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Starting a business isn’t always smooth sailing, here are the top 5 mistakes that new interior designers make, so you can avoid doing the same!
1) Wearing Too Many Hats
Keeping things in-house is a great way to save money, but there is always such a thing as too much. If you’re just starting out, you’ll quickly find yourself overwhelmed with all the laws, certifications, startup costs, and other things involved in starting a business. It might seem scary to hire help, especially when you haven’t started making a profit yet, but many times that may be the best thing to do.
We’ve had clients reach out to us because they took care of things like bookkeeping in order to cut costs, but later on they realized that they were not capitalizing on their write-offs and expenses, so they actually ended up losing money when it came to tax season.
Besides bookkeeping, hiring a mentor is a great way to get professional-level advice from someone who has run a successful business. Even just a few hours of mentoring can put you weeks or months ahead of your launch simply because you don’t have to spend time researching all the details yourself.
2) Giving Up
As we’ve already mentioned, starting out a new business can be very stressful. It’s very easy to try to cut yourself losses and give up, but if that’s the choice you end up making, just make sure it’s for the right reasons. Giving up because you’re starting a different business, or no longer have the capacity to run the business is one thing, but don’t give up because you can’t find clients, or because the whole business side of things is a headache even though you love the work itself.
Again, as we said before, look into hiring help. If you love interior designing but don’t like the paperwork or speaking with potential clients, you can hire a bookkeeper and an assistant who does the questionnaires for you. If you find yourself having difficulty finding clients, hire a marketing company for a few months to see if they can help you find clients, or reach out to relatives to see if they require your services so you can get some good client testimonials.
3) Not Having a Plan
A business is first and foremost a venture to make money. A business that does not generate revenue is more like a hobby. As a business, one thing you definitely need is a business plan. This includes a plan for the short term and the long term. Jumping into business without a plan could be disastrous, especially when you get too busy to form a plan later on.
A business plan is crucial when it comes to growing the business, and making sure you have systems in place to be able to handle that growth. Many businesses fail even with growth because they don’t plan for that growth, and then customer satisfaction starts dropping as you start falling behind on deadlines.
It’s very easy to get into the mentality that you want the best for your business from the beginning. You might want to go out and buy the best computer, the best interior design software, hire the best bookkeeping company, and lease the most prime location in your city, but that could set you up for failure.
If you don’t scale your company up over time, you’ll most likely end up putting yourself into financial debt that your business cannot climb out of. Imagine trying to run a business where you’re starting off your first month in an extra $500,000 in debt. That’s money you could have used towards marketing, or hiring an extra person to handle sales.
5) Selling Yourself Short
When you start a company, you might look around at other companies that do something similar and feel like you should do it much cheaper because you’re just starting out whereas they’re professionals. Don’t fall into this mentality, because the price you charge should be based on your actual costs as well as the salary you want to pay yourself. There’s always going to be someone that’ll do it cheaper, and trying to undercut them will quickly lead to you draining your bank account.
Something we love to see is when people come to the understanding that they’d rather make $500 per high-quality lead and work with 5 people per month for $2,500 per month, rather than make $50 per lead and work with 50 people per month for $2,500 per month. It’s the same money, just a lot less work since you won’t have to go through the whole lead process 45 times more than you need to.
If you’re starting an interior design business and are feeling overwhelmed, feel free to contact us and we can help you in whatever way we can. If you need a company to help with your bookkeeping and/or taxes, we can do that as well.