Need help, researching starting a kitchen design business

3 Replies

The people we hope to have as clients are probably using bigger pockets and if this isn't allowed I'm sure someone will let me know.

My wife and I are laying ground work to start a kitchen design company around February.  She currently works at a big box store and has been the head kitchen designer there for a couple of years.  She doesn't like the direction things are going so we're doing the research to see how feasible it is.  The plan right now is for her buy the software and start doing designs as a second job.  If things look good, eventually we'll transition to full time.  

We've always wanted to start buying real estate and building a portfolio but we've never been in a good enough financial position to do it.  We're hoping this might give us the means to head in that direction.

Here's our problem, she doesn't know what to charge for a design.  We don't even know where to begin trying to figure that out.  I'm sure many of you know that big box stores do free design if you buy the cabinets and installation there. But what does just a designer charge?  Any help is greatly appreciated.

Hi Trey there are few ways you may consider

1) You can do it for free but you only show the rendering and not the measurements. This will help your clients who need to visualize what their kitchen would look like. I know you are putting some work for no money but sometimes that's what's needed to close the deal

2) Charge nominal like $200-$500 - enough amount to cover your time but not a deal breaker for client

3) Charge $1500-$3000 for unlimited revisions and tell them if they go with you for the project then you will transfer this amount towards their down payment

figure out your market. since your wife already does the designs for a competitor she has some sort of inside knowledge. Know who, what, where, why and when of the business. She must know how long it takes to do a typical design. If you can make a accurate list of the overhead/expenses and average it then you can easily add a profit margin to it and make a profitable venture. 

would she also be building the cabinets or just laying them out? Might be a good b2b. Maybe find contractors who do a lot of renovations and offer to their designs. Since big box stores offer it for free DIY people are not a good market. I'd also suspect that investors aren't a great market since they want things done cheaply. 


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