Well, I figured I would post my journey as a start up Home Staging Company online for other to enjoy. I completed an online Home Staging Certification course and then took a second hands on course to ensure my skillset was ready for any potential clients. I really enjoyed taking both of these courses and design has always been one of my passions. I am a home based business, so networking with other businesses and clients is my main goal for my business during its first year.
I created a great portfolio for my clients to look through which consists mostly of friends and neighbor’s homes. Everyone was thrilled with the free design help and I am sure I could still be giving my services away for free. I have even spent a substantial amount of time working on a vacant staging project for a Realtor. It was a great learning experience and forced me to grow my accessory inventory to a much larger selection.
All my marketing materials have been ready since June. My web site has been up and running since early June and I also created business cards, brochures, and postcards. I joined every local staging society I could find, but apparently there aren’t any local staging groups interested in meeting and exchanging ideas. This was disheartening to say the least.
The local Association of Realtors newletter seems to be endorsing staging as a must do for anyone selling a home but in my limited experience I have not found any realtors willing to pay for this service out of their commission. I did find one realtor office interested in my services, I only had to pay $1,500 to join their team for one year. I did consider their offer, but as a small business startup I felt this money could go to a better purpose this year.
In desperation for face-to-face networking opportunities, I just joined the Orange County Chamber of Commerce. I think I found what I was looking for. They seem to have a networking event every other week. I have even joined a committee in my first 2 weeks as a member. Last Friday, I drove up to the Chamber offices and met all the staff. Cheryl was absolutely great, she signed me up for the Chamber and spent over an hour with me just going over different networking activities I may like. I signed up for their Casino Night in New Windor on September 25th, and the third place prize is a Kate’s Home Staging Redesign Consultation. Free Publicity for the event from the Chamber and a night of gambling and networking, this is what I have been looking for.
As the summer winds down and I am approaching the half way mark of myHome Staging and Interior Redesign business, I am hopeful to grow my connections and client base. I will keep you posted on how my new networking endeavours work out.
-Kate (www.kateshomestaging.com) Making every home better through redesign.