Becoming an interior designer can be an exciting but nerve-wracking job. You have the creative tools to create and mold a space into whatever you want it to be, but at the same time, you have to follow strict instructions and guidelines set for you by your customer.
This is where the stress comes in, as what you create might not be what they want due to poor communication on their end. Regardless of that fact, becoming an interior designer is an extremely rewarding job if it interests you and will keep you busy for the rest of your life.
Here are some worth to know facts before becoming an interior designer.
Know What It Takes to Become an Interior Designer
Just like with any career path, you have to take the necessary steps and educational courses to become a designer. Once you have graduated and gotten your degree, then you can start looking for work in your field, gain experience and call yourself a successful designer one day.
This is where the first major obstacle comes into play. How do you get the necessary education and how do you find schools that offer you the right courses? You can look up for experts in the field, such as interiordesignedu.org, who provide information or even have listed all major schools in each state that offer the education necessary to become an interior designer. A little work goes a long way, so do your research and find the best school for you.
Once you have gotten into a school, prepare for a few years of courses and study. While the classwork might be frustrating, keep in mind that it is all to get you towards your dream job. You must know what it takes to become an interior designer in your state and where to get the education.
Communication With Customers
Once you have begun your job, it is now time to start designing people's houses. As an interior designer, you need to have exceptional communication skills so that you may capture what the customer wants while keeping it realistic and affordable for them.
This means talking to your customers every step of the way. The first thing that you would want to do is set up a meeting with them and understand what they are looking for in their room or house. Once you have gotten all of their ideas out, take these home and begin to create a sketch of what you have in mind for their home.
Bring this sketch to them and get their approval. If they are happy with what they are seeing, you are now free to begin your work. Keep in mind, however, that not everything goes according to plan and there might be some hiccups or budget issues that will arise during the project. When this happens, you must make the effort to communicate this all with your customer.
If you approach them with these concerns, they will be understanding and flexible and will come up with a new alternative for you. If you fail to do this, you will end up creating a product that they are not happy with, causing more hassle and problems. Always communicate with your clients and understand what they want.
Interior designing is a very competitive market, as there are hundreds, if not thousands of skilled individuals looked to be hired for their work. Therefore, you have to find a way to market yourself out and be competitively priced in relation to others.
When you are first starting out, people will not know who you are, therefore you will have to charge lower prices to build good rapport in the area and build a customer base. The more notoriety you gain, the more you will be able to charge as people will be seeking you out for your services.
It is important to remember that no matter how good you are at your job, you have to be competitively priced with those around your skill level. You will quickly find that people will choose the lower-priced options as saving money is an important aspect of life. Always ensure that your services are competitively priced and fair for your clients.
By following the above steps, you should be able to have a successful interior design career with the right amount of background knowledge. Expect your client base to grow the more you work and soon, you will be able to charge more money for your services. What is your favorite room to design?
3 Min Read
"How did you ever get into a business like that?" people ask me. They're confounded to hear that my product is industrial baler wire—a very unfeminine pursuit, especially in 1975 when I founded my company in the midst of a machismo man's world. It's a long story, but I'll try to shorten it.
I'd never been interested to enter the "man's" world of business, but when I discovered a lucrative opportunity to become my own boss, I couldn't pass it up—even if it involved a non-glamorous product. I'd been fired from my previous job working to become a ladies' clothing buyer and was told at my dismissal, "You just aren't management or corporate material." My primary goal then was to find a career in which nobody had the power to fire me and that provided a comfortable living for my two little girls and myself.
Over the years, I've learned quite a few tough lessons about how to successfully run a business. Below are five essential elements to keep in mind, as well as my story on how I learned them.
Find A Need And Fill It
I gradually became successful at selling various products, which unfortunately weren't profitable enough to get me off the ground, so I asked people what they needed that they couldn't seem to get. One man said, "Honey, I need baler wire. Even the farmers can't get it." I saw happy dollar signs as he talked on and dedicated myself to figuring out the baler wire industry.
I'd never been interested to enter the "man's" world of business, but when I discovered a lucrative opportunity to become my own boss, I couldn't pass it up.
Now forty-five years later, I'm proud to be the founder of Vulcan Wire, Inc., an industrial baler wire company with $10 million of annual sales.
Have Working Capital And Credit
There were many pitfalls along the way to my eventual success. My daughters and I were subsisting from my unemployment checks, erratic alimony and child-support payments, and food stamps. I had no money stashed up to start up a business.
I paid for the first wire with a check for which I had no funds, an illegal act, but I thought it wouldn't matter as long as I made a deposit to cover the deficit before the bank received the check. My expectation was that I'd receive payment immediately upon delivery, for which I used a rented truck.
Little did I know that this Fortune 500 company's modus operandi was to pay all bills thirty or more days after receipts. My customer initially refused to pay on the spot. I told him I would consequently have to return the wire, so he reluctantly decided to call corporate headquarters for this unusual request.
My stomach was in knots the whole time he was gone, because he said it was iffy that corporate would come through. Fifty minutes later, however, he emerged with a check in hand, resentful of the time away from his busy schedule. Stressed, he told me to never again expect another C.O.D. and that any future sale must be on credit. Luckily, I made it to the bank with a few minutes to spare.
Know Your Product Thoroughly
I received a disheartening phone call shortly thereafter: my wire was breaking. This horrible news fueled the fire of my fears. Would I have to reimburse my customer? Would my vendor refuse to reimburse me?
My customer told me to come over and take samples of his good wire to see if I might duplicate it. I did that and educated myself on the necessary qualities.
My primary goal then was to find a career in which nobody had the power to fire me and that provided a comfortable living for my two little girls and myself.
Voila! I found another wire supplier that had the right specifications. By then, I was savvy enough to act as though they would naturally give me thirty-day terms. They did!
More good news: My customer merely threw away all the bad wire I'd sold him, and the new wire worked perfectly; he then gave me leads and a good endorsement. I rapidly gained more wire customers.
Anticipate The Dangers Of Exponential Growth
I had made a depressing discovery. My working capital was inadequate. After I purchased the wire, I had to wait ten to thirty days for a fabricator to get it reconfigured, which became a looming problem. It meant that to maintain a good credit standing, I had to pay for the wire ten to thirty days before my customers paid me.
I was successful on paper but was incredibly cash deprived. In other words, my exponentially growing business was about to implode due to too many sales. Eventually, my increasing sales grew at a slower rate, solving my cash flow problem.
Delegate From The Bottom Up
I learned how to delegate and eventually delegated myself out of the top jobs of CEO, President, CFO, and Vice President of Finance. Now, at seventy-eight years old, I've sold all but a third of Vulcan's stock and am semi-retired with my only job currently serving as Vice President of Stock and Consultant.
In the interim, I survived many obstacles and learned many other lessons, but hopefully these five will get you started and help prevent some of you from having the same struggles that I did. And in the end, I figured it all out, just like you will.