Home Staging can be a lucrative business if you approach it as a business. I'm frustrated by the number of home stagers who call themselves professionals and yet don't even take some of the MOST BASIC steps to get their business off the ground.
I do fault some of the home staging training out there, sometimes cheerleading takes the place of actual training. It feels nice when you're in the audience, but what happens when you're sitting in your home office with no clients?
But even with the best training in the world, if you don't approach your business as a professional and take concrete steps to move your business forward on a continual basis, all you have is a CREATIVE HOBBY NOT A BUSINESS!
This post (rant?) was motivated by an email I received today that went like this:
"Can you help me. I started my business a year ago. I never registered my business name and now I've realized that someone else is already using it. I guess I'll need to pick a new name and get new cards. Here are three names I'm thinking of, which one should I use?.... I ran a newspaper ad that was really expensive but I haven't got any projects from it. I am starting to get some photos together for my portfolio. What have I been doing wrong? I'm frustrated that after a year I'm really not making enough money."
Sadly, this type of story isn't unusual. The reality is that launching a business is hard work. If you're not prepared to put in some real time upfront, forget it! Don't waste your money on training, go get a paid job somewhere and forget about following your dreams.
I know that sounds harsh, but I believe in challenging and inspiring people to push past their comfort zones and giving them concrete and practical steps to do it. I'm not a cheerleader.
If you are serious about turning your talent for decorating and interest in real estate into a career as a home stager, recognize that being an entrepreneur means you'll be doing a lot of stuff that no one will pay you for.
- Coming up with a company name and registering your business
- Building your initial portfolio so that your first prospects will see what you can do
- Having professional looking business cards designed and printed
- Building a website or putting your business on the Internet in some way so prospects can find you and see your work
- Practicing how to talk about what you do in a compelling way
- Figuring out your pricing strategy
- Practicing how to explain your rates in a way that doesn't sound like you're asking a prospect for permission to charge them
- Getting out there and making presentations to groups of people about what staging is and how it will benefit them
No one pays you to do this work, but in doing it you are planting the seeds for the growth of your business. You can read more about this topic in Are you serious about building a home staging business?
P.S. I have events that need speakers and projects that need stagers. You can read about them at The Business of Home Staging