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Start-Up Opportunities For Interior Architecture And Design

Startups at their initial stage invest an enormous amount of funding in marketing activities instead of growing and focusing on their services and products.

India’s home interiors and renovation market is massive, estimated to be between USD 20 Billion- USD 30 Billion. However, the interior design industry poses several challenges for designers, whether in start-ups or established firms. The challenge begins from getting the projects to the after-sales services and everything in between. Startups experience an additional set of challenges like meeting capital needs, team sizes, processes, offering a space experience, managing vendors and suppliers, and more. Today, start-up design studios need to manage marketing, sales, design, manufacturing, and installation all on their own. Due to their small team size, lower resources, and lack of skills, design studios often find it difficult to scale their business beyond a few projects per month.

If you have a passion for planning spaces and coordinating furnishings and accessories, then lifestyle designing is your forte. Interior designers, aka decorators, strive relentlessly to beautify, improve and update the appearance and functionality of interior spaces in both residential and business settings. Many designers specialize in a particular type of design, like kitchen design or lighting solutions, while some augment their income by selling decorative products like accessories and furniture. All these synchronizations need thorough research and continuous follow-ups on the latest trends and innovations, just to update your catalog with the latest inclusions. Interior design is a market that is volatile and promising at the same time, which will only allow you to flourish if you…

Manage the lead flow

Startups at their initial stage invest an enormous amount of funding in marketing activities instead of growing and focusing on their services and products. Since the commencement of a business, there should be an equilibrium in investments, which will eradicate lower lead generation through limited marketing activity and referrals. Today, having a website is essential, especially when it comes to creative services like interior design. Your website needs to be a stunner – an online showroom that makes your audience go ‘wow’ at first glance. Your work is an art, and so the website should be a work of art too. View your website as a showcase and not just a lead generation platform (though it needs to be that too.) If you focus on creating a high-quality, luxurious experience for your visitors, they will associate your business with those positive feelings. 

Create a quick quotation firsthand

The quotation is the first formal document presented by the interior design service provider to a prospective client. It is imperative to get it right. The timing of sending quotations to your client plays a significant role in moving your name from the prospective list of just another vendor to the vendor under evaluation. Always try to send the quotation immediately after your first communication with the client. Even better would be to share the quote in the first meeting itself, if possible. You can be prepared to create quotations instantly based on your client’s requirements if you are equipped with the right tools for writing a professional quotation.

Customer relationship management through tools and experience centers

CRM platforms have different features, but at the core, they all have a common goal of helping businesses manage their client relations. This includes creating and maintaining positive relationships with customers, a vital skill to have as an interior designer. It doesn’t matter how hard you work on your mood boards and color palettes; if you can’t gain or retain your clients, you won’t be able to grow your business. This is the reason behind interior designers opting for CRM tools to streamline their relationship management. On the other hand, to sustain a business, there should be samples to catch the customer’s eye in person. This would require a well-organized experience center where your brand would speak for itself. 

Have a concealed vendor management with warranty

Design studios find it hard to tie up with factories and manage the production. Many times, there is a mismatch between the design and the actual product. Difficulty in managing blue-collar installation teams, carpenters at the site, untrained carpenters, etc. To avoid this managerial ruckus, you need to have connections with reliable people who can deliver exactly what you ask for on time. Make sure you build relationships with cabinet suppliers, Appliance distributors, General contractors, Countertop suppliers, Textile suppliers, and any other vendors you’ll require to fulfill the routine orders. Client’s expect a certain level of customer service, but is it reasonable to expect interior designers to extend warranties on the pieces they source? There should be a simple and no-loss policy, and it is not mandatory to offer any warranties on purchases. However, companies should provide clients an opportunity to opt-in or out of manufacturer-extended warranties whenever applicable with retail merchandise. 

Every project is an innovation

Every project comes with a unique set of requirements, a challenging part of the interior design industry. It ranges across a broad spectrum of elements like design, furniture, materials, color palette, furnishings, and more. Since residential interior projects are majorly personalized, they come with various challenges of customizing the space, timely delivery, budgets, quality output, and design innovation. These challenges can be met by undertaking services of interior firms that provide supporting services to the design entrepreneur, freelancers, boutique agencies, and studios. Through such programs, practicing designers can access advanced technology software, ready-made catalogs, integrated manufacturing processes, expert installation teams, and after-sales support for their customers. The implication of these services can bring a positive shift in the result of the start-up design firms and can raise the earnings by 2-3x normally by focusing on what they do best – Designs.

The bottom line

Your clients will believe in your business and talent for interior designing more if you can project yourself as an authority in your field. To do so, you can start a blog on interior design. Write in an authoritative tone that people can believe in what you are talking about in your blogs. This will help in building your company’s brand image and overall reputation.

Source: Business World

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