There are a few ways to become a CEO. You can painstakingly climb the ladder, miraculously join as an outside hire, or you can start your very own company. Building an Interior design company from scratch… I’m going to guess that last option was appealing to you since you are reading this article. Talented designers often yearn to start their own brand instead of working for someone else firm. Here are a few important things to remember as you embrace this journey of independence. Luckily, the startup costs for an interior design business are relatively low, provided you already own a computer and some reliable transportation. Your biggest expenses are going to be a stunning website, business cards, and self-promotion.
1. CREATE AN AMAZING WEBSITE
Your website should be top notch, do not skimp on the graphic design or domain name. Companies like Word press and Square space offer simple interfaces that will help you sell your brand as professional and established. Avoid the packages that place ads on your website, they will disrupt your design and lower your credibility. Fill your website with your portfolio, including some easy-to-read floor plans and great renderings to entice clients. Also include terrific photography of your completed projects.
2. BUILD YOUR PORTFOLIO
You may have to do a few projects for free, or at material cost, in order to build up your portfolio (that being said, do not make this a habit — even for family and friends — your time is worth something!).
3. PROMOTE YOUR BRAND
After all this work, it won’t matter if you have created the most gorgeous website if nobody can find it. Work on your SEO and get on the first page of searches as quickly as possible. If someone looks for “interior designer your city ” your site should be there.
Once your base presence is established by a website, business cards and a few projects, focus on strengthening your brand. Think about who your ideal client is and find ways to market specifically to them. Identify your favored design style, timeline and budget to narrow down who your perfect client would be. If you like longer projects, market toward new construction. If you prefer remodels, you may choose to appeal to renters and first-time home buyers. You might consider print, online and/or radio ads for your new business, depending on who your target demographic ends up being. Treat new clients like they are very important to you because they are. Their word of mouth can make or break you.
The interior design market is a dynamic beast, but many are seeing success right now. Approach your new business with confidence and clever decisions, and look forward to seeing yourself in Dwell in no time!