Interior design and décor is a multi-billion dollar global industry. So let’s take a look back here in Zimbabwe; the industry has tremendous amounts of untapped potential. My article shall focus specifically on home interior décor though – design and décor are two distinct fields. The design focuses on the technical aspects such as architecture whereas décor focuses on a wide array of aspects that have to do with ergonomics. A snap sweep online will make you realize 3 very interesting trends when it comes to home décor in Zimbabwe. Most people don’t seek the services of home décor experts (they rather do it alone). Secondly, the major sources of clients for people into home décor businesses are high-end markets (exclusive or high earners). Thirdly, there seem to be more white than black people involved in both the business side and the consumer side. So I guess there seems to be less interest amongst native Zimbabwe blacks in this industry. Anyways, here is how you can set up such a business:
Approaches To Home Interior Décor
This is a field is quite complex in that it requires you to be very strategic with respect to how you’ll define your brand and who you’ll target. You obviously need to be someone who is artistic, has an eye for detail and is very creative. The internet and social media can come in handy in research to see other infinite décor concepts that can serve as inspiration. Ideally, you want to become a household name when people are thinking of doing makeovers of their houses – or even when furnishing houses from the onset.
For you to be easily noticeable you must have a working portfolio (which must be backed up by high-definition images or videos). Here is the trick; you can do a few projects free at the onset. You’ll comprehensively detail everything and use it to build your portfolio. These projects you can do them at your loved ones’ houses. This will help you get an appreciation of the nature of the trade and also to get important feedback.
Therefore, having a website and social media accounts will be imperative. The design and structure of your website and those social media accounts must be reflective of high-definition aesthetics. Prospective clients must be reined in just by going through digital content. Décor entails artistry and creativity; that must be seen on your website and social media sites.
You must also ensure that you define your area of focus; this will be central to niching. Here is the thing, home interior décor is so broad and involves many diverse areas of specialization. Some of them are furniture, carpentry, painting, floral, lighting, fabrics, carpeting, flooring, canvassing, wall coverings, art and crafts, just to mention a few. So you must decide on whether you’ll be an all-rounder or you focus on some of the areas.
I’ve already given allusion to some of the key components such as online presence. You might also want to have graphic design software (or you could just outsource these services). This is important because when you come with up décor concepts, presenting them in high-quality graphics or simulations can be endearing to clients. The other crucial thing is to have an ecosystem of suppliers with respect to the aforementioned areas. In home interior décor the client lays out a vision and the budget for what they want and you materialize the vision for them. So it’s important that you have suppliers who can provide what you need at any moment’s notice.
You can start lean i.e. with just 2 or 3 more people you can hit the ground running. The idea is to ensure that the business vision is well curated, customer handling is well manned, the technical (such as graphic designs) aspects are expertly done and that the financial aspects are kept in check. Staffing can always increase in size based on the rate of business growth.
Startup capital is mainly needed for initial things such as building your brand and portfolio e.g. web development. Some of the money might be needed for outsourcing any relevant aspects such as photography and videography.
The market is highly segmented and requires you to strategically niche. However, the market is mostly untapped so you can claim a significant portion of it. If you go online you’ll notice that presently most of the players in this industry are located in Harare. That means there are many other places across the country that are just waiting for you.
Not much to talk about here other than to emphasise that registering your business is always important. The other thing I can mention is that in outsourcing work with reputable and formalized businesses. In the event that something happens regarding any outsourced item or service clients will be looking at you for answers. So it’s important that you work with suppliers whose paperwork is in order. You wouldn’t want to tarnish your image by working with dodgy suppliers.
Due to low disposable incomes, many people might be opposed to acquiring the services of home interior décor experts. However, that narrative can be changed by widespread marketing and building businesses that offer low-cost packages. Otherwise, there are huge prospects to be realized from investing in such a business because of the huge untapped market.