Tips To Start Your Own Furniture Design Business

On June 4, 2018 by Jack Dawson

When you have skills, you may want to venture into self-employment because, why work for someone when you can work for yourself? Being your own boss would definitely be freeing. You have no obligations towards anyone but yourself.

However, as tempting as it sounds, it takes a lot to start a new business and not only keep it running, but also make it a success. Running a custom design furniture business is very possible if:

Start Your Own Furniture Design Business

  • You have the skills – You may have academic qualifications in furniture design or you may have acquired the skills under an apprenticeship program.
  • You have a good eye for what is popular amongst your clients.
  • You can create designs according to your clients’ specifications.
  • You have the capital needed to start or can access it.

If you have all those, then you are ready to start. Before you jump up with a whoop and dash headlong into your dream enterprise, you might want to read on. Here are a few pointers to smooth your way to your star up:

  1. What Is Your Niche?

It is no use doing what everybody else is doing. You do not want that kind of competition when you are so new in the business. The best thing you can do is find some sort of speciality. You could specialize in, say, office furniture or home furnishings. Then, follow that up by specifying the materials you will be using to create your unique designs, for instance:

  • Metal
  • Wood
  • Upholstery

It is also important to identify a target customer base. Do you intend to sell to residential customers or commercial ones? Will you be selling locally only or do you plan to expand your customer base?

  1. Market Analysis

Imagine creating lots of beautiful designs but nobody wants to buy them! This can be a huge setback for anyone, but especially catastrophic for a start-up. Perform a market analysis to determine if your product is needed. Also, check out your competitors to see what they don’t offer and whether it is needed. If they don’t offer your specific product and there is demand for it, you are home dry and free.

  1. Decide If You Want Run Your Business Online Or Have A Physical Address

Running an online business calls for creating a website. Then your customers can make their orders online and you can make deliveries. Alternatively, you can rent a shop and sell to walk-in clients. Even better, you can incorporate both. You do not have to choose one over the other. You can seek out sites that are created for physical businesses by typing, for instance, beautiful decorative geodes or any furniture design business you know to learn how to create your own. You would also get a lot of insights into how a website like that is run.

  1. Location

Unless you plan to deal with online orders only, location is important. Choose a place that is easily accessible. Any customer, whether they came by bus or they drove in, should be able to access your premises. In addition, your suppliers should also be able to access your business premises easily.

Choose a space that is roomy enough for you to display your wares. If you hope to sell to homeowners, you will want to have room for parents with children and strollers.

Remember, while affordability is important, do not choose a space based purely on low rent. You may end up with a place that may require a llama to get there.

  1. The Law

You have to get the proper licensing to run your business. You must also comply with the laws and regulations that govern your kind of enterprise. It would be of great benefit to you to do some research on the zoning laws and regulations in the area in which you plan to put up your business.

Even if you plan to run your business online, you still need a physical location. After all, you will have to get space to create and build your designs.

  1. Business Structure

There are at least three structures you can choose from:

  • Partnership
  • Corporation
  • Sole proprietorship

This is for the purpose of filing your income taxes. In order to make the best decision for your, contract a certified public accountant (CPA) to assist you.

Once you have made a decision on a business structure, register your business with the relevant authorities and follow the required protocol with regard to the tax office.

  1. You Need A Business Plan

A business plan gives you a map that will guide you through the paths that will take your business to where you want it to be. Any good business needs a plan. Inasmuch as you are a designer and writing plans may not come naturally to you, you need to find the time and the will to come up with one. You could enlist the help of professionals to get the finer details done, but ultimately, it is your business and only you know the vision you have for it.

Some of the features to include in your business plan include;

  • Financial projections
  • A company description with a description of the kind of furniture you make, how it is made, your target customers and what edge you have over your competitors
  • The organization and management of your business
  • How your product fills a gap in the market
  • Your business structure
  • Marketing, including advertising as well as growth and expansion
  1. Figure Out Your Start-Up Capital

You must have an accurate budget for starting your business. This is important if you intend to get financiers to come on board. An accurate budget also helps you to estimate your profit margin in your first year of business. This should also factor in taxation. The following categories should feature in your budget:

  • Expenses for registering your business and acquiring licenses and the relevant permits
  • Expenses for hiring a certified public accountant or lawyer if you need their services
  • Funds for the start-up inventory to be used for buying materials for making your products
  • Money to pay for advertising and marketing
  • Funds for paying your workers’ salaries and benefits
  • Funds to cater for renting or purchasing your business premises.

How To Set Up Your Business

Ensure that you have the right woodworking tools and materials. Do not allow the costs to scare you. Start simple by getting the most essential tools and then get the rest as you grow. You could also rent the more expensive ones. Some of the tools you need include:

  • A bevel up, low-angle jackplane
  • A block plane
  • A 7- or 8- ounce plane hammer
  • A 3-inch engineer’s square
  • A pocket square
  • A wheel making gauge
  • A 6-inch sliding bevel square
  • A card scraper
  • A mill-bastard file

Furniture-making machinery is important for your business. If you are not in a position to buy it, you can lease it. Then when your business catches on and you have enough money, you can invest in some of your own. You will need:

  • A band saw – This is for cutting curves and angles.
  • A thicknesser – This one smooths out rough timber and ‘slims’ it down.
  • A drop saw which is what you cut timber with
  • A disc sander which sands the end grain of wood
  • A scroll saw for cutting those small thin pieces of timber
  • A finisher – This one sands the faces and edges of the wood.
  • A pedestal drill which makes easy work of drilling on large materials
  • A mortising machine – This one drills out square mortise holes.
  • A table saw which cuts large pieces of timber or manufactured boards

With these in hand, whether they are purchased or leased, you will be well on your way to bringing your first dream product into physical existence.

The next thing you need to think about is upholstery tools and equipment; that is if you need them. These ones come in handy when you have cushions and cloth which needs tacking and attaching to furniture.

You Will Need:

  • A magnetic tack hammer
  • A webbing stretcher
  • A 10-inch button needle
  • An array of curved needles for hand sewing
  • Upholstery shears – Be sure not to confuse these with regular scissors.
  • A regulator – This one adjusts cushion filling through the fabric.
  • A rubber mallet which instals tack strips without ‘wounding’ the surface
  • Upholsterer and ‘T’ pins with which to hold the fabric while hand sewing
  • A hand-held staple gun
  • An upholstery foam cutter

Unless you are not working with anything that requires upholstery, you will need tools to help make it beautiful and well finished. Once you have all these in your business, your shop is all set up.

Bear in mind that one of the best ways to figure out how to set up shop is by checking out sites like beautiful decorative geodes and other related sites to learn a thing or two from them. You can then inject your individual style into your own business because you want something unique.

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