Is there a 'best time of year' to start a business?
November or June. In November, you will get the January clients who want their homes complete for spring. In June, you will get clients who want their properties done for Christmas.
How do I ensure I stay inspired, and don't burn out?
Don't take on too much work! This might sound obvious, but when starting a business, you may find yourself being a 'yes' person all the time. You then come to a point where you are overloaded. This can leave you feeling tired and uninspired. To help keep things in perspective, I would recommend surrounding yourself with other designers and people starting their own business. You will encourage each other to succeed; you can bounce ideas off each other; and you will be better able to resolve problems that arise when running a business.
How do I get my first client?
There are so many different ways you could get your first client. It could be through Instagram or an old colleague recommending you or through a friend of a friend. That first client is all about connections!
Are there any particular pieces of technology I need before launching my design start-up?
I would recommend buying Estimac/Estipc, AutoCAD/Vectorworks and the Adobe Suite.
Is there a right and wrong way to source suppliers?
Start off with the smaller companies and then work your way up to the bigger ones. The smaller companies don't generally need references whereas the bigger ones do.