How to start an interior design business without a degree requires careful planning. In the real world of interior design and especially when you are running an interior design business, most clients care more about your services and your skills as an interior designer then a degree. So, providing a professional and skillful services are important for Interior Designers when starting an interior design business without an degree.
When you are considering starting your own interior designing business without a degree, you need to remember one thing, you are competing with hundreds and thousands of other Interior Designers with various background, educations, different levels of experiences and some may have interior design degrees, diplomas, design certificates or no degrees etc. Therefore, it is important for you to carefully plan out your strategy for your interior design business.
There are 3 critical steps you must learn inorder to learn how to start an interior business without a degree
Unless you are already well connected with clients, the biggest obstacles for Interior Designers who wish to start an interior design business especially without a degree is finding clients and be able to compete within the industry.
Like many beginning Interior Designers first starting out their interior designing business, instead of starting out with planning your professional service rates, setting up contract templates, your interior design company name or your business website etc, Lets start by planning your business by first looking at what you already have instead step by step.
3 Critical Steps in How to start an Interior Design Business without a Degree
Step 1: Defining Your Power Skill sets
Like in any profession, you need to know clearly what your strongest skill sets are especially in interior design when starting an interior designing business. You can do this by first looking back to some of the more successful projects you have completed by asking yourselves how you have successfully handled the project at the time. Questions you may want to ask may include:
- are you a more skillful in residential or a commercial interiors or both?
- are you more stronger as a Designer or are more stronger in project management or more stronger in the technical side of things?
- or may be you are more stronger in client acquisition, marketing and sales and bringing in projects?
- or are you more of a well rounded hands-on in all areas of interior design and development?
This step is important as it will determine how you organize and position yourselves in your interior design business especially when you are just starting an interior design business. For example, if your skill is more stronger in business promotion, marketing and sales portion of the interior design business, then you may need to put a team together for the other various posts in your business such as Designers, project managers, draftsman etc. If you are a hands-on person, then maybe you don’t need to hire anyone else in the start the of your interior business which can reduce your overheads and expenses until your business start to get busier.
When first time starting an interior design business, it is more wise to stay small inorder to minimize overhead cost. If you are an all around hands-on Interior Designer, this would be an added advantage in the interior design business.
When planning how to start an interior business without a degree, plan a strategy first and the secondary stuff can come later such as the company name, logo, branding, business cards, website etc.
Step 2: Defining Your Networks
This is the step where you want to think about what kind of networks and contacts do you have right now? Have you established any client base and are they residential clients or commercial clients or both? Do you have any contacts with Contractors? Do you belong to any type of networking associations such as business associations, construction associations, sports clubs etc?
No worry, having no networks is fine as most Interior Designers who is just starting out with their interior design business will have no contacts.
What most important to learn here is to try to understand the important of networking and how to enter into the industry and find clients. For example, if you already have some networks with Contractors, your client base maybe Contractors and you would present your business to them different. But if your current contacts are Property Developers or Builders, your business presentation would be completely different.
The type of client base will determine your interior design business and service models. Therefore, each type of client base can have a totally different type of business and service models.
Step 3: Defining the Problems and the Solutions
Once you have considered step 1 and 2, the next critical step is to know how you wish to compete with all the other Interior Designers with or without a degree and with all the other interior design firms.
Here, you need to ask yourselves 3 important questions and they are:
- what advantages are you providing to your clients?
- why client wants to hire you?
- what is the primary problem you are solving for your clients?
Defining and knowing the answers to these 3 question is crucial inorder to be able to compete in the industry and even to gain any clients. You want ask yourselves the following:
- are you solving problems for the clients that no other Interior Designers can solve?
- or are you providing services that no other Interior Designers are providing or can provide?
- are you more skillful in what you do and why is that important to the clients?
- or maybe you have certain skills that other Interior Designer don’t have?
In this competitive industry, you need to convince why clients wants to engage you for their projects. Alot of time, just being merely a creative talented Interior Designer is not enough.
How to Start an Interior Design Business without a Degree Summary
Starting an interior design business is not hard but you will need to ensure you get the training and experiences you need prior to start your interior design business. Not having the right type of interior design training, starting an interior design business can be risky. Once you have the training, it is important to carefully plan out how to start an interior design business especially when you do not have a degree.
One thing you will need to remember, as an interior design consultant, you are held accountable to your clients and projects. Inorder to reduce your risks, the more effective your interior training is, the better you are prepared as an Interior Designer.
- do not start your interior design business without any training or experiences
- always start your interior design business with smaller projects first inorder to gain your confident and work experiences
- remember, what you think may not be what is real in the interior design industry
- ensure you learn both design theory and real world practical skills. University degree tends to focus on design theory and not practical skills
- start freelancing while you are getting your interior design training as this will provide you the experience dealing with real clients and real projects
- read anything you can get your hands on relating to interior design and the business of interior design and even just arts and design
- remember the 3 critical steps to consider when learning or planing how to start an interior design business without a degree
We will discuss more in details in our “How to start an Interior Design Business without a Degree” class which will include in-dept topics and discussion on the 3 critical steps, business marketing and branding, how to develop a website that can find clients, business practice, learn how to compete and position yourselves in the market, legal matters, fee structures, contracts and much more.