Business Start Up Course (Comprehensive) Overview

The Business Start Up Course (Comprehensive) is designed for people who want to start your own business. My aim is to give you a solid foundation in all aspects of home staging. You’ll learn about designing, pricing, sourcing furniture, making a profit, getting clients and much more. The course includes resources to download and use in your business. Importantly, this course comes with a great deal of mentorship from me.

This course is perfect for you if you:

  • Are very obsessed with styling and restyling your home and your friends’ homes;
  • Have a flair for restyling/decorating (but you absolutely don’t need an interior decorator background);
  • Have a minimum of 7 hours to dedicate to learning from the videos and at least a day to do the project;
  • Are considering starting a new career in home staging.

What’s in this course?

This course is made up of seven video-based modules and a project. Each module has a handout with all the information from the video, so you can take notes while you watch. Click on the dropdown menus below for more information about each module and read more info at the bottom of this page:

Module 1: Introduction to Home Staging

This module introduces you to the world of staging internationally and locally, and to why staging is so important for sellers, buyers and property professionals. We debunk some myths, look at stats, and analyse what the financial loss for sellers who don’t stage. We finish with practical exercises to help you review the module.

  • Why home staging works
  • Review of “bad” examples
  • Different styles of staging internationally
  • How and when home staging started
  • The difference between home staging and interior decorating
  • Misunderstandings about home staging
  • Our definition of home staging
  • Staging as a marketing tool
  • Home staging statistics
  • Main points about home staging
  • Psychological issues for sellers
  • What happens of a seller does not prepare their home
  • Comparing seller’s investment in staging
  • Practical exercises

Module 2: Preparing the Home and Understanding the Principles of Home Staging

There are specific staging guidelines when working with sale or rental properties. We examine each of them, using extensive Before and After examples. We also discuss what needs to be done when preparing a home for a show day. We end with practical exercises for you to develop a deeper understanding of staging.

  • Clearing out clutter: Before and after
  • Depersonalizing: What to remove
  • Making buyers feel “at home”
  • Fixing problem areas
  • Repairs list
  • Painting before and after examples
  • Cleaning list
  • Furnishing and styling
  • What you want to achieve
  • Preparing for visits (show days)
  • Analysing before and after examples

Module 3: Photography

Buyers look at properties for sale online first, which is why photographs are so important. In this module, we focus on the important do’s and don’ts of photographing properties for sale or rent. Even if you ultimately prefer to use a professional photographer, you need to know these basic principles.

  • Why good photos are important
  • Basic principles
  • Do’s and don’ts
  • Examples
  • Practical exercises

Module 4: How to Approach Your First Project

In this module, we assume you are venturing out to do your first professional staging job. Exciting, but perhaps a little daunting.

We guide you through the various types of staging possibilities and services you could offer. We provide two forms with all the information you need to use in your actual work: one for empty houses and one for occupied homes. There is also a list of what every stager needs in your toolkit.

We discuss options for sourcing furnishings and the big day – the day you install. We end with practical exercises that consolidate what you have learned in this module.

  • Your services
  • The first visit
  • Information you need: Checklist for empty and Occupied properties
  • Managing clients and contractors
  • Buying or renting furnishings
  • Home staging toolkit
  • The day of staging
  • The after sales process
  • Practical exercises

Project: Practical Execution

This is a practical exercise to recap what we’ve learned in modules 1 to 4. You’ll do a project of your choice, which challenges and develops you as a home stager. You’ll have to send me your before and after photos, and I will give you feedback to evaluate and possibly improve your work.

Module 5: Philosophy and Costing

This module starts with how to develop a good reputation as a home stager. We examine different options for getting paid and the risks associated with each. We spend time working out the costs of staging three rooms in an actual empty house that I’ve staged.

This is based on current figures in South Africa but if you live elsewhere, the same principles apply, although in a different currency. Another important aspect we talk about at length is feeling empowered, valuing yourself and charging professional fees.  As usual, we end with practical exercises.

  • Transparency and professionalism
  • Communication about prices
  • Charging options: How to get paid
  • Risks compared
  • Costing, areas staged, and duration of stage
  • Your costs
  • Valuing yourself
  • Doing an example costing of staging three empty rooms
  • Practical exercises

Module 6: Administrative Issues

Admin is part of any business, and in this module we focus on admin that pertains specifically to home staging enterprises.

 Apart from the legal aspects, we deal in detail with different ways of quoting, invoicing and the essentials of your agreement with the seller (or whoever is paying for your services). I share actual quotes and agreements and end with optional practical exercises.

  • What legal entity is best for you
  • Options for packaging your quotes, with examples
  • What needs to be in the quote and what is optional
  • Invoicing
  • The agreement: client and home stager’s responsibilities and example

Module 7: Marketing

A large part of any business is getting known for your services and identifying your branding.

In this module, we deal in detail with different aspects of marketing, how you reach clients, creating your identity and your marketing materials. We show you many examples, and I give you examples from my own branding journey.

  • Theory of marketing as it applies to home staging
  • Marketing material and branding: examples of brochures, business cards etc
  • Defining your identity
  • Start up costs
  • Marketing strategies you can do for free or that require some investment
  • Social media options: which suit your business best
  • How to network and with who
  • Maintaining a positive attitude to your business
  • Practical exercises

Every property, no matter the size, the style or the price, benefits from staging. Here are some examples of my successes:

What will I learn?
The course has seven modules, each covering an essential element of starting your own business. Included is a practical project so you can apply your learning.

Is the course 100% online?
No, the course has a digital and personal component through:

  • Videos
  • Work books
  • Individual contact with me and feedback on your practical exercises and projects

How do I get in touch with you?
You can keep in touch with me via email, phone or Whatsapp. I really appreciate when you call me with questions because I get to know you. I also learn where you are based and what kind of staging you like doing and can pass on referrals.

How can I access the course?
You can access the course on your smartphone, tablet or laptop. Each student has their own account with a unique password to log in which you create when you pay. If you forget your password like I do all the time, you can set a new one.

Is there a specific start date?
No. You can start the course whenever you want. You can watch the videos at your own pace. Some students like to watch the whole module and then go back over certain key sections. Others watch more slowly, stopping and taking notes as they go along. Do whatever your learning style is.

Tell me more about the project? How do I find a property to work on?
You can choose to restyle a room or home from scratch or use the existing furniture. Many students use their own homes as their projects. Some students ask a friend if they can do their house, and a few phone agents and offer to do it for free to build goodwill.
It doesn’t matter what property you do. The point of the project is to apply what you learn and start working out the costs and time involved so you know what to charge when you get a real project.

Does the course cover where to get furniture?
Yes, the course gives you lots of information on how to source furniture. This will vary from stager to stager, depending on whether you live in a metro or a town.

Do I get a certificate?
Yes, you will get a certificate after you complete the project successfully.