Build a Solid Base: How to Start a Furniture Business

how to start a furniture business

Every month, approximately 543,000 new businesses open. But, out of all those businesses, more than 90 percent fail within their first few years of operation.

How do you make sure your furniture business isn't one of them?

It's not enough to have high-quality furniture and a great sales pitch. There's a lot more that goes into making sure your business succeeds.

Here is everything you need to know about how to start a furniture business and keep it running long-term.


Traits of a Successful Furniture Business Owner

Before you dive straight in and start creating your business plan, it's helpful to do some self-evaluation.

Do you possess the traits necessary to be a successful furniture business owner? What kind of traits do you even need to have?

Some traits of a good furniture business owner include:


  • An eye for design to choose and display appealing pieces of furniture
  • The ability to design your shopping environment so that it's open and inviting
  • The ability to deliver top-notch customer service
  • The ability to train sales staff effectively
  • Any previous business experience that will help you maintain good profit margins
  • The ability to establish positive relationships with furniture manufacturers

Not all of these traits of 100 percent necessary, of course. But, they are helpful, especially when you're first starting out and can't afford to hire a lot of extra staff members to handle the jobs that aren't in your wheelhouse.


Costs of Opening a Furniture Business

It's also a good idea to think about the cost of opening a furniture business. Good furniture isn't cheap, and you're going to have to put up quite a bit of money, in the beginning, to build up your inventory and keep your business afloat.

When you're opening a furniture business, your largest costs are typically related to your display inventory. You may also need a warehouse so you can deliver furniture to your customers as quickly as possible. 

If you have a great eye for design, you can probably handle a lot of the displays yourself. If not, though, you'll also need to hire design consultants to help showcase your best pieces. 

And, of course, you'll need some great salespeople on your team to help customers find the right items for their homes.

All in all, you can expect to invest several million dollars right out of the gate. The specific amount you invest will vary depending on the size of your business and the specific type of people to whom you want to appeal.


Who's Your Target Market?

Speaking of appealing to specific people, who is your target market?

Are you selling to wealthy individuals who want to buy antiques or custom furniture? Or, are you selling to middle-income families who want high-quality, durable, yet affordable furniture for themselves and their children?

It doesn't necessarily matter to whom you're trying to sell furniture. There's a market for luxury furniture, and there's a market for inexpensive furniture that can be purchased in large quantities. 

There's also a market for furniture that falls in between these two categories.

The point is, you need to figure out to whom you're selling before you start buying up inventory and marketing your business.


Brick-and-Mortar or Online?

You'll also want to consider whether you want to sell furniture in a traditional brick-and-mortar store or do you want to sell through an online website. Or, do you want to use both methods?

If you sell exclusively online, you can save some money upfront. If you don't have a lot of capital, this can be a great option. But, keep in mind that many people like to see and test out furniture before they buy it.

If you do choose to go the online route, you'll likely need to put more money into marketing and advertising to get the word out about your business.


Getting Started

After you've asked yourself some questions about the type of furniture you want to sell, how you want to sell it, and to whom you're selling it, it's time to get started.

No matter what type of business you're running, you'll need to follow these steps to get it off the ground:

Put Together a Business Plan

Start with a clear business plan. Detail your startup costs, your target market, and how long you think it will take for you to break even.

Form an LLC

When you establish your business as an LLC (limited liability company), you are not held personally liable if your business is sued. 

Register for Taxes

Every business must register with the IRS and pay state and federal taxes. Take care of this early on to avoid penalties when tax season rolls around.

Open a Separate, Business Bank Account

It's best to have a separate checking account just for your furniture business expenses. This helps you keep your finances organized.

Obtain Permits and Licenses

Every state has different permits and licenses a business must acquire before they can officially open. Do some research to figure out what your state requires, then make sure you comply with these rules. 

If not, you could end up paying significant fines or getting shut down altogether.


Marketing Your Brand

Once you've done all this, it's time to start spreading the word about your business.

Whether you're selling exclusively online or also have a brick-and-mortar store, a website like this site is a must these days. It will help people find your business and spread the word about it to their friends and family.

A social media presence is also a necessity. Building up a following on platforms like Instagram, Twitter, and Facebook makes it easier for people to learn about your business. 

Make sure you're posting on these platforms regularly and engaging with your followers (answering questions, responding to comments, etc.). This helps people start to trust your brand. 


Learn More About How to Start a Furniture Business

If you've been wondering how to start a furniture business, you've now got your bases covered, from coming up with a business name to spreading the word about your products.

Are you looking for more information on running a successful business, though? Do you want to work with someone who can guide you through the process and help you see results faster?

If so, contact me today to learn about my business consulting services. I've helped countless businesses grow and improve, and I can help you, too.

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