With mounting job losses in the current economy, many unemployed or underemployed individuals are weighing what type of business they might start on their own. Debra Gould, also know as The Staging Diva®, compares home staging with other businesses an aspiring entrepreneur might consider.
Weighing home staging against other career options
As job loss figures mount in the United States, Canada and around the world, more people are rediscovering a long held desire to be an entrepreneur. For creative individuals especially, decorating is a common theme. A related business is home staging which offers many benefits.
Some of the benefits of a home staging career include the:
- flexibility it offers to pick your own hours
- very low entry costs and next to no overhead
- high income potential in both slow and hot real estate markets
Here’s how a home staging business stacks up against other possible new business opportunities:
In the past decorators and interior designers have made the bulk of their profits from mark ups on furniture and fabrics. However, the Internet has made it easier for customers to source what they need without the help of a designer to get them access to unique goods.
At the same time, in this economy decorating is one of the first things someone would cut back on to save money. It’s a non-essential service with no inherent deadlines. In other words, you might want to redecorate your living room, but there is rarely a compelling deadline to do it now.
On the other hand, home staging is still “decorating” but because it’s with a goal of helping a house sell on the real estate market, there is a deadline and customers are highly motivated to take action now rather than later.
Many entrepreneurs in the past have dreamed of opening a retail store to sell products they’re especially interested in. However, one need only look at all the “for rent” signs in most retail areas to know that this is not the best time to set yourself up for the high overhead costs of a store. Besides, considerable start up capital is required to decorate the store front, hire staff and build the inventory that would be required.
Further the need to be open during business hours and weekends offers little flexibility. Home stagers are able to book clients around their schedule and without a store front there are no public hours of operation to adhere to.
Multi-level marketing business(MLM)
There are a myriad of MLM schemes out there, but you’re usually required to buy inventory and spend a lot of time recruiting other distributors in order to make any money. Most people give up on these businesses when they realize how hard it is to sell their stock piled inventory at the same time as constantly recruiting new members into the business.
In home staging you are marketing your business to find your own clients, but you don’t have to convince others to become home stagers too!
Real estate agent
Over the past 8 years or so, the real estate industry has been completely saturated with new agents hoping to make quick and easy money as the real estate market continued to heat up. There is one agent for every 4 properties sold in the US and Canada, too many to make a good living for all but the top agents. With the current slow down in the real estate market it will be even harder to make a living if you’re a new agent.
Besides, real estate agents are basically on call 24/7 and work every weekend, making it a difficult career for anyone with children. Compared to home staging, which is still a real estate-related career, there is much higher overhead as an agent with the significant downside of only getting paid when a house sells.
If you’re faced with underemployment or unemployment and you’re dreaming of starting a home staging business, take advantage of Debra Gould’s FREE special report “Ask Staging Diva: Can I grow a home staging business in a depressed economy?” You’ll learn how the current recession can actually help you follow your dreams.
About the Author, Debra Gould
Home staging expert Debra Gould has been an entrepreneur since 1989 which means she knows first hand how to find the opportunities that exist in a recession since her marketing consulting business flourished throughout the 1990s. Today she is president of Six Elements Inc. and the creator of the Staging Diva Home Staging Business Training Program which has helped over 1000 Graduates start their own home staging businesses on 5 continents.