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'Achieving Success in a Home Staging and Styling Business'


Article By Anita Richardson
House Wow®, the Home Staging Network™, CHSSP®
How I achieved my own business success and how you may achieve your preferred version of business success may be entirely different. You might already be there, just where you want to be, but most of us still look to the future and I believe that it's crucial, in this ever changing world and evolving interiors and property sectors, that we do.

I am constantly asking myself, what do I need to do today, this week, what are my priorities (business and personal) and I guess that you are too.

This world is fast moving, fast pace and we all have a lot of things on our to-do-list, but unless we make plans - yes get ready for it - "we plan to fail". The thing is - it's said often because it's very true.

Planning is the crux of getting there and crucial in any journey, including our business journey. If we wander aimlessly about our street we will never catch the flight that's going to take us to amazing places. But first we need to ask ourselves - "which amazing places do I want to get to?" "What is my starting point?" and yes,.. "What do we pack into our suitcase for the journey?" In the travel simile for many of us it might be "how many shoes and handbags can I fit in my suitcase!! In business that would be "What do I need to take with me to achieve my plan and outcome".

What does it take to achieve Home Staging business success?
You might be interested to hear a little bit about my journey in the Home Staging world. My credentials are easy to read, 15 years in the Home Staging industry: Director of HouseWow® UK Home Staging and Styling business with 11 Associates across the UK, founder of the Home Staging Network™ 2004, and creator of CHSSP® online Certified Home Staging and Styling Professional course. BUT how did I get to here and why?

I'm conscious in these ever evolving times of social media and comparisons to others, particularly those who have already succeeded in business, that some new comers to the Home Staging industry may feel over-awed and might allow self-doubt to creep in. Hear it from one who knows, that's me... I had no contacts in the property market and no wealth to invest in a business when I began. I did have a lot of determination, knew how to work hard and had integrity, honesty and passion about styling on a low budget to get maximum results. Sound familiar?  Small Home Staging businesses don't need to have stock or buy furniture in advance of being paid by a client. There are a number of ways to start small but to thing big and grow a business.

The start of my Home Staging journey
I'd looked for a small property for me and my children after divorcing and thought, 'Why on earth do people present their homes like this when they want to SELL?!' I knew that with low cost changes they could look so much different!

Having bought a small semi, divorced and moved I completed an Interior Design course at my local College, in my beautiful home County of Yorkshire, whilst doing two jobs and building a two-story extension to get more space on a budget, for my sons and I.

I suddenly thought eureka! 'Why don't I talk to Estate Agents and offer a styling service to help people improve their property presentation to sell'. I soon found out about Anne Maurice and realised it wasn't quite a eureka moment, but it was very, very early days for Home Staging services in the UK. So my journey in Home Staging began.

Next I focused on building a small sole trader Staging and Styling business, but quickly realised that most of the general public didn't know what on earth Home Staging was. So back to the drawing board. I created lots of before and after shots for my website, wrote as widely on the topic as I could, networked with local people and started getting more staging and styling work. I grew my own business from a sole trader Home Staging and decluttering occupied property to a Limited company contracting developer show home jobs and I've staged multi-million pound properties all over the UK.

Enter the story my husband-to-be with a talent for technology. We created the Home Staging Network to give all Home Stagers a low cost internet platform to get found and a code of practice to give Estate Agents confidence in their services. I literally wrote the book on Home Staging from my experience, and made it available to newcomers as an ebook to help them get started more quickly. Fast forward a few years and we developed the first online Home Staging and Styling Professional course in the UK - CHSSP® delivering certified training and education for quality professional Home Staging service delivery.

HouseWow® launched as a joint enterprise to raise the profile of the Home Staging industry even further by promoting a 'says what it is on the tin' brand to homeowners and property professionals. We recruited Licensed Associates located across the UK offering various services of Styling from Decluttering and Staging occupied property through to Interiors and Show homes for high-end multi-million pound properties. HouseWow® evolved and the growth and depth of the Home Staging industry ranging from small sole trader businesses to large Limited company businesses with high turnover and varied services began.

So what do you want out of your business? The journey and destination needs to be thought through early. Planning on a large business or small? Focusing on certain Home Staging Services or a wide range? It's possible to tailor your business to your plans for the future.

What does the future hold for Home Staging?
There have been huge changes over the last decade in the Home Staging and Styling industry, there are more changes unfolding now and there will be changes in the decades to come. I've learnt many things about how to adapt over the years. I feel privileged to have been instrumental in the growth of the Home Staging industry and being closely connected with so many individuals achieving their own type of business success. But much is still needed. We need to stay ahead of the trends, plan and decide our own path as a community of people with a louder voice than any one of us.

My belief is that the Home Staging industry should be wide ranging in service offering and inclusive. As the industry grows and more companies offer Home Staging as rented furniture, I remain passionate that we mustn't lose sight of the value of smaller businesses starting out in the industry, in all parts of the UK, offering Home Staging and decluttering for occupied homes and styling. It's as vital a service for Homeowners and Estate Agents as any area of Home Staging services. We can work together to educate, promote and grow our whole industry and support each business on an exciting journey to 'your business success your way'. It's the variety of businesses and range of services and our collaboration as a community which will sustain the Home Staging industry and see it go from strength to strength.

I think my story is pretty simple. I had a plan - in order to build my own business I needed to build the Home Staging industry to be the best it could be, to build awareness and to bring Estate Agents along with us on the journey. I've loved every minute of that challenging journey and meeting amazing people along the way. Estate Agents and our relationships with them are part of the continuing challenge, and it's our job to keep educating property professionals and the public alike about our Home Staging services, just as it's our job to keep on top of the trend of what they need and it's our job to present a range of quality services that meet those needs.

Your journey and story will be different to mine because your end game is different. You may want a small or large business and to offer a variety of styling services to suit your skills. I hope that the CHSSP® online UK Course fulfils the initial need for knowledge and information as it's written by someone who's walked the same route. We look to the future with CHSSP® classroom courses due to launch soon to fill the need for quality face-to-face advanced training by UK Home Staging professionals.

The opportunity to get your business found and recognised is much easier these days. The Home Staging Network™ is a Members only website to get your business found, spread the word about home staging and grow the industry. We need a dynamic Home Staging industry, whose work and those within it are given the recognition they deserve as a crucial part of the UK Property market. List your Home Staging business at Found internationally at

Shaping the future of the Home Staging industry together
As a community I believe that we can shape the future of the Home Staging industry to adapt and grow. I was thrilled to be able to offer a 30 minute presentation on 'Vital elements to a successful Home Staging and Styling Business' at the Home Staging Forum and Awards lunch at the Waldorf Hotel, London.

Three topics - 'Start small think BIG' - Evolving your business, 'Defining your Services' - Services and changing trends and 'Price point' - Pricing strategy in a competitive market were well received and useful topics which we aim to develop further for the CHSSP Masterclass courses and Webinars series.

Moving forward 'Your Business Your Way' is an exciting journey and I am pleased to share with you my experience gained over 15 years in the Home Staging industry. We will have Question and answer sessions and Networking breaks through the day will enable everyone to share their own thoughts and ideas. I hope that you'll have the time to be there at the course and add this experience to the items in your suitcase of knowledge as you progress your own business journey.

I hope that you enjoyed reading about some of my own story and ideas for the future. It would be lovely to meet you in person and hear your thoughts at the Forum and Awards.

Anita Richardson
Find out more about CHSSP® Master Class courses here CHSSP UK Register of Learning Providers Ref: UKPRN: 10045055
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