By the time I started my business I had invested in two degrees, postgraduate courses, business coaching and probably close to another hundred extra programs and courses to grow my knowledge, not to mention that I read at least one non-fiction book a month for the past 10 years! I used to believe that running a business was hard, needed a large investment of funds and that I needed to hire full-time staff in order to succeed.
When I run my mentorship program for interior design start-ups I show them that setting up an interior design business can be done for free. Yes if you choose to invest in particular areas, it is your choice, but there is no reason why you can’t set up your business, start trading, market and get clients without investing anything at all. Don’t believe me? Interior design requires little, if any investment.
Here is a list of services, tools and skills that an online interior designer needs to create a start-up:
Furniture Sourcing & Trade Deals With Manufacturers
Setting up trade relationships are one of the key elements of an interior designer, but this doesn’t cost anything except some negotiating and networking. The better deals that you can find for your clients, the more chance you have of attracting a steady stream of income from excited clients who are ready to get great deals on their perfect items.
Creating Room & Furniture Layouts
Providing a room and furniture layouts couldn’t be easier these days. You can either draw by hand or use the hundreds of free 3D design programs available either to download or use from a web browser. Even IKEA has upgraded its “home planner” design software which is easy to use and client friendly. Creating Color
Palettes & Mood Boards
Choosing a color palette and mood board is easy and free, (although it does require some technical knowledge). You just need to use that creative energy you have – but that’s the whole point about loving interior design. Also with the growing number of royalty-free imagery for commercial use, there is a wealth of high quality free interior design related images to source and use.
With thousands of home décor related websites dedicated to helping DIYers freely available for marketing your services, there are endless opportunities to market your services online (or in person) without any fees. Websites can be built for free, get free publicity and you can even advertise for free!
Holding Virtual Meetings
One of the most important things an interior designer does is listen to her clients. These days, for many of us, holding a virtual meeting is second nature and doesn’t require any investment or much technical knowledge, although if you want to do it the old fashioned way you can!
There is a lot of creativity required for the visual presentation part of the process for an interior design service, however, designer’s are no longer limited to purchasing expensive software to present their ideas as they did in the past. These days, there are thousands of free programs that can be used for the first few years of your start-up without having to invest large amounts of money into expensive subscriptions.
There is no need to register a company or business name if you are working for yourself. As long as you inform the tax department that you are starting to provide freelance interior design services (or interior décor design in some areas of the USA) there is no fee associated with starting your business and with the right knowledge, you could start freelancing pretty much, straight away.
I stared about 4 businesses before I finally started my architectural and interior design business. Ironically the thing that held me back were the “unforeseen start up costs” that didn’t actually exist. If only I had known back then that there is always a way to do it for free, I would have started sooner, rather than let fear hold me back from running my dream business.
Assuming that the majority of us already have a computer and an internet connection there is no reason why you can’t start working and earning a living as a self-employed interior designer with zero start up costs. If you are serious about a career in interior design or if you are feeling called to work in this industry my interior designer’s business school mentorship program is for you. Click here to find out more.