The world of interior decorations is a simple one which does not need a special qualification, but diligence and foresight. However if you are always receiving compliments on your interior design taste or perhaps love decorating rooms and arranging furniture then interior decorating business may not be a bad idea.
Literally anyone can become an interior decorator. Someone who loves playing with colours, fabrics and textiles can become a decorator by simply printing business cards and promoting themselves to clients. This is not necessarily a bad thing, but educational background is also important. Interior decorators are paid to make homes and businesses suit the tastes of their owners. A good interior decorator can combine his own vision with the wishes and budget of his customers to turn physical spaces into places of beauty.
You can actually make good money in this business, as there are lots of designs possibilities, from home decoration, office, hotels, wedding venue, birthday, burial or any special events.
Before you make a life-altering career choice in this line of entrepreneurship, there are some things you should know about the decorating world. Decorators face challenges every day; some of these may not appeal to you, while others may excite you and open doors to a career that you never thought was possible.
Hone your own design sense
Interior decorating does not require any particular educational background, but a good sense of how to blend colours, fabrics and various pieces is important to be successful.
Without a portfolio, it will be hard to get decorating jobs. Offer your services to local women’s shelters or volunteer to assist established decorators to gain experience.
Create a portfolio
A picture says a thousand words, and this is definitely true when it comes to an interior designer’s portfolio. You can talk all day long about colours and textiles, but unless you have an outstanding portfolio that showcases your designs and projects, your successes will be few and far between. So it may be necessary to offer your services for free or at a reduced rate. This is probably the best way to get a portfolio started; it’s also a great way to get to know local merchandises and suppliers, and develop a rapport for future projects.
Everybody starts at the bottom. With some effort, experience and proper marketing, you can become a successful force in the interior decorating field. Also with the experience you have gained volunteering, you can put together samples of your work to show potential clients.
Join professional organisations and chambers of commerce to meet professionals in your area and potential clients. This is especially important if you are working for yourself.
A Knack for design
It may seem obvious, but in order to become an interior decorator, you need to have an innate flair for colour, spatial arrangements, architecture and textiles.
The first step to a successful career is to follow your passion. After all, doing something you love will never feel like work, and you will never feel bored doing it.
Be people’s person
Ask decorators to share their experiences, and they will surely relate some horror stories of past clients. People are finicky, especially when it comes to their homes. While some clients have clear goals in mind, others may think they know what they want only to discover that they hate the final product and are dissatisfied with your work.
A successful interior decorator is a people pleaser and a mitigator (and sometimes a mind reader) — someone who can steer clients toward a favourable outcome while making them feel they are in full control of the design choices. Interior decorators are constantly balancing their design decisions and their clients’ desires. It’s not a cakewalk, to say the least.
Decorating business is a competitive business. The key to success is getting yourself noticed. As mentioned above, an amazing designer portfolio will certainly help you land jobs.
It is also a good idea to stay abreast of design trends by reading design publications and websites, communicating with fellow designers and following a mentor. When competition is high, you need to work hard in order to get noticed and rise to the top
8. It’s Not About Your Style, It’s About Theirs
While decorators can offer their clients a wide range of design styles to choose from, it is important to remember that it is up to the clients to choose what style suits them best.
Your job is to offer a variety of styles and direct the client toward the right design choice while allowing the client to feel in charge.
For example, you may work as an interior decorator for years and never decorate a house that suits your personal tastes. It is all about the clients’ style — and you must put your own aside.
9. The world is indeed a global village and you can get job from anywhere, most especially from Nigerians in diaspora. Yes, decorators can telecommute, too! Thanks to technological innovations such as Skype, facebook, email, and other social media.
10. Promote your business.
The best promotion is word of mouth from a job well done, but you can also advertise your services in local publications or through your local chamber of commerce as well as the social media, or you can even have your own website.
How SON can tackle sub-standard products
Stories by Charles Nwaoguji
The Standards Organization of Nigeria (SON) is a body saddled with the responsibility of ensuring that products used in manufacturing within the country and products imported into the country meet global quality standards. This is to safeguard the health and safety of the citizens of the country.
In a chat with Daily Sun, the Director of Inspectorate & Compliance Directorate of SON, Engr. Bede Obayi, said the influx of sub-standard products has impacted negatively on the economy and prevented local industries to thrive.
Obayi said the agency had been working hard to complement efforts at reviving the economy.
“We at the SON are making efforts at repositioning the country’s ailing economy and shame the conspiracy of a segment of the society, whose vision is to drag the country in the murky waters,” he said.
He said SON is operating in a very difficult environment where the system doesn’t allow action to be taken on infringements until recently, adding that SON does not write standards as standards are based on consensus.
According to him, what SON does is to monitor compliance and there are constraint in enforcing them.
He stated that If SON seized substandard products such as tyres and cables, it must go to court to get judgment before the products can be destroyed.
He said that vast informal markets are very difficult to regulate. These include Alaba International, Auto spare parts and machinery dealers Association – ASPAMDA, Onitsha Market and Computer village.
He stated that despite these challenges, the volume of substandard products circulating in the economy had dropped drastically.
“The coming into effect of SON Act 2015, which also comes with arrest and prosecutorial powers, it is hoped that this will deter people involved in circulation of substandard products as conviction will take shorter time,” he observed.
He stated that the SON e-Products/SONCAP Certificates, e-Product Registration, Operation e-Flush and automation (e-Clearance Services) provide one of the ways towards achieving the Federal Fovernment’s agenda.
“We need the concerted efforts of all towards attaining this goal and this is why we must commend the efforts of our collaborators and partners who in no small measure have made seamless importation quite attainable,” he added.
“We want to specifically commend the Central Bank of Nigeria CBN, the Nigeria Customs Service NCS, the Federal Inland Revenue Service FIRS and NAFDAC for their support, encouragement and contribution towards making SON’s goal of ensuring that Nigerians have value for the good and services they purchased with their hard-earned money and for working together to make Nigeria a better country.”
Recession: Making fortune out of envelope production
At this time of recession, there is a lot of businesses out there one can get into with little capital. Such businesses could be envelopes production. Over four million envelopes are being used by companies for their businesses annually.
An envelope is a common packaging item, usually made of thin flat material. It is designed to contain a flat object, such as a letter or card.
Traditional envelopes are made from sheets of paper cut to one of three shapes: a rhombus, a short-arm cross, or a kite. These shapes allow for the creation of the envelope structure by folding the sheet sides around a central rectangular area. In this manner, a rectangle-faced enclosure is formed with an arrangement of four flaps on the reverse side.
According to expert in the industry, who spoke to Daily Sun, recently, in her office, the Managing Director of FAE Limited, Mrs. Funmilayo Okeowo, envelopes are not only pieces of paper which are used to wrap or keep letters or documents safe and looking nice, they bear the distinguished image of an organization and the charismatic personality of an individual. “They can be designed or shaped according to preference and most of all, they are tangible. Despite the rise of electronic communication, envelopes remain popular because they have the ability to spark off curiosity when received. Their size, colour, design and sometimes scent can give you vague idea of what the letters are all about.”
A lot of people do not know that with little capital of N10,000 to start with, they could get as much as N30,000. They can invest in the type of business that may give them huge amount of returns. With little investment of N10,000. They can make N30,000.
Types of envelopes
There are three major types of envelopes today. These includes the following:
A windowed envelope is an envelope with a plastic window in it. The plastic in these envelopes creates problems in paper recycling. Consumers who don’t want to go through the trouble of ripping out the plastic window should put the envelope in a rubbish bag after use.
Security envelopes have special tamper-resistant and tamper-evident features. They are used for high value products and documents as well as for evidence for legal proceedings.
Some security envelopes have a patterned tint printed on the inside, which makes it difficult to read the contents. Various patterns exist.
These mailers usually have an opening on an end with a flap that can be attached by gummed adhesive, integral pressure-sensitive adhesive or adhesive tape. Construction is usually: Paperboard, Corrugated fiberboard, and Polyethylene.
Major raw materials
The major raw materials needed for the production of envelopes are paper, gum and machinery for those that want to go into commercial production.
Research has shown that investing in envelopes business is profitable business. It does not require huge capital to start. Four hundred million businesses need envelopes for their transactions.
With little capital, you are as good as starting the business. Just invest N10,000 and watch it grow. It does not need electricity or shop. You can start from room apartment.
You can customize envelopes for clients. A variety of style and sizes such as banker, wallet and pocket are offered. One can go into customized printing on request.
Paper shade/ texture difference
To meet and exceed client’s expectations, you need to offer five shades: brilliant white, natural brown with metallic shade, bright white and light weight shades of brown natural and heavy weight of kraft shades to any size and colour.
Modern envelope technology
To move from the traditional way of making envelopes, you can use technology machines to fast track client needs and meet market demand in a timely manner. These machines are special envelope production machines. The machines can produce open-side and open-end pocket envelopes.
Quality envelopes will depend on quality of paper used. Beautiful business and wedding envelopes cause design from this paper. You decide to offer a full range of low price quality brown and white window, peal & seal, plain and printed envelopes. The envelopes can pass through well tested and established quality control procedures right from production line to packaging and delivery.