You can build a million dollar home staging business.
It would impress your relatives, friends, neighbors, and probably the media too.
Million Dollar Home Staging Business
A million dollar home staging business sounds so big, right? There are even multi-million dollar ones.
I’ve never wanted such a big home staging business. In this article I explain why.
It mostly boils down to wanting freedom and simplicity (while also making as much money as I need).
How to Get to Millions in Home Staging Sales
Invest hundreds of thousands of dollars (if not millions) in your own home staging furniture, accessories and art work.
Open offices and warehouses in a number of major cities where residential real estate is expensive.
Buy a fleet of trucks.
Build a large team of employees in those cities, including administrative staff, operations managers to oversee logistics, movers, drivers, warehouse managers, etc.
Pay tens of thousands of dollars every month storing, insuring and moving all your bits and pieces from one house to the next.
Mo’ Money Mo’ Problems in your Home Staging Business
What I’m describing is a fairly complex home staging business.
Impressive from the outside, but would you be happy running such a thing?
I know I wouldn’t (even if I only did it in one city!).
I’d be tossing and turning at night worrying about:
- Meeting payroll and benefits
- Whether it’s time to buy more inventory because of new projects
- How my furniture and accessories are getting banged up moving in and out of houses
- Which employees aren’t performing well or taking too many sick days
- Someone quitting right before a big deadline
- How to be a better manager or how to motivate everyone
And on an on . . .
The other thing that would keep me up at night in this scenario is the inevitable ups and downs of the real estate market.
If I had a ton of my own inventory, I’d be in trouble when the real estate market slowed down because my inventory would be tied up for a long time in customers’ homes.
When I got a new home staging project, I’d have to go out and buy another house full of furniture because that’s what my business model was based on.
And if business slowed down, I’d still have all that rented space and employees to pay for.
There would also be the question of how to take a vacation. Who would watch over it all if I wanted to take a break?
Meridith Baer created a multi-million dollar home staging empire.
Offices in 5 cities, over 300,000 square feet of warehouse space filled with inventory, a fleet of trucks, and a giant team of employees.
Clearly a shrewd business woman and I admire her! What she’s created is NOT for me, and never has been.
A Home Staging Business that’s Easier and Still Makes Money
I like a business that my friend Joe Polish would call “easy, lucrative and fun.”
When I set out to be a home stager, I never wanted inventory or overhead. I didn’t want staff to pay, motivate and manage.
It was important to be able to take time off when I wanted to or needed to. My daughter was only 7 when I became a professional home stager.
As a single mom, I didn’t want to go into debt to start my business. Which meant I had to figure out a way to stage homes without owning any of my own furniture or accessories. (And I did!)
I also needed to be available to walk her to and from school every day and not work evenings or weekends.
When she was in Grade 5, I even took a week off to be a parent chaperone on one of her school trips to another city.
I told my home staging clients that I was all booked that week. To my surprise (and relief) they were all willing to wait for me to stage their homes.
They didn’t need to know I was on a school trip ?
I love a home staging business that provides that freedom!
Even if you’re only operating in one city with a small inventory, you still have fixed costs for your business.
So if you don’t have any income one month, you’ve actually lost money.
My staging business has no fixed costs because I don’t use any of my own furniture or accessories to stage my clients’ homes.
Therefore, I’m NOT losing money when I have no clients because I’m between projects, or taking time off.
I’ve always operated my home staging business from my laptop. It could be sitting on my kitchen counter or beside me in a cafe. In other words, I’m not paying for an office.
I have a small number of floor and tile samples in my car trunk, plus my Designer Kit for paint colors. But that’s about it. No big filing cabinet. No “equipment” other than a measuring tape, travel-size steamer and digital camera.
This also means I can pick up and move my home staging business anytime I want.
Running a simple home staging business like I’ve just described can also be very lucrative.
Because you’re not paying for all the types of things I’ve described in the more complicated scenario, all your income is pure profit.
Yes, you can boost your sales significantly if it includes furniture rental fees, but do you really take home more home staging income at the end of the home staging job?
My mother once said,
“You have to decide whether you want to build an empire or get rich.”
That’s not to say you can’t do both. But her point is that you can get “quietly rich” without building an “empire” that’s obvious to others.
No one would have guessed I was making up to $10,000 a month in my home staging and redesign business within my second year in business.
And that was fine with me!
With no employees to pay, that income was all mine to keep (not including income taxes of course).
I didn’t need a fleet of trucks to feel successful. I was quite happily selecting furniture and accessories and getting paid to do it without having to own any of the items myself.
Curious how I made so much from a simple home staging business?
Find out about my complete business model in the Staging Diva Home Staging Business Training Program here.
My Inner Circle of Staging Diva students and Grads learns all the steps I took to start and grow a very profitable home staging business, while still having time for the rest of my life.
Share your thoughts in the comments below, I’m curious whether you’d prefer a home staging business that’s easy, lucrative and fun over one that’s more complicated.