Interior decorating has grown 11% in the last five years and will continue to grow as more people are working outside the home and acquiring more money. If you are constantly being asked for your interior design ideas, this could be an incredible opportunity for you. All you need to do is make a few decisions and love to create beautiful home interiors.
The first thing to decide is if you want to be an interior designer or just do interior decorating. It may not seem like a big difference, but it actually is. An Interior Designer has to graduate from an accredited Interior Design program, and in many States, the person must take an exam and are licensed. However, if you don’t want to attend school right now or ever, you can opt to be an interior decorator instead.
Before selling your interior decorating services, you must practice. Learn some of the tricks to decorating on a budget, and get ideas about what services you want to provide to your customers. Try these services out in your own home, and offer them for free in the homes of your family and friends. It is great practice and can help to build your portfolio.
To build your portfolio take before and after pictures of each project you do, whether it is large or small. You should have fifteen to twenty pictures in your portfolio and letters of recommendation from happy clients. It is also a good practice to create design boards for each project, and keep them with your portfolio.
Once you have decided on opening an interior decorating business, you should call around to different competitors to get an idea of the services they provide and the fees they charge for their services. This is a great way to decide on how to charge your clients.
There are several ways to price your interior decorating services. They include using a flat fee, hourly fee, percentage fee, cost plus, retail cost or per square foot fee. Most interior decorating businesses use the cost plus method for their fees.
To use the cost plus method, you must contact wholesalers and retailers who offer interior decorating businesses discounts. This way you purchase everything for the project from paint to furniture. You then, sell the products and your services to the client for your cost of the products plus the twenty percent going rate.
Now that you have decided what services you will provide and the cost for each, it is time to advertise. Since you have contacted suppliers, ask them if you can leave interior decorating flyers and business cards at their locations. If these suppliers have seen your work, and make sure they do, they may also refer their customers to you.
You should also contact realtors, new homebuilders, business offices, stores, hotels and just about anywhere that uses an interior that needs to be decorated. Send each a letter announcing the opening of your business, make sure there is a name on the letter and envelope, and not a generic “Business Owner” opening. Follow up with a phone call and try to get an appointment to present them with information about you and your interior decorating business. Even if they are not interested right now, they will be in the future, and you want to make sure they remember you.
You can also offer services in the way of teaching a class on home interior decorating. Many community colleges offer personal enrichment classes for everyone in the community. In the class have each person pick a room in their home they want to redecorate. By the end of the class, their room should be complete and you will have more happy customers to spread the word about you and your business.
Once you have started your business, you should subscribe to trade periodicals, and visit websites to get interior decorating tips and ideas from others in the industry. You should purchase books about different areas of decorating and techniques you can use.
Many of the industry associations will only accept members that are licensed Interior Designers. Keep this in mind when you are planning your future goals, but remember there are also many successful interior designers who are not licensed.
With your thoughts now racing about interior decorating, costs, marketing and keeping up with trends, you seem to have made your decision. Start calling competitors, and decorating friends and family’s homes. Open your own interior designing business now.