Develop a Business Plan
A business plan will guide your efforts for establishing and growing a design business. Follow this outline for writing your plan by answering as many questions as you can. For further insight into each subject, follow the links to more detailed infornation.
Purpose of the Business
- Get to the heart of the matter: What is the business really meant to be, now and in the future? Full-time or part-time? Professionally rewarding or personally gratifying? Livelihood or lifestyle?
- How will business aspirations affect decisions about new opportunities, new clients, and new directions for the business?
- How should the business be integrated into one’s personal life? Parenting life? Pets’ life? Philanthropic life?
Overall Profile of the Business
What is the current market situation for your business? Ask those who know your market or specialty (prospective clients, realtors, architects, retailers and wholesalers, bankers and lenders, even other interior designers) these questions:
- How strong is the market for interior design / your specialty in your area?
- Who currently is providing services to those clients (i.e., your competitors)? How successful are they?
- What new opportunities or service gaps might your business capitalize on?
How will you be different from the rest?
- Generalist vs. specialist
- Services offered
- Customer service / added value
- Professionalism: qualifications, education, appellation, license to practice
- How will success be measured in the first 90 days? In the first year? In the first three years?
What are the standards for design?
- What will be the hallmarks of the design work?
- What is the design capacity?
- How will design be inspired and improved over time?
Marketing, Promotion and Brand Development
- What is the essence of the business brand?
- What is the role of “best” clients, and why?
- How should a marketing message be developed and implemented?
- What should the marketing tools be?
Business Organization and Systems
- What constitutes the essential business process and supporting infrastructure?
- Who is involved, in what role and with what responsibility?
- How manage time and money efficiently and effectively?
- How earn financial rewards?
How much money will have to be invested?
- At start up
- For marketing
- For operations
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