If you have experience in interior design or relevant qualifications, you might consider striking out on your own as a freelance interior designer. It’s a good alternative to working for a large firm, which offers less freedom than freelancing. In addition, if you set up your own freelance interior design business, you can decide your hours and pick your clients, which can mean a much more enjoyable working experience.

This article will provide advice on how to be a freelance interior designer. We’ll look at the necessary qualifications and suggest a few methods of getting clients. The topics we’ll cover include:

  • Qualifications you may need
  • How to set up a freelance interior design business
  • How to find clients
  • Managing your finances

Qualifications you may need

There are a great variety of skills that you might need if you’re looking to become an interior designer. The most basic are things like a good sense of style and excellent spatial awareness. You might want to keep up with current design trends and the state of the industry as well, which will help you run your business more effectively.

In terms of official qualifications, an interior designer will typically have a degree in art or 3D design. Actual interior design degrees are also quite common — check your learning institute of choice to see if they offer a bachelor’s or master’s degree in the subject. The National Design Academy or NDA also offers online courses for a reasonable price.

On top of all this, it’s helpful to have the sorts of talents that help in any profession. For example, communications skills are essential, as you’ll frequently have to speak with clients, contractors, and suppliers of all kinds. Excellent time management will be useful in juggling different projects and balancing running your business with fulfilling clients’ needs. Finally, a strong creative streak will help your business stand out from the competition.

How to set up a freelance interior design business

Even though your business will specialise in interior design, you’ll still need to complete a few tasks that are essential to anyone who’s looking to start freelancing. These tasks mostly revolve around how you’ll pay taxes going forward.  For instance, you’ll need to register your new company with HMRC.

It’s more common to register as a sole trader if you’re operating as a small business. This option also tends to involve less paperwork when doing taxes or accounting. That said, there are also advantages to registering as a limited company. We provide a comparison between the two methods in this article, so consider reading it if you’d like to learn more.

How to find clients

A freelancer cannot operate without a steady stream of income, which means that one of your priorities will be finding clients. We’ll provide a few ideas on how to attract clients to your business below.

Social media 

Like any other business these days, you can get a lot of benefits from using social media. Although it can be tricky to make engaging content and post consistently, you should be able to master these with enough practice.

One particular advantage of using social media to attract clients is that it’s free to make an account on most social media platforms. It can take some time to create a profile and build a following, but once you do this, you’ll be able to reach a large number of potential clients with minimal effort. 

Set up a website 

Creating a business website is vital if you want to be a successful entrepreneur. By having a website, you make it much easier for potential clients to find you and view your portfolio of work. A business website also provides a great hub you can use to display all of your contact information, pricing, and other business information. 

If you don’t have the technical skills required to create a website, you can always hire a qualified web developer to build one for you. There are also a ton of easy-to-use website builders available for small businesses. 

Freelancing websites

Freelancing websites see a lot of use by freelancers trying to be hired by and find work. They allow an organisation or individual to post a job offer online, which can then be viewed by the users of the freelancing site.

These users can then apply to the job offer and discuss why they’re particularly suited to the job. The person or organisation that posted the job can then accept or reject these applications at their discretion.

Many freelancing sites are nonspecific, meaning they allow the posting of all sorts of jobs. Some sites do target specific industries, though. For interior designers, a particularly good website to try is Houzz. This is a freelancing site that specialises in architecture, decorating, and interior design work.

For more tips on setting up a freelance interior design business, try reading our other article on how to start a freelance interior design business. We’ll go into more detail about some of the topics we look at in this article.

Managing your finances

Financial management can be stressful and time-consuming when you’re self-employed. As a freelancer, you’ll have to do your accounting as well as run your business and all of the work for your clients. 

The Countingup app makes financial admin easier. 

Countingup is the business current account with built-in accounting software that allows you to manage all your financial data in one place. With features like automatic expense categorisation, invoicing on the go, receipt capture tools, tax estimates, and cash flow insights, you can confidently keep on top of your business finances wherever you are. 

You can also share your bookkeeping with your accountant instantly without worrying about duplication errors, data lags or inaccuracies. Seamless, simple, and straightforward! 

Find out more here.