Looking Ahead- The Design Business in 2024
Last week, we looked back at 2023 and how it went for the interior design business. It was another crazy year, right?! So what does 2024 look like? I don't have a crystal ball, of course, but if we pay attention to economic and consumer trends out there, we can take a pretty good guess at some things that could impact interior designers! Let's talk about challenges and bright spots that could be on the horizon, starting with the good stuff!
Housing Market. The housing market in 2023 cooled down fast as inventory got tight and mortgage rates climbed. But the picture looks brighter for 2024! People are getting tired of waiting and every prediction is that buyers will decide the time is RIGHT. Especially since mortgage rates are expected to fall. And new homes mean new opportunities for interior designers who work their marketing magic!
You're the Expert. The issues we've seen with home retailers could actually work in your favor in 2024. After all, if consumers can't find a great place to buy good quality furnishings that will work in their homes, WHO will they turn to?! The growth in respect for a designer's influence and expertise is only going to get stronger next year.
Personal Best. People are tired of cookie cutter looks. They want as much personalization in their homes and they can get from fashion, cars, and any other industry. That means custom design, and it is DEFINITELY growing in popularity! Artisan looks are also seen as a strong trend for 2024 and beyond as people appreciate craft and one-of-a-kind pieces. Remember to sell the ability to find and curate those items as YOUR strength!
Healthy Living. Did you know that one in ten people in 2024 will be over the age of 65? That's the most EVERY in history! And that population wants to be as healthy as possible, which includes any wellness products you can introduce into their homes, so keep that in mind. Next year is also a major year for international discussions about the environment and sustainability, so offering design and products that fit that trend will be key, too.
Economic "Fun." Yeah, most people would definitely not see 2024 as a fun year economically. We're still dealing with fallout from the pandemic years, and that's expected to continue into the next 12 months. People are nervous, which means they're going to hold onto their money more than ever before.
An Election Year. Speaking of nervous, no matter which side of the political fence you sit on, an election year usually means that people don't make any major decisions because they don't know what the future will hold for them. So look for delays when it comes to consumers looking at major purchases.
Adjusting Expectations. Unfortunately, the pandemic created a weird anomaly for the design business. Practically everyone wanted SOMETHING done to their homes, right?! And we rode a crazy crazy wave. But it's time to adjust our expectations a bit. If you're setting a budget or strategy for 2024, it might be smart to look back at what you had in mind for 2018 or 2019, rather than trying to plot a course based on something that was totally out of the box!
Vendor Adjustments. This is not an easy one to talk about, but there probably will be more vendor who have to scale down or close altogether. UGH. No one wants to see that, but let's be honest, it's been a tough ride for furnishings manufacturers. Keep your ears open and your lines of communication working with your sources so you don't get left holding the bag.
Yes, predictions are hard. But you can't just freeze and put your head in the sand! You've got to develop a strategy to help you deal with WHATEVER comes in 2024. So download my FREE Guide to Dealing with Analysis Paralysis! And let's have a HAPPY new year!