How to Start a Kitchen Design Business

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how to start a kitchen design business

54% of Brits consider the kitchen the heart of their home, says Kenwood. So when it comes to redecorating, this room often gets first priority – making the kitchen design business a profitable one. If you’re considering starting your own kitchen franchise, here are some steps to follow.

With more Brits opting to improve their current homes rather than relocate, furniture and home decorating sectors are booming. This is particularly true for the kitchen design and furniture industry.

According to Mintel, consumer spend on kitchens rose by 6% in 2018. This high figure is partly due to an increased demand for high-end kitchens. But it’s still not surprising. The average Brit spends 253 minutes in the kitchen every week – equivalent to 439 days in their lifetime, says the London Cleaning System. Because of the time we spend there, we’re often willing to spend the money to make it a more comfortable, attractive and functional space.

Jane Westgarth, senior retail analyst, agrees.

“The popularity of creative home cooking and baking, especially at weekends, is fuelling demand for more work surfaces and better storage in the kitchen. The average kitchen space in modern homes is getting smaller, while at the same time people desire bigger, open kitchen spaces. This is creating more demand for extensions or knocking through to open up the kitchen space. Kitchens have become a hub for entertaining, eating and family leisure time at home. This is encouraging households to seek more individuality, greater style and more features when revamping their kitchens.”

Starting a Kitchen Design Business

If the market sounds appealing to you, let’s take a look at some of the most important steps to starting your own kitchen design business.

1. Decide exactly what route of design you want to go down

Before making any commitments, establish the direction of your business. For instance, you could launch a kitchen design showroom, act as an interior designer but specialise in kitchens, or provide consultation services for other interior designers or contractors.

2. Establish your target market

When you start a kitchen design business, you will likely be operating in your local area, unless you decide you want to grow your business through franchising. The area will dictate the type of service you offer.

For instance, the average cost of a family home will help you get an idea of how much you can charge for design services and the scale of the services customers will need.

Customer age is also an important factor; Generation X has different wants, needs and potentially financial budgets to millennials and the upper end of Generation Z. Also, consider how many other kitchen design businesses operate in that area, so you can decide whether your business offering is feasible and how you can differentiate yourself.

3. Find your niche

Having a niche will set you apart from competitors and allow you to better position yourself in the market. One area you could focus on, for example, is sustainability by offering eco-friendly kitchens. The ideal case would be finding a niche in the market where there is no competition.

4. Research local licensing laws

You may need to have a certain number of years’ experience or certain qualifications to market yourself as an interior designer. If this is the case in your area, you would need a licence, due to kitchen design coming under the broader category of interior design.

5. Develop a business plan

Craft a business plan that helps you organise your ideas. Include the nature of your enterprise, the location, brand name, job positions and financial projections. You may wish to consult a business advisor.

6. Consider how much you are going to charge

This is dependent on what kind of business you decide to open. Consulting rates will be different to kitchen remodel and design rates.

7. Find a location

You will need a space to work from, even if you decide to only take jobs as a consultant. This could be from home, which would save substantial set-up costs. But if your business model involves meeting clients in person, your house must be presentable.

You could also opt to hire office space, if you would prefer to keep your work and home life separate. When choosing to open a design showroom, you will need to find a good location. Consider whether you are close to potential customers, and if there is sufficient parking space for them. Make sure there is enough space to work comfortably and display some stock.

8. Consider marketing techniques

One strategy is distributing business cards to people in the local area. If you do opt for this method, your business card will need a logo, the business name, your name, your title, the company website, phone numbers, your email address, your social media platforms and a design feature that makes you stand out from the crowd.

However, if you are conscious of your environmental impact, you could use different marketing techniques. Use digital channels or get chatting to other interior designers or contractors and see if they are keen to use your services.

9. Operational processes

Consider integrating technology to give your business a modern offering and manage your admin. You can develop a system to track costs and process orders. You can introduce software for 3D kitchen modelling. Or you can use a simple online tool to put together professional-looking quotations.

10. Keep up to date with the latest industry trends

When customers use your services, they will want to see that you are professional and have sector-specific expertise. Educate yourself on what kitchens are in high demand and any emerging trends that you could capitalise on.

2019, for instance, was all about personalised kitchens and clever storage units that maximise on space. 2020 focused on ‘living kitchens’ – combining aesthetic with function and technology to have kitchens that work well and look good.

Opportunities with Point Franchise

If kitchen design sounds like your next career prospect, you could opt for a less risky route and invest in an existing kitchen franchise, like Schmidt. You can see all the opportunities we have available by visiting our UK Franchise Directory.


Founded in 1959, Schmidt has been designing, manufacturing and selling innovative, made-to-measure kitchen and bathroom furniture for six decades. It constructs its kitchen designs in six factories across Europe and displays it in 450 showrooms that span 25 countries worldwide.

  • Becoming a Schmidt franchisee: When you join Schmidt, you’ll become part of a business with an annual turnover of more than £425 million. Individual franchisees can expect to make up to £2 million per year by following the franchise model closely. You won’t have to deal with stock, as orders are shipped directly to customers from the factory, and you’ll benefit from the company’s significant brand recognition.
  • How much you need to invest: To join the group of 30 Schmidt franchisees currently operating in the UK and benefit from one of the 70+ available territories, you’ll need to make a minimum investment of £80,000 and total investment of £450,000.
  • What you get for your investment: All Schmidt franchisees get the chance to enrol into a 14-week induction programme involving theoretical and practical training as they set up their franchise unit. The kitchen franchise also offers support with writing a business plan, finding a suitable location, fitting the showroom and training branch employees.

>> Read more articles on the Kitchen sector

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