So you’re plotting to start your own furniture business. Regardless of whether woodworking is your long-time weekend hobby or you have years of experience in the industry, you won’t reach your goals without meticulous preparation as being an entrepreneur is different from what you might expect.
To set your future business for success, you will have to learn (a lot!) and be ready to face various challenges – the market is tough, therefore you need to have a plan on how to outperform the competition. If you are fully resolved to tap into the world of entrepreneurship, here is the whole truth about starting your own furniture business.
Be Ready To Outsource
Let’s face it if you are not a rich scion who wants to discover his inner designer whatever the costs, you will have to minimize overhead and maximize return, of course, if you plan to make some money. Unless you have access to sustainable start-up capital, be ready to outsource the manufacturing process or otherwise, you won’t be able to stand up to the competition.
It’s no secret that the great bulk of furniture businesses in the US market manufacture and source furniture in China and Vietnam. While during the past several years many companies have moved out of China due to rising costs and quality issues, Vietnam has become the best place to find a reliable home and office furniture manufacturer that offers impeccable quality at competitive prices. The benefits of outsourcing are numerous, ranging from significantly reduced operational costs to enhanced efficiency, hence no wonder this concept was recognized by a huge number of US furniture makers.
Your Taste Doesn’t Matter
Naturally, there is no accounting for taste but be ready to accept the fact that your customers have a totally different idea of how their future sofa or office chair should look like. Making furniture for clients has nothing in common with making it for your friends and family, therefore don’t take it personally and carefully listen to your audience if you want to sell stuff and grow your business.
Relax and try to do your best to meet the demands of your clients and cater directly to their needs. Of course, this is not to say, you have to change your own taste and preferences and forget everything you know, but compromises do not necessarily have to be painful – at the end of the day, a piece made by you won’t live in your house.
Your Audience Is Not That Large As You Think
We bet your family and friends are excited about your furniture pieces but would they pay for them? It’s not that we encourage you to make money from your loved ones, what we are trying to say is you should give people strong reasons to buy your products. With a plethora of options right at their fingertips, why would they pay for yours?
If a couple of minutes ago you were pretty sure that starting your business online is an awesome idea, now it’s time to change your mind. Why? Quite simply, as a newcomer on the crazy busy scene, you need to connect with your potential customers first and introduce your products personally. You can have the most eye-catching website chock-full of images and comprehensive descriptions but it’s usually not enough to force your would-be buyers to make the final step and purchase a creation of an unknown brand.
When you are at the very beginning of your way, think locally and start offline. Find an appropriate space for your brick-and-mortar shop to let people see your furniture and introduce yourself as a trustworthy business. To kickstart your local experience, consider attending a few fairs or advertising in popular media.
Red Tape Still Exist
No, you can’t, therefore take the legal side of the story seriously and make sure you have all the necessary documents to register and open your business in the United States. While the full suite of papers and business climate generally can vary from one state to another, here is the list of what you will certainly need to start a brick-and-mortar business:
- Business Entity Registration
- Tax Identification Number
- Business License
- Business Plan
- Federal Employer Identification Number (EIN)
- Sales Tax License
- Fire Department Permits
- Employee Agreement
- Intellectual Property Protection Documents
Starting a business is always a challenge but with a well-thought-out plan and the right people on your side, you have all chances to succeed and reach your lofty goals. If you stay with both your feet on the ground, turning your passion for furniture into a business is really worth a shot.