Tracing its roots from architecture, interior design refers to a profession that is concerned with rearranging interior spaces of buildings to make them look beautiful, and purposeful. Interior design is emerging as an area of study which works with other professionals such as architects, technicians, etc. It is interested in connecting the human experience to its design by linking the emotional and psychological feelings of the occupants of a building to its inner design.
To become an interior designer an individual will have to acquire some education in interior design, acquire some experience through apprenticeships, and then set up a career in interior design. Having interior design expertise is one thing to start a career in the area, but the designer will certainly need to have some entrepreneurial instincts to make the business succeed. If the interior designer fails to have this combination of good training in interior design and business skills, it will risk failing just like other start-ups in different sectors.
Consequently, the practical experience gained in the apprenticeship training would have given knowledge about how to start a business. It would have further covered the type of designer to be, whether commercial or residential, where to find clients, and how much to charge for services. The trick to a successful career in being an interior designer is to know how to bill clients for services rendered to them. This should be decided before going into the other technical details of invoicing, placing orders for goods, receiving the goods, etc. Designers need to make this pricing decision by considering their business goals and design skills.
It is useful to realize that there are different pricing options, and an interior designer may choose any of them or blend two or more of them depending on what works for them. A pricing option could be a retail price where the designer charges design fees for design services from a retail shop. The designer could also make some profits off the sale of furniture and other items to VIP clients but offering them free design services. Designers may also choose a cost-plus markup price where the designer adds an amount to the cost of goods such as furniture sold to cover both the overhead cost and profit. This is very profitable even when design services are not charged once it is applied to all clients.
Other designers could resort to hourly charges for their work regardless of whether they sell goods like materials and furniture at cost or not, but the concern is for the designer to make sure they are making profit. An interior designer may decide to charge a flat design fee where they bill the hours of services separately from a designer-retainer. They collect both the retainer and the service charge calculated directly from the hours worked. A design-retainer is normally a nonrefundable deposit with the designer made by the client to cover the cost of design time for initially preparing a presentation for the client. It should be added that the flat fee is a fixed fee charged for completing a task such as a design for an office or home including accessories, and furnishings.
Then there is the presented price that can be charged, and it does not imply presenting fee for an entire job. Instead, it is just like the flat fee but with the presented price, a designer is not offering a charge for the whole service of installations, accessories, furnishing. Rather, the service costs by pricing each activity separately. Overall, in pricing by an interior designer, the area they operate in terms of whether they are working with commercial design clients such as hotels, public offices, among others or residential designs matters. This, coupled with the business goals of the designer, should adequately guide the choice of the amount to sell a service.
The designer decides how to sell a product after carefully thinking about goods to buy for the job, the fee per hour to charge, the type of customers they are working with as well as their level of experience. These are realistic steps to consider when thinking to flourish as an interior designer. Today, there are so many more potential clients and specialty arms of design that hardly existed a decade ago. This is just another thing to consider in dealing with customers, the complexity of their design preferences.