Starting A Career In Interior Design

Written by
Rebecca Smith

Published
Sep 2, 2021

Sep 2, 2021 • by Rebecca Smith

Planning is key to starting a career in interior design if you don’t have a degree. Most clients are more interested in your skills and experience with interior design than whether you have a degree. When trying to start a career in the interior design business, the most important thing to do is to provide professional and skilled services.

If you're thinking of starting an interior design business, but don't have a degree, it is important to keep in mind that you will be competing against thousands upon thousands of companies or individuals with different backgrounds, educations, and levels of experience. Some might have diplomas or certificates, while others may not. It is crucial that you carefully plan your strategy to start your own interior design company.

If you don't have a strong client network, the greatest obstacle for you to start your design business is to find clients and to make it possible to market themselves in the industry.

Most startup interior designers worry too much about the logistics of cost or other more technical parts of the business. Instead of planning the rates of your professional services, setting up contract templates, and creating your company name, let's begin by looking at what you have already available to you.

Three Critical Steps to Starting an Interior Design Company if You Don’t Have a Degree

Step 1 - Defining your Strongest Skillsets

Being able to identify your strengths, especially when you start an interior design company is crucial. This can be done by looking back at past successful projects such as the time you bought that old restaurant furniture and resold it as part of a kitchen set for a profit, and asking yourself how you handled that particular project. You might want to consider the following questions:

  • Are you more skilled in commercial or residential interiors, or can you do both?
  • Are you a stronger designer, more skilled in project management, or more technical?
  • You might be more successful in acquiring new clients, marketing, sales, and bringing in new projects.
  • Are you more hands-on and experienced in interior design?

This is a crucial step as it can affect how you place yourself in your interior design company, especially if you're just starting out. If you are more skilled in the business, marketing, or sales aspects of interior design, you might need to form a team for other posts such as designers, project managers, etc. You may not need to bring on any others to start your business. This can help reduce overhead and costs until you get more clients.

Planning how to start an interior company without a degree is important. The strategy should be developed first. Secondary stuff like the business name, logo, branding, cards, website, etc. can be added later.

Step 2 - Defining Your Networks

This is where you will need to consider what networks and contacts you currently have. Are you able to establish a client base? Do they include residential clients, commercial clients, or both? Are you in touch with contractors? Are you a member of any networking groups such as construction associations, business associations, or sports clubs?

It's okay to not have any networks. Most Interior Designers who are just starting their interior design company won't have any contacts.

It is important to grasp the importance of networking and learn how to get clients into the industry. If you have a network of Contractors, you might present your business differently to them. Your business presentation will be different if you have Property Developers and Builders as your contacts.

Your interior design business model and service models will be determined by the type of client base. Each type of client can have a completely different type of business or service model.

Step 3 - Defining the Problems & the Solutions

After you've completed steps 1, 2, and 3 you need to decide how you want to be able to compete with other Interior Designers, with or without a degree and all other interior designers.

These are the 3 most important questions you should ask yourself.

  • What advantages do you offer your clients?
  • Why client would like to hire you
  • What is the main problem your client faces?

It is essential to know the answers to these three questions in order to compete in your industry and gain clients. The following questions should be asked:

  • Are you able to solve problems that other Interior Designers cannot?
  • Are you able to provide services that other Interior Designers cannot offer?
  • Are you more skilled in your job and is this important for the clients?
  • Perhaps you are an Interior Designer with special skills.

You must convince clients why you are the right choice for them in this competitive industry. It takes a lot of time to be an Interior Designer who is creative and talented.

How to start an interior design business without a degree

Although it is easy to start an interior design company, you should ensure that you have the right training and experience before you can launch your interior design firm. Having the wrong type of interior design training could make starting an interior design company difficult. It is essential to plan how you will start your interior design business once you have completed the training.

Remember that you as an interior designer are responsible for the work of your clients. To reduce your risk, you should have interior training that is effective.