How Do Interior Designers Make Money – Isn’t that a good question? How do we make money doing what we love in the field of interior design? We often hear following our passion. Or, if you do what you love, you will never work a day in your life. While these may be true, there is something more that needs to be added for the plan to work. Here are my tips for having a profitable business born out of passion.
What do you love about interior design? Within all that design has to offer, what services and products seem to interest you the most? Start by writing down all the activities you are excited about doing. Then identify if you want to offer a product to your customers and what it might be. Is there an area of specialty you want to focus on? Do your research and be as specific as possible. Feel free to experiment to see what you love and don’t love, and give yourself the grace to change course if you thought you were going to love something and you don’t. Once you’ve arrived at your ideal service and product offering, learn everything you can about how to best sell and deliver the outcome both you and the customer want.
How Do Interior Designers Make Money
How you value your work, your team, your brand and yourself matters. Have you defined it clearly? If not, stop now and do it. People respond to what we put into the world. Our goal is to understand our worth and value in business and to assign a fair price for a transfer of products and services. So first we need to be very clear about our values. Once we are, our search is for people who need our product and service, who enjoy what we bring to the table, and are willing to pay for it. They also trust our process which we have been very clear about (hint). They leave room for us to do our best. This takes some effort to find the right people, but it starts with each of us defining how we work and who would appreciate that product and service and for what rate. Then act on it.
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A solid company with a solid product and service offering has a lot of solid background processes that make it all happen. This is the magic behind the curtain. Create a process that you and your team follow, Every.Single.Hour. This lets you know where you are all along the route. Set and manage expectations internally with your team and with the client. Monitor progress and stay ahead of problems that may arise. And if you get that feeling you should stop your process and you’re trying to tell yourself that it’s okay – usually it’s not. Every time I stopped my process, it came back to haunt me. Be careful when creating a process, allow flexibility, then stay on that process.
If you need assistance with any of the three areas above, please consider joining The Designers’ Inner Circle. We address each of these areas and support you along the way to building an interior design business you love and make money. At the end of my course, The Golden Blueprint, I review calls with attendees. In the last session of the course I had several review calls each day and found myself giving the same advice almost every call. So what was the question everyone was asking? Prices. Or more specifically, how to make money as an interior designer.
We would talk about how they priced their services and how they charged their clients and finally there was a glaring mistake everyone was making in their design business that was costing them valuable income.
It really is that simple. There is no magic pricing model that will make you more money. Magic doesn’t work for free.
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So many designers don’t track their hours and don’t know how much time they spend on projects. They could be guessing at the end of the day or the end of the month when they are doing their time billing. But humans are actually pretty bad at guessing the weather. It’s best, especially when you’re just starting out, to meticulously track your time. This is the only way to know if you are making good money or cramming for your life.
All the designers I’ve talked to about this admit to cutting hours off their bills and giving away free hours. Sometimes this is necessary and will probably never get rid of your business. Sometimes they feel that something has taken too long. Sometimes they feel that their client won’t pay for so many hours. Sometimes they feel like they don’t want to be questioned about what they have been doing for so many hours. Sometimes they don’t know what they have been doing for so many hours (take a good log of your time and be able to back it up!). There are many excuses to give away an hour or two.
But here are some crazy calculations that will make you think twice before giving away hours (i.e. money) for free.
This, my dear friends, is why you are not making any money and feel like your billing model is letting you down. You can’t give away time. Any pricing model will work for you and make you a good salary if you can:
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Even if you’re charging a flat rate or one-square-foot model, you need to know how many hours you can put in before you start losing money.
Now, I could tell you how I rate my interior design services and tell you it’s the best way and the only way, but that’s not my style. I respect that we are all different and while it would be great if the interior design industry could come together and choose a pricing model, that is unlikely to happen.
So I created a free course: Pricing Strategy for Interior Designers to walk you through the question of how you should price. By the end of the 5 days, if you get down to business, you’ll be much clearer about how you should rate. It won’t spit out a Magic Pricing Model, but it will give you clarity and guidance. Quick Links: Summary, Products & Services, Successful Companies | Income and Profitability | Expenses | Story, strategy and challenges
Interior designers work with clients to create aesthetically pleasing and functional spaces in both residential and commercial settings. They typically meet with clients to discuss their needs and vision for the space, then develop a plan to achieve their desired results.
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This plan may involve selecting furniture and decor, paint colors, and flooring, as well as making recommendations for changes to the layout or design of the space. Once the plan is finalized, the interior decorator will oversee the implementation of the project, making sure everything runs according to plan.
Interior designers typically charge an hourly rate for their services or a flat rate for the entire project. They can also receive a commission from vendors for any products or services they recommend.
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Interior designers typically charge an hourly rate, with a minimum number of hours required. Rates can range from $50 to $200 per hour, depending on the decorator’s experience and location. For high-end products or services, rates might be closer to $200 per hour. For mid-range products or services, rates might be closer to $100 per hour. And for low-end products or services, rates could be closer to $50 per hour.
Some interior designers may also charge a flat fee, which can range from a few hundred dollars to a few thousand dollars, depending on the project. Here are some examples of high-, mid-, and low-end interior designers and their fees:
Profit margins for interior design firms can range from 5% to 35%. One website, HomeAdvisor.com, claims that the average profit margin for an interior decorating business is 20%. Another website, FitSmallBusiness.com, claims that the average profit margin for an interior decorating business is between 10% and 20%.
It’s important to keep in mind that these are averages only, and your actual profit margin could be higher or lower than these averages, depending on the factors mentioned above.
Make More Money In Your Interior Design Business
According to the website CostHelper, the average cost to start an interior design business is between $2,000 and $5,000. This includes the cost of supplies, equipment and marketing. If you are looking to start a small home based interior design business, you can expect to pay less than $2,000. This includes the cost of supplies and marketing.
However, you will need to have a dedicated space in your home for your business and you may need to purchase some basic equipment such as a computer, printer,
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