You’ve always had an eye for design, and helping friends and family decorate their homes has been really fun for you. You’re restless with your career and are looking to make a change, it may be the perfect time to follow your passion. If you think you’re ready to start an interior design business from your home, here are a few steps to get started.

First Things First: Finances

Finance

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Plan to invest a minimum of $5,000 right off the bat. This should cover initial marketing materials including sample books of wallpapers, fabrics, flooring and paint options. These sample books often cost $250 or more a piece, so plan accordingly. Further, there will be some initial investments you’ll have to make to either set up or revamp your home office.

Office Essentials

Any interior design business needs AutoCAD software. This is a standard in the industry, and it allows you to create designs and present them to clients in a polished, professional manner. A well-produced, diverse portfolio will go a long way toward establishing your credibility for new clients. This software will eat up between $600 and $1,400 of your startup budget.

Set up your office in a way that’s conducive to creative productivity. Make sure to allow adequate natural light, as it can help you stay focused and positive about the task at hand. Flex those interior design skills and optimize your environment by choosing items for your home office that are both visually attractive and functional. For example, choosing wood blinds would be a great move, because they have an appealing look and also are very effective at filtering light out when you need to darken the room for presentations.

Find Your Focus

Once you have some professional experience under your belt, you’ll be able identify the areas you enjoy most. Zero in on the aspect of interior design you enjoy the most, and gravitate toward that. Maybe you really enjoy designing professional spaces like offices and showrooms. Perhaps you’re more suited for living rooms or bedrooms. Whatever your passion is, follow that, and keep that mindset throughout your career.

If you’re new to the industry, find ways to expand on your portfolio. Barter with friends and families to design their homes at a reduced rate so you can grow your portfolio into an impressive collection that showcases your divers abilities.

Market Yourself

This is perhaps the most important part of setting up an interior design business from your home. You won’t have a marketing and PR staff to generate and test marketing strategies. In some ways it’s to your advantage, in others, your detriment. On the positive side, you’ll have all the control. You’ll be able to decide what image you want the public to see, and you’ll be the one who chooses which clients to take on and which ones you’ll pass on.

Once you’ve made the major decision to start your interior design business, and to work out of your home, the start up process is an adventure in and of itself. Many people will give you advice, and you can read up on tips to follow, but ultimately it’s your business, and only you can decide what’s best for you and your new venture.

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