Interior design is the process of enhancing the interior spaces of a building to achieve a more beautiful and appealing environment for the inhabitants. In this post, you will learn how to start an interior design business in Nigeria.
How to start a successful interior design business in Nigeria
Here is how to start a successful interior design business in Nigeria:
1. Choose a specialty and get some experience
Gone are the days when the same person or business can design homes, churches, restaurants, museums, and even workplaces.
Today, the interior design business is very specialized, just like every other business. Your chosen specialty will be determined by your talents and gifts. After your interior design business is created, your chosen specialty will determine what services you will offer your clients.
After deciding on the desired specialty, you should get adequate training in it. Meet with other professionals and go with them each time they get an order to design a place. This may take time, depending on how fast you learn things.
2. Create a business plan
A business plan is very crucial to every startup business. It will guide and direct you on what you do. You would have planned for everything possible and then note it down in a book or on your computer.
After figuring everything out and you feel your business now has a solid and successful plan, you should proceed with starting your interior design business in Nigeria. While starting, follow the business plan you outlined earlier and implement it back to back.
That way, you won’t miss anything or forget to make an important decision. Here are a few things your business plan should include when starting an interior design business in Nigeria.
- Executive summary
- Company Overview
- Customer analysis
- Competitive analysis
- Market research
- Marketing Plan
- Operations plan
- Startup costs
- Financial plan and lots more
Also read: How to write a business plan
3. Raise the startup capital
The next step is to get investment for your new interior design business. Your business plan will include your startup and operation costs, so you definitely know how much money you will need to stand on your feet.
You can use your own personal money to bootstrap your interior decoration business before looking out for other funding sources. You can persuade wealthy individuals to invest in you or meet with venture capitalists.
If you don’t mind, you can visit commercial and microfinance banks and obtain a loan for your new interior design business.
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4. Brand your interior design business
Branding is a valuable business and marketing concept that helps to distinguish your business from your competitors. That way, your interior design services will have their own recognition in the market.
You can start your branding process by choosing a name for your interior decor company. Your business name should be simple but meaningful, somehow related to the services you offer while being visually appealing and easy to remember.
The next thing is your logo. But it doesn’t end there. While many new business owners think branding is just business naming and logo design, it’s not. There are many other things to branding, some of which are:
- Marketing format and advertising
- Customer service style
- Staff uniforms
- Business cards
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5. Register your interior design business with the CAC
Your interior design brand is almost up and running. While this is not compulsory, it will help in many ways. Aside from giving you fewer legal troubles in the future, it will make your business and services look more credible to potential clients.
The Corporate Affairs Commission (CAC) is the body concerned with the registration of businesses in Nigeria. You can use the website and visit any physical branch that is closest to you.
Note that you should have decided which business structure you want to operate before you proceed to register your interior design business. A sole proprietorship is the easiest to start while an LLC is more difficult.
In the long run, the latter is safer than the former. An LLC will protect your personal properties even if your business goes bankrupt or closes down due to bad debt.
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6. Set your pricing
How to charge your clients as an interior design business
1. Charging a flat or fixed fee
Once a client briefs you about the specifics of the job and you are clear about what you will do and what you will not, you will propose a fixed amount of payment.
This will cover all the development, specifications, layout, and installation as well as your own profit.
2. Time-based fee
In this case, you will propose a payment rate based on the number of hours, weeks, or months spent on carrying out the interior design job.
3. Project percentage fee
You will get a markup percentage of the project’s total cost. This will also include all the artwork and furniture purchased to complete the project for the client.
4. Retainer with the balance paid upon completion
An advance payment will be made to your interior design business. When you complete the work to the client’s satisfaction, the remainder will be paid.
5. Cost plus
This will only work if you sell interior decoration items alongside your interior design service. You will purchase items for the project at wholesale price and then charge the client at the retail price.
6. Cost per square foot
This depends on the type of interior design job demanded by the client. In this case, the payment will be calculated based on the total square footage of the space to be designed.
7. Market your interior design business
There are many methods with which you can promote your decoration business and attract potential customers. Here are some of them.
- Meet with local newspapers and magazines
- Get a website and learn basic SEO
- Build an email list and use email marketing to your advantage
- List your interior design business on local business listing sites
- Ask your clients to refer you to new customers
- Start a blog for your interior design business
Also read: How to market a business in Nigeria
Starting an interior design business in Nigeria might sound like a difficult task. However, it’s not that hard if you follow the steps outlined in this article.
You can get hired to design office spaces, luxury hotels, rich homes, museums, churches, and many other buildings inhabited by humans. As an interior design business, you can specialize in commercial interior design, residential interior design, or both.