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designgirl
14-08-2002, 12:26 PM
Hi everyone

I'm trying to carry out some market research relating to my business idea but am running into difficulties. I am starting an interior design consultancy in East Devon but need to find out what type of person will buy from me, potential customers and their spending power etc etc in a specific region. I've already looked at the Mintel website and the Office for National Statistics, but am not finding the specific information I need in a format which is easily accessible. Can anyone help?

Thanks

elena
14-08-2002, 01:23 PM
Hello,

A good way to start would be to design a very simple and easy questionairre and go to the area in which you want to target and put it through their letter boxes informing them of when you are going to collect the forms.
You will find that most people are very happy to help you.
Good Luck
Elena

www.oohlalaa.com
Lingerie for the bigger busted lady.

Dedsoldya
19-08-2002, 06:48 PM
you could start by finding information on how much the average salary is in the area. Interior designing requires a fair bit of money, families with low incomes will tend to go for cheaper options, like doing it themselves. Basically if the economical situation in Devon is good then thats one point for starting the business. You must also consider other important factors in the area, if there is lots of competiton then that could make life difficult for new businesses wanting to set up, established businesses will under cut you and out promote you with big advertising campaigns. You will need a premises which means plenty of costs such as, overheads, including rent etc. You may also need staff. If you are young under 25 and have no past experience in interior design or setting up and ruinning a business then i suggest you re think what you are doing, perhaps do extensive market research to find a niche market, or a business that does not require premises and general overheads, try to keep costs as low as possible. If you have any more questions post them and i will reply when I come back off holiday.

designgirl
20-08-2002, 04:52 PM
Thanks for advice.

I am over 25 and have quite a bit of experience in the design led retail market, so I have a good idea of what sells in my area. Also, my market research so far into my competitors is highlighting an area of interior design which can be exploited, ie making it more accessible to the average person. Devon is an extremely prosporous ares, in fact one of the most prosporous in the country, especially since the Met Office is relocating here in late 2003 so income levels here are competatively high.
In respect to premesis, this is a business which, at its outset, will be run comfortably from a spare room and will require no staff other than myself, therefore keeping costs low.

I am currently in the process of compiling a questionnaire, the results of which will influence my business plans. I'm actually looking for interesting ideas and suggestions about services people would like to see in an interior design consultancy. My idea is to make the service as accessible as possible to those with a more average income level.

I look forward to hearing from you.

Dedsoldya
01-09-2002, 03:10 PM
what do you mean when you say ideas and suggestions about services people would like to see in an interior design consultancy. What do you mean by services, I thought the basis of your idea was to set up a shop where by people would possibly look around your shop, or through books and choose what type of design they wanted?

designgirl
01-09-2002, 03:21 PM
Good question!

Not all interior designers have a retail outlet. Those who do don't charge for the design service itself, but get their fee from selling the fabrics and finishes from the 'books' in their showroom. These books they buy at a cost from the design houses, eg Osborne and Little. There is an alternative, which quite a lot of designers do, create the design and advise the client where the materials can be found. Many fabric and carpet retail outlets allow people and designers to borrow the books to show to clients. Often the designer takes the client to these showrooms to pick the materials, the best place being Chelsea Harbour Design Centre if you can get there.
The kinds of thing I am offering include sourcing environmentally friendly materials and working to a variety of budgets which will open the interior design market up to a lot more people. Also I will not be dealing with contractors so it is a fusion of design and DIY. Because I don't have a showroom where I am committed to selling specific ranges, I can source a much wider market for materials and finishes.

I hope this answers your question.

Dedsoldya
01-09-2002, 03:25 PM
it seems a good idea, i hope it works out for you, the more open the market you can attract the better.

Designr
01-09-2002, 03:28 PM
Because I don't have a showroom where I am committed to selling specific ranges, I can source a much wider market for materials and finishes.
Designgirl, eventually, when business takes off, you perhaps should look into putting your services on the net, thus, your own showroom.

Teddington Lock
16-11-2004, 10:37 PM
Hi,

Hope you're enjoying success with the interior design consultancy you were talking about. It was some time ago now! I've been thinking about something similar in Surrey.

All the best,