Welcome to the Interiors Insider blog. A place to share helpful insider tips and inspire you on your journey towards a creative carer on your terms. 

Embarking on a journey into the world of interior design can be as thrilling as it is daunting. Many newcomers to the industry, from fresh design graduates to career-changing mums, encounter a series of roadblocks that can seem insurmountable. Drawing from over a hundred interactions with design startups, I’ve identified ten common challenges and how to overcome them, offering a roadmap for those ready to break into the vibrant field of interior design.

1. Landing Your First Client:

The leap from aspiring interior designer to securing your first project can often feel like the most significant hurdle. The key is persistence and the willingness to embrace every ‘no’ as a step closer to your first ‘yes.’ Building a strong portfolio, even through pro bono work for friends or family, can lay the groundwork for your breakthrough.

2. Knowing Where to Start:

Many new interior designers feel overwhelmed by the myriad of tasks required to set up a business. From marketing strategies to client acquisition, the starting point can seem elusive. Focusing on your brand identity and target audience can help create a clear path forward, setting the foundation for your business’s growth.

3. Transparent Pricing:

One of the industry’s best-kept secrets seems to be pricing structures, which can leave newcomers at a disadvantage. Leveraging resources like the industry pricing and services guide available on Interiors Insider can demystify this aspect, allowing you to price your services confidently.

4. Overcoming Imposter Syndrome:

The feeling of not being “good enough” plagues many in creative fields, especially women. Knowledge, preparation, and surrounding yourself with a supportive community can bolster your confidence and help you realise that you have unique value to offer.

5. Navigating a Secretive Industry:

The perception of interior design as a guarded and competitive field can be intimidating. Creating a support network through mentorship and peer groups can break down these barriers, offering shared knowledge and opportunities.

6. Presenting Proposals to Clients:

New designers often struggle with how to effectively communicate their vision and services to potential clients. A clear, professional presentation that outlines your design process and services can make a significant difference in winning clients over, in fact it can be an absolute game changer for your business.

7. Legal Protection and Contracts:

Understanding the legal aspects of running a design business is crucial for protecting yourself and your work. Investing in professional legal advice to craft a solid contract should be a priority for any new business. We work with and recommend some amazing legal representatives in the group, these are available in The Little Black Book for members.

8. Handling Difficult Clients:

Establishing clear boundaries and communication channels from the outset can prevent many issues with clients. A well-structured contract and clear terms of service are your best defence against potential misunderstandings. I am also a believer in Crystal Clear Communication always

9. Embracing Social Media:

In today’s digital age, a strong social media presence is non-negotiable. Being authentic, showcasing your work, and engaging with your audience can significantly enhance your brand’s visibility and attract clients.

10. Addressing Common Fears:

Fear of failure, rejection, or not being good enough can hold many back from pursuing their dreams. Recognising that these fears are common and surmountable with the right mindset and support system is the first step towards overcoming them.

Starting an interior design business comes with its set of challenges, but with determination, a willingness to learn, and the support of a community, these roadblocks can be navigated successfully. Remember, every successful designer started somewhere, and with the right approach, you too can build a thriving interior design business. For more insights and guidance, tune in to our podcast episode ‘When to share your Pricing with Clients’, and join our community at Interiors Insider over on instagram here.

Navigating The Common Roadblocks for New Interior Designers

February 14, 2024