Interior designers are those who improve the functionality and aesthetics of a space. With Dubai fast emerging as a lifestyle destination, there is a lot of demand for interior design services, both residential and commercial.
If you are thinking of starting an interior design company in Dubai, then this guide should come in handy and help you get the ball rolling.
1. Decide on the range of services to be offered
Depending on your level of expertise, you could be someone who offers just the design part of it. Or you might be somebody who can actually do everything that is needed, right from designing to sourcing the materials required to actually installing the various fixtures. There is more than one type of interior designer, and it is not uncommon for interior designers to specialize in say, bed and bath. Or the living room interiors. Perhaps even the kitchen. Some interior designers focus on condominiums and apartments, while others specialize in large luxury villas. Some even offer outdoor landscaping services as well.
Whether you want to be a specialist at doing one thing or offer the entire gamut of services is up to you, but it is good to have a business plan and proceed accordingly. This makes it easier to target the right market demographic and get orders faster. Someone who wants his/her kitchen remodelled is more likely to look for a specialist in kitchen remodelling than an interior designer who offers kitchen remodelling only as one of his/her services. Then again, someone who wants his/her entire house redone looks for interior designers who can handle everything. So there is no easy answer, but you should always go with your gut instinct.
2. Register your company
There is nothing wrong in using your own name as the name of your company, such as Jeanne Hart Designs, but there is nothing wrong with using a more formal name either. This really is up to you, and once again, you should go with your gut instinct. It is important to be comfortable with everything that you do.
It is recommended that you have words like Interiors, Designs, or Spaces at the end of your trade name, in order to distinguish your company as an interior design firm.
When registering your interior design company in Dubai, it would be a good idea to have a business setup consultant in your corner. He/She can run a search for you to see if another company with the same name as you have in mind already exists. Sometimes, similar-sounding business names exist. You really wouldn’t want to build a reputation through sheer hard work and lose out on the fruits of your labour by having potential clients give their business to the company with the similar-sounding name. So this is something you need to pay particular attention to. It is always best if your company’s trade name is all original.
A business setup consultant can not only assist you with company registration in Dubai, but also help you secure the necessary business license that you need for your interior design firm in Dubai.
3. Build a website
This is the best way of attracting new clients. With a website, you can rank on Google for search terms like “best interior designer in Dubai” or “best interior design firm in Dubai”. Building a website is not difficult, but it is important that it be tastefully done. Because the first impressions are almost always the best impressions. Use high-resolution images of your work, or use representative images to give website visitors an idea of how you could help transform their spaces.
You could also use interior design software to get 3D renderings of spaces, which you could then display on your website. It is strongly recommended that you have mood boards as part of your portfolio on your website.
If you entrust the design and development of your website to a digital agency, it is likely that their content writer will subtly embed related keyphrases like best interior design company in Dubai, top interior design firm in Dubai and so on into the text of your website. These keyphrases lend themselves to the ranking of your website in the search results, and makes it more likely for you to land clients.
4. Decide your rates
The first question when a client gets in touch with you is likely to be “How much is it going to cost me?”. This is why you need to work on how you will be pricing your services. You could offer a flat rate if you were only into designing limited spaces, such as the kids’ bedroom, as these are more or less the same size. Or you could offer a rate calculated on the basis of square feet if your design services extended to the entire property.
If a client requests you to actually remodel his/her property and not just provide interior design services alone, then you might have to sit down and estimate how many hours it is going to take in total. Keep in mind that this will involve visiting multiple suppliers, negotiating the rates, and procuring items; in addition to supervising the workmen when they do the installation. It is good if you can accurately arrive at how your time and effort is worth, so you can provide a fair price.
You should always add at least 10% to whatever you have calculated as the product of your hourly rate and the number of hours required for the project. Some add 30% to be on the safe side, so that they can still honour their commitments even if it takes longer than expected. With experience, you should be able to judge who you can quote a higher rate to and still get the order. If all goes as planned, you can offer a discount to your client and make him/her a very satisfied customer. One who will spread the word about your services, leading to you getting even more orders
5. Promote your business
Dubai is a hub for events, conferences, and exhibitions. There is more than one event where you are likely to secure orders. Be a part of these trade expos, and you will find people in need of your services walking directly up to you.
Have an active social media handle and blog regularly about new developments. Both are effective ways of driving traffic to your site and improving the search engine rankings of your website. If you have the budget to hire a digital marketing agency, let the experts handle it. Some digital agencies are able to provide lower rates than independent digital marketing professionals because they deal with multiple clients at the same time. All you need to do is ensure that they don’t work for one of your competitors – that would be a conflict of interest and you wouldn’t be able to get the desired results out of your digital marketing campaign.
Don’t be surprised if the digital agency you hire to develop your website can also take care of the digital marketing effort and manage your social media handles for you. Some digital agencies offer end-to-end solutions and can be an invaluable partner in your growth story.
Build relationships with suppliers and building contractors. You never know when one of them might recommend you to one of their clients. Ideally, you need to have relationships with countertop suppliers, flooring suppliers, cabinet suppliers, and even appliance distributors. Of course, it helps if you have ordered from them before, but in case you are only starting out in the field, online classifieds might be a good place to find them.
We go one step further and also let you know of affordable commercial space options for your Limited Liability Company should you choose to set up your Limited Liability company on the mainland. We put you in touch with the right Local Sponsor, in case one is needed. The right Local Sponsor will be one who lends a patient ear to you and your business, and supports your Limited Liability Company at all times, going out of his/her way to do so.
Why Choose A&A Associate LLC for Opening an Interior Design Company in Dubai?
We are a passionate team of company formation professionals. We have years of experience establishing companies in Dubai as well as offshore. We have earned a name for ourselves as leading offshore business setup consultants in Dubai, and we have successfully helped clients from 100 countries around the world incorporate their companies. We are proud of our 98% client satisfaction rate so far, and the aim is to do even better.