Starting your own business is exciting. Who doesn’t want to be their own boss? Starting your own furniture business, however, is challenging but if done right, could be financially rewarding and personally fulfilling. If you are wondering how to start a furniture business, there are lots of things you need to know and do, including writing a business plan, finding a good location, establishing fair prices for your goods, and getting all the right permits and licenses.
How to Start a Furniture Business
It’s great to have some carpentry experience or even a formal design education, but it takes much more to become an entrepreneur in the furniture industry. You must also understand the market, research your competitors, choose a target audience, and see what your prospective clients truly want.
Then, you must customize your products and services to match the customers’ needs. All these will create a solid foundation on which you can build and grow your furniture business. Follow the guidelines presented below to run a profitable and successful company.
1. Find Your Niche
The furniture market is crowded with high-street competitors. As such, you must determine your company’s proper niche. A niche is that population segment that other similar companies haven’t addressed yet. Here are some simple examples of what you could do when it comes to choosing a niche:
- Your company could specialize in selling only office furniture or designing kitchen items exclusively;
- You could opt for a very specific furniture style: traditional, modern, retro, vintage, contemporary, shabby chic, urban, etc.;
- Working only with certain materials like recyclable items, wood, steel, etc.
The first thing you should do is perform a market analysis. This will help you discover if there’s even a niche out there willing to purchase the goods you’re about to sell.
2. Establish a Budget
Determining your starting capital is crucial if you want to start off on the right foot. Think about the equipment, software, and marketing materials you will need to buy. Not everything needs to be purchased at once, and if you don’t have backing from an investor, you probably won’t be able to. Prioritize your needs, and only acquire things that are absolutely necessary for you to take the next step.
Many entrepreneurs dream of opening a charming store located in a highly popular area, but that will certainly cost you a lot of money. So, to turn your dreams into reality, keep a realistic approach.
3. Research Your Market
During the thorough process of market research, you will gather valuable insights:
- Your potential customers;
- The size of your target market;
- Prospect clients’ buying behavior;
- Main competitors’ strengths and weaknesses.
Marker research helps your business grow and become profitable. Here are some of the things you must do to complete this step:
- Look at the niche’s outlook;
- Gather data regarding your competition;
- Pinpoint target customers;
- Analyze buying trends and industry trends, etc.
4. Plan Ahead
If you’re wondering how to start a furniture business in 2020, then you should become aware of the fact that planning as much as possible is vital for your business’ survival. As a new business, your furniture startup could struggle in terms of finances, at least during its first few years.
Creating a clear yet flexible plan will help you deal with fewer stressful situations. Expect hiccups to occur because it’s not possible to foresee all possible eventualities. But with the right plan at hand, all problems will take less time and money to be solved.
If you can, it would be great to start your furniture business with some early customers. This way, your first clients will pay in advance for their orders. In the early stages of a business, it is essential to manage cash flow successfully.
5. Build a Strong Online Presence
For furniture businesses, having a brick-and-mortar or physical store is very important, but you mustn’t forget about your online shop as well as a bulletproof online presence. Nowadays, people browse online a lot to search for furniture availability and interior design ideas before actually purchasing these products.
Many clients even buy furniture online and have it delivers to their doorstep. So, it is vital to invest in a great and optimized website and create some accounts on the most popular social media networks like Facebook, Pinterest, and Instagram.
6. Take Care of All Legal Aspects
Proper business structure (LLC, SCORP, Sole Proprietorship, ETC), licensing, and insurance are important if you want to create your own furniture company. You need to have everything in place before launching the business. These should be non-negotiable and will save you many headaches in the future if something ever goes wrong with your product. Reach out to your local insurance agent to get advice on what type of coverages you would need. You can protect your business by covering all these legal elements and avoid more significant damage in case of accidents.
7. Set the Correct Price for Your Products
Next on your business agenda should be setting a fair price that accurately represents the products you’re selling. The final cost of one of your goods must incorporate your chosen furniture style, the materials you use, the product’s type and its value, design, and manufacturing quality.
Once you know the value of the furniture you want to promote, you will become aware of your business model. Then, you can establish other things, such as your mission statement, advertising strategy, and more.
8. Create a Marketing and Sales Strategy
Marketing is for a business like arteries are for the human body: it needs it to survive. Enable people to find out about your brand and increase brand awareness through networking, online content, local bloggers, and paid media. Make sure your website is fully optimized and mobile-friendly.
How to Start a Furniture Business: The Bottom Line
Launching a furniture business will be tough, so you must be prepared if you want to avoid failure or frustration. Research the local market and create a solid business plan. Being the owner of a furniture company is very satisfying, and some things can also be learned on the way.