Tips For Launching Your Home Staging Business

So, you’ve finally listened to that little voice telling you to follow your dreams and become a home stager and redesigner. You paid your tuition, completed your program and framed your certificate.  You did it! You are finally on your way to having an exciting career in design.  Now all you need to do is start your own business and find your first client.

This may seem like an insurmountable task. Starting a business is not for the faint of heart!  However, with a little thought and planning you will feel more confident. Here are some helpful tips to get you on your way.

  1. Reserve your domain name first.

    Make sure when you are choosing a name for your business you check to make sure that the domain is available for the name you wish to use.  You don’t want to make the mistake of registering your business with the government only to find out that the domain name is unavailable.

  2. Build a stunning website.

    One of the most powerful marketing tools you will have will be your website. It will be the home of your portfolio, where potential clients can find out more about you and where they can interact with your brand 24/7.  If you don’t possess the necessary skills to create your own site, you will need to invest in having this created for you by a competent web designer.

    This will likely be one of the most expensive steps to starting your own business.  However, in a visual business like staging you need to represent your business professionally online.

  3. Network with realtors in your desired area.

    Realtors are the lifeblood of a stager’s business. Do some research and make a list of some realtors you would like to work with.  Invite them for coffee to discuss a mutually beneficial business relationship.

  4. Design business cards that compliment your brand and have them printed in large quantities.

    If you are serious about promoting your business, you will need more business cards than you think; 500 is a good number to start with. You never know when you might meet someone who is interested in your services or knows someone who needs your help. A business card contains all pertinent contact information and should be designed to reflect your company style.

  5. Create a one-page business plan.

    A business plan doesn’t need to be overly formal or long unless you are planning to approach lenders and partners with it.  This business plan is for you.  It is a roadmap for you to use to guide you through the days and weeks ahead.

A business should at least contain these three elements:

  1. What you are wanting to achieve with your business.
  2. How you are going to find your clients. What marketing strategies you will implement.
  3. How much money you will need to start your business and what you are expecting to earn from your business.

These are just a few ideas to help you get your business started. With a little preparation, you will be on your way to having the business of your dreams.

Master Bedroom Gets a New Refreshed Look!

During our 5 Day Signature PRES Home Staging and Redesign training course we take students into ‘real client’s homes’ so that they apply the theory they learn in the classroom the day before. It’s what makes us stand out from other staging schools and we know when students leave the course they have all the tools necessary to take on their first client!

We love finding home owners who have just not had the time or the skills to make the most of what they have. And we all know how important a bedroom is at the end of the day! So the students decided to tackle this neglected master bedroom and turn it into a quiet haven for the busy couple.

Often once we do a room transformation the home owner is inclined to keep on with the ‘new refreshed look’ and tackle other areas of their home. We know the wall paper has had it’s glory time and perhaps stripping it off and painting will make this bedroom even more peaceful.

Before this room was sadly neglected, very cluttered and chaotic….

Before MBR

Deni MBDR 1Before

Deni MBR full on

But with some creative design ideas and a team of eager students wanting to transform the room a simpler, less hectic space is created!

Deni MBDR After

Deni MBDR before

MBR Bookcase

Most home owners do have enough that any professional stager or redesigner can come in and work with. When we do a redesign for living, we create a more personal space for the home owner. It’s all about them and how they like to live! Staging as we know is all about attracting that potential buyer to love what they see!

How to Charge What You Are Worth and Get it!

You are not alone if you are struggling with charging what you think you are worth and/or raising your rates. Your ‘money story’ is directly related to your relationship to yourself. You are energy and your money is energy and all energy has a certain vibration to it. It is a scientific’ Law of Attraction’ fact that when you are ‘feeling’ worthy and valued you will attract more money. In this enewsletter I’m sharing with you my 7 Steps on How to Charge What You Are Worth & Get It! and I know that if you follow these 7 steps you will attract more money because you will see your true value.

7 STEPS ON HOW TO CHARGE WHAT YOU ARE WORTH & GET IT!

  1. CHANGE YOUR NEGATIVE THINKING
    Every result that you achieve starts with a single thought in your head. Your thoughts are energy and negative thoughts carry a very low vibration — keep thinking those thoughts and you will continue to attract clients you don’t want and people around you who also have a negative mindset. Every time a negative thought enters your consciousness — STOP IT! and look for evidence in your life where you can turn that into a positive thought. Showing gratitude for what is working in your business carries one of the highest vibrations so practice that on a daily basis. Keep your thoughts positive and reread your client testimonials if you need a reminder about how much of a difference you made to someone!
  2. RESET YOUR PROSPERITY METER
    Have you determined how much money you want to make? We all have our unique definition of success and money is usually one of those measurements. With my coaching clients one of the key questions I ask them is how much money they want to make, and is this a part time or full time endeavor. Believe it or not, most people do not have a set goal of what they want to earn in the year. You need to set a monetary goal so that you can plan on how you can attain that goal. Your prosperity meter is entirely your choice – you decide is $10,000 or $100,000 your annual goal, or is it more. Set your monthly goal and your weekly goal. Take a look at how much time in the year you want to take off and factor that in. Be realistic and set your prosperity meter.
  3. FOCUS ON YOUR VALUE
    If you are new to home staging you may not yet realize what HUGE value you bring to the table. If you have been in the business a while you may not be acknowledging just how fantastic your services are. Look at the monetary and emotional gain your clients achieve by the work that you do. Every home you stage is getting your best designs and creativity. Every seller is having the stress removed by working with a competent professional like yourself. Every realtor is having his reputation enhanced because his properties are selling because of the work you have done. Every buyer is rewarded by seeing the potential in a home that otherwise may have been overlooked. Surely you can see the VALUE of what you are bringing to the table to the seller, realtor and buyer!
  4. DECIDE WHAT YOU WANT
    The most important thought for you to have is to know what you want and focus on this and quit grumbling about what you don’t want! This is Law of Attraction 101 – you attract into your life whatever you put your attention, energy and focus on whether wanted or unwanted. Your thoughts lead to your feelings and your feelings lead to your actions and your actions lead to your results. Take some time and set some goals about the number of clients you want to have, the money you want to make, the number of hours you want to work in a week and the time off you want to have for your family or just for yourself. Be very specific and realistic and then ‘allow’ this to come into your life. Notice every single time you get the smallest evidence that you are getting what you want and you will get more of it.
  5. CREATE PACKAGE OFFERS
    It is good to start with an hourly rate but you can make more money by creating packages – usually 3 and start with your basic package and expand from here. It’s a good idea to make a list of your ‘Standard Services’ and then create a list for you ‘Value Added Services’. Give each package a memorable name and keep your client groups in mind. For example you may do a consultation and give some recommendations for the seller who wants to do most of the work themselves and call it ‘Do-It-Yourself Home Staging’ starting at $199 (or whatever works in your market). Each package will have more services added to it and go up in price because the ‘value’ has gone up too. It’s good to ‘throw in’ some extras from your ‘Value Added’ list. Value is all about perception so make sure you know what is ‘valued’ in your market by asking your clients.’
  6. OFFER A GUARANTEE
    As a home stager we cannot guarantee that a house will sell more quickly or sooner than a property that is not staged. However, we can claim that the newly staged property will look infinitely better than it did before you offered your professional services. You can guarantee that you will stay on budget and deliver on time (and ensure you do this!). There are many statistic available about the success of staging a property but the best statistics will be your own. When you are doing your sales call with the seller or realtor show them your portfolio and include the client testimonials with it. Prompt your client’s testimonial by asking them to comment on areas that show the ‘value’ of your work. Ask the client to include the emotional support you gave them as well as they end product results of your staging design work.
  7. RAISE YOUR RATES 
    Now that you have a better understanding of how your own thoughts were holding you back, take some time to set your new rates. Start with how much you want to make annually and work backwards from that to your monthly and weekly sales targets. For you to raise your rates you need to look at the evidence that you have about the value that you have been giving your clients. You also need to give your clients a reason that you are raising your rates so think about what ‘extra value’ you can give them. Is it that because you now have more experience you can get the job done quicker? your staging designs are the best? you blog on several social media sites about their listing? your reputation has increased in the market place and you are seen as the expert? your stagings are being featured in magazines now? Whatever the evidence is, let your clients know that you will be raising your rates to reflect this. You may decide to leave some of your ‘preferred’ client rates that you have with a realtor as they are. Let them know that and when they can expect their rates to increase.

Do you have the passion, persistence and patience needed to be a successful home staging entrepreneur?

I don’t know when you decided that you wanted to become a home staging entrepreneur or why you did but I do know that the ‘life of an entrepreneur’ is not necessarily an easy, steady climb to success. You may have thought it was going to be because you wanted it so badly and you are really good at it so naturally it ‘should’ be easy to succeed. Well the truth is that the entrepreneurial road is the ‘road less travelled’ because it isn’t easy. It tests your character and your belief in yourself (and perhaps even the Universe). But the rewards are great if you are willing to go the distance.

So when you find yourself coming up against roadblocks, challenges, sales not happening the way you planned, projects going sideways, clients not buying when you need them to – it’s time to examine what it’s going to take to get you through the rough spots.

There is of course a flip side to this – things do go smoothly, you achieve your sales targets, you love your clients, your clients love you and you get to do what you love! And for me this is why I am still doing what I started doing 10 years ago. And honestly I have gone through more roadblocks, bumps and hurdles than I ever thought possible. And yet, look where it has taken me — down the ‘road less travelled’ and the journey just keeps getting more interesting. I think it’s a road well worth travelling and I hope you do too!

So here are 3 things that will help take you through the ‘ups and downs’ of being a home staging entrepreneur …

PASSION:

  • Without being passionate about your work you will soon come to resent what you are doing especially if you get to the stage of doing it only for ‘the money’.
  • If you had passion for it at one time, what’s changed? Are you doing too many of the things you don’t love to do? Delegate them — look at what it’s costing you not to delegate.
  • Perhaps it’s time to just take a break from what you are doing. Take some time to reflect and ask yourself “If I could do anything in the world would I be doing home staging?” Depending on the answer what is it that you need to change to get where you want to go?
  • If you are not passionate about your work your clients can easily see this and in the process you become very unauthentic and unattractive to them and to yourself.

PERSISTENCE:

  • Without you being persistent in taking ‘consistent action’ to create a successful home staging business nothing will happen to move you forward.
  • Being persistent means that no matter what your little voice is telling you to do – like throw in the towel and go do something else – do not buy into this – call your coach or a supporter who can help you see the situation in a positive light.
  • Your obstacles are only temporary and everyone has them – it goes with the territory – it’s how you respond to them and the solutions that you find that build your character on your journey.
  • It might just happen that by your persistence you reach a new level and make new connections that open up some new revenue streams you had never thought. You will never know if you don’t persist …

PATIENCE:

  • When I’m coaching home stagers I hear this a lot: How can I be patient when I see my expenses exceed my revenues? Every new business faces this scenario. So plan for this. You have to have some faith that everything happens for a reason and that reason is there to serve you. Calm down and decide what is it that you can do to get some business coming your way. Perhaps you haven’t been doing the marketing that you need to be doing. What can you do to attract some new clients?
  • I can also tell you that if you are not patient you will never know what you could have accomplished. Do you want the ‘What if’ scenario? What if I would have been patient just a bit longer for my business to take off. What could I have accomplished? Without patience you will never know …
  • The ‘timing’ of the Universe is not necessarily your timing is it? While many of us would like to be able to control more things in our life, timing is something we can never control. The ‘life happens’ stuff happens to all entrepreneurs so be patient and stay focused only on what you want to attract.

The Art of Balancing Your Work and Personal Life is a Choice!

Many coaches, including myself, use this type of ‘balance wheel’ to have our clients check in with themselves when they are feeling overwhelmed and cranky! When any of us as home stagers, stylists, decorators, etc. feel undervalued it might just be because we are trying to ‘be all things to all people’ and that will never work.

Whether you are just starting your home staging or styling business, or have been in business much longer, there are going to be times when your life will be out of balance and one aspect of your life will take over. We all know that the ‘life happens’ stuff can get us off balance but it’s when we are back to a more normal life that we can make choices about how to balance our work and personal time.

If you are just starting out then I suspect you will be spending a great deal of time in growing your business/career. During this time of excitement you might not notice that other areas of your life are being neglected. It’s great to set goals for your business and you might just need to explain to your family that there will be some changes while you set up routines for your new business. For more seasoned professional stagers and stylists, you may have slipped into some bad habits that aren’t really satisfying for you any longer. Is it time you delegated more of your work that you really don’t have to be doing? We all have the same number of hours in the day and week so why not take some time to set up a schedule with a plan that allows you to focus on what you want your day/week to look like.

balance wheel

 

Over the years I have learned this to be true:

Change your thoughts ~ Change your actions ~ and your results Change.
Do nothing and nothing changes.

Here are a few tips that might help you change your habits that are not working for you to create a more balanced life:

  • Know that you do have enough time to get done ‘what matters most’
  • Nothing is perfect in life so strive for your ‘good enough’
  • Be patient when things don’t go your way in your business or personal life – when we sometimes try and force things to happen – they don’t!
  • You decide what balance looks like for you – set new boundaries if you need to
  • Know that at times one area of your life may require more time – do it – then but get back to your normal
  • Take lots of ‘me time’ to just be – breathe slowly and get focused on one task only
  • Remember to ‘high five’ yourself or acknowledge your achievements with ‘good job’ (first name)

 

Setting Your Intentions — Your PRES Top 10!

In your business there are many universal laws at work. One of them is the ‘Law of Intention’ which is based on the fact that…

there is always an infinite amount of energy and information
present to create whatever you want.

What this means for you as a home staging entrepreneur is that first you need to decide ‘what’ you want, take some ‘action steps’ to create it, and ‘believe by feeling’ that you can create it. Spend some time visualizing what you want and ‘acting as if’ you already had achieved what you want. Another little twist on this type of thinking, is that you also have to let your idea of exactly how this has to show up in your life – go.

What might some of your intentions be at this time of year? Take a look at this list for home staging entrepreneurs and feel what resonates with you. Use the following phrase in front of each one below and you will know whether or not it’s something you really ‘intend’ to do or not. If you don’t get a good feeling from it, decide if it is something you don’t need to do at this time or is there some resistance coming up around it that you might want to examine more closely?

I (insert your first name) intend to:

1.     Review my 2013 Revenue Streams to date to determine where my sales came from. Once I do this I can decide what areas I need to focus on more or let go. My main source of revenues is from (fill in the blank) and I plan on increasing this by x%.

2.     Put systems into place that allow my business to flow more easily and free up time for work I need to do. I intend to delegate where it makes sense to pay someone to do things I do not do well and/or no longer want to do because I make more money doing other work I love.

3.     Have more balance in my life – create time for family and friends – my business is part of a healthy life but not my whole life focus. Take good care of myself having ‘me time’ so that I feel refreshed and am happy and productive doing the work I love.

4.     Complete a 90 day marketing plan that I can easily follow so that my ‘sales funnel’ is never empty and I am always attracting more new clients. One of my key tactics will be to (fill in the blank – network more, do more social media, secure some speaking engagements, have more ‘get to know me’ meetings, etc).

5.     Create more strategic alliances this year so that others (my unpaid sales force) can refer me. I will focus on having excellent relations with my alliances so we can both cross promote.

6.     Follow up with past clients to build stronger relationships this year and let go of relationships that drain me energetically and financially. Use more stay-in-touch tactics that are more personal than just emails/blogs/posts.

7.     Revisit my ‘ideal client list’ so that I am totally clear on who my target audience is and how to market and attract them. With new clarity I can find more opportunities and inject some new interest in my work and do some out-of-the-box marketing.

8.     Continue taking professional development courses, reading books, attending trade shows and conferences that help me grow personally and professionally.

9.     Pick up the phone more and meet with more potential clients and clients in person – and limit the number of texts and emails I am a slave to. These actions will allow me to be more engaging and sustain longer term relationships.

10. Determine when the time is right to hire a coach/mentor who can help me take my business to the next level.

If you do not set your intentions someone else will, so try and do this on a daily basis and you will be absolutely amazed at the results. They will change your life.

Do You Know Why You Need Strategic Alliances?

As you start to think about growing your business you will soon realize that you need good Strategic Alliances that you can refer to your clients to do the necessary work needed to prepare a property for selling. It is critical that you have great relationships with anyone that you recommend to your clients. You may find that many of your strategic alliances will offer you referrals and/or commissions which can be another revenue income stream for your home staging business.

1. WHAT IS A STRATEGIC ALLIANCE
According to Wikipedia the definition for a Strategic Alliance is:

A formal relationship between two or more parties to pursue a set of agreed upon goals or to meet a critical business need while remaining independent organizations.

Since most home stagers are solopreneurs who hire contractors it would make sense that you have a ready and reliable source of strategic alliances to call upon and refer to your clients as needed. It is critical that you build great relationships with your alliances so that you can communicate when things are going well, and especially when things are not. Most home stagers will agree that certain trades people can have great intentions but they do not always deliver the required results in the time frame stated and often go over budget. It will be up to you to follow up and check on the quality of work your strategic alliance is delivering during the project, and when completed.

2. IDENTIFYING YOUR STRATEGIC ALLIANCES
Many new home stagers say they do not have any strategic alliances and are at a loss as to where to find them. Have no fear, because they are everywhere and you probably already have some you were not aware of! For example think about who you or a family member has hired as a painter, contractor, gardener, handyman, electrician, etc. Ask them if they liked working with them and if they delivered what they promised on time and on budget. Over time you will be able to build up your strategic alliances so you can confidently refer them to your clients.

Another great way to build your strategic alliance list is by finding out who your clients have used in the past that they were happy with. Every time you meet someone new either at networking or seeing a potential alliance’s truck parked outside a home, introduce yourself and see if you have a connection with them. If yes, then take their card and follow up with them so you can decide if the two of you can work together. You refer them, they refer you. Ask them if they pay referral fees if you find business for them. You might also consider giving referral fees to some of your best strategic alliances.

Many trades people leave their business cards in coffee shops or hardware stores. Take down the information and follow up and see if you want to work with them. You can also check out the classifieds in local newspapers as they often advertise in newspapers.

3. BUILDING RELATIONSHIPS WITH YOUR STRATEGIC ALLIANCES
Before you make that final decision of who you want to have on your list of strategic alliances, meet with them for coffee and provide them with some of your marketing materials.

Take the time to really explain to them what it is you do and, find out what they really do. Request some of their literature or at the least their business card.

A word of caution: I don’t recommend that you ask a strategic alliance to quote your rates. Ask them to leave that to you, and do the same for them. There are many nuances to the home staging business and only you can make the call for the service charges.

It is best to have at least 3 strategic alliances for each category where you think you may be referring someone to your clients. You will need to have more painters and handymen or women who do small jobs as alliances as they are often booked up especially in summer months.

It’s good to have ‘low- to no-tolerance’ for any strategic alliance that you have referred who does not deliver what they have promised to your referral. You can decide if they ‘messed up’ once if that is acceptable to you or not. Any referral of an alliance that you give reflects on you and your business so the better the relationship is the better communication you will have between you, should you need to have ‘that chat’.

4. Many new home stagers say they do not have any strategic alliances and are at a loss as to where LIST OF STRATEGIC ALLIANCES Following is a list of many of the Strategic Alliances that you will need to help build your business.

  • Realtors
  • Mortgage Brokers
  • Appraisers
  • Inspectors Builders
  • Painters
  • Handy Wo/Men
  • Renovators
  • Electricians
  • Contractors
  • Closet Maker Companies
  • House Cleaners
  • Window Cleaners
  • Carpet Cleaners
  • Flooring Companies
  • Window Treatment Suppliers
  • Glass/Door Companies
  • Equipment Rental stores for pressure washers, etc.
  • Kitchen & Bath Stores
  • Boutique Home D&eactue;cor Stores
  • Lighting Stores
  • Gardeners and Landscapers
  • Moving Companies
  • Storage Companies
5. DISCLAIMER FOR STRATEGIC ALLIANCES
It’s best to put a disclaimer in your list of strategic alliances stating something to this effect:

Our company has either personally used the services of our referred strategic alliances, or our clients have referred them to us stating they were reliable and provided a quality service to them. Each strategic alliance has his/her own business and is responsible for their own insurance, quotes and services provided to you. 

6. DISCOUNTS and REFERRAL FEES FROM STRATEGIC ALLIANCES
Most of the suppliers that you source from should give you a discount starting at 10%. The more you purchase from them, or refer business to them, the higher the discount can become. Typically you just need to show that you have an established business and fill out an application form with them. Many small companies such as yours starting out, will be asked to pay by credit card at the time of purchase. Once you become more established and if you operate with very large purchases then you would be invited to set up an account with your supplier so they would bill you monthly.

Always ask your supplier if they give discounts to stagers – they almost always will but only if you ask!

You may also find that some of your strategic alliances will not give you a monetary option but would rather work out an arrangement whereby you refer them to your clients and they refer you to their clients. The better relationship you have and the more referrals you can give a strategic alliance the more likely both business will grow and prosper.

 

 

Is Time Managing You or Are You Managing Time?

Without a doubt home stagers and other industry-related professionals are busy entrepreneurs. Many are solopreneurs wearing many different hats in their business and trying desperately to find the time to get everything done that needs to get done sometimes just surviving – never mind thriving!

We all have the same amount of time as another busy entrepreneur so how do they find the time to get it all done? I’d like to share some of the ways that I have learned from others and in my decade as an entrepreneur. And as I have already mentioned I’m not perfect at it but I am more mindful that I am using it wisely and not just letting it slip away. . .

  • If you really don’t know where you are ‘losing time’ then I recommend you use a chart to track your time (see the Assignment section to get started on this)
  • Decide on what days and what percentage of time you will dedicate to sales, marketing, operations and production (keeping in mind that marketing needs to be 60% or more of your time)
  • Really look at your week ahead and set a daily intention so that you can accomplish what needs to be done versus what will keep you busy at your computer (you know you need to be in front of people to make the sale)
  • Block off time or days that you know are your ‘lower energy’ and choose an activity in your business that does not require as high energy as it would for your sales calls
  • Determine what time of the day you are going to respond to your emails and try and avoid opening them as soon as you see them coming in
  • When you do look at your emails decide which ones are priority and which ones can go to ‘junk mail’ and label them that way for future – creating ‘Rules’ works well to keep you organized so you can look at ones later in a more systematic way
  • The same is true for your phone calls – you don’t have to answer your phone every single time it rings if you are doing something productive – you do though want to respond in a timely manner to calls that you have labeled ‘priority’
  • If you signed up for a lot of enewsletters/ezines or group discussions now might be a good time to revisit them to see which ones you can ‘unsubscribe’ to now
  • When you choose which networking groups you are going to belong to or attend, chose the ones that energize you the most and benefit your business
  • When you are able to afford to ‘delegate’ some of your workload find people with the right skill sets so you can free up more of your time to focus on what you do best
  • Block off personal time for you, your friends and your family – make it dedicated special time and not just a few minutes here or there – it will take its toll down the road and you will feel resentful of allowing time to manage you . . .

You might want to go back to October 17th’s blog and read about the amount of time it’s recommended to spend on Social Media.

If you can learn to change your scarcity mindset from thinking you do have enough time to get everything done then you are on the road to your abundance mindset!

Growing THROUGH Adversity

pres-home-staging-coaching

Several of my coaching clients have been experiencing ‘adversity’ this month or aka ‘lessons’ and wanted some advice and support as to how to handle certain situations. I decided to reuse this Feature Article that I wrote some time ago because it captures what I shared with them…

The Merriam-Webster dictionary says that adversity is a state, condition or instance of serious or continued difficulty. All of us solopreneurs in the home staging business have certainly faced situations that were full of adversity. In the beginning of your business you may not have learned the secrets to learning and growing from all the adverse business situations that come into your life. I am going to share some of those with you.

But first, let me tell you some stories about me that I have not shared with very many people because I was a bit embarrassed by them. When I first took my training I actually set the house on fire! When I did my very first redesign (home makeover for living) my client was horrified and put everything back that night! When I staged my first vacant my client refused to pay me the next month’s rent on the furnishings! I could go on but you get the picture. I was just starting out and all this adversity was staring me right in the face!

 5 SECRETS TO WALKING RIGHT THROUGH ADVERSITY

So how did I go from all these ‘first’ horrors to becoming as successful as I am today? Here are my secrets you can learn from:

  1. What if… you had an accident - when small accidents happen in my training course I have always just asked the group to stop, breathe and ask ‘Did anyone die?’ If not, then we decide how we can solve the problem. There is a solution to everything – focus on what the solution is. If you cannot fix what has been done, then let the client know and pay for the damages. It is usually less than your deduction anyway.
  2. What if… your client thinks you have charged too much - the best way to avoid this situation is to make sure you have provided a written estimate or quote that they have signed. That way everyone understands what the terms are, and when payment is expected i.e. upon completion or a deposit. You would have the terms on your quote. Every good home stager is worth her/his weight in gold. We do amazing work for very little money compared to the overall amounts of money that the home seller and Realtor will make!
  3. What if… your client does not want to pay you - in Napoleon Hill’s Think and Grow Rich he describes a little girl who was sent to her mother’s employer to collect her pay cheque. The employer did not want to pay it. The little girl did not budge; she just kept saying I am waiting for payment. At one point it seemed that the employer was going to throw the little girl out, but still she did not budge. Finally the employer gave her the money and she went home. The moral of this story is stay the course – keep sending the emails, or making the phone calls to get what is rightfully yours. Whenever possible ask for your retainer before you start work!
  4. What if… the home seller does not take your suggestions - this situation happens very rarely because we all do fantastic work – right? Well it should be the case but it isn’t always. You know that you are an expert (or getting there) at what you do. Sometimes the home sellers and/or Realtors think they know better than us. Or worse yet, they only do part of what we have suggested and the rest of the house looks like a disaster even though they think they have staged it. Always do your BEST WORK and let it go. Focus on working with your ideal client who does exactly what you say and totally respects your work.
  5. What if… you forgot to charge for something - I know I am not the only one who has faced this adverse situation! In the beginning I didn’t really realize just how much work there was to staging a house! Training is one thing but actually doing the job on your own and being responsible for it, well that’s a whole other story. Just know that at times you are going to undercharge and there will also be those times where a staging job didn’t take you nearly as long as you thought it would and yet you were paid for it just the same. It all works out over time and it is great learning so that you do not make that mistake again!

Do not take these things personally - whenever we face adversity often the first thing we think of is to blame ourselves and call ourselves unpleasant names. Life happens to everyone and the best way to get on and walk on through is by knowing that you do not need to take these things personally. Remember that we all see situations through our own personal filters, just the way our clients do. Learn, grow and move on to attract the things you want to in your life.

Did you know that Lack of Confidence is the leading excuse for procrastination, inaction and failure?

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Confidence comes when you blast through your doubt and fears as you take your business to a new level. It requires the right mindset, taking action and trusting your intuition. Lack of confidence can stop the most passionate entrepreneur and it doesn’t matter if you are just starting your home staging business or have been successful for several years. You can create success for yourself starting exactly where you are right now. Anyone can take action in spite of doubt and fear – these are normal emotions in business that we all have. But, fear of failure or fear of success are not reasons for you not to take action.

Having the right mindset means telling that little negative voice in your head to take a hike. It’s really your ego trying to keep you just where you are. But your dream of creating a successful home staging business is what is going to propel you forward to take action in spite of the negative chatter. We all have what are called ‘panic attacks’ where we start thinking “Can I really do this? What was I thinking? Everything seems to be against me. No one is buying my staging services. They didn’t choose my company, I must be doing something wrong.” …and on and on it goes. STOP IT!

So you can continue to play ‘small’ or you can decide to blast through your fear to get over to the other side and start playing ‘BIGGER’. When you stop giving ‘fear’ the power over you, your life changes. You gain confidence, your muscles grow. You feel the success and you love it.

Fear will never go away but as you gain confidence you aren’t so depressed as you once were thinking you couldn’t accomplish something. By taking action you are going to be attracting new opportunities to your business. Things you may have never thought you would be doing sound good to you. Just do an intuitive check: Is this an opportunity or a distraction? You know the difference so be true to yourself.

Once you start investing positive energy into your ‘self’ you will start making progress. The confidence cycle starts all over again but each time you feel less afraid because you have proof that you can succeed. You have the right positive mindset, you have taken action and you used your intuition to determine if what you were thinking of doing was a real opportunity to grow or not.

As you continue to grow and try new things in your home staging business you will take your confidence to a new level. Forget about being told to ‘play it safe’, ‘it’s just a hobby for her’, it’s not a good time to take a risk’ – JUST GO FOR IT! When you take chances and they work, your confidence muscles start growing and growing.

Here are some TIPS on how you can grow your CONFIDENCE MUSCLES:

  • Really look at all the things you have accomplished each day. Focus on what % went well and not the mistakes – I have done 5 excellent staging jobs this month and the last one was not my best. Focus on the 5 not the 1.
  • Record your accomplishments daily – list 5 each day at night or first thing in the morning and celebrate them.
  • Keep a page of your favourite testimonials and read them before you meet with a realtor or home owner for a consultation.
  • Think about the best sales call you have ever had and ‘feel’ how good you felt, then make your phone calls.
  • If you did not reach your income goal for this year go back and see the accomplishments you did make and make some adjustments for this year. Look at where you did make money and congratulate yourself.
  • To build your confidence muscles celebrate even the smallest thing you did that you didn’t think you could do. Make it a habit and it will start to build inside you.

Confidence is organic – it grows. Whenever you take your business to a new level whether you are a newbie or not, fear will come up. Each time you accomplish a goal your build your confidence muscles. You become stronger and stronger in your authentic self.

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