02 Feb Interior Design Business in Nigeria: The Ultimate Guide
Becoming a boss as an interior designer must be intriguing, but this detailed guide on starting an Interior Design Business in Nigeria will put you right on track on how to go about it.
Getting started can be scary, but it is also an essential step into achieving anything good. After going through this guide, you will be anxious to start and grow your interior design business, though the economic trails in Nigeria can be daunting you can be sure to overcome with the help of this guide.
Without much ado, let’s dive right in.
- Why should you start your business?
- Business overview
- Educational and Professional Requirements
- On getting started
- Growing your business
WHY SHOULD YOU START YOUR INTERIOR DESIGN BUSINESS?
Salary earning in Nigeria sometimes can be cruel, as most people always want a raise in their salary as soon as possible. This is not mainly just for increment sake, but that of the economy as inflation keeps rising overnight.
The chart below shows the level of inflation from 2014-2018.
However, instead of looking to increase your salary/wages with little or no assurance, how about being in control of your earnings? This will not be easy at first but will pay off on the long run, with you being in control, thus moving along with the economic trend.
In the interior design field, there is almost guarantee of success, but success comes with determination, persistence and hard work, and if you’re religious, having faith in that you believe in and yourself would go a long way in ensuring success.
Still not convinced on why you should start, despite your sixth sense telling to do so, and also the fact that you had to read this article? Now I’ll give you five (5) good reasons why you should start.
- Freedom from salary earning
- Financial freedom
- Being in control of your time, skills and resources
- Building a legacy for yourself and not for your boss
- Achieving your dreams
I am convinced that mere thoughts of these five reasons would give you the required motivation to read through the rest of the subject and in turn start up your own Interior Design Business.
Interior designers are like human psychologists, but in this case, they blend the understanding of human wants and desire for their space, home, offices, etc. with the concept of how and what should fit in based on their experience, technical know-how, and available resources.
An interior design firm is tasked with space management such as homes, offices, hotels, churches, mosques, skyscrapers, etc. These spaces are categorized into commercial and residential interior design.
Therefore, an interior design firm may specialize in one category or both, but it’s always advisable to be a professional in one.
WHO IS YOUR TARGET MARKET ?
Who needs your services? Knowing and understanding your future clients and their needs is paramount in starting up your business. This can be executed by pure market research or a buyer’s persona.
This research and knowledge would give you the basic understanding of your clients need and what your design business should be offering.
In addition, one has to understand and have the knowledge on how to incorporate design materials and elements such as paints, furniture, lights, indoor plants and so much more, to better fit his clients’ needs and also attractive to the general public.
At the early stages, the kind of clients you would be getting is the low budget ones. The ones with too many questions, difficult to work with, and might end up not employing you for your services.
But don’t be discouraged, as your business grows, the easy to get along with clients with enticing budgets would table offers for you, pending on the quality of your portfolio.
INTERIOR DESIGN BUSINESS GROWTH POTENTIAL.
How high or significant can my design business grow in Nigeria? The level of growth for an internal design business is limitless. Just as every other business, it depends on a whole lot on the capital, funding on the long run, uniqueness, determination to succeed in the ever-changing market, and ability to be competitive.
A list published in 2017 by Interior Design on the top 100 interior design giants with their respective design fees in millions. This would give you a glimpse of growth potential for your interior design business.
The list of the first ten is below.
- Genslar located in San Francisco earns a reported $536 million
- Perkins+Wills located in Chicago earns a reported $180 million
- AECOM located in Los Angeles makes a reported $172 million
- HOK situated in St. Louis earns a reported $164 million
- Jacobs located in Dallas earns a reported $152 million
- Hirsch Bender Associates located in Santa Monica makes $143 million
- IA Interior Architects located in San Francisco earns a reported $120 million
- Stantec located in Edmonton wins a reported $115 million
- Nelson located in Minneapolis earns a reported $102 million
- HKS located in Dallas makes a reported $96 million
An interior design firm in Nigeria can earn an estimated N2 – N5 millions annually, mostly when situated in big cities like Lagos, Abuja, and Port Harcourt.
COST OF CAPITAL NEEDED
Capital is one of the essential things needed in starting up a business. It is necessary to know how much is required, and how to source the funds. But first, you need to know where and what would eat up your capital.
In Nigeria, the Nigerian Cooperative Affairs Commission also known as the CAC is responsible for business registration in Nigeria. But before registering a business, you need to answer the following questions.
- What kind of business? There are three major types namely; Sole Proprietorship, private limited liability company, public limited liability company.
- Business Name, you have to provide at least three business names. The reason being that the proposed name might have been in use by another company/business. You can check for a variety of business names from this interior design name generator.
RENTING AN OFFICE SPACE?
You would need an office space to receive clients and customers and also to perform necessary tasks. Depending on your location, the cost of renting an office space differs.
Also, it highly depends on the number of staffs you want to begin with, but for a start, about 3-5 crews are ok. Then you can go on to get furniture and other office equipment needed.
Moreover, all these should be done based on budget, estimation and the structure of the business.
On another case, if you want your interior business to be strictly online for a start, then you need to set up a website designed appropriately to suit your needs. When you have online biz, you can work from home.
EDUCATIONAL AND PROFESSIONAL REQUIREMENTS
In any professional career and businesses, you will need to attain some level of education before starting. An interior decorator might not require these requirements, but surely for an interior designer, architectural and structural designer.
Degrees in interior designing should be attained in institutions that offer interior design courses. This list of top 5 interior design schools in Nigerian should give you a heads up on which of the schools to choose from, and also the cost of enrolling in any.
Also, you can as well enroll in online schools which offers online interior designing courses, in case you like the idea of studying from home.
To set yourself apart from your competitors, you can proceed to get higher degrees such as Masters. This higher qualification would provide more bait to your potential customers, as they would know that you are a professional in what you do.
In addition to your educational qualifications, you will need a good foundation in interior design experience as well as working as an intern, assistant and full-term job to an already established firm would give you the required experience.
Similarly, you can also do some free jobs for family and friends; this would give you an insight as to how good you are and what exactly you will be offering your clients.
ON GETTING STARTED.
After your mind is made up to start your own interior design business in Nigeria depending on your locality, the following steps would guide you on getting started, to avoid unnecessary waste of money and resources.
- Get a Business Name
- Brand your Business
- A Designer Portfolio
- Get an office space
- Develop a Marketing Plan
- Obtain necessary Licenses and Permits
- Business Insurance
- Create a list of your Design Packages and Prices
- Create a Web/Online Presence
Added point. Get a business mentor or a professional mentor to guide you through the thick and thin in running a successful business.
GROWING MY INTERIOR DESIGN BUSINESS
This phase is essential in ensuring that your business grows and gets to the required audience.
Attending Local and international workshops related to interior design, architectural design and interior decorations.
Network yourself and business with architects, structural designers, artists, property managers and companies, real estate brokers, Home developers, and many more contacts to enlarge your coast and outreach.
Furthermore, if you have a website, you can work with some marketing strategies such as optimizing your site using the best SEO practices and online marketing, writing great and enticing contents related to your business.
Also, create social accounts such as Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, Pinterest, and LinkedIn, and market your business on these platforms. Make your proper use of social influencers, news outlets and bloggers to also get your business to the public and potential customer.
Retain your customers and clients by offering exceptional services and being transparent in all your dealings.
POSSIBLE EARNINGS FROM INTERIOR DESIGN BUSINESS.
HOW MUCH TO CHARGE?
This is what I call work juice. Earlier I listed what some of the top interior design companies earn in a year. But as a newbie in Nigeria, coupled with how much customers are willing to pay, together with the value and quality of your work, determines how much you can earn as an interior designer.
In Nigeria, the average charge of a design firm is N15,000 for a single apartment, be it home or office. You can also research how much other professionals like plumbers, electricians, etc. charge for them for their jobs, to get an estimate on what you should charge.
Using your instincts, calculate how much time and resource you’d put into the job to estimate your charges. Expenses such as materials, transportation, human resources to be used, should be noted, as on average an interior design company might spend N200,000 – N500,000 monthly on this.
So, what are you waiting for? Start doing and less thinking. This Detailed guide should act as a reference in starting your interior design business here in Nigeria.
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