Becoming an independent interior designer can be an incredibly profitable business that allows you the freedom to design your own lifestyle.
As a new interior design entrepreneur, the idea of building a business that makes enough money is exciting but understanding how much to charge can be confusing.
Before we dive into how to value your services and design packages that wow, we need to talk about your mindset first.
Money mindset is an incredibly interesting topic and one that all new business owners should take the time to explore.
Having the right money mindset is crucial to achieving your financial goals. To start making the money you want from your business, you need to make sure you shroud money and those who have money, in a positive light. Put yourself into the shoes of the person who has already made their fortune (or humble amount if that’s what you desire) and start getting comfortable with how good it feels.
Once you start working on your mindset with money and in general, you’ll soon realise it requires ongoing attention. As you and your business grow, you’ll come across objections and find yourself standing in your own way at times, but awareness is everything!
Remember these key things:
- You’re going to feel fear at times, it’s natural. Growth only happens when you step outside of your comfort zone. Become acquainted with fear and as the saying goes - feel the fear and do it anyway!
- Done is better than perfect. Don’t let perfection stand in your way of growth. Always take small imperfect action over standing still.
- There is no success or failure. Instead, all business owners’ experiment, test, tweak and try again. Sometimes with better results than others.
- Kick comparisonitis in the derrière! Imposter syndrome happens to us all, but it’s important to remember all of the one-of-a-kind qualities only you can bring to the table.
Now to get down to the nitty gritty! What services are you going to offer? Have a think about all of the possible options you can offer as an interior designer and then scale them down to what you love doing and what you’re great at, for instance colour consultancy, soft furnishings, spatial planning etc.
Then you’ll need to think about the deliverables associated with these services, what would the client expect with these services, for example a written report, mood board or technical drawings.
Finally, what processes need to be put in place to ensure you can deliver? Do you need to provide an initial consultation, written report, concepts, revisions or project management?
When working through the offer, keep the rule of 3 in mind and don’t offer too much. Remember if you give a client too many options, they’re likely to get confused and not make any decisions – not what you want!
Interior design clients will shop around locally and compare prices so you need to do some thorough competitor analysis. This exercise will give you a clear understanding of the market you’re working in and how to set yourself apart.
Whether you price similarly or completely differently will be down to the results you find:
- Gather data from at least 5 interior designers in your area or sphere
- Analyse the price points and packages
- Compare the ranges in price, in relation to where you fit it
When deciding where you fit, you don’t have to fit the mould, disrupting the market is okay if you have proper justification.
How much do you need to earn is based on all of your outgoings and overheads. List all of your business and personal expenses so you know what the minimum amount is you need to earn. Add a discretionary amount for leisure and hobbies.
Then add on tax to show you what you need to bring in as a baseline goal. Remember your baseline is the minimum you need to get by but as your business grows so will your rates.
This is the fun part – take that amount and split it out per month, per day and per hour – this should give you a good idea of your hourly rate.
Once you have this you’ll need to think about your billable hours vs the hidden hours you work when it comes to your packages.
When you’re starting out it is crucial to keep a record for how long things take in relation to how much you’re charging.
For example, for an hour consultation might involve 4 hours of work including research, prep and follow ups. So you wouldn’t just charge for that one hour.
You need to think about all of the added extras including samples, admin time, meetings, mood boards, design time etc.
Analyse your time log regularly, categorise by task and see where you’re spending the most time. This is where you can start to think about outsourcing or taking additional training in the areas that take you longer.
Valuing your services and creating packages that your ideal clients love is a fine art and takes time, constant testing and readjusting. It’s a never-ending process but one that can be enjoyed.
Really get to grips with your own personal pricing by accessing the Hub Insiders Free Pricing Mini Course which has 4 modules that take you through the extensive services and packages you can create, a deeper look into competitor analysis to ensure you’re ahead of the curve as well as essential mindset tips.
Learn how to become a successful interior designer- right from zero to seasoned pro business and studio owner!