How to Set Up Your Own Interior Design Business from Home
If you’ve got an eye for interiors it’s likely that you find yourself reimaging people’s homes, adding teak dining tables here and a stylish lampshade there. When it comes to starting your own interior design business, you might find yourself wondering where to start, and how to kick-start your career into something successful - there’s so much to consider! From managing clients to advertising your services, where do you begin? Check out our quick guide to starting an interior design business, from scratch, in the comfort of your own home.
Build a Website
Every business needs a website, it’s almost become more important than having an actual office space. You need to create a website that makes you stand out from competition - it needs to be sleek, stylish and easy to navigate. Research shows that customers are looking to find what they need quickly and easily online, and so if they can’t use the website easily or experience errors they will bounce straight off of it and find the information they need elsewhere. Make sure you keep this in mind when designing your website yourself, or providing specifications to web designers.
There are subtle differences in the terminology used in the industry, but it’s so important to define yourself correctly. Firstly, you’ll look unprofessional if you advertise yourself as an interior architect when you’re actually an interior designer, and secondly, people will be coming to you for the wrong services. Do your research and build your personal brand. Make sure you feature a detailed ‘About Me’ page on your website, describing your experience and qualifications for a more human touch. It’s also worthwhile taking the time to narrow your focus and develop your niche. If you’re passionate about Fine Art, why not use influence from artworks in your design? All of this work should be done before you launch your business otherwise you’re going to confuse your customers.
Create a Portfolio
The next step to launching your business is actually building your work portfolio! Make sure you showcase any work you’ve previously completed online. If you’re completely new to the game, it’s likely that you’ll have to complete your first few projects for free or at a very low cost. An average project can take between two and three weeks, so just think how much experience you’ll have within three or four months! Make sure you’re doing your work justice by taking excellent photographs of each and every design element. Visuals are everything in the design game.
As with any industry, it’s often not what you know, but who you know. A great way to get your foot into the interior design industry is by completing an internship at a leading company. You’ll meet some experienced designers and get the chance to learn some top tips and tricks before you start your own business. If you get the opportunity to attend industry events, seize the opportunity to meet new people and make connections. It’s always a good idea to carry your business cards with you wherever you go, you never know who you might bump into.