| | General

Degree vs a Proven Franchise?

So many are asking “what is the most efficient way to start my own business in Interior Decorating?”

If you are considering spending approximately $80k and taking four years to earn an interior design or similar degree, it might be good to ask: “What then?”  Most start out with a job in a furniture store, gift and accessory shop, or perhaps with an architectural design firm or larger interior design studio. Imagine, all that time and money to be lowest on the ladder. Sorting catalogs, rearranging displays, making presentations, running errands, and tracking shipments and deliveries. You might find yourself wondering; “When will I ever have a real client?” Or, “When will I ever really use what I learned?”

Another set of questions you may ask yourself is related to whether you might ever get to have your own business, to manage your own destiny, to fulfill your dream of being independent. They might be questions like this:

  • What kind of interior designer would I like to be like?
  • How do I get started?
  • Do I want to work by myself or with a team?
  • What kind of office or studio should I have?
  • How would I learn to run a business?
  • How long will it take me to set up a system to keep track of everything?
  • Should I charge by the hour or make money on the product?

Perhaps the most important: HOW WOULD I GET CLIENTS?

What might you learn in college to help you answer these questions?

This could be a problem for many starting their own design business.  If you are considering getting a degree first, take a close look at the list of required courses. Often, you will find only one course with a title such as “Business Practices for Interior Design” or “Interior Design Professional Practice.” One three-credit course in four years will probably tell you more about what you don’t know about running a business then giving you real help and guidance.

And, there is the cost!

If you are considering the education route to an interior design career or business, it would be useful to consider the full cost before embarking on that journey. Not just the dollar cost, which will indeed be substantial; but also the less tangible costs.  If you attend school full time, you will be delaying the start of your career by that number of years.  How much to live on campus? If you attend part time, you make the delay even longer. There is also what economists call “opportunity costs.” What are the opportunities you give up in order to pursue a degree or certificate?


A more cost-effective alternative

A degree or certificate is of course a useful credential but, another more credible credential is having your own business, with real clients, real revenue, a real portfolio, and personal satisfaction from achievement.  There is a cost-effective and quicker method to get to that dream of yours.

The business model of an interior design franchise is a proven method of getting into a career you can love.   It comes with the independence and flexibility of having your own home furnishings and design practice. This option offers:

Business start-up assistance:

  • Preliminary and ongoing coaching with an experienced design business owner who has been down the same path
  • Proven instruction manuals with preparation for opening your business
  • Website creation
  • Professional Decorating and Sales School
  • Grand Opening guidance and assistance

Profitable access to well-known home furnishing brands

  • Direct wholesale pricing with more than 135 suppliers
  • Account set-up support
  • No minimums
  • Direct personal accounts
  • No inventory requirements
  • Product training
  • “Good, better, best” pricing
  • Quarterly product promotional incentives

Client development tools and business support

  • Web-based business management systems
  • Methods for monitoring and improving profitability
  • Access to proprietary software for client relationship management (CRM)
  • Lead generation and management tools
  • Project tracking systems
  • Bi-monthly marketing materials
  • National marketing featuring radio ads, full page ads in leading design magazines, Pay-per-Click
  • Public relations, as well as local PR and marketing assistance
  • Workshop and seminar scripts and visuals for use in making local presentations

Even more

  • An international Dream Room makeover competition judged by design journalists from the US and Canada
  • Publication possibilities in international, national and regional news media
  • An exclusive supplier market and design center during the annual conference
  • Ongoing education: National workshops, regional meetings, online classes and webinars

Does this require an investment?

Yes, there is an initial investment MUCH LESS THAN MOST DEGREES. Yes, there are ongoing costs for services you receive, services you would otherwise most likely have to purchase on your own without guidance.

The bottom line? You can make your own evaluation and comparison. When you do, consider the full costs of each option ALONG WITH THE FULL BENEFITS.  Only you can answer which is most cost effective for you to quickly fulfill your goals and dreams.

To learn more: visit www.interiordecoratingfranchise.com

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