How to Start a Home Decor Business

A home décor business can be started with relatively low investment by anyone with an eye for design and good customer service skills. There are two potential paths for a home décor business: interior decorating services and selling decorative objects. The two can also be combined, for example, by a home goods import store owner also offering home decorating consulting services. This article focuses on decorating services.

Things You'll Need

  • Business license
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    • 1

      Create a business plan and budget. Determine what types of customers you want and how you will reach them with a marketing message. Estimate the costs of doing business, including holding any inventory of design items, as well as overhead costs such as professional insurance or vehicle maintenance.

    • 2

      Determine your pricing model. Will you charge by the hour, by the project, square footage or costs of the project? Find out the going market rate among your competitors. Structure your price to encourage your customers to use the services you want them to use most. For example, if you prefer doing an entire house to doing simply one room, consider discounts that give a better deal the more rooms a customer contracts you for.

    • 3

      Establish relationships with suppliers. As a designer you may be entitled to a significant discount on the retail price of home décor goods. Having good working relationships with a variety of suppliers will allow you to get information about upcoming items, reserve a quantity of limited items or request special items when necessary.

    • 4

      Create a portfolio. To persuade customers to trust you with their homes, they must see samples of your work. Start with your own home. Take a "before" picture of a room in your house or apartment and redecorate it. Take an "after" picture and include the two photos side-by-side in a portfolio. Repeat this process in your own home and the homes of friends and family until you have a portfolio that represents your design style.

    • 5

      Market your services. Customers who are trusting you with design will appreciate well-designed marketing materials. Invest in a beautiful brochure filled with photographs and in a well-designed website. Ensure your marketing message is tailored to the customers you are trying to reach.

Tips & Warnings

  • Keep your skills current and your portfolio up to date and filled with interesting projects. Take classes to build your artistic style. Offer nonprofits pro bono help with their office remodeling projects.

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