There are a number blogs online claiming that little to no money is required for starting a home staging company. As with many “make money online” tpy websites, they claim that no financial investment is required to make an income in the six figures.
Although this is technically possible, the chance of failure is much greater. There are a lot of costs that must be considered prior to starting a home staging business. These includes:
- Building your home staging website (hint: try Wix, Squarespace, or WordPress)
- Business licensing fees
- Fees for printing marketing materials for distribution to builders, realtors, etc. at the first meeting.
- Newsletter service (hint: Mailchimp is easy to use, but others such as CampaignMonitor and Mailjet are also great)
- Color printer and business computer
- Business insurance
- Funds to establish a business checking account
- A graphic designer for the creation of a logo
- Tax license use and sales fees
- Fees for joining different networking organizations
- Business cards (check out the cheap home staging business card templates at GraphicRiver)
- Accounting software such as Freshbooks or Quickbooks
- Necessary tools for staff members
- Entity creation fees
No license is required, but there are a lot of benefits to obtaining home staging certification. The necessary skills are taught during home staging certification training that you’ll need to hit the ground running, and it is also good to have the certificate and website badge up your sleeve to help get your first customers. Here at The Home Staging Institute we provide some of the most affordable online home staging certifications.
Depending on the tools and inventory the individual already owns, whether or not the individual has the skills to build a website and several other factors, the cost minus training is a minimum of $1,500 to $2,500.
Building a Home Staging Business
The initial investment will set up the business. Securing clients is the next step. The final goal is profitability. The majority of all types of businesses fail within three to five years. The most important steps for achieving success include:
- Ensuring there are enough funds to survive slow periods
- Taking educated risks
- Listening to the market and flexibility
- Consistent education
- Making a 100 percent financial and emotional investment
- Having more than one source of income in the beginning
- Having a mentor with a similar and successful business
In addition to a shortage of money, there are five top reasons home staging companies fail. Business growth must be steady. Revenue must be kept up and expenses down. For the first three to five years, the business will most likely lose more money than it is making. This is common and leads to business failure. To make money, the individual must spend money.
For a business to be profitable and successful enough for the individual to earn a living, money must be spent on the following expenses.
- Various styles and sizes of rugs including the important 8×10
- Various sizes of art
- Orbs and fake fruit
- Fake plants in different textures and sizes
- Various accessories such as candles, books, candlesticks, vases and knick-knacks
Even when the home is occupied, all of these items are necessary. Purchasing these items is less expensive than renting them. These are the most frequently needed items for filling in an occupied home. The list increases substantially for unoccupied homes.
The majority of large furniture items can be rented. All of the items above are necessary in addition to pillows, linens and so much more. Renting furniture means the rental company will be earning more money for the jobs than the individual.
Tips for Starting a Home Staging company on a Strict Budget
Researching the Local Housing Market: Prior to starting a business, the individual must understand the requirements of all potential clients. The purchased or rented items must match the area. This may be affluent or moderate. Understand the popular design trends and architectural styles are important so they can be incorporated into the designs.
Licensing and Naming the Business: A license is required for performing jobs in the community. The name makes the business official. This should appeal to the targeted clients while indicating the service being offered.
Choosing the Target Market: This can be house flippers, owners of apartment buildings, commercial spaces or offices.
The Pricing Structure: One of the most important steps is determining the pricing. This must include numerous factors such as time and monetary investments and moving furniture upstairs. A formula should be created to enable the individual to quickly and easily offer accurate quotes by plugging in all of these factors.
Liability Insurance: Liability coverage is important in case anything in the client’s home is damaged or broken. This is critical to eliminate paying for expensive repairs or legal disputes.
Client Contracts: Sound contracts can be created by consulting with a layer or using online templates to suit each situation.
The Website: A website is critical for all businesses, but especially so for home staging. This enables potential clients to understand what the business can do and appreciate the value provided.
The Branding: The marketing materials and website design must be consistent with the style of the individual while appearing professional. Potential clients will not believe the business can provide elegance if the website is poorly constructed. Good SEO is important to ensure potential clients can find the business.
The Local Realtors: One of the quickest and best ways to establish a connection with home sellers are real estate agents. The realtors already have the motivation to sell homes at the highest possible price. Networking with realtors will lead to referrals whenever there is an opportunity.
Storage Space: Storage space is necessary for storing large pieces of furniture in addition to all of the smaller pieces of decor collected over time. Purchasing this space is less expensive than renting over the long-term.
Discount Suppliers: Some homes are emptied prior to being listed while others only require a little additional style. These spaces must be filled to attract potential buyers. Supplies can be built without spending a substantial amount of money by looking at decor retailers, discount furniture retailers and attending local auctions.
Furniture Rental: When a lot of furniture is necessary, rental options are a good idea in the beginning. This is also important if pieces are required for large homes that will not fit into storage or for trendy pieces that will be used infrequently.
Creating a Portfolio: Photographs can be taken of previous work for a visual presentation. This can be used for traditional booklets or on the company website to show potential customers the style and capabilities of the business.
The Quick Pitch: Despite the growing popularity of home staging, not everyone accepts this type of business. The value can be explained through marketing materials and a solid pitch. The speed the homes staged by the business have sold and the price increase received should be included.
The Testimonials: Testimonials can be collected from previous clients as social proof. These can be included in the marketing materials and on the company website.
Local Advertising: The majority of clients will be located in one geographical area. This makes investing in local marketing a good idea. This includes outdoor signage and local newspapers, The business can increase its brand recognition within the community by sponsoring a local sports team or local events.
Online Content Strategy: The creation of an online marketing strategy is beneficial. The business can post or blog on social media about topics of interest to potential clients. This includes tips for selling a home faster at a higher price and design. If the individual is creative, they can create a podcast or a YouTube channel for the business.
Design Inspiration: The preferences of clients and design trends will consistently change. The style of the business must be adaptable and flexible to appeal to and accommodate the clients. Decor magazines and online sites can be used for inspiration.
Operating a Successful Home Staging Business with No Investment
The truth is this is not possible despite what training companies say. The initial investment can be minimized by building the business gradually. Loans can be obtained and paid back with sales. There are a lot of ways to build a profitable and successful company. This is impossible without an investment. Training companies will lie to get the individual to pay for their classes.