Costs and requirements for setting up a furniture business.
This guide on starting a furniture business covers all the essential information to help you decide if this business is a good match for you. Learn about the day-to-day activities of a furniture business owner, the typical target market, growth potential, startup costs, legal considerations, and more. Irrespective of the fact whether you own a degree in furniture design or manufacturing you can have your own successful custom design furniture business as long as you have the eye for what customers want. More and more people are becoming bored of the mass-produced and uninspired furniture and are looking for exquisite furniture pieces made by one’s own hand, implying that there is no better time to start up your own furniture brand and bring to the market beautiful, inspired and made with passion exclusive furniture. Growth in the furniture market is rising due to increase in demand from the domestic sector and of the varied unique designs. The furniture industry is growing and is expected to grow until 2020 at a CAGR of 4% . Customers with modest incomes are expected to make half of the metro population by 2020 making them the fastest growing segment in the housing market and implying a continuous growth in furniture demand.
Now below are the two aspects of doing furniture business:
- Furniture Manufacturing Business
- Furniture Selling/Trading Business (Online and Offline)
Now let us discuss the steps involved in furniture manufacturing business
Knowing Your Niche: It is probably the most important thing to do before starting any business and it includes first to decide the kind of furniture you wish to create for example office, domestic or home furniture or luxury items. The next thing to do will be to undertake a market research to understand your target audience, the demand for it and the geographical areas you wish to cater i.e. locally or a broader market. A competitive analysis involving knowing your competitors, product prices and characteristics that will set your furniture stand out in the market is a must. Another aspect is customization, decide if you will allow customization for your products. Develop a business name, logo and slogan.
Tools and Machine List: I am mentioning few machines and tools which are very important for any kind of furniture business. Though these tools are not enough you will require a lot more depending on what quality you are producing and in which furniture niche you are working Circular saw Hand saws, a router, and two router bits. Jigsaw Chain Saw A power drill Chisels and a wooden mallet Hammer and some screwdrivers Sanders Band Saw Double Side Planner Timber Sizer Radial Arm Saw Spindle Moulder Tenoner
Costs involved in setting up a Furniture business
On a rough estimate, you will require N2 – N3 million in the following areas
- Expenses incurred to structure your business which might involve fees or other charges for hiring an advisor; such as a business consultant, etc
- The cost to obtain a license and other permits from governments.
- Store rent or purchase payment of the store.
- Purchase payment for equipment.
- Purchase payment for inventory, ready-made pieces or raw materials like wood, glass etc.
- Marketing and advertising expenses.
- Staff salaries and bonuses.
- Cost of running the store like electricity bill.
- Cost of maintaining a website.
Design Inspiration: A well-executed theme or a concept can result in a timeless piece of furniture. Creating vivid, multi-functional and space saving furniture is a trend followed by modern furniture designers.
Required Raw Materials: The most obvious choice is wood, and why, because it is the most versatile, renewable and sustainable resource. It is strong, durable and usually, one lengthy plank of wood can create one piece of furniture. Each wood has different characteristics adding a different degree of warmth and elegance to the ambiance. It is machinable and can be fabricated to fit any shape and size. Traditionally wood is classified into two kinds – hard and soft
Other Materials: Other than wood, the following materials are also used to make furniture.
(1) Steel/ Metal – Metal furniture is easy to clean and tolerates pest fighting chemicals better than wood. It is best for any sort of living environment dormitory or housing. It is highly durable and can withstand heavy usage. Metal furniture can last for 10-15 years. up-front investment is higher but the replacement cycle is less frequent.
(2) Plastic – Since its invention in 1862 in London, plastic is largely used as a raw material for furniture production, and because of its extraordinary ability to mold into any form it has increasingly become the most popular material to make bespoke furniture. Plastic furniture is lightweight and unbreakable. The maintenance cost is negligible and does not wear down in extreme weather conditions.
(3) Glass – Glass is usable for furniture when it is toughened, also known as toughened glass, which is done by heating and rapidly cooling with cold air causing the outer surfaces solidifying before the interior inducing permanent compressive stresses into the surfaces of the glass which makes it suitable for furniture as it then can be curved and bent.
Choosing a Location: It’s not an easy task to choose the perfect location, consider a space that fits the needs of the customers. If you plan to do cabinets look for a large space for a better display. It is highly suggested to choose a place that is easily accessible to your suppliers, a place where your suppliers can easily reach and drop off the materials required. Do not fall for a lower rent but for an efficient useful space keeping in mind all the above said things.
Have an Online Store: Choosing to sell online would still require you to have a warehouse to keep your inventory and stock. Space efficient and big enough to store the products without causing any damage. Selling online implies having a brilliant website which allows the customer to choose the quantity, size, delivery date, a ‘send as a gift’ option and the payment gateway.
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