Starting your own furniture business can be a very profitable venture. However, there are a few things you need to know in order to make your business a success. Here are the basics of how to run a furniture business, including choosing the right products, marketing your business, and dealing with competition.
Everybody needs furniture, so starting a business that relates to something that everyone needs is a great first step! But furniture is more than a practical aspect of life to many people. There are those who love antiques and furniture from past times, and people who avidly follow certain designers for their creative and artistic furniture creations. This gives huge scope to someone who wants to make a living out of selling furniture.
But how do you go about running a furniture business? Here are some key steps you need to take.
Type of Furniture
Firstly, you need to decide what type of furniture business you want to run. Are you going to sell mass-produced pieces from a large manufacturer? Or are you going to focus on more unique, handmade or custom-made items? Will you be selling new furniture or second-hand goods? Once you have decided on the type of business you want to run, research your competition and find out what they are doing well and not so well. Then look at your target market. Who is most likely to buy the type of furniture you want to sell?
Choosing the right products to sell will form the foundation of your business, so take time and care with this step of the process. You could even invest in a little bit of market research to see if you are making the right decision.
Assess the Logistics
You also need to consider the practicalities of running your business. If you are selling large pieces of furniture, you will need to have a way of delivering them to your customers, so get an idea of current furniture shipping cost. You will also need somewhere to store your furniture, whether that is a shop, warehouse, or storage unit.
If you are selling new furniture, you’ll need to figure out which suppliers you want to work with. If you have a certain brand or niche in mind, hone in on the suppliers that can help you achieve your business goals. For example, if your furniture business is all about high design, you’ll probably want to build links with aspirational designers in Scandinavia and Europe. If you are selling second-hand furniture, you will need to source your products from multiple different places. This might be through buying pieces from auctions or private sellers, or by taking items on consignment.
Physical Versus Online Store
Nowadays, many furniture businesses are run entirely online. This can be a great option as it gives you a much wider reach than a physical store. However, there are some drawbacks to this approach. First of all, selling furniture online is very competitive, as there are many other businesses doing the same thing. You will need to make sure your website is well designed and optimized for search engines, and that you have a good social media presence. You will also need to invest in good quality photos of your products. Another downside of selling online is that customers cannot see or touch the furniture before they buy it, so there is a higher risk of returns.
You could also look at the financial implications of having both a physical and an online store. If you find a premises that has low rent and good transport links, you might be able to justify the cost of both.
Marketing Your Business
Once you have your furniture business set up, you need to start marketing it! You will need to create a strong branding strategy and come up with creative marketing ideas that will make people want to buy from you. You could start by creating a website and social media accounts, and then look at other ways of promoting your business, such as PR, content marketing, and paid advertising.
If you’re not confident in different areas of marketing, try to learn some of the basics before you launch your business. This will give you the confidence to take on some of the marketing yourself. But it will also help you identify which areas of marketing you might want to outsource to other professionals.
Dealing With The Competition
In any business, there will be competition. And the furniture industry is no different. No matter what type of furniture business you are running, there will always be someone else doing something similar. The key is to stay on top of the trends and find a way to stand out from the crowd and make your business the go-to option for customers.
One way to do this is to focus on giving your customers the best possible experience. This could be through amazing customer service, quick delivery times, or providing helpful advice and tips. Another way to differentiate your business is by offering unique products that you can’t find anywhere else. This could be furniture that you have designed yourself, or items that have been upcycled or restored.
If you do have a physical premises, concept stores are popular these days, so you could consider having a café and gift shop added into your physical space. This will make visiting your store more of an experience, giving your furniture pieces more exposure too.
By offering something different to your customers, you will make your furniture business more memorable and increase the chances of people coming back to you in the future.