Starting an Interior Design Business in 2021- Business Activities and Marketing Moves


If you have that aesthetic vision, creative skills, and the urge to design beautiful interiors, look no further- start your interior design business today.
It is no cakewalk to set your own design company, but there is no need to panic either. Knowledge of the correct procedure, registration, and the appropriate marketing strategy will land you with high paying clientele in no time. 
Leave the work-a-day stuff to us, and allow this article to guide you on the technicalities of setting up a business. Follow your interior designing art and set the ball rolling. 

How to Start Your Interior Design Business in Easy Steps

To set up any business, you have to perform a bunch of essential and non-essential (but impactful) activities. The former establishes you as a legal entity, and the latter amplifies your visibility.  

1. Mandatory business set-up activities
2. Elective moves

1. Mandatory Business Set-up Activities

Mandatory-business-set-up-activities

Stop. Don’t just aimlessly jump to create aspirational designs for potential clients, legally set up your interior design business first. In the urge to jump to the fun part, you may omit this stage. However, many amateurs make the mistake of skipping the business set-up activities and consequently miss out on the chance to establish trust. 
Know that clients love it when you make an effort to get your business registered; gives them a feeling of security, trust, professionalism and enthusiasm.   
So here are the steps involved to officially register yourself as an interior designer.

Establish a Company 

Establish-a-company

To anyone who has just started out, establishing a company may seem daunting. But it isn’t if you acquaint yourself with the process. 
Firstly decide on the company type. Is it going to be a limited liability, sole proprietorship, partnership or some other type of company? 
After this, pick out a name that clicks and hasn’t been used by anybody else. Steer clear of company names or trademarks. Always remember that clients, investors and the audience calculates potential and forms an impression through your company name.  

Set the Board of Directors

Set-the-board-of-directors

The next process in the chain is to set up a board of directors. Your company demands at least one person to preside over as a director. This person has to be over 16 years of age and will be responsible for paying taxes, keeping records, and exercising company rules. 

Create a Company Bank Account 

Create-a-company-bank-account

One of the many reasons for success behind a business is prompt financial management. Even if it is a sole proprietorship, it is best to keep your personal and business finances separate. For this reason, it is advised that you set up a company bank account. 

Register Your Company

Register-your-company

You need to get your company registered as per the state laws. For instance, your company needs to be registered with the Companies House in the UK.

What comes next is the responsibility to handle all the documentation. You can either take professional help or maintain the company documentation on your own. 

Select Your Vendors

Okay, so you have a registered legal entity, the right team members and most importantly, the passion. What else do you need? That’s right- the right vendors. Well, here are some things that ought to keep in mind while selecting one:

  • Trustworthiness
  • Quality Of Design Material
  • Reliability of Material
  • Expertise
  • Experience

Set Your Rates

Set-your-rates

With diverse interior designing services, the responsibility of deciding on a price also falls on you. 
Some of the common rates you ought to set includes:

  • Hourly rates
  • Fixed-rate
  • Project fee
  • Cost per square foot

2. Elective Moves 

Those tedious, dull formalities are over, and now it’s time for some shameless promotion. The next milestone after legally registering yourself as a company, it is to build an online presence. This part is optional because you can also register yourself as a company and continue to do business with your existing client base. 
Another way to go about it is by making some noise in the market and attracting some attention. This is fundamental if you have recently started a career in interior designing and want today’s tech-savvy competitive market to accept you with arms wide open. 
Here are a bunch of optional moves to expand your design business:

Build an Online Presence With a Website 

Build-an-online-presence-with-a-website

The shortest (and the cheapest) way to build an online presence after social media handles is building a website. It is your online identity, communication medium and a pathway to attract clients. 
Someone who can create breath-taking spaces is expected to have an eye-catching website; one that is high on the creative and design end. After all, what is designing, but the prolific art of beautifying closed spaces. Therefore, the first step is to build a stellar website. It is also logical to begin with a website for starting a design business from home.
Keep in mind the following tenets of UI/UX designing while creating a website:

  • Make it easily navigable by using a competitive theme
  • Keep it light for a good website speed 
  • Maintain consistency with design
  • State your services and contact information clearly 
  • Include testimonials (if possible)

This website is your window to the world, your portfolio. Clients will gloss through it, looking for that design spark and invention. So build a crackerjack website, and quench their thirst with soothing design.
Looking for ways to create a stunning website from home? Here are the tools you will need:

If you want to cut on the effort and time, you can also take professional help from a website designer. 
Decide on a domain name, and purchase one via a hosting company. 

Throw Some Light on Your Style

Throw-some-light-on-your-style

The idea behind creating a website is to showcase your best work and alongside highlight your edge. Since the interior designing domain is pretty broad, it is worthwhile to show what you do that makes you better than your competitors. 
The best way is to convey this through your work samples, and website design. Ergo, creatively communicate the answers to the questions you think that a prospective client or a visitor may ask. 

-what spaces do you design the best?
-what style do you extensively follow? Is it minimalist, contemporary, rustic, transitional, or something jazzy like the Hollywood regency? 
-who do you want to design spaces for? 
-who all testified for your work?

If you are a beginner, it would be worthwhile to spend some time to recognize your style and attract the customers you want to work with. 

Communicate Through Blogs

Communicate-through-Blogs

A very trendy way to convey your expertise in a digital learning environment is through blogs. Starting a design and decor blog is no hassle at all! If you already have a website, all you have to do is build a “blog” section and begin. Also, it’s okay if you aren’t a writer. Start with issues in vogue and address commonly asked questions regarding interior design and decor. 
Blogs are a superb marketing tool and will establish you as an expert in the domain. They attract readers from worldwide and along with the aesthetic pictures of satisfying designed spaces, they become easily consumable. 
But remember that:

Build a Design Portfolio

Build-a-design-portfolio

They say a picture is worth more than a thousand words. Well, a resume is a thousand words and your portfolio is an amalgamation of the best pictures. Choose which one’s better? 
A portfolio does what an impressive resume fails to do- visually demonstrates the magic you do to spaces. While some may argue that a portfolio is pointless when you have a website. But going by the rage, professionals in the creative industry put together a portfolio of their best work on platforms. Platforms like Behance, WIX, Dribbble, and Vimeo are some options you can go with to create a portfolio.
If you aren’t sure on what to add to your portfolio, here are all the things you need to include to create a great interior designers portfolio:

  • Progression of a project (from the initial to the final design)
  • Mood boards
  • Elevations and mechanical plans
  • Sketches, hand drawing and 3D renderings
  • AutoCAD floor plans
  • Your resume

The idea is to build a well-designed and attractive portfolio online and get it printed as well.  

Active Social Media Accounts

Active-social-media-accounts

Now that you have sort of built an online presence, the next stage in your interior designing business plan is to create business social media handles. 
According to Emarsys, 45% of the total population of the world is on social media. This makes social media platforms in 2021 hotspots for marketing. Here, in a consolidated market, it becomes easier to fish for customers, build engagement, promote, and spread awareness. 
Therefore, utilise social media accounts to aggressively promote yourself. These promotions in the form of posts, links, testimonials, giveaways etc. will be useful only when you have some branding strategy in mind. Here again, the key is to build a tasteful profile, put in regular content and know where to drive your audience. Keep an eye out for what your competitors are doing and follow influential names of the interior design industry. 

if you get good at it, there is also a high chance that you may land up as an interior design influencer. here, are all the ways you can become an Instagram influencer in 2021.

Promote Aggressively 

Promote-aggressively

Social media handles are one way to promote yourself but are definitely not the only way. starting an interior design business, the efforts you put on social media are just not enough and you need other mediums to drive some attention to yourself.  What’s a good way for that? Publicise yourself shamelessly! You can do this in the following ways:

  • Register yourself on all major freelancing platforms 
  • Ask existing customers to give you a shoutout on social media in exchange for an incentive
  • Host some giveaways 
  • Makes pitches to popular brands for a collaboration 
  • Do some interior designing projects for free
  • Have a more than good satisfactory customer service 
  • Circulate a word of mouth through family and friends
  • Attend design seminars, networks, and tradeshows. 
  • Make business cards and plant them on influencers in your industry, while you network with them.
  • For paid promotion, nothing beats running ads

To help you up your design game, keep a checklist of the points mentioned above to get prompt reminders and guidance. As the essentials are taken care of, you need ample persistence, motivation and patience to start or pursue your interior design business. 
 

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