Style Digital is opening the world of interior design to a wider audience who would otherwise be excluded by the costs of hiring an interior design agency to work with them. Their service provides virtual styling and 3D imaging for the property industry. What Style Digital creates are 3D illustrations of an interior – showing the potential for a space which might still be a stripped down, unfurnished building.
Francis Broome who set up the business had little experience in the market but had spotted the high potential for the service on a global scale. “Applying such designs to properties can bring the spaces to life, illustrating what can be achieved. It works very well for potential buyers who need to see how a property can be transformed.”
Back in March 2020, it looked as if the timing could not be worse for a launch. Aside from the pandemic, the business had all the usual challenges of market research, reaching out to potential clients and securing enough funding to get off the ground. Francis needed to develop a strategy which could generate a revenue quickly.
Using the quiet time of the lockdown effectively, Francis focused on the pre-launch essentials: “Speaking to people was so much harder when they were working from home or key people were furloughed. It was slow going. I spent a lot of time of the phone and online identifying businesses which use the kind of virtual staging I was going to offer as well as those who don’t.”
OxLEP Business supports recovery
With help from an OxLEP Business Advisor Style Digital was able to put together a strong business plan which helped it to secure a business start-up loan. Francis made use of a business plan framework to shape the plan. It was clear and methodical presenting all the elements a backer would want to see had been addressed. He also joined the OxLEP Start-up Club and attended webinars and downloaded resources.
“I was introduced to all the various grants and loans available and had access to a resource centre with information about all aspects of setting up and running a business including practical things like social media marketing and how to sell – without ‘selling’.”
A positive impact
Getting support at such an essential time has given Francis a lot of reassurance that he is not along in experiencing the double whammy of launching a new
enterprise in the COVID and restrictions.
Now, with more of the business foundations in place, Style Digital is beginning to accelerate its marketing and is looking to generate traffic to its website and begin the vital task of securing clients. The property market is vast, so there is a lot of ground to cover. Nevertheless, Style Digital believes the help it received places it in a strong position to make the most of its opportunities.