5 Ways To Kickstart Your Interior Design Start-Up In 2021

Category: Analysis

Let’s face it. 

Today the worldwide pandemic covid-19 has the global start-up ecosystem experience a knee-jerking situation. 

The latest Global Startup Ecosystem Report claims covid-19 to be a potential “mass extinction event” for start-ups globally. 

Be it AI and tech or fashion and lifestyle (like the interior design industry), whatever is your operation domain, the covid-19 has disrupted every business’s traditional workflow. 

So, the million-dollar question here is what could be the solution to this major crisis? 

Enter design thinking

Adapting to design thinking’s creative mindset broadens your perspective to find efficient solutions for your business. 

Be it adapting to a new model of business operation or championing a specific hurdle, design thinking ensures you can alter unfavorable situations into favorable outcomes.

So, if you are thinking of launching an agency model business like that of interior design, the covid-19 might not be the worst possible time. 

Infact, it’s quite the opposite. 

The global pandemic can potentially prove to be one of the best times to launch. 

Here’s why!

How viable is an interior design start-up during the pandemic? 

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Launching a start-up in itself is hard. And now, with newer constraints, the challenges of setting a start-up into motion just got harder by multiple dimensions.

However, there is a chink in the armor. 

If you dig deeper, you will find there are few exceptions. An agency model is one of the most promising of those anomalies.

Having negligible entry-level barriers, agency models have enormous flexibility of cloud collaboration. 

The virtual team collaboration model has been so beneficial for businesses that it is garnering popularity exponentially. There is almost a 25% growth of virtual teams between 2010 to 2018, globally.

This means you can kickstart your business in no time without compromising on building a high-performance team. 

An interior design start-up is one of the agency model’s most prominent verticals. So, you can utilize every facet of creative solutions of a typical agency model optimally. 

Here are some of the reasons why launching your interior design start-up now is the best decision: 

  • High market demand: The interior design industry is a high growth industry with its demand trends reaching new heights each year. The total estimated market size is between $20billion to $30billion alone in India (during the year 2020-2025). 

So, you can skip mulling over running out of work. 

  • Shallow seed investment: The best part of starting a service-based business like interior design start-up is you need meagre start-up funding. 

Plus it is always viable to start your business by freelancing a few clients. 

  • Limited liabilities registration: You can always concentrate your attention on gaining a little traction for your interior design start-up in the initial days. 

Registering your gig is not at all a must step in the initial days. 

  • Flexible operation: Perhaps the biggest plus of an interior design service business is the nimbleness it provides in working conditions. You have the flexibility to choose your comfortable time zone and place. 

With so many possibilities in your hand, the designer in you might get excited to start this instance. And rightly so.

The interior design industry is a two-edged sword. What makes it so viable of a business opportunity makes its market competition stiff equally.  

Having one of the least entry-level barriers doesn’t make your journey the easiest.

It is quite the opposite.

With this tough competition, you can’t afford to be a run-of-the-mill design start-up. To have a voice in the crowd, you need to think strategically. 

Start with building a master plan, a blueprint to guide all your business activities. 

Here’s how?

5 ways to kickstart interior design business  

1. Start with developing your brand

The branding of your interior design agency is perhaps the most crucial stage of building your start-up. It not only crafts a solid USP for your product but ensures a long-term relationship with your clients. 

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  • Know Your Niche: It is always a good practice to define what you are already good at? Taking a strategic inside-out approach for developing your scope of work makes sure you already have a clear vision of what you are going to work on in the giant industry of interior design.  Thus starting with anyone service that you have a passion for gives you an edge over others.
  • Define your business scope: While performing this task, it is essential that you set some me-time alone. Ask yourself, does your passion intersect with a need that is already there in the market? If yes, you already have demarcated your start-up scope. 

Remember, you must know what it is that you want to specialize in? Is it the design style or domain of industry? This step will help you to narrow down your services and help you understand the market better. 

  • Define your audience: After you know what product or service you would deliver, you must understand your target customer. Developing a client persona is a beneficial tool at this stage of brand building. Empathizing your ideal audience will give critical insights about their pain points to develop creative solutions finally. At this stage, you need to understand their likes, dislikes, demographics, profession, motivations. 

Finally, the whole process of branding is a long term haul that yields maximum benefits with consistency at each step. 

The more you can sync your business interests with that of your audience’s interest, your business thrives. 

2. Create a core toolkit 

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Having a standard operating toolkit is vital while you are setting up your start-up. The following are some of the key categories of tools you should have in your toolbox. 

  • Communication tools are a must for the smooth processing of your start-up venture. Tools like Slack, Zoom, and Gmail make an excellent choice of effective communication. For one-on-one sessions, Skype is a viable option. 
  • Project management tools like Trello, Asana, and Quire are a life-saver when you plan to distribute work between your workforce, be it vendors or an in-house team.  

These apps focus on higher-level project organizations making communication clear and fast for teams collaborating on the cloud. 

3. Business process tools: 

Business process tools are unique to the requirements of your start-up. The interior design industry requires a handful of software to support its business process. From rendering systems to 3D modelling software, all are essential for an efficient workflow. Thus, investing in a few of the best software for interior design makes sure you save a lot of hassle and money for your start-up in the long run.  

4. Be aggressive in your marketing efforts: 

Getting yourself seen shall be the top priority for you as a new design agency. It is one of the best ways to gain traction over time and make sure that your brand gets noticed. And you surely can’t afford to miss these areas while doing so. 

  • Create a digital presence: You need to create a virtual address for your agency in this digital world. Start with creating a social media presence and then expand to building a website. Don’t forget to optimize your website for the search engines. Make sure your social media pages are keyword and content-rich. You will see a spike in traffic in very little time.
  • Let your audience know you exist: One of the most under-optimized methods while you are just starting your business is cold-mailing. It is always a good idea to pitch your services to an audience you think can potentially be your future customer. Some of the few first customers that your business sees might come from this technique. 
  • Take advantage of email marketing: Creating a relationship with your potential customer today must be your key goal. Gone are those days when all businesses were B2C. Today, C2B is the new norm. Email champions this goal. 
  • Focus on building relationships: Creating a lasting and healthy relationship with all your stakeholders and community is essential for your long term haul. Be it your customer or vendors, or other competitors, maintain a healthy relationship with everyone. There are tons that you can learn and gain from those who are ahead of you. 
  • Build a stellar portfolio: Nothing creates an impression as social proof. You can become unstoppable in no time if you can show consistency in what you claim and what you deliver. So, never miss a chance to get client testimonials whenever you finish a project. It will ensure you stay in business throughout. 

Pro Tip: Always keep your template as fresh as possible. The projects that you display shall never be older than six months or so. 

5. Stay updated on the current design trends: 

The interior design industry changes very fast. Keeping up with the industry trends and the latest global designs is a hip pocket skill that can serve you exceptionally well in the long run.

It can prove to be one of your USP over others. So be creative and always build on ideas of what is already available in the market. 

Final thoughts

There is no one way, right in a start-up landscape.  Every technique is both beneficial and detrimental from different facets. It depends upon your unique situation, which approach would prove to be optimum for your business. 

The above techniques can set you a foundation for kickstarting your interior design business. But remember, always empathize with your ideal customer and try to innovate at every level of decision-making of the start-up.  

And above all, have a strategic approach towards directing your business. You will find your business to reach the milestone in no time. 

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