For people who love making furniture, the obvious route to go down is to open a furniture business and start to sell a range of products – your own and ones you buy from a furniture wholesaler.
While this is a great route to follow, there are some real truths you should know before your furniture business embarks on this route.
You will be more than a furniture maker
While making furniture may be your passion, your role will change and you will be an entrepreneur, a business owner. This means that you need to do more than just make furniture unless you are going to take the risk of employing a number of people to handle different parts of the job from the start.
This is why people often mix wholesale and dropshipping approaches with their handmade furniture. It allows them time to work on their craft while also having a turnover of ready-made furniture in the business to make money.
Your curated style and taste are less important
Selling furniture might seem a bit like running an art gallery – you curate carefully chosen pieces of furniture that appeal to a certain aesthetic and incorporate those favourite styles or features you love.
The reality is that it is more about what you can sell, what your clients want than your own style or taste. Yes, you can specialise, and you can find a niche but if you want a profitable company, you need to take a business mindset, not an artistic one to what you sell.
You may have a small audience than you think
When you consider selling online, everyone says that you can sell to the whole world. And while this is true, it doesn’t mean you will. In fact, you may find at first that most of your customers will be local. People still like to buy big things like furniture in person and this means they go to a local shop.
You can definitely establish an online presence and work on marketing the business there too. Positive customer reviews and feedback are going to be key to this, helping you build up credibility that is crucial for online furniture sales.
You will need to learn a lot of new skills
When we said you need to be more than a furniture maker, we meant it. And that means learning new skills. You need to do everything from creating a business plan to show how you will be profitable to marketing skills to showcase your business. These skills take time but are crucial if you want to be successful.
You will come to love digital tools
Finally, as part of those new skills, you will learn, you will also gain a love for digital tools that help you do all of these things much easier. From social media scheduling tools to inventory tools and even online accounting tools, all of these things will let you do less of those new skills you just learned and have more time to concentrate on making furniture you love.