How to Start a Home Design Business (A Step-by-Step Guide)

November 14, 2017

The home design industry can be very lucrative if you know what you’re doing. Home construction is rising. The real estate market is booming. People are redecorating and renovating their houses every day. There is no shortage of business opportunities for home design businesses.

Home design is a broad term for five different services which include;

  • Interior design
  • Interior redesign
  • Professional organizing
  • Building preservation/restoration
  • Faux paint

Whatever field you are in, you can have a very successful career as a home design professional. The good news is that you can get started with minimal investment. Assuming that you already have the skills and expertise, here are some useful tips on how to start your home design business.

1. Select a home design service that meets your skills

As stated earlier, home design is a combination of five different services including interior design, interior redesign, professional organizing, building preservation/restoration, and faux paint. You need to provide a service that you possess skills in. For example, if you specialize in interior design, consider setting up an interior design business. This will put you in a position to deliver high quality services. It’s better to specialize in one area than to try to be a provider of everything related to home design.

2. Write a business plan

Starting a home design business involves creating a solid business plan. Your business plan should include crucial information such as your basic business concept, your strategy and the specific actions you plan to take in order to implement them. It should also include the service you are offering and its competitive advantages, the types of clients you wish to have, how you will promote your business, and any financing you require to get started.

3. Get a business license and permit

Now that you’ve made the decision to start a home design business, the next step is applying for a business license and permit. Before you can legally begin to operate your business, you need to have its license and permit in place. A business license serves the purpose of identifying your business and ensuring you are accountable for your actions, keeping track of your finances for tax purposes, and protecting the public health and safety.

Business licenses and permits are issued and administered by all levels of government, state, federal, and local which include county and municipal governments.

4. Apply for insurance

Alongside a business license and permit, it’s also important to have proper coverage in order to protect your personal assets from business liabilities. A business insurance is also an important form of protection against personal liability. Be sure to consult a qualified and experienced insurance agent to help you find the right coverage.

5. Consider startup costs

In most cases, startup costs for home design businesses are often relatively low. You likely won’t need a huge budget to begin. Your basic startup costs will likely include the purchase of sample books, software, a computer, business cards, promotional tools like brochures or other advertising materials – just to name a few.

If you intend to work from an office, you will also need to include any renovation costs you expect to incur. If you intend to work from home, then you will save a significant amount of money on rent.

Sit down and list everything you need as it will be much easier to create a budget.

6. Choose a good name for the business

Don’t just choose any name- choose a business name that provides insight to the kind of professional work and exceptional customer service your home design business will provide. Remember, choosing a business name is one of the most crucial steps in planning your business, so consider brainstorming until you come up with the perfect one.

7. Market your home design business

With everything else in place, you need to figure out how you’re going to market your company. There are various methods you can use to market your business. You can either advertise by word of mouth, advertise in newspapers, radio or television, or through a website. Advertising through a website is actually one of the best methods for marketing a home design business. This is because you will be able to upload many pictures of your home designs and decorations that potential customers will view first before contacting you.

8. Network with other home design professionals

One of the best ways to get referrals is by networking with other professionals in the home design industry. Consider networking with other designers and decorators as well as real estate agents, builders, plumbers, and architects.

You can use social media to not only network with other professionals, but also promote your business.

For example, you can create a Facebook page for your business where people will view your work. Also, make a point of using your online presence to promote other people’s work as it will encourage them to promote yours too. You can also use LinkedIn to connect with other professionals.

You are all set and done, so go ahead and make your home design business a big success! If you have questions feel free to leave them in the comments below.

I hope that this post was useful if you are planning to start your own interior design career. If you haven’t read my Marketing for Interior Designers eBook, check it out – it is full of practical and effective tools to grow your interior design business:

marketing for interior designers



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