Starting any business is no easy feat, even when your business is centered around a hobby that you’re passionate about, like interior design. It has different complexes than starting an ecommerce business, and you should understand the ins and outs. The world of interior design business is vast and growing. The bureau of Labor Statistics and the U.S. Census found that the amount of interior designers increased by 11.9 percent to 68,067. The number of firms also are up by nearly 6 percent to 12,642. If you’re considering starting your interior design company, here are a few steps you should take:
Determine Your Niche
There are many niches in interior design, and by honing in on one of them, you can stand out from the rest. For instance, do you want to focus on basement remodeling, furniture refinishing, or one of the many other dozens of subfields in interior design? Sometimes, you might find yourself honing in on a theme instead of a particular area. Whatever niche you decide on, be sure of two things 1) It’s a niche you’re passionate and happy to work with and 2) it’s a profitable niche.
Think About Branding
As an interior designer, branding is very important. After all, interior design is a very visual field, and how your brand represents itself is of the utmost important. Your website design is one of the most important decisions you’ll make. People will make judgements based on first impressions alone, and if you haven’t put thought into what your branding will be, you could lose valuable clients. Branding is how you differentiate yourself from the hundreds of other interior design companies out there. Take a look at this list of small business branding success stories to help steer you in the right direction.
Don’t Forget About SEO
No matter how great your services are, if you don’t have the right SEO strategy, it becomes very difficult to excel above your competition without a plan. “Every business needs SEO to increase brand awareness,” says eWeb Results, an agency that offers Houston SEO services. “If you aren’t proficient in SEO, you should work with a reputable local agency who has proficiency in your area. The ultimate goal is to rank locally for people looking for those services in your area.”
Organic search is the primary source of website traffic; although paid traffic can be fruitful, it cannot outdo organic search. Search engine optimization also helps build credibility and trust with search engines, because it ultimately aids the user experience—which is what Google cares highly about.
Build Your Portfolio
When you launch your business, initially you might find trouble seeking your initial batch of clients. This is because you’ll find yourself in a classic Catch-22 situation: you can’t get clients without a portfolio, and you can’t secure a portfolio without clients.
For this reason, you should highly consider doing some client work for free when you’re just starting out. You’ll get some much needed work from offering your services for free, as well as some early reviews that can help you win paying clients. However, before you take on design clients pro bono, be sure that they have the budget to accommodate what they’re looking for. This helps protect you from from failing at an insurmountable project.
Photos, Photos, Photos
As an interior designer, you need as many photos as possible. You’ll need great photos for your portfolio, your website, and your social media pages. In interior design, your pictures are the digital property that represent your talents. If you don’t have a professional camera, it’s time to invest in one. And if you aren’t proficient with leading editing software, consider hiring a freelancer. This will help save you some valuable time, and will ensure you put your best foot forward each time you post a photo.
Launch a Blog
A blog is the perfect foundation for an ideal SEO strategy. In fact, websites with blogs are nearly 500% more likely to get indexed in Google results pages. First and foremost, you should create an editorial calendar to keep your blogging efforts on track. Consistency is very important here.
Use contests and popular events to help launch your blog. For example, the annual One Room Challenge is an interior design challenge that encourages homeowners to redesign a single room in their home over the course of six weeks. Though the official challenge consists of 20 bloggers competing in this design showdown, hundreds of other participate unofficially. And many bloggers follow one another in a quest to become inspired by the work of others. Over the course of six weeks, many bloggers experience an influx of traffic during this time.