The real estate market has rebounded dramatically from the housing and financial crisis that started in 2008. Spending confidence in real estate is back, and many Americans are again buying or investing in their homes. If it’s not an outright purchase of a unit, it’s a home improvement project, from minor works, like replacing kitchen cabinets to a complete renovation.
The real resurgence has also positively impacted other industries, like the furniture-making industry. More homes being built or being bought, means more furniture being sold. You recognize this trend, and you’ve been thinking of going your way after working for about three years as a junior interior designer for one of Salt Lake City’s major design houses. You have some ideas about furniture making, but many aspects of it are still a bit fuzzy in your head.
Here are some things that you need to know:
Overview of the Home Furniture Making Industry
The 2019 $27 billion in revenue is propped up by more than 10,100 businesses across America. Again, this is primarily due to the upward trend in the housing market. With extra income available, consumers also prefer to buy new furniture instead of going for pre-owned items.
If you open your business, you will be riding a steady growth rate of 1.4% for the past five years.
Researching and Standing Out
Your degree in interior design and work experience will help carry you through this business, but not all the way. You need to do your research first, and you would need to have some business management or finance skills. You need to analyze the market and decide where your niche lies. Think of what you’re good at and determine if there’s a match with the needs of the market. Will you focus on making office furniture or home upholstering? Would you be working with wood, metal, bamboo, or all of them? Look at where the trend is going and be ready to adapt when the time comes. The market may say that wood is the “in thing” now, but will it still be after five years?
Do I Need Carpentry Skills?
The answer is no. But you need to hire a craftsman or artisan who can create the furniture for you. Your role is to handle the design and manage the business. As in any start-up business, prudence is vital, and doing things small scale at the beginning might be the way to go. Create first, one masterpiece design to attract customers. From there, you can start adding your items with new designs.
The Right Equipment
If you already have some woodworking equipment and you plan to use it for the business, officially transition it as part of the company assets. You will need, however, to purchase new equipment as you grow your business in response to varying demands from customers. Apart from the usual tools like coping saws, drilling machines, and CNC routers, budget for excellent 3D design software.
Plan your setup carefully. Will your workshop be in the same place as your store? If they are in different areas, then you need to factor in the packaging and transportation costs of your items. Keep in mind your customer profile when you’re building your front office. Customers come with children, and some children come in strollers. Make sure that you will be able to entertain them comfortably.
All in all, your business plan should be sound, and your financial forecasts must be as accurate as they can be. Don’t forget about your marketing effort and how you can capitalize on the use of digital technology.