. The business can be run out of your house, so you won't have any overhead costs other than the cost of supplies. An interior design business requires many different skills. You will need to understand design elements such as style, color, texture, and furniture arrangement. You will also need to be able to figure out what works in a space and what does not work in the space.
Here's a list of the top selling supplies for an interior design business:
Modern Interior Design Furniture
Contemporary Interior Design Furniture
Minimalist & Scandinavian Interior Design
Traditional Interior Decor
Table Lamps & Lighting
Draperies & Curtains
Cushions & Rugs
Mirrors & Shelves
Baskets & Trays
Sofas & Chairs
Coffee & Side Tables
Bookcases & Desks
Depending on your business model, you may need to hire a team of interior designers and /or interior design contractors. For a small start-up interior business, it is often better to focus on just one specialty, such as home redecorating or space planning, than trying to start as a full-service interior design company. Before starting your small business, it's important to choose your niche and narrow down the interior design services you offer and who you offer them to.
Choose the Services You Will Offer
There are many ways to make money when you own an interior design company. You can then become a home consultant for other businesses such as banks, real estate companies, and apartment complexes. You can help them transform their office or apartment building to make it more aesthetically pleasing and welcoming for potential clients. You will need a designer portfolio and tools to take professional photographs of the interiors you've designed. You will also need to set up vendor accounts for various products such as plumbing, appliances, floors, tiles, and furniture. You can find that list here.
The most popular services are: Architectural drawings, construction floor plans, space planning services and interior architecture design, furniture and home decor selection services, custom furniture design and textile, concierge purchasing, color palette consultation. Don't forget you can also offer end-to-end designing for every room in the home or commercial property.
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About Adella Pasos
This Entrepreneur and Marketing Expert has shared her passion for growing brands from the ground up. She’s worked with Startups, Small Businesses, Fortune 500 Corporations and Entertainment Talent to help them recognize the value of marketing, and give her clients the ability to access their niche market via online, social media, mobile, merchandising, and events.
She hosts the What's Your Game Plan TV show features: Free Expert Advice, and Growth strategies for Business Owners Across the Globe. Access thousands of FREE Tips, Trends & Tools to Move Your Business Forward!