Many of us enjoy expanding our present businesses or creating new businesses,putting ideas together and making them work. This compulsion to forever do something new can be a strength, but it can also distract us from what should be our main focus: our interior design practice. Each year in our country there are many new businesses starting, and a number are very successful. This has become the era of the entrepreneur and small business. Still, many have failed.
Do you have the right personality to start a business? It takes a certain type of person to succeed in business. The following is a list of questions to ask yourself before
starting your own business:
1. Are you in good health? You need to be in good shape to endure the physical and emotional rigors of starting a business.
2. Do you really have all the energy that it takes to make this project succeed? Almost all people who succeed in their own businesses have boundless physical energy. If your physical energy is limited, perhaps you should consider teaming with another professional who can carry part of the burden.
3. Are you a self-starter? Are you the type of person who gets things done and starts projects on your own initiative? In your own business you will have to act without anybody else pushing you or reminding you.
4. Do you enjoy other people? Do you really like all kinds of people? You will find yourself working with a variety of professions and personality types—laborers, persons with limited education, high-level professionals, and eccentrics.
5. Are you a leader? Your staff will be following your cues. You must be someone that people are ready to follow.
6. Are you ready for the responsibilities of a business? Do you understand exactly what this entails? Before deciding to start your own business, investigate a number of other businesses to get a real knowledge of what you are facing.
7. Are you a good worker? Are you the kind of person who does not mind doing what it takes to get a job done, and will keep working as long and as hard as is necessary to complete a project well? Running your own business will demand your complete dedication.
8. Are you well organized? Interior design is a field that requires high organizational abilities.
9. Are you a good decision maker? Do you enjoy making decisions? You will need to be ready to make decisions quickly and accurately without the fear of failure.
10. Do people have confidence in you? Have you built a rapport with the people who have worked with you? For people to do business with you,they must have confidence that if they give you the job, it will get done.
11. How committed are you to running your own business? Too many designers start in business with the idea that it will be fun for a while. If that is your attitude, probably you should not consider starting in business. To develop a business always takes much longer and requires more energy than you might imagine.
12. Do you have the excitement that it takes to carry this through? Your enthusiasm will inspire your staff to do its best. Are you turned on
about the business and ready to handle whatever comes up?
13. Are you a good communicator? You must be able to express yourself clearly and to talk with others at all levels; this is the only way to share ideas and work together.
30 Interior Design Business Handbook
14. Do you know what you are doing? Do you really know the interior design field or at least the specialty that you are selecting? It is much cheaper to learn in someone else’s studio than to do it yourself. You must understand the field on a professional level. You are the last word; therefore, you must know everything about the work that you are going to be doing, or where to get the answers. Know your field well before you start in business.
15. Have you had any business training? You have no idea how much you need to learn until you begin a business. Spend some time reading and learning about any unfamiliar business processes. Don’t even consider starting your own business until you’ve researched the businessend of it.
What other problems can you foresee in starting your own business? What doyou expect to get out of this business? List what you consider to be the assets and
the benefits of starting the business.