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Your thoughts on this career....

JDawgJDawg subscriber Posts: 4
edited May 2007 in Selecting a Business
Home Staging.
Home Staging is a service to home owners and/or realtors selling a home. The Home Stager takes a client`s furniture and accessories and arranges them in an appealing manner. They also remove personal effects and declutter rooms for optimal visual appeal.
It appears to be a new and upcoming service. It is something I would like to do in addition to my print and web design. I love what I do so this new opportunity would be something fun for me. I love staging my home and have helped friends stage theirs.
I`d like to hear your thoughts on whether or not you think this service will be needed 15 - 25 years down the road. And how would I go about finding out how much people are willing to pay for this service.
Thanks in advance.


  • simplysanriosimplysanrio subscriber Posts: 4
    You could also market yourself to home developers who need people to decorate the model homes if you have the funds to buy the furniture.  You might want to check pricing of interior designers/decoraters as a comparison.  I think people would love the convenience and also the expert advice on how to make their homes sell quickly.  My previous home had old ugly carpet and I asked my realtor if he thought we should change it before selling and he said no just to offer a carpet allowance.  After 2 months on the market we decided to change the carpet and we sold it the very next day. 
  • drvagdrvag subscriber Posts: 5
    Jdawg,  I think nhgnikole`s 2nd statement is the one you should think about.  Can you really devote the attention necessary to a start-up and if you do, will your other companies suffer?
    Don`t spread yourself thin.  Maintain a healthy life/work balance.
    Best of success.
  • deltadelta subscriber Posts: 0
    That does sound very cool. I know it`s a necessary thing to do home staging; my question is this.  Isn`t the realtor for a seller supposed to do that? Maybe not and I just don`t know how lucky I am.
    We are getting ready to list our house very soon, but for the past 2 weeks we have been taking care of all the things the realtor told us to do. The day after she walked through the house she sent a letter listing all the things we needed to fix, change, re-paint and de-clutter plus all the suggesions for making the house reflect its best. We`ve been working hard on everything, but I just thought that was  normal for any realtor to do. She said the house would sell quickly if we made the changes and took care of the things she suggested. If it`s not normal for a realtor to do this then, by all means, this is a much needed service! I`m sure it works to showcase the house. (In fact, it`s looking so good that my husband said maybe we ought to just stay here...I told him...LOL)
    To your success if you decide to go that route,
  • drvagdrvag subscriber Posts: 5
    jdawg,   No business is solid after only two years.  Fact is, most start-ups don`t make it past five years.  And doubling or even quad-tripling of profits is easy to do when they are small to begin with.  When you`re doing a hundred thousand dollars of income and you double, ...that`s growth.  Hopefully controlled and planned growth.
    I am curious as to why you think your age will have an impact on your success as a graphic designer or cause your clients to think you can`t do the job anymore?  If it was a physical job, than yes I agree, but it`s not and if your ideas are exceeding your clients expectations, then they will come to you because of your portfolio and experience.  I don`t know what problems that "Aging expert designers will face in the future" that every single person in business doesn`t also face today.  Especially given the rapid exponential changes that happen in our world in just a matter of a years.  Who really knows what change any industry will see even next year. 
    I may be wrong, but I sense that you are scared of your competition today and you do not know how to keep them from eating your lunch and you think that staging, being a relatively new service has little competition.
    So my advice to you is to figure out how to stay ahead of your competiton.  You don`t go head to head.  You go around, under, overtop, but never head to head.  If I`m off target. sorry!
    Best of success.
     drvag2007-5-28 8:35:5
  • JDawgJDawg subscriber Posts: 4
    Nikole, you are right on!! Your words are uplifitng and is what I needed. You have reminded me that I must, WE must continue to educate people. And the fortunate thing is, there will always be people who want the BMW. It`s finding them that`s the hard part! Hee hee! But we will!!
    Have a good week!
  • drvagdrvag subscriber Posts: 5
    jdawg, so it sounds like it`s not fierce competiton, but the real threat is technology.  and not age for that matter either.
    What are the other threats facing your industry?  More importantly, what are the opportunities?
    And what strengths can you exploit and what weaknesses can you eliminate?
    Have you done your S.W.O.T. today?
    nhgnikloe, I like your spirit and determination to fight the fight and win the war.
  • JDawgJDawg subscriber Posts: 4
    drvag, you`re proabbly right about what my concern truly is. I know experts are needed but how many spots will be filled by people who think they are experts? Yes there are some now, but with new techology there will be more of "them" and as I get older (thus my thinking it is an age issue) there`s just more of them to contend with. BUT I too like Nikole`s attitude and will stand strong to educate and fight against it. I do it now, so why wouldn`t I in 10 years?
    Okay, stupid question: What is S.W.O.T.?
  • drvagdrvag subscriber Posts: 5
    Hi jdawg.  SWOT is an acronym for strengths, weaknesses, opportunities, threats.
    Strenghts and weaknesses are internal, that is, they are about your company and its people.  eg. one could be the depth and breadth of your organization and their skillsets.  Or lack there of would be a weakness.
    Threats and opportunities are external, about anything and everything in the outside world today and on the horizon.  the technology you refer to is a threat. 
    in our business plans we would to SWOT analysis on our competitors also, especially their strengths and weaknesses and compare them to ours.
    AND important note, is that a strentgh is something that nobody else has or can easily duplicate.  eg, our company has deep pockets because our partner is a wealthy investor.  Our competitor does not have the money or resources that we have.
    But I argue, they could easily find an investor tomorrow.
    So, jawg, what are the opportunties that you can be the first in your market to take advantage of?
    hope this helps 
     drvag2007-5-29 13:11:52
  • drvagdrvag subscriber Posts: 5
    And also jdawg,  it`s ususally best to try and come up with at least 3 - 4 of each SWOT, and hopefully you have more strengths than weaknesses.  Don`t just stop at one threat either because I`m sure that if you really dig deep, it is more than just technology that will have a negative impact on your biz on the horizon.
    SWOTs are good to do, especially in a business plan if you are seeking investors.  It shows them you have thought about the risks that could occur.
    Best of luckdrvag2007-5-29 13:28:0
  • JDawgJDawg subscriber Posts: 4
    drvag, thanks so much for this information! I have not done this... I`m interested to see what comes up. Thanks again for your input.
  • EntrevisorEntrevisor subscriber Posts: 0
    It seems the convo got a little off topic, as per your initial question. From a practical standpoint, I definitely think a convenience niche service such as home staging will be around in 15-20 years. One thing that has not changed since the beginning of time is that people need a place to live. Therefore, a service business based upon real estate seems like a safe bet. However, that being said, this particular business does not just depend on real estate but actually on real estate turnover, or at least attempted turnover. From what I read, I do not see the number of houses for sale being overly affected but rather the time on market and price of sale. This actually seems like a good thing for this service niche. The longer a house is on the market and the more competitive prices get the more likely home sellers are to differentiate their home from others. Home staging, if marketed correctly, offers just the solution.
    Now, instead of marketing directly to the home seller, maybe you could form an affiliate type relationship with real estate agents. I know some of them already offer this service themselves as a value add. However, I`m sure many of them would love to offer their clients "JDawg Design`s Home Selling Staging Services", with, of course, a percentage referral relationship worked out.
    Also, you could approach furniture companies and form a similar strategic partnership. When people move, one thing that is common is the purchase of new furniture. Well, if you formed a few exclusive partnerships with furniture providers then their furniture, and more importantly brand name, would be in front of a highly targeted audience right before new furniture buying decisions were made. At least, that is how I recommend forming your pitch.
    Well, this has become a longer post then I attended, but I thoroughly enjoy questions like these. I`m pleased to hear you`re already a successful entrepreneur and wish you the best of luck on future endeavours.
  • JDawgJDawg subscriber Posts: 4
    Hi, JJ. Thanks for the input! You offered some great ideas!
    I meet with a prominent home stager in Dallas next week. Will follow up.
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