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Join five animal friends as they start school in this delightful introduction to the school day. From getting dressed in the morning to returning home from school, story-telling from an animal’s point of view, including their candid observations of normal school day activities, is the perfect proxy to calm your little one’s fears. Besides the charming illustrations, they can get a headstart on some early years educational concepts like shapes, colors, opposites, numbers and counting, dressing up, seasons, letter recognition and much more.
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Every page of the book is full of words to learn and is a toddler-friendly book for adults and children to share, read and discuss together.
Product Dimensions: 24.6 x 29.6 x 1.9 cm| 700g – Page count: 26 pages – Format: Board Book – Suitable for ages: 3 years and up One of the biggest myths in the interior design world is that you need a degree to get into interior design. There are instances where you need a degree (such as some states in the US), however, most of the time, you don’t. I would only go down the interior design degree route if I was young enough and fresh out of school or wanted to work as an interior architect or interior designer in a large firm.
The most beneficial (and fastest) way to learn interior design is by gaining experience on your own projects or working for someone else. Since you are hoping to start an interior design business, I assume you want to work on your own projects.
Having tried to hire interior design graduates myself, I can tell you that theoretical learning is a waste of time in this industry. I’ve seen hundreds of CVs and portfolios come through my door and the ones who got the job were never interior design graduates.
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Before I delve into how to start an interior design business without a degree, I want to clarify one more thing.
Interior designers who want to register (even with a degree), need many more years of experience before they can qualify. Since there are ways to “qualify” as an interior designer without a degree (aka gain experience), there’s no reason to invest more money, time, and effort into a degree when you can do what you love. Helping customers and getting paid, literally. So how can you start an interior design business without a degree?
OK, so you have to be realistic, if you haven’t successfully carried out a one-bedroom project from start to finish, don’t expect to work on a five-bed house and expect it to be easy-going. We’re all impatient, but a realistic assessment of your current skills will save you and your future clients a lot of frustration. Most interior designers start by undertaking their own project in their own home, and in my opinion, that’s a really good place to start. This means you have to work to a budget, you have to figure out where to find the right style items, and you have to work out in what order to do things and manage the whole thing.
Initially, you will be limited to providing more styling and decorating-type services. These are still beneficial services and specific niches of interior design that you can choose to specialize in.
How To Start An Interior Design Business Without A Degree
Depending on your background, you may have transferable skills from another career that you can use in your interior design business. I find from the students I work with, often skills like budgeting, negotiation and project management are valuable skills and services you can add to your repertoire.
If you want some clarity on what types of services an interior designer typically provides (and get a free checklist of services) check out this post to get started – What Do Interior Designers Really Do?
To safely scale your business, only offer services you can legitimately offer. Then use your heart and intuition to decide what other services and skills you want to work to gain. You need to be passionate about the work you do in your business, if you don’t absolutely love it, it will be hard to motivate yourself to do it and you will procrastinate and not enjoy the work you love.
However, don’t despair if you want to provide services that you can’t yet. Start where you are and grow with your business.
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Take half a day and go to a cafe. Calm your mind and look at the people around you. If the person sitting next to you asks what you do and what your business is, can you clearly explain it?
And that’s more than just saying I’m an interior designer! Think Marketing 101. You need to understand your ideal client and what problem you as a designer solve in your establishment. Try to clarify what services you provide that are in demand by your target market. For those of you who say it’s too hard or too competitive, you’re wrong. I’ve seen the most random and obscure businesses succeed, you need to know your target market inside and out and create a service that your ideal client wants (and not the other way around).
You need to think about what you can do to differentiate yourself from other designers in your niche. In the beginning, it can be as simple as thinking about who you think you can help with your current skill set. Ask yourself what makes you unique and why someone should hire you instead of your competitor?
Sometimes it helps to think about who asks you for design advice and what kind of advice they ask for, then try to figure out how to turn that skill into a service.
Essential Starter Kit
Your brand, your niche and your target market will evolve and grow as your business. You need to start. Take action before you feel “ready” and don’t get caught up in the trap of perfectionism. Progress and motivation only come from taking action, you have to start first and then the ideas come, it wouldn’t happen any other way. You have to take the first step and give it up.
You need to know how much you need each month to pay your bills and some. Once you have the figure, you should work out how you will meet your monthly money goals.
Your services are inherently related to your target market, so you need to ascertain who is going to buy your services and how much they will pay for it. For example, if your target market is young professionals buying their first home, your design packages should be at a price that those young professionals are willing to pay and that you can afford to live with.
If a design package for your first-time home buyer sells for around £1800, then you may only need a few clients in the first couple of months to really gain momentum. Pricing plans can be tricky, as you may never know how long a typical project will take, and you may find yourself working on a project for under 12 months after paying upfront… (I know from my friends’ experience).
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One of the biggest mistakes interior designers (even veterans) make is that they don’t continue to grow, learn and add new skill sets to their repertoire. The initial enthusiasm for learning and growing gets overshadowed by the daily routine and they forget to learn about something they love.
One of the most useful tools for communicating with customers and one of the easiest things you can learn to do is to draw furniture designs. I’ve seen experienced interior designers outsource this stuff, which is completely unnecessary, especially these days when there are hundreds of free programs that allow you to draw plans, (Come on IKEA has a room planner – my clients can use it too!
There are a few things I teach in my mentoring program that I think are critical skills to be successful as a long-term interior designer. For example, learning how to communicate your ideas is a basic skill you need as an interior designer and project manager.