Multiple Revenue Streams In Interior Design – Future-Proofing Your Business While Maximizing Your Profits & Enjoyment

Multiple Revenue Streams In Interior Design

If you’re an interior designer, you need to diversify your income streams by creating multiple revenue streams in interior design. By having multiple revenue streams, you can increase your income, stabilize your business, and create a more sustainable career.

What we cover show

Key Takeaways

  • Diversifying your income streams as an interior designer is essential for a stable and sustainable career.
  • Multiple revenue streams help mitigate the risk of income disruption and provide consistent cash flow.
  • Passive revenue streams are possible for your interior design business, but you need to understand what it actually means.
  • Traditional revenue streams for interior designers include commission-based work, partnerships with manufacturers, and design consultations.
  • Alternative revenue streams include offering workshops, affiliate marketing, product licensing, and creating branded products.
  • Implementing effective systems and processes is crucial for managing multiple projects and revenue streams efficiently.
Multiple Revenue Streams In Interior Design
Multiple Revenue Streams In Interior Design

The Importance of Multiple Revenue Streams

In my work as a revenue stream designer, I help designers and other small business owners build several revenue streams that work seamlessly together. It’s not uncommon that my clients implement 5-10 revenue streams, all intentionally designed and systemized to grow the brand’s awareness and bottom line. I’m covering some of the most popular revenue streams I have helped designers to build.

Why Interior Designers Need Multiple Revenue Streams

Firstly, relying on just one source of income is risky. If that source is disrupted, such as a client canceling a project or a downturn in the economy, your income will be affected. By having multiple revenue streams, you can mitigate the risk of disruption to your business.

Secondly, having more than one revenue stream, and recurring revenue streams, can help you to consistently earn income. One-on-one interior design can be time-intensive, and you may not always have a full schedule of clients. By having other revenue streams, you can stabilize your income and ensure consistent cash flow.

Thirdly, you might not be able to grow your business outside of your local area if you only offer one type of service – but with several revenue streams, you can go international and scale as you wish!

The Benefits of More Than One Revenue Stream

In addition to risk mitigation and consistent income, there are other benefits to having multiple revenue streams. For example, you can inflation-proof your business by diversifying your income sources. If one revenue stream is affected by inflation, you have others to fall back on.

Another benefit is that you can focus on getting paid quickly. Some revenue streams, such as selling information products or offering online courses, can be paid for upfront. This can help you to manage your cash flow and avoid late payments from clients.

Stabilize Your Income with Consistent Cashflow

Finally, having multiple revenue streams can help you to stabilize your income with consistent cash flow. For example, you could offer design consulting services, sell products such as furniture or décor, or offer online courses or webinars.

By diversifying your revenue streams, you can ensure that you always have income coming in.

Traditional Revenue Streams in Interior Design

Most designers focus on the traditional revenue streams: DFY design work, partnerships with manufacturers, and consultations.

Done-For-You Design Work

Done-for-you interior design work refers to a service where an interior designer takes care of every aspect of designing and decorating a space, from conceptualization to execution. This service is ideal for clients who want a professional to handle all the details of their interior design project, from choosing furniture and decor to coordinating with contractors and overseeing the installation process.

As a designer, you will work closely with the client to understand their vision and preferences, and then create a customized design plan that meets their needs and budget.

Partnerships with Manufacturers

Another revenue stream for interior designers is to partner with manufacturers to sell their products to clients. This involves working with manufacturers to select and recommend products that fit your client’s needs and preferences. In return, you receive a commission on the sales you generate.

To form partnerships with manufacturers, you need to build relationships with them and demonstrate your expertise in the industry. This can involve attending trade shows and other industry events, networking with manufacturers and other professionals, and promoting your services through social media and other advertising channels.

Consultations

Consultations are a third revenue stream available to interior designers. This involves providing advice and guidance to clients on a range of design-related topics, such as color schemes, furniture selection, and space planning. You can charge an hourly rate or a flat fee for your consulting services.

To offer consultations, you need to market yourself effectively to potential clients. This can involve building a strong portfolio of your work, networking with other professionals in the industry, and promoting your services through social media and other advertising channels.

Alternative Revenue Streams

Now, let’s dive into the less traditional revenue streams for designers! Here are some alternative revenue streams to consider:

Online Workshops and Courses

Offering online workshops and courses is a great way to share your expertise and generate additional income. You can teach design basics, DIY projects, or specialized techniques. You can also consider teaching your business processes to your industry peers!

Teach Your Expertise At Schools

You could team up with local, or international schools to teach design and become an expert teacher. Also, you could package a design class or a business class for the design industry, and offer to teach that at relevant organizations.

Many magazines, e-commerce stores, and local stores are looking to organize educational events, you could offer to teach your topics to their audiences which both give you an additional revenue stream and lots of new clients. 

Affiliate Marketing

Affiliate marketing involves promoting products or services and earning a commission for any sales made through your unique affiliate link. You can partner with furniture or decor companies and promote their products to your audience. 

You don’t have to own or invest in your own store to be able to make money on products. You most likely already make a commission on products you sell to your design customers.

You can start this with a few items, or by creating a partnership with a brand you would recommend to your customers, and start promoting their products. You can start by checking out the most popular affiliate programs for the home design industry and creating blogs promoting those products. 

You can couple this with your digital products and pre-made mood boards, just make sure you use the correct links to the products you promote and check them regularly for any changes. 

Product Licensing for Interior Design Products

Licensing your designs for use on products such as wallpaper, fabric, or furniture can provide a passive income stream.

Product licensing can provide you with a more exclusive product line which can help you attract new customers and maintain your current ones. Additionally, product licensing can help you protect your intellectual property and ensure that your products are available to consumers only through authorized channels.

Launch Your Own Physical Products

Consider creating your own branded products such as candles, textiles, or decor items. This can help establish your brand and provide an additional revenue stream.

If licensing is off the table for you, either because your brand is not commercial enough or because you don’t want to pursue that route, you can design and manufacture your own collection and keep control of the whole supply and distribution chain. 

This is a great way to expand your brand to new markets and go international. Most interior designers work locally, or nationally if they live in countries where it makes sense, but going international with your design firm is quite complex and expensive. 

Hence, going international with your home decor line is a great option. Of course, it comes with its own challenges, for sure, but selling products to different countries is somewhat easier than selling services.

Product Consultations and Design

Offering product consultations and design services can provide additional income. You can help clients select furniture, decor items, or even paint colors. Sometimes your clients just need a little bit of advisory, so you can package this as one of your signature offers.

Interior Design E-commerce

Selling products directly to your clients through an e-commerce platform can provide an additional revenue stream. You can sell furniture, decor items, or even your own branded products.

There are a lot of ways to go about starting a shop, but here are a few basics to get you started: first, find an interesting niche to focus on. If you already serve design clients, then think about what products you often source for your clients. 

For example, if you’re into antiques, start selling vintage furniture ornaments. You should also think about your long-term strategy: 

  • What brand do you want to use for your e-commerce store? 
  • Will you launch your own signature collection of physical products too? Sometimes, it makes sense to separate your e-commerce store from your design firm’s website and brand. 
  • If you separate them, how are they linked? What’s the red thread through your brands? 

There are many different e-commerce platforms available, so it’s important to choose the one that works with your technical skills and future vision.

Brand Promotion Through Blogging

Blogging is a great way to promote your brand and generate additional income. You can partner with brands for sponsored content or promote affiliate products.

You can build your own media empire. You can start a blog or a magazine, and use content to attract thousands or even millions of people to visit your website and offer your services to them. Of course, you can sell advertising for other companies, such as the suppliers that you love to use in your design projects.

The one who owns the audience can always monetize it in multiple ways. Also, if you launch a platform for your industry, you will start positioning yourself as one of the key players in your industry. 

You can make money off your platform by selling advertising spots, connecting your platform to an advertising network, selling your affiliate products, or of course, promoting your own products or services. 

Write articles for magazines

Another great way to diversify your interior design revenue is to write articles for magazines. In fact, many publications are looking for authors who can provide in-depth coverage of specific topics. If you’re good at writing, this could be a great way to make money from your skills. Plus, publishing your work in relevant publications will give you the opportunity to reach a wider audience.

Here’s a secret: you don’t even need to be that good at writing… you can outsource the article writing to professionals who write amazing articles based on your topics, knowledge, and skills.

Specialty Consultations

Many companies are looking for experts in design to consult them, and their partners. To diversify your interior design revenue, you could specialize in color, ergonomy, children with special needs, lighting, or any other niche that interests you, and offer expert consultations to companies that produce products and services in that niche. 

Also, companies and consumers might want to book a consultation with an expert who is not tied to a specific brand but can give an opinion before deciding about the specific supplier of the products or services. 

Coffee Table Books

Creating a coffee table book featuring your designs can provide a passive income stream and help establish your brand.

Writing a book is a great way to diversify your interior design revenue, but it also positions you as the leading brand and business in your niche.
Write a coffee table book covering your design ideas, skills, and work!

Writing a book is a great way to diversify your interior design revenue, but it also positions you as the leading brand and business in your niche. Again, you don’t need to be a professional author to be able to write a book; many interior designers publish inspirational books to showcase their work and outsource the writing to other professionals.

You could co-create a book with some peers. Maybe get together with an interior photographer and an interior design journalist and co-author your first book? 

If you want to write a book, there are several things you need to do first:

  • First, come up with a good topic. Is it for consumers or other designers? Is it about your designs or design principles, or both? Is it inspiration and lots of images, or guidelines to create your designs? 
  • Next, start writing. Start with the outline and topics, and then write one chapter at a time. Don’t edit while you write, just let the words flow. 
  • Then, edit. You might want to engage a professional editor in this process. Editing is just like designing interiors or exteriors: you remove some, you add some. You move things around, take a break, find a new angle, and keep editing until you are satisfied with the end results. Engaging a professional editor is worth the investment, regardless if you write your book by yourself or use a ghostwriter. 
  • And finally, publish your book! Get it out there, send it to your clients, put it on Amazon and all other stores, sell it on your website, and go on a book tour. Celebrate your amazing work!

Pre-made Mood Boards

Offering pre-made mood boards for clients can provide an additional revenue stream and help streamline your design process.

You could, for example, create ready-made design concepts and mood boards and add all the furniture and decor links to them. You can also add your affiliate links to make extra revenue in case your clients buy them!

Productize Signature Offers 

Are your services easy to sell and easy to buy? That is the cornerstone of growth for any firm, and depending on what you sell, you need to make it effortless for your customers to choose.

People don’t want to spend time figuring out how your company can help them. Make your message clear and your buying journey simple.

They come to you because you are the expert, so you need to start demonstrating your expertise already at the beginning of your relationship. One of the key strategies at Avenue to diversify your interior design revenue is to help our clients productize their offers so they become effortless to sell, market, and deliver

Your designs, the outcomes, and the results for your clients… will most likely always look different. But your process should be the same. That’s why you need to productize your services so they are simple to understand, easy to talk about, easy to buy, and easy to deliver, either by you or your teammates. 

Speaking

Consider speaking at design conferences or events. This will help establish you as an expert in your field and provide additional income.

There are many ways to make money by speaking. You can give speeches on a variety of topics, from business to personal development. You can also offer consulting services to other speakers or businesses.

Whatever route you decide to take, be sure to research the market well and build a strong portfolio before launching yourself into speaking engagements. And always remember: practice makes perfect!

Day Rates

Offering day rates for consulting or design services can provide a steady stream of income. This is a great model for you who don’t necessarily want to take on full design projects but offer consultation. And, this also is a great starting point for bigger projects!

Monetizing Social Media

Monetizing your social media platforms through sponsored content or affiliate marketing can provide additional income. Did you know that creators make quite a decent money creating videos for platforms such as YouTube?

If you want to become an influential person in your industry, starting a YouTube channel is one of the best ways to go about it. First, decide who you want to attract. Is it the industry peers? Then create content that interests them. Is it your dream customers? Then tailor your content to attract more of them.

Here’s the thing: many people fear that they only attract people who want to learn and DIY the designs, but if you start a YouTube channel, you can make money by just getting more views on your videos. 

To diversify your interior design revenue, you can also start a YouTube channel that tells stories about you as an entrepreneur, which will attract other entrepreneurs to your channel and into your ecosystem.

This can lead to many great deals with these entrepreneurs, either doing their personal homes, office spaces, restaurants, or any other venture they have. Karin Bohn, a Canadian interior designer is a great example of a successful entrepreneur who took her business to YouTube and then to Netflix. 

Launch an event or mini-trade show

Trade shows offer an opportunity for businesses to network with potential partners and customers. Trade shows are usually large events, but you can create your own mini-trade shows that you host at your local conference center, hotel, or any other place you find suitable. 

Many designers, both service firms and product companies get together with peers and host local market or buying days, either for consumers or for trade and retail buyers. You could get together with a number of peers and create a mini trade show that attracts customers and media. 

Host a digital conference

If you want to increase the reach of your brand, hosting a digital conference could be a great way to do it. Digital conferences are a great way for businesses to expand their reach and connect with lots of interesting industry people and customers. Just like with events and mini trade shows, you can take your design conference online and make it big. 

During the pandemic, many event companies started hosting digital events out of necessity. While people love getting together at physical locations, touching the products, and interacting with their peers, digital conferences are here to stay due to their massive capacity to reach people all over the world and remove the need for traveling. 

Digital Products and Templates

Creating digital products such as design templates or e-books can provide a passive income stream.

Remember, not all revenue streams will work for every interior designer. Consider which options align with your brand and expertise and give them a try.

Digital interior design has revolutionized the way people design their homes. With so many different options and platforms available, it is now easier than ever for people to personalize their space in an innovative and unique way.

There are a variety of programs that allow users to create their dream home on a computer or tablet, and then print out or save the design for use in the real world.

This doesn’t mean that people actually can design their homes, and wouldn’t need your expertise… they still need YOU!

The best thing since the digitalization of design (and our lives) is this: Your clients can be anywhere. You can be anywhere. You can offer digital products to your customers regardless of where they are, and deliver your product immediately at almost zero cost. 

Add a subscription service 

One of the best ways to increase your profits is to create a subscription service. People use subscription services in all industries, B2B and B2C. This might require you to think a bit outside the box, and it usually doesn’t start with “what can I create” but “for whom”?

In this foundational business development work, you might find out that your ideal client profile is in fact expanding to other demographics

For example, if you do residential interior design today, maybe your customers today don’t understand the value of you providing a subscription service, but if you expand to working with offices and small businesses, maybe they have a need for a continuous service that your firm can deliver.

Maybe, you offer to come and redecorate their offices every other month, changing the decor and updating their look? Maybe you can add a fresh flower delivery to your office redecoration service and make sure your client’s offices are always as representable as possible. A legal firm with luxury clients would definitely be interested in keeping their spaces looking fabulous at all times… 

Passive Income For Interior Designers

It’s not possible to talk about revenue stream design in today’s business environments without touching the importance – and meaning – of passive income.

What is Passive Income?

Passive income means that you can generate income without being part of the actual delivery of the product or service. This is a great way to future-proof your business and make sure you can hit your growth goals faster.

We have covered tons of so-called passive revenue streams in this article, but one must be very clear: there’s no such thing as completely passive revenue. All the revenue streams require work upfront, marketing efforts, and product development and maintenance.

If you want to learn more, head over to this article: The Truth About Passive Income For Interior Designers and Other Professionals.

Effective Systems and Processes

When it comes to creating multiple revenue streams in your interior design business, implementing effective systems and processes is crucial. Having a solid foundation in place can save you time and energy, allowing you to focus on other aspects of your business.

Here are some tips for creating effective systems and processes:

  • Document everything: Write down all your processes and systems so that you can refer back to them in the future. This will also help you identify areas where you can improve and streamline your operations.
  • Automate where possible: Look for ways to automate repetitive tasks such as invoicing, scheduling, and follow-up emails. This will free up more time for you to focus on revenue-generating activities.
  • Use project management tools: Utilize project management tools like Trello or Asana to keep track of your projects, deadlines, and tasks. This will help you stay organized and ensure that nothing falls through the cracks.
  • Create standard operating procedures: Develop standard operating procedures (SOPs) for your business processes. This will help ensure consistency and quality in your work, which can lead to more satisfied clients and repeat business.
  • Delegate tasks: Consider delegating tasks to trusted team members or outsourcing to contractors. This can help you scale your business and take on more projects without sacrificing quality or burning out.

By implementing effective systems and processes in your interior design business, you can create a solid foundation that will support the growth of multiple revenue streams.

Keys To Inflation-Proofing Your Design Business

Creating multiple revenue streams is the key to future-proof your business, in bad and good times. Here are 3 keys to consider:

First: Fix the mindset

Your clients still want what you have, but if they need to make tough decisions between the necessities and the luxury – they go with the necessities. 

So… your job is to make your services or products a necessity.

Second: make your products and services available for a larger crowd

While your premium high-end service is for the top 1% of your audience, you could think about adding additional services and products that are available for a bigger crowd. With this, even your high-end clients might consider these services even if they’d normally go with the top end. 

Third: make products and services easy to buy

Adding services and products that are easy to buy helps you turn more clients faster. When the business becomes cash-poor, the velocity of purchases is one of the key metrics to consider.

FAQ – Multiple Revenue Streams In Interior Design

What are some creative ways to generate revenue in interior design?

As an interior designer, there are many creative ways to generate revenue. You can offer e-design services, create and sell your own products, host workshops, or even start a YouTube channel to showcase your work and offer design tips.

How can an interior designer create multiple income streams?

To create multiple income streams, an interior designer can offer a variety of services such as design consultations, home staging, and project management. You can also create and sell your own products, offer online courses, or even write a book on interior design.

What are some effective ways to monetize an interior design website?

To monetize an interior design website, you can offer sponsored content, affiliate marketing, or even sell advertising space. You can also offer e-design services or sell your own products directly on your website.

What are some popular side hustles for interior designers?

Some popular side hustles for interior designers include teaching design classes, blogging about interior design, or even starting a design-related podcast. You can also offer freelance design services or sell your own products on platforms like Etsy.

What are some high-paying interior design jobs?

Some high-paying interior design jobs include working as a creative director for a design firm, a project manager for a large-scale design project, or even starting your own design firm. You can also specialize in a specific area of design such as hospitality or healthcare design.

How can an interior designer effectively manage multiple projects at once?

To effectively manage multiple projects at once, an interior designer should prioritize their tasks, delegate responsibilities to their team, and use project management tools to stay organized. It’s also important to communicate clearly with clients and set realistic timelines for each project.

How can interior designers create passive income?

There are several ways that interior designers can create passive income. Here are a few ideas:

  1. Create and sell digital products
  2. Affiliate marketing
  3. Create a membership site
  4. Sell print-on-demand products
  5. Rent out furniture and decor

These are just a few examples of how interior designers can create passive income.

The key is to think outside the box and find ways to leverage your skills and expertise to generate income beyond their traditional design services.