Tips for Starting a Home Staging Business
If you've always loved HGTV and had a knack for home design, why not make a career out of it? Now is the perfect time to get started on a home staging or interior design business because you can spend time at home focused on creating a plan and implementing a strategy. Here are some steps to get started:
Research the Pros & Cons: Like with any business, there will be risk involved. Be sure to do your research.
Create a Plan: This is essential for any type of business you're opening. What will your startup costs and ongoing expenses be? Who is your target audience and how will you reach them?
Form a Legal Entity: Decide on a business structure and establish a legal business entity. An LLC will prevent you from being personally liable if any legal issues arise, however, there are yearly fees involved.
Register for Taxes: Apply for an EIN number in your state - it's free.
Get a Business Bank Account & Credit Card: In order for an LLC to be valid, you must separate your personal and business assets! A credit card will come in handy to keep your expenses all in one place, and will build company credit history.
Get Permits / Licenses in Order: Each state has different requirements for home staging and interior design permits. Research your state here. If you aren't working out of a home office, you may also have to apply for a Certificate of Occupancy.
Service Contract & Business Insurance: Be sure to have a service contract in place once you start accepting new clients so everything is legally binding. If you're hiring any independent contractors (for extra help, moving, etc.) also have a contract so you aren't held liable for any incidents. Insurance is also recommended and sometimes required, especially if you'll have employees.
Brand Your Company: What will you name your company? What does your company stand for? What types of designs do you want to be known for (i.e., modern, contemporary, rustic, etc.). What do you want your brand to look like online? Create a logo, chose typography, develop mood board for inspiration, choose a color palette and create a brand design guideline.
Create Pricing Structure: What will you charge clients? Consider your ongoing expense, contract labor expenses and the amount of time each job will take. Creating a formula for pricing in which you can simply plug all of your information in for each job will help you provide easy and simple pricing estimates.
Market Your Company Online: A website is essential and should be your first priority. When people want to hire someone, chances are they'll start their search online! Set up a free Google Business page, and create all of your company social media pages. Be sure to check available domains and social handles before naming your company to ensure it's available and no one else is using it.
Network: Join some real estate Facebook groups in your area. Offer your services at a discounted rate in exchange for a testimonial. Be sure to take images of each job you do to develop a portfolio!
1) Starting a Home Staging Business, How to Start an LLC
2) Thinking about Starting a Home Staging Business?, Small Business Trends
3) How to Start a Home Staging Business, The Balance Small Business