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Module 1: Business of Interior Design

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Many interior designers choose to work for themselves. The benefits are numerous – you can exercise far greater creative control over your projects than you could when employed by an agency, you can choose your clients and your earnings are not capped by salary bands. However, there are several important factors and practical considerations to bear in mind when setting up your own business. You will need to think about your financial position and whether you have the right skill set to begin taking on projects. Next, you will need to decide whether to set up as a sole trader, as a private limited company, or as a business partnership. Most designers begin as sole traders and may form a company with others later on, hire people to work for them, or both. You will need to learn about your obligations and responsibilities concerning tax, insurance, health and safety laws, employing other people and record-keeping. Most small businesses start off slowly and it can take months, or even years, to build a reputation. One of the best ways to begin is by taking on small projects and using them as a basis for your portfolio. The more seriously you take yourself as a professional designer, the more likely others are to place their trust in you. Advertisements and a high-quality website can go a long way in attracting clients, but the well-established designers find most of their work via referrals from people who endorse their work.