What’s in a Home Staging Business Plan?

What’s In A Home Staging Business Plan?
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There are a few differing viewpoints on creating a home staging business plan. Some people say “if you fail to prepare, prepare to fail” and advocate heavily for creating a business plan.

Others will say it’s just fluff work to keep you distracted from actual work, such as sorting inventory and cold-calling realtors.

No matter what your view on this is, it’s a good idea to quickly review what is in a home staging business plan if for nothing else but to ensure you have thought about your business thoroughly before diving in headfirst.

Let’s take a look at what’s generally in a business plan, and how these sections relate to home staging.

You’ll find our home staging business plan PDF available for download in our resources section.

Recommend Sections in a Home Staging Business Plan

Every home staging business plan is going to follow a different format, but in general, they should all cover the same topics.

  1. Executive summary
  2. Business details
  3. What we do and how we do it
  4. Business background
  5. Our goal/mission
  6. Our strategy
  7. Current and planned team
  8. Market analysis
  9. Competitor analysis
  10. SWOT – Internal and external forces
  11. Marketing strategy and budget
  12. Assets held and planned
  13. Financial plan
  14. Business continuity planning
  15. Legal and regulatory compliance

Let’s take a look at each of these sections…

Executive summary

All home staging business plans have a different purpose.

They can be great tools to get your own thoughts down on paper to make sure you’ve considered everything before starting your home staging business. In these cases, you are the audience of your own business plan.

In other cases, business plans are used to seek out new partners or investments, and in these cases, your audience is obviously other people.

Your target audience will dictate what you put in your executive summary.

Generally, you’ll want to give a brief overview of the business so it becomes clear in your head. Touch on topics such as the current market, your goal, existing competitors, and a brief comment on your marketing/outreach strategy.

Since these are all topics that you’ll cover in detail later in your business plan, it is often a good idea to leave your executive summary until the end.

Business details

This section of your home staging business plan doesn’t need too much explanation – it is simply the key points of the business. Include a table with information such as:

  • Business name
  • Date it was established
  • The legal structure of the business
  • Contact name
  • Contact number
  • Email address
  • Physical address
  • Postal address
  • Website
  • Linkedin page
  • Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram pages
  • Youtube account
  • Blog URL

For external readers (eg potential investors or partners) this section simply provides details of your home staging business so that they can look you up and verify they are dealing with a legit entity, and also find out more about you.

What we do and how we do it

Explain what your business actually does. You might understand home staging inside-out, but do your readers?

Briefly spend a moment (on one page) to explain:

  • Who are your target customers? Are they realtors, property developers, or private individuals?
  • What you actually do? Explain the service you provide.
  • How you do it?
  • Why this service is valuable to your customers?
  • How do you plan to be different from other home staging companies in your area?

Do your best to keep this short and to the point.

Each bullet point can be just a few paragraphs or even a few sentences. This section should give the reader their “ah-ha!” moment so they can continue to the rest of the document with a good overall understanding of your plan.

Business background

Split this section of your home staging business plan into two: the business history, and the current position.

Business history: Partners and investors will want to know the background of the business, and also your own personal journey. Where have you come from, and how did you get to this point in time?

Summarize where the business idea came from.

  • Are there any major milestones in the life of the business to date?
  • What was the initial investment?
  • Do you have some existing staff members worth mentioning?
  • Do you have any key clients or relationships that are bringing you regular sales?

Current position: What does the business look like today, assuming it is already established?

  • How many locations do you have?
  • What areas do you currently serve?
  • How many employees are there, and how many customers on an average month?
  • What is the current turnover of the business?
  • Does the business owe any money? To who?

Our goal/mission

This section can be as short as one or two paragraphs. What is your vision for the business? It’s best to be precise here (look up what a SMART goal is). You might state something along the lines of “Provide exceptional home staging services in the Orlando area and grow to a business servicing 40 clients a month within 5 years”.

Notice how it’s a big, lofty goal? It’s not “Get a customer within 3 weeks”.

Your goal or vision in this section could be split into a goal for this year, the next three years, or even a ten-year goal.

Our strategy

Now you’ve set your main goal for the business, what is the strategy to achieve this? Outline the main steps or jobs required to set you on the right track for achieving this goal.

Do you need to hire more people? Or reorganize your team?

Do you need to venture into another market? This could be a neighboring town or suburb, or perhaps focusing on a different section of your existing market (eg if you haven’t approached property developers yet, should you be?).

What aspects of your marketing need to change or grow to reach your goals? Can you do this yourself, or do you need a staff member or an advertising agency?

Tip: The rest of your business plan is going to go into the explanation of each of the steps you describe here, so sometimes it’s best to leave this section till the end. Then you’ll have the answers to include on this page.

Current and planned team

Many home staging businesses start off with just the founders. They manage to generate leads, write proposals, delivery, the warehouse, the actual staging, and more.

But if you plan to grow, soon enough you’ll need to delegate some roles and consider taking on part-time or full-time staff.

When it comes to home staging, your team is one of your biggest assets. They interact directly with clients and put their own personal style on each project they complete.

If you are planning to use your home staging business plan to find partners or raise capital, then keep in mind that many investors make their decisions based on the strength of the team and the people leading the business.

Split this section into two:

  1. Your current team: Include their name, role title, key responsibilities, qualifications, experience, and track record within the industry. If your business is already 3 or more people, you can include a small organizational chart showing how the roles all fit together.
  2. You planned team structure: You’ve set your business goals and long-term vision – now what staff do you need in place to achieve this? Create a new organization chart showing these roles, then briefly bullet point the new role titles, and their key responsibilities.

If you find your current staff or founders don’t have any qualifications in this industry, consider taking a home staging certification course from The Home Staging Institute. They can be completed in just a few weeks of study and will help showcase that you have expertise in the field of home staging. The courses are affordable too, starting at just $177.

In this section, you can also note any mentors, consultants, and advisors you are currently using or plan to use in the future.

Market analysis

The market analysis section of your home staging business plan can be one of the larger sections, and often requires a fair bit of thought and research.

There are five sections that you should consider including in this part of the plan, as follows:

  1. Market research: Explain the research you have undertaken to build this market analysis plan. What methods have you used? Do you plan to build ongoing market research into your daily business tasks? This section is where you share how you got your market knowledge so the reader has confidence in you you are going to tell them in the next four sections.
  2. Market opportunity: Describe the gap in the current home staging market that you’ve recognized. Ideally, you won’t be striving to be “just another home staging company” and can be more precise. For example, the gap might be “We’ve found the Portland area is underserved for mid to high-end staging companies for the premium real estate market”. Then explain whether any competitors are likely to be aware of this opportunity, and are they making any attempts to enter this market? Or do you feel they are blind to this opportunity? What potential revenue does this market opportunity represent?
  3. Market structure: Explain where your business will fit into the current competitive landscape. Are there any inefficiencies in the current market that will give you an edge over the competitors?
  4. Market size & outlook: This particular section often contains a bit of guesswork. Do your best to understand the size of the market. How many homes need staging in your target area each month? How many home staging companies are currently serving this demand? Is the market saturated, and you’re going to try to take business from competitors? Or is the market underdeveloped, and you need to convince people that don’t currently use home staging services about the benefits of staging their homes for sale?

    Use websites such as Zillow to figure out how many homes are currently for sale in the postcodes you are targeting. What percentage of these do you feel are currently using a home staging service? This will give you an idea of whether your area has demand for 50 staging jobs per month, or 500.
  5. Customer mindsets & behaviors: Who are your customers, and what are their current buying behaviors? If you are targeting realtors, how do they choose which home staging company to use? How will you target these customers so they begin using your services?

Competitor analysis

Within your home staging business plan you’re going to want to spend a bit of time getting a thorough understanding of the other home staging companies operating in your area.

I find this part of the business plan the most interesting. All you need to do is open up Google and search for other home staging companies in your area.

Visit their websites and note down who they are, their strengths and weaknesses, and start to form a picture in your head about where your home staging brand fits into the picture.

Understanding where you fit into the market helps to shape your business strategy. You’ll understand where the gaps are in the market that you can serve, and you’ll identify areas where your competitors are weak which you can exploit.

  • Maybe they have poor websites, and you can provide a better experience?
  • Maybe they have overly complex pricing structures, and you’re going to offer simple packages
  • Are their Google Reviews poor, and you can offer better customer service?
  • Or perhaps there aren’t any competitors serving the geographic area you plan to?
  • Do the current home staging companies have outdated furniture and accessories?

Whatever weaknesses you can find, make a note of how you can do better.

On this page of your home staging business plan you might just like to use a few tables in the following format:

[Name of competitor]

StrengthsWeaknesses

[Summarise your strategy for competing with that business]

It can be as simple as that. Write the name of your competitor, list their strengths and weaknesses, then briefly explain how you plan to compete with that business.

SWOT – Internal and external forces

A SWOT analysis is something taught in all business schools and is an important part of starting any new business. SWOT stands for strengths, weaknesses, opportunities, and threats.

Taking a moment to think about your new business’s strengths, weaknesses, opportunities, and threats demonstrates that you have considered any forces that may impact your business whether they be internal or external.

Below is an example of how you can layout the SWOT analysis in your own home staging business plan:

Strengths (Internal force)

Explain here what you do well, or what your ‘secret sauce’ is that’ll make you stand out from the competitors. Do you have a good reputation or a strong team? Perhaps you have been a realtor and know all the local realtors. You might mention previous interior design or decorator experience. Then in the next column explain what you’ll do to capitalize on these strengths.

StrengthsWhat we’ll do

Weaknesses (Internal force)

Explain what could negatively impact your business, from an internal point of view. What don’t you have that you may need? What don’t you do well, or think you’ll have to do poorly initially? Perhaps you have a poor reputation, or no reputation at all if this industry is new to you. Are you understaffed and lacking customer service or warehouse staff? Then once you have listed all your weaknesses, you’ll need to briefly state what you’ll do to overcome those weaknesses.

WeaknessesWhat we’ll do

Opportunities (External force)

Explain what could positively impact your home staging business from the outside. How will you maximize the chance of this opportunity occurring, and how can you make the most of it? Perhaps you know a local home stager looking to join a new business and they have an extensive network and great reputation, and they have indicated they will move to your new company. Or maybe a local real estate agent has indicated they are looking for a new home staging partnership, and you are good friends with the owner. Outline in this section how you’ll make the most of these opportunities.

OpportunitiesWhat we’ll do

Threats (External force)

Explain what you feel could negatively impact your business. Your home staging business plan needs to focus on what could make your business struggle, as well as thrive, so use this section to be honest about any external threats such as law changes, changing market conditions, or struggles to find good staff.

ThreatsWhat we’ll do

Marketing strategy and budget

In this section of your home staging business plan, you need to detail your strategy for both launching your business, and also your marketing strategy once your business is up and running.

‘Marketing’ can be defined quite broadly. It isn’t just where you will put your ads. It can encompass everything from your service packages to pricing, to your website, as well as your ads and promotions.

It’s a good idea to split this section into two well-defined categories: a launch strategy, and an ongoing marketing strategy. Both of these strategies will require different tactics, which we’ll look into further below.

Launch Strategy

Explain here your launch marketing strategy and note any budget required to execute this strategy. Some people say “build it, and they will come”, but that doesn’t often apply to starting a new home staging business. You are unlikely to grow quickly by relying on word of mouth unless you are already well connected and known within the real estate industry.

For your launch strategy, you’ll need to consider:

  • Branding your home staging business (logo, stationary, colors etc)
  • Creating a home staging website
  • Deciding how to have a portfolio ready for customers to view
  • How to charge for your home staging services
  • What networking you will do (such as calling or visiting realtors)
  • What your initial marketing looks like (Google Search Ads?)
  • Whether you will grow a newsletter and how you will get subscribers

Ongoing home staging marketing strategy

Once you’ve launched your home staging business and got your feet under the table so to speak, you can start focusing on ongoing marketing activities.

How do you plan to continually get fresh inquiries and grow your business? What portion of your revenue will you dedicate to marketing? What will this budget be spent on?

For many home staging businesses their ongoing marketing strategy is a little bit of each of the following:

  • Continually adding your best work to your portfolio – because many of your potential new clients will view this before enquiring.
  • Networking with realtors to keep your services top of mind. If you don’t stay in touch there is a good chance someone else could swoop in and be their preferred vendor
  • Working on search engine optimization so that when people search in Google and Bing for home staging services in your area, your website shows up.
  • A paid ads channel. This could be something like Google Ads or Facebook Ads. We’ve found the best results from Google Ads.

Financial plan

This section can be one of the more difficult parts of creating a home staging business plan, but it’s essential to have a good understanding of your potential revenue and expenses.

After all, if you’re not making a profit you won’t be in business for long!

Use this section to outline (at a high level) your forecasted costs, revenue, profit, and loss.

Estimate when you will break even. If you spend $20,000 setting up the business, how many jobs are needed to pay off this setup cost? How long do you expect this to take?

You can use a few simple tables if the business plan is to simply get your own head around the process of starting the business, but you might need more detailed financial plans if you need a business loan or plan to raise investor cash.

Expenses:

Expense Year 1 ($) Year 2 ($) Year 3 ($)

Revenue forecasts:

Type of Revenue Year 1 ($) Year 2 ($) Year 3 ($)

Profit and loss forecast:

Forecasting your profit and loss is difficult for an established business, and they have a track record they can use to predict the future! So doing so for a home staging start-up, with no track record, and feel near impossible.

But rest assured, you just need to do your best estimate.

Profit / Loss forecast Year 1 ($) Year 2 ($) Year 3 ($)
Estimated revenue
Estimate costs
Estimated profit/loss

Every business has some form of legal ad regulatory compliance obligations.

You don’t need to be a certified home stager to work in this industry, but a home staging certification does teach you a lot and helps turn more inquiries into customers.

Check your local laws about registering as a business, tax obligations, and any permits you may need to operate. Since each country has different laws ad requirements for starting a business we can’t cover them all here, but a quick online search will point you in the right direction.

Final Word

home staging business plan

Your home staging business plan is a thorough document that outlines the long-term vision of your business, and your strategy to achieve it.

It’s a document that you shouldn’t do once, then lock away to never look at again. We encourage you to revisit it monthly or quarterly to check in whether you are still on the right track, or if your goals are still relevant. Treat it as a living document that you can edit and amend at any point in time.

Your business is always evolving, and your business plan can too!

If you want to download our home staging business plan PDF head to our resources section. You’ll find the business plan link there, along with a number of other home staging resources available for free or at a small price.

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