How to start a décor business in South Africa

How to start a décor business in South Africa

Event decorating can be a very fulfilling and lucrative business. This is a guide on how to start a décor business in South Africa.

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All social events need someone to decorate them, this creates a market for event decorators. As a decorator, you will be working at all kinds of parties and events from birthday parties to corporate events. It’s always better to specialize, specializing makes you an expert in a certain niche and that makes it easier to charge more for your services.

This business doesn’t have high barriers to entry but it is very demanding on your time. You will always be in a rush to meet certain deadlines, the event cannot be postponed because you couldn’t get everything you ordered on time, you have to make a plan.

Get experience

You might be naturally good at decorating but you need to have a little bit of experience on how the business side of things functions. There is a lot you have to know about the industry as a whole and how everything comes together, otherwise you will struggle with getting or keeping clients.

For this reason, it’s better to work under someone just for a few gigs until you get experience. 10 gigs are enough for you to get the hang of everything and to understand how much preparation is needed when decorating an event. Getting experience will also get you up to date with the latest décor trends and that will allow you to always be ahead of the game.

Getting some experience will help you decide on what niche you want to focus on when starting your own décor business. You can’t be a jerk of all trades, being a master at a few is a huge advantage.

Operating premises

This is a business that you can run completely from home or a small office, I would highly recommend that you work from home. Most of your work will include writing emails and making phone calls when you are not at meetings or doing the actual décor.

Clients don’t have to come to your office, you can discuss most things over the phone and only meet a few times. The place of meeting can be a restaurant or a coffee shop or any environment that is convenient for you and your client.


You don’t really need a lot of equipment for this business, just make sure that you have an access to emails and a good phone line. A laptop will help you organize your business better, you will benefit from apps like Microsoft Excel, it will also be much easier to make invoices. Most things can be hired and can differ depending on the niche. This is why we highly recommend that you get experience.


Networking is the lifeline of this business; you have to network with other entrepreneurs that are in the events business. Your main focus should be networking with as many event planners as possible. Most event planners outsource most of the duties including decorating and catering. This is where you will get your most business, your clients will come through event planners.

Word of mouth

Referrals are everything in the décor business, most of your clients will come to you through an event planner or because they have been referred to you. The only way to get referrals is to deliver an exceptional service. This includes great décor but more importantly; delivering on time. Clients are not going to recommend you to other people if you have been stressing them out.

Get a website

You don’t really have to open social media pages, most of your clients will not come from social media. The main purpose of having a website is so that you can direct your potential clients to your website to see your portfolio. You can also place your website address on your business cards, this makes it easy for people to trust you if they haven’t seen your work before.


The décor business is not easy and requires a lot of hard work, it might take some time before you start getting serious clients. This is a guide on how to start a décor business in South Africa, do you have any thoughts or questions? Comment below.

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