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October 05, 2018 3 min read

It's one thing to design and create furniture and home decor as a hobby. But it's an entirely different thing when you turn your craft into a profitable business.It's not as simple as creating awesome products, marketing them, and selling them. There's a lot that goes into any business model - no matter the industry!There are nuances with understanding profit margins in the home design industry. How will you make a livable income as a self-employed designer? And what's a profit margin, anyway?Read on to learn everything there is to know about how to make money as a self-employed home designer!

What’s a Profit Margin?

Profit is profit, right?It's not that easy! Sure, profit refers to financial gains, money made... but a profit margin is a little more specific.Profit margins are a measure of your profitability. It's a percentage that reflects the amount of revenue which exceeds production costs.

How Do You Calculate Profit Margin?

First, subtract all business expenses from the total amount of revenue. This includes material costs (raw materials/shipping supplies/tools/etc.),taxes, and operating costs (rent/electricity/etc.). Remember that your total revenue is your gross profit amount before business expenses.Then, take the difference and divide it by the total revenue amount. This leaves you with a profit margin.Let's say a wood maker has a total revenue of $5,000. Her business expenses equate to $1,000. This would leave her with a profit margin of 80%. Profit margins are something you'll routinely calculate throughout the course of your business. Now that we understand how to calculate, what can you do to optimize your profit margin and take in the most income? We'll explore that next!

How Do You Price Products and Services?

As you get your business up and going, you may wonder how much product you should create each month. If you offer design services, you may be wondering how many clients you should work with every month. To figure this all out, you need to first answer this question:How much are you looking to earn? And to reach your target goals (you should make them weekly and monthly), how much product will you have to sell?You may now be wondering what to charge for your products. And to figure that out, you'll need to take the following into account:
  • Rent & utilities (for your workspace or store)
  • Internet (if you run an online store)
  • Materials
  • Shipping
Your wholesale prices should equate to business expenses and the cost of materials. They should also include your profit markups. These are the cost amounts that would help you earn your profit goals. Do you plan to sell products in smaller, individual amounts? You should mark your retail prices as 2-3x more than the wholesale price.

Should You Take Customer Acquisition into Account?

The short answer: Absolutely! Your skills as a designer make your business unique. People need your skills to personalize their homes. Take this into account when calculating your profit margin. What will it cost tomarket to new customers? What will you need to do to build your clientele - and how much will it cost? You should also take labor costs into account. When you're just starting off, you may not be able to afford to give yourself a paycheck. But when it comes to pricing your products and services, you should factor in how long it takes to make them. Not to mention, your expertise… because it’s your design skills that set you apart from the competition.

What Are Your Profit Margins?

Your profit margin will always evolve as your business grows. It's not uncommon to make five (even ten) times more than their business expenses.With a little patience and perseverance, the possibilities are endless. With your newfound understanding of profit margins in the home design industry, what will you set out to do?Better yet... what's your competitive advantage? If you're not sure,learn how to find your competitive advantage and channel it!