As a leader in the home staging industry, I often see other training companies posting information about starting a home staging business with little to no money. I see posts about how, after training, you can make a six figure income with almost no financial investment. I’m not going to say that it’s not possible, but at a minimum, this philosophy sets you up for mediocrity, if not outright failure.
Starting a home staging business
Aside from the money you will initially invest in a home staging training course, here are some of the other start up costs you’ll need to consider:
- Business Computer & Color Printer
- Business Cards
- Graphic Designer (Fivr and 99Designs are good options) to create logo
- Fees for business license
- Fees for sales and use tax license
- Fees for entity creation
- Printed marketing materials – something to hand out when you first start meeting Realtors, builders, etc
- Fees to join various networking organizations (BNI, REIAs, Builders Groups, and the Local Realtor Board are all good options.)
- Seed money for a business checking account
- Business insurance
- Newsletter service (Constant Contact and MailChimp are good options.)
- Quickbooks, Freshbooks, or other accounting software
- Tools (After buying several sets of tools as we have added new staff members, this is about $150-300)
Depending on your skill sets, like whether you can build your own WordPress website, how many tools you may already have, and a variety of other factors, your MINIMUM investment in starting this business, not including any inventory that you may want to own, and not including your initial training, will be at least $1500-2500.
Building a profitable home staging business
The initial investment, listed above, will only be enough to set up the business. The next step is getting customers. The ultimate goal is becoming profitable.
Most businesses, regardless of type, fail in their first 3-5 years. There are several important factors that can lead to success, including:
- having enough funds to ride out the slow times
- having multiple sources of income, at least in the beginnning
- being flexible and listening to the market
- being 100% invested – all in – your business. This is about emotion and time, which is more important than financial.
- having a mentor who has the kind of business you want – don’t try to reinvent the wheel
- taking educated risks
- consistently educating yourself
Likewise, aside from lack of money, there are key factors that cause businesses to fail. Here’s a list of the top 5 reasons that home staging companies fail.
Building a profitable home staging company, is more than just not failing, however. It’s about building a business that grows at a steady pace, while keeping expenses down, and revenue up. During the first 3-5 years, your business will most likely be “upside-down”, meaning that it will spend more money than it earns. This is incredibly common, and one of the reasons why so many businesses fail. You simply have to spend money to make money.
In addition to everything already mentioned, in order to have a successful, profitable business, that will allow you to EARN A LIVING, you’ll need to spend money on the following things:
- Art in varying sizes
- Rugs in varying sizes and styles, especially 8×10
- A variety of accessories (candlesticks, candles, vases, books, knick-knacks, etc)
- Fake plants in a variety of sizes and textures
- Fake fruit & orbs
The above items are needed even if you are only working in occupied homes. Each of these items are less expensive to purchase than rent, often even on the first rental. They are the most common items needed to “fill-in” occupied homes.
If you want to work in vacant homes, the list gets much longer. While you can rent most large furniture items, you’ll still need to have all of the above, plus linens, pillows, and more. You’ll also quickly learn that if you are renting furniture, the rental company will make more money on each job than you do. It may start to feel like you are working for them, instead of the other way around.
Can you operate a successful, profitable, home staging business with no investment?
The truth is that you cannot. No matter what other home staging training companies tell you, it cannot be done. You can build over time, minimizing the initial investment. You can get loans, and pay them back with your sales. There are many ways that you can build a successful, profitable company. You cannot do it without any investment, however. That’s an outright lie, put out there to earn your money in paying for their class.
Interested in a guaranteed 6-figure sales revenue your first year of business? Download our FREE copy of Blueprint of a 7-figure Home Staging Company, and call us for your FREE 30 minute coaching session.