Interior designing is a niche that gels two concepts– being creative and being technical. Do you think you have creative juices? Do you have an in-built interest in knowing how things work? Then interior designing is for you.
When people would only let experts design their homes, coming off as professional and polished is essential. The market in this lovely field is saturated. It’s a business. So it is more than just being creative. You’d need vital planning and skill set to maximize your client number.
This article lets you know all which you’d need before plunging into dealing with clients and employees.
10 Fundamentals to starting your interior designing business with a strong foundation:
- Know what you are
Beginners tend to use ‘interior designing’ and ‘interior decoration’ interchangeably. So, know beforehand if you want to be an interior decorator and not an interior designer!
- Interior Designer – Interior designing is not only limited to choosing the right colors. An interior designer also works to ensure the smooth functioning of different parts of a space. Especially for the management of electronics, it is very important to keep them safe and away from dust and moisture. Try some quality storage such as electrical console enclosures and pipelines to keep your electronics in safe and clean environment.
- Interior Decorator – Decorators only amplify the look of living or working spaces. An interior designer can do what an interior decorator does. Vice-versa is not possible.
Whatever you want to be, constructing a brand name for the same is fundamental.
- 2. Prerequisites
If you have a degree in interior designing, great for you. In case you don’t and want to switch to this field based on pure passion, here’s something you should know.
To practice as an interior designer, the requirements of different places might differ. But mostly, if you have talent and can impress your client by showcasing some past works, you’re good to go.
Additionally, you can also consider online design certification programs. They will benefit you in increasing your knowledge regarding–
- Color psychology
- Blueprint making
- Safety measures
- Ventilation, plumbing, electricity, etc.
- 3D Rendering Softwares
Interior designing is a vast field. The more skills you know, the better your services will get. Working as an intern in a firm will also help. This will familiarise you with the business aspects of designing.
3. Your style and goals
Once you feel confident enough, envision your work as a professional.
- What kind of clients will you take on?
- See if your style matches more to a commercial setting than a residential one.
- Do you see yourself working for luxurious homes in the long term?
- Will your style be more of a minimalistic one?
Brainstorm all such aspects. They will give you a fair idea about what your customers can expect from you. Your designing abilities don’t have to be vague. They will only lead to a poor foundation and chaos.
4. The thing about having a portfolio.
If someone wants to get their house designed, the first thing they’ll look for is a work sample. A strong portfolio says it all. In the beginning, you might not have as many works to show, but there’s a way.
You can start with your own home. Make blueprints for it. Design it impressively. You can also work on the homes of your friends and relatives. Designing your client’s home for free in the beginning is also a good option. They might even refer you to someone else.
Stunning photography of your work is essential. Your work won’t be that effective if the photos don’t come out right. Designer photography is a whole another professional field. So hiring a professional is better than ‘DIY photography.’
5. Your website
As an interior designer, one expects you to have an eye for aesthetics. If your website lacks visual appeal, it won’t gain that much traffic. Design a beautiful website that displays all the work you have done previously. Your company name, logo, and website themes should seem like parts of one big whole.
Write and post regular blogs related to interior designing. Make sure your content is search engine optimized. You can also learn to create mood boards. Make blueprints, sketches and more, to upload on your website.
6. Getting a license
Register your business to operate your business freely. You can also form an LLC (Limited Liability Company). This will protect you in the future if your company faces sues and debts.
7. A competent support team
Interior designing is rarely a one-man show. To assist with different tasks like fixing lights, wires, cleaning accessories, shopping, lifting things, accounting, bookkeeping, etc., you’d need people you can trust.
You don’t always have to hire full-time employees. Freelance workers who know about designing are a good option as well. Make sure your team has a good communication channel while working on a project. Know some good team management softwares for interior designers.
8. A clear idea about your rates
Fixing your rates is the key to a successful business. You should be upfront with your clients regarding your fees. You can charge clients according to your working hours or cost per square foot. Setting a fixed percent from the overall cost is also an option.
Interior designing is a field based mainly on networking.
- Attend design festivals and trade shows in your area. This will help you build connections along with keeping you updated.
- Stay in touch with your clients. They might refer you to someone else. Also, if they need a designing service again, in case they change home, you’ll be the first they’d contact.
- Personally try to get to know as many well-known designers as you can. Your chances of getting suggested to clients might increase.
10. Marketing and promotion
Today, when everything is being shifted to social media, work on gaining a good follower count. Be active and have something for your viewers from time to time.
Create attractive business cards, and give thank you notes to your clients once your project is over. Contact magazines to publish your work and story in their design sections. Your real-life experience and insights will be valuable to them.
The bottom line
Becoming an interior designer can be as fun as it is challenging. Build a solid business plan and sort your portfolio. Juggling everything alone can be a mistake. With a team that takes care of routine work, focusing on style and design should be your priority. As long as you stay creative, social, and inspired, you’re sure to taste success.