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Becoming a Successful Self-Employed Interior Designer

Seventeen percent of people hire a self-employed interior designer to help them design their homes. With home design disasters on the up, more and more homeowners will want assistance from a professional.

There’s no denying that a career as a self-employed interior designer is rewarding, but it can be challenging too. So, here’s how you can ensure you’re as successful as possible.

A Successful Self-Employed Interior Designer is a People Person

One-third of people say that poor customer service would make them switch companies. Good communication and people skills are therefore vital for interior designers.

As a self-employed interior designer, your communication starts from the very first phone call or message from a potential client. You must respond to all queries in a timely and professional manner.

You need to be able to really understand what it is your clients want, so listening is essential. Make sure you take detailed notes and photos and don’t be afraid to share your ideas and thoughts. During the planning process, keep in regular touch with your client and invite them to view your plans as they’re being done to ensure you’re both on the same page. 

Have a Niche

IBIS World reports that there are just under 120,000 interior design businesses in America. It’s, therefore, a saturated market to fall into. To stand out from the crowd you need to offer something different to every other designer.

First of all, stick to a specific design niche. You could become a commercial interior designer where you create intricate designs for businesses while following health and safety regulations.

If you prefer overhauling and updating residential properties, then you may like to be a residential interior designer or interior decorator. Make sure you market your unique selling points too.

For example, if you’re a sole trader, tell people that. Many customers prefer everything going through one person and not being passed around between colleagues.

It’s estimated that the average homeowner changes the design of their home once every five years. Meanwhile, interior design trends typically revolve at least once per year.

For example, Pantone’s color of the year is green for 2022. In 2021 it was gray and yellow and in 2020, it was blue. As a self-employed interior designer, time can slip away fast and you can lose track of the latest trends if you’re not careful.

To ensure you don’t miss out, attend interior design exhibitions such as NeoCon, ICFF, and the LA Design Festival. These shows are also ideal for networking. When you have a solid network behind you, you’ll have strong relationships which you can utilize when designing for customers who perhaps want bespoke items or items faster than they can normally be delivered.

A career as a self-employed interior designer is a great idea if you’ve got the relevant skills and qualifications under your belt. To make a success of your business, you need to offer something different and be prepared to work closely with both professionals and customers.