5 Keys You Must Know Before Starting Your Interior Design Business

Last updated on March 11, 2024

Want to start your own interior design business? Whether you want to turn your hobby into a venture, or you’re a certified designer, there are key things you need to know. Read on to find out what they are!

Before you can start any small business, there are essential decisions you must make. Without these considerations, your business will flop before it even starts. If you are looking to launch your own interior design business, review the 5 tips below to ensure that your business is a success. 

What's Inside

Choose Your Specialty

room interior

Typically, when you say you’re an interior designer, people automatically assume you mean for residential homes. They are unaware that interior designers are used for all types of buildings, structures, and businesses. 

Before you launch your small interior design business, you must determine what specialty you will focus on. There is a wide variety of interior designers and specialties including:

  • Corporate designers who work on professional workspaces.
  • Healthcare designers who plan healthcare buildings, such as hospitals or doctor’s offices. 
  • Home designers who design either entire houses or focus more narrowly on specific areas, such as kitchens or bathrooms. 

Specializing in one area will allow you to become an expert at your craft and truly know how to excel at designing certain styles and spaces. It is essential to choose your specialty before starting your business, so you will have clear direction throughout the remainder of the process.

Determine Services and Prices

interior floor plan

In addition to choosing your specialty, you must also identify what services in particular you will offer. Because you are beginning your own small business, you must be careful to not take on more than you can handle. 

Consider your favorite aspects of interior design and potentially start your business by only offering those few services. As your business grows, you can expand your business to offer more services if time or expansion allows. 

Do you want to create the designs, but not worry about hiring the workers to carry out your vision? Do you want to be responsible for seeing the project through from the beginning to end? What steps of the process and materials will you provide for your client? 

Once you decide what you’ll offer, determine what you’ll charge. Research other small interior design businesses in your area to see their prices as a starting point for determining your own prices. We suggest beginning your business by offering highly specialized services like providing mental health furniture for healthcare environments. That way you face less competition.

Now that you have a clear idea and understanding of the extent of your business, you can start getting to work.

Build a Portfolio 

living room interior design

For any type of creative business, a portfolio is an essential item to have to show clients what you’re capable of. How will they know they want to hire you if they don’t know what you can do?

According to entrepreneur.com, you need to take your time to create a portfolio that showcases your style and talent. Building a portfolio of your work before you open your business will help you gain quality clients faster. 

Cultivate Relationships


Networking is a major component of any business, especially small, new businesses. Creating relationships with individuals in your area is vital to getting your business off the ground. 

If you are in charge of hiring people to create your designs, get to know contractors. Set up meetings and build relationships to ensure you have someone to call and count on in your area. 

You’ll also want to meet different suppliers in your area. Suppliers will give you all the materials you need for your dreams, such as flooring, cabinets, or furniture. If you have a good relationship with suppliers in town, you will have a better chance of getting the parts you need and potentially securing some discounts. 

The more people you know in the interior design business, the more successful you will be when launching your own. Take the time to get to know them and let them know who you are. Everyone can benefit from a business relationship. 

Transporting Your Products

Black man moving furniture

Interior design involves carting around products and samples to install or show clients additions for their homes or businesses. In order to move that product, you will need a spacious vehicle. 

Trucks are ideal for this type of work because you have plenty of storage space in the truck bed, and you can tow things when you need to; however, trucks can be expensive. Consider renting rather than purchasing the vehicles you will need for your project hauling needs. Because a truck is not essential for all of your day-to-day work, renting a truck could be a better transporting solution for you.

As a new, small business, you will be tight for money. Consider areas where you can save money now in order to help you out in the future. 

Starting an interior design business is both a scary and exciting process. It is important to consider ahead of time what your business will be specifically, and how you will carry out the work. Once you have a gameplan, you can start your new business off on the right foot. 

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