Furniture Biz Worth It? - Marketing & Sales - Contractor Talk

Furniture Biz Worth It?

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Old 01-31-2018, 01:02 AM   #1
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Furniture Biz Worth It?

Hello. On the side and for fun, my brother and I make furniture for our own homes in our family's fabrication shop and we have been getting a lot of compliments on the furniture this past year. We have multiple requests from friends to make them some pieces. We thought we should try and sell this as another business. (Our business is wrought iron fabrication). Start small, see where it takes us. We have been driving the pieces in our truck to people who have been buying them. If we start advertising and having to ship, is this venture even worth it with the high costs of shipping? Thanks
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Old 01-31-2018, 07:47 AM   #2
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Re: Furniture Biz Worth It?

Iím sure wrought iron costs more to ship than furniture right? Advertise locally or not at all, that way you can keep up with demand, donít stock too many items make them to order, that way you arenít investing any time or material that hasnít already been paid for, If you already have the tools itís not much of an investment at all, so yes itís worth it for you, start small and let it grow organically.
the shipping is paid by the client, so make your prices, stick to them and if someone wants something shipped let them pay for shipping. No sweat.


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Old 02-05-2018, 07:01 AM   #3
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Re: Furniture Biz Worth It?

I think this is a great idea! Word of mouth is the best recommendation, so make sure your friends and family talk about you whenever they get a chance. Also, if you start online reviews on your website, Google, Facebook, Houzz, Yelp, that would be awesome. And don't forget to always create some nice photos of the furniture you finished. For example, on Houzz you can showcase your projects with images and descriptions. This is what you should also do on your website and social media. Good luck!
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Old 02-05-2018, 08:58 AM   #4
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Re: Furniture Biz Worth It?

Friends and family complimenting you on your work and saying they want you to build for them on the side, is a lot different than putting numbers to their aspirations that represent what it actually costs to be in business...

You'll find that most friends and family hinting at asking you to do work for them on the side comes with the thinking that you'll be cheaper because you're not actually a business...

The way to truly test it and your friends and family market to see if the aspirations translate into actual orders, is to understand your costs of being in business, come up with a price for them, times it by a factor of at least 1.25% (to compensate for your unfamiliarity in bringing the design to life) and present it to them... if you start to actually get orders...

... go for it! A referral network can be a strong base for a custom furniture company...
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Old 02-05-2018, 12:07 PM   #5
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Re: Furniture Biz Worth It?

I went into this venture years back and made log furniture. I used lots of fine joinery and mortside and tenon stuff (used Juniper, Aspen and various pine wood). It was a tough market and I had to keep lowering prices to sell it...realized it wasn't worth my time.

I did find furniture stores that would buy my stuff in bulk but I was desperate to sell it and took their low-ball offers. I'd visit the store and see my furniture sell in their stores for 2k while I was paid approx 300 bucks.

I'm not business smart I guess.
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Old 02-05-2018, 11:38 PM   #6
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Re: Furniture Biz Worth It?

I rarely do furniture pieces anymore. My most recent example: I was contacted via Facebook to build a custom "I saw this on Pinterest" kid's fort/bed. Knowing how this goes I said, "based on the pictures you sent, you're looking at around $1500-$2500 depending on options." She came back and said "Oh, We were hoping to only spend $500-800." This was for a project that would be $400 in materials alone, Then custom designed, and built. It's annoying.

I did find a niche with Dog Kennels, Murphy Beds, and barn doors so it can be done. People just expect Ikea prices for custom work, finding the right market is hard.


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