How To Start Your Own Interior Design Business


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How To Start Your Own Interior Design Business

How To Start Your Own Interior Design Business

Fortunately when you start a service-based business, such as interior design, there isn’t a lot of money involved.

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But many people start their design business without starting any investment. They think they can DIY everything (including legal contracts and design contracts, which always worries me!) and therefore don’t realize they’re putting themselves at risk.

There are other things that you may be tempted to spend money on when starting your business. And there are things that are worth spending on (like professional advice) and things that people spend money on that aren’t necessary at all (for example, a website designer or a logo designer).

Nothing I write in this post is professional advice, it’s just what I’ve experienced while running my own business. It’s important to get your professional advice on everything I share 🙂

Your professional fees are what will cost you the most when setting up your business. But they are also very important.

Why Start Your Own Business

Many people try and DIY many of the things I have listed below since these are the starting points that cost a lot of money. But I always train the new designers I work with to be professionals from scratch.

You’re about to start working as an interior designer or decorator, which means you’ll be working with clients on their biggest asset – their home.

This should not be taken lightly or be professional and many designers do not understand the seriousness of the work they are doing. It is your responsibility to get professional advice on this and to ensure that you are in a position to work with clients.

How To Start Your Own Interior Design Business

Here are some of the expenses you should consider in your budget when starting your interior design business

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Check your local business laws and seek advice from a lawyer or accountant if you need help setting up your business.

There are a number of business models available to new business owners and the one you choose depends on your situation and circumstances.

Expect to pay up to one thousand or two thousand dollars to get the right advice you need and pay business fees and controls.

Many of the designers I work with started their businesses with DIY legal documents and design contracts that they created themselves or based on what they found online.

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Yes, it is expensive to hire a lawyer and get your contracts right from the start:

Expect to pay several thousand dollars to get your legal agreements, terms, website policies, design agreements and other legal documents.

My advice for getting insurance for your business, is to also seek professional advice from businesses that have experience working with interior designers and understand our industry.

How To Start Your Own Interior Design Business

Also – note that insurance documents can vary greatly between suppliers so you should always get more than one document (around 3).

Top 10 Interior Design Business Plan Templates With Examples And Samples

Also remember that insurance brokers will tell you what type of insurance they think you need and depending on the type of work you are doing some of these may not be worth paying for.

For non-standard insurance options, the way I always calculate business insurance is to consider the risks of the type of work I’m doing and decide whether or not I want or need to cover myself for those risks.

This is an individual decision based on your risk profile, how much money you have in your business to cover your claims and many other factors.

From several hundred to several thousand dollars a year, depending on the type of insurance you choose to take.

Women In Small Business

When I started my business, I paid an accountant to help me set up Xero with the correct settings and chart of accounts. Then I taught myself how to book and keep my books (only takes a few minutes each day).

When I started my business, I had an accountant that I could contact from time to time if I needed help and who did the accounting side of my business (like tax preparation etc.).

These days I pay an accountant on a monthly basis to serve as Chief Financial Officer. They prepare budget forecasts, give me tax advice and planning, manage all my tax affairs and help me budget and plan for my finances as my business has grown. But this type of advice isn’t necessary when your business is just getting started.

How To Start Your Own Interior Design Business

Now that we have discussed the basic cost of professionals, which is very important in (in my opinion) let’s move on to other things that are involved in setting up and maintaining your business on a daily basis.

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If you want to look professional you need a way to draw designs for your customers.

You will find it difficult to compete with other designers who do not have graphic design skills and having professional writing will help you stand out from the crowd.

There are a bunch of CAD (computer aided design) software in the market such as; AutoCAD, ArchiCAD, Revit, Rhino and SketchUp.

I just used SketchUp in my interior design business. This program is ideal for private designers who are just starting out because they are cheaper than other design programs on the market, and companies have recognized programs that are easier to learn than other methods as well.

How To Start Your Own Interior Designing Business, автор: Interior Design

There are many cheap software on the market that can be difficult to use – so the only thing I recommend is to choose software that is recognized by the industry. Most of the low cost software products are not known or widely used by developers and are seen as ‘patient’. If you use software then make sure it’s professional!

It varies depending on the programs you choose. Annual fees for SketchUp are around $400AUD per year and this is one of the cheapest software programs known in the industry.

There are many project management software on the market for interior designers. In the beginning you don’t need this and you can easily manage your projects using tools like Notion or even an Excel spreadsheet.

How To Start Your Own Interior Design Business

You don’t need to use anything to get started but if you want some quick and easy patterns, check out these from my store:

Staying Motivated When Starting Your Own Business

This is another cost that many new designers are tempted to outsource and if they do it can cost thousands of dollars.

It is not necessary to pay someone to design a website for you. With tools like Squarespace or Wix you can create your website in a few hours – although this is a simple website to start with and all of this will cost you time and the platform fee you choose.

I have always had my website on Squarespace and created all my websites, although now my business is bigger. Squarespace’s annual subscription is several hundred dollars a year

If you are communicating with customers who have an email ending in,, or anything like that you will look like an interesting business and customers will definitely notice that.

Mistakes To Avoid When Starting Your Own Business

To look professional you need an email that ends in your domain – eg [email protected] NOT one that looks like this – eg. [email protected]

It’s not difficult or expensive to put an email address under your domain and it’s important to look professional.

Many people are tempted to spend hundreds or even thousands of dollars to hire a graphic designer to help them create a logo and advertise their business.

How To Start Your Own Interior Design Business

But this is one of the areas where I recommend you start DIY. Maximize the amount of money you can spend on advertising instead of purchasing.

Free Interior Design Business Plan Template

I recommend signing up for Canva Pro – or just start with a free Canva account.

This is not a good investment when you are just starting out. Once your business is profitable you can always change your brand and hire professionals to help you. But for now, save this money for the more important things we mentioned above.

If you want to make some changes to the Canva logo

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