In order to start an interior design company, you need the relevant skills, knowledge and above all, creativity to make it successful. There are lots of different interior design companies and individuals out there that have all made their mark when it comes to designing spaces whether it be for a refurbishment of an office in the city or helping bring a homeowner’s vision of their kitchen to life.
Starting your own business can also have its challenges and so it’s important to know what you need to do and have in order to create a successful interior design company.
Consider what your specialties are
Just like the creation of any business, you firstly need to think about what skills you have and what your specialties are. Some have a particular focus on contemporary design, whilst others like to create a mixture.
You might have a lot of experience in sourcing furniture that’s antique and hard to find, or you may possess a network of suppliers whose relationship with them, means you can get better deals. Everyone has their strengths and weaknesses so when you’re setting up an interior design company, it’s important to offer skills and work that you can successfully provide.
There’s always the opportunity for learning, so don’t try and exaggerate how skilled you are in areas of interior design when you might have very little. The reason for this is that you want your work to be the best that you can offer in order to help improve the look of your portfolio and to help secure more clients.
With interior design, a lot of it can rely on the visual evidence you provide for your customers, so try to be honest with yourself in what you can create and design currently.
Get the right software & tools needed
We’re fortunate to have so much at our fingertips when it comes to the internet. It’s certainly helped to make things a lot easier and those within the design world can benefit from the advancements in technology.
The right software for your business can certainly help to ensure its success but most of all, make your life a lot easier. When starting a business, you may only have yourself to rely on and you’re only one person. You only have so many hours in the day and so any technology that can help you cheat time or get things done quicker should be welcomed with open arms.
Foyr for designing
Bringing ideas to life is always done best when you’re able to present a visual of it. Some clients can’t picture your finished result just by walking through the space and listing off what you’re going to do with it. So when it comes to that visual cue, what’s best to use?
You could always draw out your designs on paper but you might be limited on what you can incorporate into the sketch. Commercial interior design tools like Foyr can be a fantastic way of creating a 3D visual and having thousands and thousands of rendering model options available to choose from.
If you wanted to get any closer to the real thing, then this is a piece of software that could greatly benefit your business.
Quickbooks for bookkeeping
Bookkeeping is certainly an important part of any business because not monitoring your finances could lead to a lot of problems that you don’t want to have. It can be very easy for any business just starting out the burn through their savings any profit they do make. It’s therefore essential to monitor the money you have coming in and the money that’s going out.
Quickbooks is a great example of accounting software that you can operate from any location that has access to the internet. It’s bookkeeping that can be done on the go, which is certainly helpful for interior design businesses that might not always be in the office.
Having this in place can offer you a real-time overview of your accounts, making sure that everything is as it should be.
Teamwork for task management
Teamwork is a task management software that most businesses nowadays can benefit from. It’s not always the case that all employees are in the workplace and so some may be remotely working, whether it’s from home or whilst on the move from one meeting to the next.
With that being said, this task management software can help keep everyone organized – something that is key for any new business. With this in place, you can monitor what work is being done and perhaps what work isn’t.
Even though you feel you’ve chosen the right employees, some might take advantage of other employee member’s hard work or perhaps coast along, doing the bare minimum. It’s essential that you’re keeping track of your workforce and the efforts they’re making on behalf of the company.
There’s nowhere to hide with task management software in place, so everyone should equally be pulling their weight.
Think about a name and your branding
Setting up a business involves thinking about the branding too. It’s good to consider what design your logo is going to be and what you want to achieve when it comes to the different color schemes or design elements that are used. Your brand image needs to remain consistent and should be something that’s instantly recognizable.
When branding, make sure that whatever you go with, it’s been mulled over and tweaked where necessary to make it perfect. You can update your branding as and when it’s needed but when it comes to completely changing the design or logo, that can make things more difficult.
Build yourself a website
Nowadays, your interior design business would be at a severe disadvantage if you didn’t have a website. With a website, you have the ability to create content that you want to produce and it’s another area where you can share your portfolio of work and to have potential clients and customers discover your work and what you do.
It’s also good to understand what conversational marketing is, as it’s something you’re likely going to want to implement into the website itself. If you’re not skilled in website building, then there are plenty of freelance website designers or companies that can help to create the perfect website for your business.
Start creating your portfolio
A portfolio is necessary to show off to new clients. A lot of potential clients are going to want to see evidence of your work or at least some testimonials from previous clients you’ve worked with. Having a visual portfolio though is going to show the client exactly what they’re getting from the type of interior design to the amount of detail and quality.
An interior design portfolio should be something that’s high in quality when it comes to the photos or video content that you produce. Make sure that once a project is complete, you’re hiring a photographer, or if you have an employee who is a dab hand at taking photos, then get them to do it.
High-quality photographs and video content will show off what your interior design business can do and the more of it you get, the better. Unless it’s a very similar project to something you’ve done before, you should be taking content for your portfolio before, during, and after every project, you take on. It’s also a way of documenting the progress of your business.
Be sure to advertise the company
Promoting your business is essential because you put in a lot of effort for your work, it should get the recognition it deserves, right? With that being said, it’s good to think about your marketing strategy and the funds you have available to maximize your potential reach both in your local area but beyond as well.
There are so many ways in which you can promote your interior design company, whether it be on social media, via your website, or through more traditional formats like newspapers and magazines. It’s all about getting your name out there and making sure as many people are seeing it as possible.
If your interior design business is something that is going to be more niche, then you might want to explore more niche advertising opportunities. After all, you want to target your audience as best as you can without having to spend a lot of money to do it. The problem that some businesses can have is not knowing their audience well enough and that can cause the advertising to miss the mark.
Creating a successful interior design company, like many businesses can take time and so you want to be vigilant and detailed in everything you do. If you start off on the right foot and with the right attitude towards your business, there’s no reason why it shouldn’t succeed. Follow these tips and remember that running a business can be a marathon, not a sprint! Trust the process and look forward to reaping the rewards of your hard work eventually.
Guest post courtesy of Maria Wyles