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Opening a furniture business from home requires either an ability to produce custom furniture yourself or have the money to hire the talent who can manufacture the pieces. Having a good sense of what the market wants and what’s selling well is also crucial in the creation of modern, accessible wood products that potential customers will respond strongly to.
Beyond the basics, you’ll need to set things up correctly from the beginning. Avoiding rookie mistakes that set you back takes either previous business start-up experience or a willingness to learn the right steps and follow them through. Here are a few ideas on how to begin opening a furniture business from home.
Choose Your Speciality
You can aim to be a generalist, but starting a limited production wood furniture business from home means you must make a name quickly to survive. Going into Acacia-only wooden furniture creates a distinction in the market suggests Rajiv from Vertyfurniture in UK markets. Acacia is still fairly new, but Australians are aware of it as it natively grows Down Under and are keen to share their thoughts on a very Aussie export.
It is probably best to choose products that suit this darker wood the best. Items in the kitchen and bathroom are the most popular with acacia wood, so this is a good place to start.
Working Within the Space You Have
You must manage your expectations about how many people you can have working for you and how much bench spaces and machine tools you’ll be able to accommodate. It depends whether you’re setting up in your garage, the garden shed, or a spare bedroom initially, but you’ll certainly be limited on how much production you’re capable of when working from home.
Plans have to match your capabilities. It’s no good taking on a large order when you know you cannot fulfill it within the time required. You must decide whether you’re willing to outsource some of the production to another workshop as orders grow, to expand the capacity of your business before you move into a commercial workshop later.
Setup Properly from the Beginning
Depending on the full range of business activities, some new businesses require a licence or a permit. Check whether your business will require one from your local council; different local boroughs have differing requirements. Depending on what materials are used, any air pollution and waste products generated, there could be special requirements required before you get started.
There will certainly be health and safety concerns with woodworking at home, so pay special attention to what is required to stay within the current regulations in this regard.
Get the Right Equipment
A furniture business lives and dies by its equipment. When it doesn’t have the right tools for the job, producing each piece of furniture takes much longer, which limits the potential revenue of the business. Budget carefully what tools are essential and those that would be useful to have but aren’t critical to the success in the early years. Make sure your budget is big enough and there’s sufficient space to install the equipment and work with it.
When you’re starting out, you want to produce some initial pieces and put them on a website to promote them. Open some social media accounts and learn the ropes to draw attention to your furniture. Social networks like Instagram and Pinterest are good options because women love to remodel their homes and they use Pinterest, a photo-friendly social network, quite often.
Opening a new furniture business in the UK takes some forward planning and a good level of organizational skills. It’s important to stand out from the crowd by carving out your distinctive niche to get some attention and early sales. From there, you can continue the momentum and grow the business steadily.