7 Tips to Grow Your Home Staging Business!
Partner up. While many of us choose to go into business for ourselves, by ourselves, partnering up has huge benefits for your staging business. You may being thinking “but then I’ll be splitting the income with someone else!” When you work with another stager, you are adding someone to brainstorm with, an extra pair of hands on the big jobs, and the ability to create even more income by doubling your marketing efforts. Many clients see a staging team as more successful, and more able to respond to their needs. Whether you choose to formally partner up, or create specific joint ventures to snag larger accounts, a partner could be just thing to jump-start your staging business right now.
Expand your services. You’ve done your training, you may have a strong portfolio already, but you’d like to ramp up your business and increase your income. As more stagers come into the market every day, a savvy stager looks for ways to attract new clients, and build the business. With a stager’s training and experience you can easily approach stores in your area to offer display services. Many small stores would love to have a display consultant come to the store once a month or more to give the store a fresh look. Watch for new offices, and office relocations, in your area for opportunities to provide set-up services. Networking with commercial real estate professionals can give you an inside line on these opportunities. There are many other ways to expand your services.
Postcard marketing. There are numerous, and inexpensive, postcard printers that can provide you with a memorable marketing tool. I have had great success in using those postcards as a calling card, and marketing leave-behind at real estate offices, and other target market hot-spots. While mailing postcards can get pricey, these glossy cards are much more effective than a simple business card (and can be passed along to home sellers by the real estate agents.)
Volunteer your services. If you aren’t already doing this, now is a great time to start. Find compatible organizations that could use your services. Your assistance may not be in the form of traditional staging, but perhaps helping to spruce up and organize a tired office, assist with decor and set-up in a project for Habitat for Humanity or similar organization. In addition to the reward of helping others, volunteering your services gives you visibility and can lead to unexpected connections. Career days in local schools, or job shadows, are also a great way to give back to your community while increasing your presence.
Set up a Facebook Fan Page for your business. If you already have a personal Facebook page, you’re halfway there. Setting up a Fan Page on Facebook is relatively easy. It’s important to set up a Fan Page as soon as possible so that you can direct clients and vendors to the Fan Page, not your personal profile page. There are many tutorials on the internet with information on setting a page up, to get you started. A fan page is a wonderful way to share new project news, communicate business specials, and get to know your clients (and potential clients) better. Be sure to use the Facebook fan page box on your website, and add a link to your fan page to your email signature, so that people can find you there. Social media is becoming mandatory for small businesses to get noticed, but the secret is to use in in addition to personal networking for great results.
Actively seek Referrals. If you haven’t set up a system for encouraging referrals from your happy clients, you’re leaving money on the table. I always hand out two or three business cards or marketing postcards at the end of a consultation. If you’re working directly with a homeowner, they are usually more than happy to keep a few cards in a drawer to hand to friends and family that compliment your work. Much of my work has been through referrals. Many real estate professionals are also happy to refer you, unless you’re considered their “secret weapon!”
Pursue additional training. With your staging training, and business background, you are perfectly positioned to add a specialty to grow your service offerings. Whether you’re choosing to specialize, or add additional services, countless stagers have successfully moved into complementary careers as decorators, event designers, and photo stylists, while still providing staging services. All over the internet you see the phrase, “stagers are not decorators!”, yet a love of decorating and HGTV shows are what drew most of us into this business, and most stagers have a natural talent for decorating that would shine in any of those fields.