Declaring that NOW is the time you will go headlong into starting your interior design business can be as scary as a day filled with root canals and a trip to the DMV without an appointment.
Sometimes you want to do it, but you're just not sure of yourself. Or maybe something changed in your life that necessitates that you need to start bringing in the bacon ASAP.
The journey from working for da man to working for yourself can be harrowing and the journey won't be the same for everyone. Some will find the jump more of a hop and others will feel like their leaping across the Grand Canyon.
Here are some tips to help you make the rewarding jump.
Tip #1: Hoard Your Benjamins
Sadly, life requires money. Make sure you've got enough dinero to get you through for a minimum 6 months, but I'd say having a year of savings is even better. I'd sure as hell hate to have quit a job, have no money and look like a big ol' dumbass because I didn't count on not getting clients ASAP.
Tip #2: Make Your Virtual Pad Swingin'
Your online presence must be pulled together tighter than Joan River's face. The website, a couple social media platforms and an email list. You'll know your virtual pad is swinging when you have all the pages, your design services and process laid out, you've got a minimum 10 blog posts and you entire website optimized for SEO.
Tip #3: Do The Boring Shit
Designers hate the boring business shit, but it's important. Like how much money you need to make, how many clients can you take on, how much your design services will cost, how long it takes you to do those design services, what software will you need, what's your marketing plan, what your contract says, what's your advertising budget, what requirements does your state have about being using the "designer" title, getting a business license/DBA, and the list of boring shit goes on.
Don't skip the planning step - it's crucial.
Tip #4: Side Hustle May Be Required
I think doing your business on the side is a really great idea. You can work nights and weekends (well that's part isn't great) to nail down your processes, your communication, your website, etc. This also will give you time to grow a portfolio if you don't have one.
Tip #5: Talk To The Family
Everyone needs to be on board with your decision. Having an open discussion with them about what changes will happen is important. If you're gonna work out of your home, where and what will your business hours be? Working from home can have its own set of problems, so make sure everyone is on the same page with you and totally ready to support you.
Benji Franklin said, "If you fail to plan, you plan to fail". Smart dude.
Is It Time To Quit Your Job And Start Your Interior Design Business?
Being an entrepreneur is a hard journey (but awesome, too!) and you need to make a plan. I'd suggest you do a side hustle while you're still working until you can tell the boss to screw off.
Alycia Wicker is a business coach for creative entrepreneurs. Her clients land more of their own dream clients and make more cash, period. Celebrity gossip whore. Elvis-obsessed.