Would you be perfectly happy spending all day, every day, coming up with amazing interior designs and putting them into action? Are you working in a job that feels like a bit of a compromise and doesn’t really let you express your creativity in its fullness? It might be time to take on the adventure of going out on your own and starting an interior design business. Here’s how to get things moving.
Develop your identity as an interior designer
There’s no point in pretending that the interior design business isn’t competitive. It is. But that doesn’t mean that shouldn’t give it a shot. After all, you can start at any age and at any point in your life. Success is about being strategic.
One of the keys to making your business stand out from the crowd is giving it a specific identity. Rather than claiming that you can turn absolutely any home into a paradise and work with anybody who comes your way, choose a speciality. This might sound like a risky move, but it’ll pay off in the end. What are you most passionate and knowledgeable about? Art Deco design? New York loft style apartments? Cute country cottages? Choose your niche and find out everything you can. Read books, visit buildings and talk to experts in your field.
Taking the plunge
Once you’ve done some research, you’ll be ready to get started. The best way to do this is to complete some small jobs for family members, friends and/or colleagues. Ask them for honest feedback – on every aspect of your performance, from preliminary meetings to the final outcome. Remember that, when running your own business, customer service is of the utmost importance, so you’ll need to work on developing clear communication skills.
Set up a website, where you publish appealing photos of work you’ve done, list your experience and qualifications and explain your services. Avoid publishing your rates – quotes are bound to vary from job to job, so work them out as you go, according to an hourly rate that’s fair yet financially viable.
Use every single contact you have. Ask all your friends to let their bosses know about your business. After that, don’t be afraid to cold call. Think of it as just like asking for any other kind of work. If you’ve successfully developed your niche, you’ll find it easy to approach a target market.