This case study follows the story of Asma Beg, a mom of 2 and first-time entrepreneur. Mrs. Beg could start from scratch and build one of the most successful staging businesses in her city. Here is what Mrs. Beg’s experience entails:
Fighting some challenges in the industry
Learning to set up her Staging Business
How to attract clients and earn their trust
Marketing her services both online and offline
Gaining confidence to start and run her own business
“It’s a business that truly changed my whole life, and made me feel fulfil something that i always felt was missing.”
There were a series of challenges Asma ran into, which mainly dwelled in her mind prior to setting up her business. There a seriesof challenges she expected to face, and has shared on insight on howshe was able to overcome each obstacle.
Here are some challenges she faced:
Searching for inventory to use for staging
Creating a legal structure for her business
Learning to balance the number of homes staged at one time
Putting together her value proposition to justify her cost
Choosing where, and to whom, to market her services to receive the highest ROI
Building confidence in herself to take on different roles to build her business
Asma could gain the confidence she needed to be able to finally make her move.Outlining some of the ways she could conquer her challenges, she attributed some of her confidence in the support she received.
Taking the course online, instead of in person classes, allowed for her learn on herown pace. “There was no need to schedulemy day around taking the course, the course was fitted into my schedule instead.”
Asma explained. “There are some concepts I didn’t get right away, but I was able to go back and replay the video until I fully understood it.”
Learning at my own pace and combining visuals with the material really made the difference. Especially with staging being so visual.
Learning so much new material can make it hard to remember all the details to apply to your business. Asma could focus on learning the content, instead of perfecting her notes. “There was so much information that was just brand new to me. Every time I came across such information, whether it was a formula or checklist, I stopped worrying about memorizing the information and instead focused on how to use it. This made a significant difference in helping me understand the information, knowing that the tools complimented the course, meaning that all those checklist and reminders were already there for me to
Staying organized with my to do lists and actually having material with complete content and already designed so I can give my clients, use in my business and my online marketing.
Prior to starting her very first business, Asma Beg was a stay at home mom, raising two children. With both children off to college, Asma found herself without anymore excuses to finally start as business, and to become the entrepreneur she’s always dreamed of. Throughout the years, decorating homes to perfectly capture a rooms essence filled her up with excitement. Always jumping at the opportunity of helping her friends and family to redecorate, or remodel their home, she truly had an eye, and passion, for home staging. She knew that this was an area she was interested in, but with little to no experience in running a business, her confidence held her back from giving herself the opportunity to run her own staging business.At the age of 42, Asma could not only become an entrepreneur, butalso serve as a success story for her Home Staging Business.
A lot of Asma’s previous experience came from a personal passion, decorating her own home or helping friends stage their home when asked for help. “I definitely felt a passion for staging and felt that I always had a good eye to bring out the best in any space. The course content, however, made me open my eyes to additional methods,business strategies, and concepts that were new to me. It helped me really strengthen my skills, especially when including buyer psychology to help meet the objective, which is to sell the home faster. There was a substantial portion dedicated to learning how to use online marketing so that I couldactually promote my business, which was all new to me.”
Learning all the pieces of home staging, learning how to market myself and building the layers on business on top.
One of the biggest challenges Asma had faced, was her level of confidence in creating and promoting her business. Especially being in a business setting, ranging from explaining her value, negotiating price, to asking for business, this was a new realm for her. “I knew that I was capable of making a difference while staging, however, I didn’t know how to explain that. I have never negotiated for ‘sold’ anything before, so this made me very nervous. I really took advantage of the scriptsand verbal coach that came with my license. When I compare my audio of what I sounded like when I first started to now, I couldn’t believe the difference. Practicing the scripts also made me remember the segments of the content, so it also helped as a trigger to reinforce my what I had learnt”.
I quickly learned confidence was the key to my success.Having prepared scripts to practice with, over and over,made an enormous difference in my level of confidence and people wanting to do business with me.
When I finished the online certification, I began to think about how I can get my business started. The first thing I did was collect some items around the house and made an inventory of everything I could use. I also started noticing garage sales around me and a lot of posts online, such as Kijiji or Craigslist, of people just getting rid of some stuff for free. I created a space in my garage to store some of these items. I also registered my business online, and thought of my staging business name. It took me a few business days to have everything registered. In the meantime, I also asked a friend to help me set up a website, and started my social media pages. After a few postings, and once my website was finished, I made an announcement to my friends and family to let them know I was in the business of home staging.
I invited everyone to ‘like’ or ‘follow’ my social media pages and to visit my website. It was easier to send an email blast to everyone in my network and to also post this information on my personal social media accounts. I made sure that the end of the email to include my contact information, and asked for my friends and family to refer me to anyone who is selling their home, or to any real estate agent. I was surprised to see how many people on my Facebook list was a realtor. The next thing I did was to start making a list of Brokerages near me. I made it a point to visit as many real estate offices as I could to introduce myself, and brought both business cards and a one page flyer with me to leave in the offices. For the offices I couldn’t visit, I called to ask for the managers email information, and sent out an email introducing my services and provided a slight discount for their office as an incentive to shar my details to their agents. I also made sure that I included the top 10 stats about home staging, and the value it adds to home sellers, helping the realtor sell the home faster and for more money. I simply copied the stats from the tools and included in my email. In the first few weeks, I received a few emails inquiring about my staging services, but had no booked sales yet. I knew my marketing efforts were at least working. Near the end of the month I had a real estate agent call me, asking me if I could help him stage a condo he was trying to sell, I was excited to have my first consultation! When I met the agent, I took my top 10 stats about staging with me, hoping that he would show the value of the ROI to his clients. I gave my suggestions, and the next day booked my first client. I also made sure I created a relation with that agent so he would keep me in mind for any future homes he was selling. After the agent sold the home, he also referred me to two other real estate agents. I made sure I took before and after pictures of every home I staged, and asked for testimonials from both the agent and the client, to build my portfolio. Some of the homes
I didn’t have inventory for, so I would rent furniture, based on what they needed, and took that into consideration when I proposed my rate. The more a home needed furniture, the higher my price to cover my costs, especially to move furniture in and out. Typically, I would receive the payment from the agent front, however, there were some circumstances that I would accept to receive payment after the home was sold. After a timeframe. Even though I had some clients booked, I would continue to put effort into creating new relationships, growing my social media, adding new picture and looking for business. I would ask my friends and daughter to help me when I needed it, until I got to a point where I had to hire someone full time to work with me. I had my assistant after 9 months of starting my staging business. My assistant would take care of the marketing, emails and follows up, while I focused on staging and meeting with clients. Winter would typically slow down, however, I still used that time to continue building my network, especially before the spring rush would begin. Although I always thought about starting my own business, I never imagined I could be capable for running everything on my own, and look forward to my work.