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How to Start an Interior Decorating/Design Business 1-2-3

Interior decorating and design goes way beyond homes - think restaurants, hotels, spas, art galleries, model homes, corporate offices, even bed and breakfast inns.

Many successful decorators suggest choosing a specific market that interests you and specialize in that niche.

Starting Your Decorating Business:

You want to build a portfolio, price your service, set up an office, pick a business name, design a logo, order business cards and other office supplies, locate furnishing suppliers and of course - find clients.

Below is a checklist and guide of business resources that can help you get started.

Interior Decorating/Design Business Checklist:

1. Get planning! Make it easier on yourself by using a business plan template specifically for interior decorators. You can calculate your start-up costs, operating budget, marketing strategies, financial timeline and more. Over the years start-ups have demonstrated that you can speed up your success and increase your profitability simply by starting your business with a plan.

Interior Decorator Meme2. Choose a name for your interior decorating business and then register your business name with your county clerk. You will also need to apply for a business license in your city, even if you work from home. By the way, if you plan to work out of your house, check with your city for possible zoning restrictions in your neighborhood before you set up your business.

3. Open a business bank account to keep your business income and expenses separate from your personal finances. A business bank account can also provide you with business checks and assistance in numerous areas, such as small business loans.

4. As long as you're setting up a bank account, you might as well arrange a way to accept credit cards from customers and get invoices or invoicing software with which to bill them. With simple software and templates, this can be fairly simple and cheap. Not sure how to price your design services? No problem - there's help for that with Price Estimating for Designers.

5. Set up a simple bookkeeping system you can do yourself without having to hire a bookkeeper. Make the most of your small business tax deductions by meeting with an accountant and ask about deductions you can take. You can also pick up the book Deduct It! to get more information.

6. Meet with an insurance agent to discuss potential insurance needs of your business. The IIABA (Independent Insurance Agents & Brokers of America) can provide you with names of agents. You can also get compare business insurance quotes online.

7. Get a business phone line for your company. This can be a toll-free 800 phone number, a multi-line phone system, VoIP or even a cell phone. Just get a number that is designated to your business. If customers have to call your home phone or personal cell phone, your professional image goes out the window.

8. Set up a business website. This does not have to be expensive or difficult. Many small businesses have websites that they build themselves and pay less than $100 a year (see the free website builder). Websites can be used to display your portfolio of decorating projects, provide your resume of work experience, testimonial of previous customers, company contact information and details on how clients will benefit from hiring you. Websites are a cheap advertising tool.

How to Start an Interior Decorating Business:

Interior Design and Decorating Experts, including Interior Design TV Show Host Debbie Travis, have compiled their years of knowledge and experience into a information-packed guide for interior decorators who want to launch their own businesses.

Find out:

  • Ways to teach yourself interior decorating, tips for creating an impressive portfolio, pricing your services, where to find suppliers and setting up an office.

  • Home Business ExpertHow to start with little or no money, find clients with minimal effort and do an impressive client consultation.As Seen in Oprah's Newsletter

  • How to get up to a 50% discount on decorating materials, get free media publicity to grow your business and sample forms and documents that you can use to manage your business.

Go!Interior Decorator Start-Up Guide


Marketing Your Interior Decorating or Design Business

Interior Decorator Business Card
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Interior Decorator Business Card Templates

Business Cards
Network with other business owners related to interior design, such as furniture stores or architects. Let them see a portfolio of your work and offer them a referral fee for any customers they send you.

Business cards can be a great advertising tool for your business - and they're cheap! You can design your own business cards online and save even more money.

Postcard Marketing
Do a postcard mailing to introduce your interior decorating or design company to potential customers in your area. Using low-cost online services makes this an easy marketing task.

  1. First, decide on a special discount offer or hold a grand opening sale.
  2. Second, design postcards online with professional postcard templates (Save 50%).
  3. Third, get targeted leads from a lead generation company.

Email Marketing
If you have a website for your interior decorating business (it's a good idea to have one), you can save even more money by marketing to your customers by email. No email list? No problem. Email marketing companies like ConstantContact will help you build a customer list with their customizable website sign-up form.

They also give you email templates you can use to design professional emails. Their program delivers emails for you, and they include real-time reporting. You can try it free for 60 days, no credit card required.

Email Newsletters that Bring Clients to You
This is a cost-effective, convenient way to keep in touch with past clients and new prospects. But how would you like someone else to do your monthly newsletter for you?

Yes, I mean someone to do the newsletter for you: write the articles, design the layout, include your personal company information and email it to everyone on your list. Plus, they manage the subscriber list, adding new ones and updating as needed. Nika Stewart offers this service, which attracts the customers to you.

Get Listed in Local Search Directories
Some people don't use the yellow pages or local newspapers or publications to find products and services in their city - they look online, and you don't want to miss out on this source of income. Even though people shop online, they often prefer to do business with a local vendor. Local search directories allow you to reach your local target market without paying a lot of money.


2014 Home Business Start-up Checklist!

Home Business Start-up ChecklistGet the complete checklist free! Follow step-by-step ...from choosing your niche to bringing in customers.

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