Furniture Making business: If you want a career in manufacturing to create new innovative designs at reasonable prices then furniture business is your best bet. You can work from home or workshop and expand as the business grows. You can sell your customized products online and off depending on your business template.
Learn Furniture Making
There are two ways to get into the furniture market. First learn the trade through technical institutions, craft school, online courses or apprentice. Second choice is to hire experienced woods craftsmen, carpenters and furniture makers. It is better to learn the trade then hire workers so you don’t completely rely on your workforce.
Define your Niche
Furniture business is vast with many products in the market. To compete favorably it is best to define your niche. Focus on one section of the market, create quality products and brand. Niche ideas are home furniture, office furniture, hotel and luxury or hostel furniture. Type of furniture your design depends on your target market and client base.
Furniture Making Business plan
Once you have narrowed down the niche write a business plan. The business plan should cover type of furniture, customer base, location, labor requirements and startup funding.
Carry out a feasibility study, in targeted geographical location. Study types of products, quality, pricing, popular brands. Make sure to register a business name, logo and develop a catalog for customers.
Cost considerations are purchase of equipment, workshop/store lease, and labor salaries. Others are cost of raw materials, government permits, business license and registration, marketing and promotions.
- Purchase of equipment
- Rent workshop/store
- Raw materials
- Government permits
- Business license
Design the Product
One of the most important aspects of furniture making is the design. You can design the furniture yourself or hire a professional furniture designer. The design should be practical, cost effective, quality and beautifully crafted.
Beautifully made furniture speak for themselves and attract premium price. Furniture ideas are art deco, retro, rustic furniture, traditional, French provisional, shabby chick, contemporary or modern. Another high premium market is offering high network individuals exclusive designs. Make sure all the designs have patent, logo and branding.
Find a location with lots of vehicular and human traffic. The warehouse should have a store front and workshop at the back. The warehouse should have storage facility, utilities, loading and unloading area, car park for customers. Offer unique furniture with personalized service and build good customer relations.
Raw materials for Furniture Making
Furniture is dynamic therefore material requirement depends on design. Make sure you have a sustainable source of raw material and focus on quality.
The material include hardwood, manufactured wood, softwood, particle boards and solid wood. Other furniture making materials are plastic, glass, and steel or metal. Glass used in furniture are usually laminated and toughened.
- Different types of wood
Types of wood are particle boards, solid wood, soft wood, manufacturer wood and hardwood.
- particle boards
- solid wood
- soft wood
- manufacturer wood
Hardwood for Furniture Making
Hardwood are traditional wood that are dense, tough and fire resistant. They are expensive and used to make luxurious furniture. Types of hardwood are mahogany, lime, chestnut. Others are walnut, rosewood, teak, oak, maple and cherry wood.
- Cherry wood
Manufactured wood are engineered from different material like hardwood veneer, high density fiberboard and medium fiberboard. The wood is joined under pressure, layered, burned or heat treated and coated. Common manufactured wood are plywood, oriented standard board, lumber laminated veneer, hardboard.
- Oriented standard board
- Laminated veneer
Particle wood are brittle, cheap and not considered real wood. It is made from different milling material like sawdust, wood chips, sawmill shavings. Particle wood absorbs water easily, expands rapidly and crumbles easily. Furniture made from this type of wood has a lifespan of three years.
- Wood chips
- Sawmill shavings
Soft Wood and Solid Wood
Softwood have poor resistant to fire are lightweight and inexpensive. They are harvested from coniferous trees popular types are spruce, redwood, fir, hemlock, pine and cedar.
Solid wood are durable strong and made from single piece of wood. They are more expensive than soft wood and easy to repair. Types of solid wood are maple, cherry, oak, ash, walnut and hardwood.
Tools needed are spindle molder, tenoner, timber sizer and radial arm saw. Others are brand saw, power drill, hammer, chain saw, glue, handsaw. More are circular saw, nails, polish, chisel, wooden mallet, screwdriver, sanders.
- spindle molder
- timber sizer
- radial arm saw
- brand saw
- power drill
- circular saw
- wooden mallet
Despite the design basic steps are required to make furniture. Manufacturing process starts with design then hewing and sawmilling. Next step is kiln drying, splitting, cutting, planning and drilling. Final step is sanding, assembling, finishing or molding.
- Kiln drying
- finishing or molding
To succeed you need to invest in promotion and marketing. This is because the furniture market is highly competitive and moderately challenging. Use online advertisement, television, radio, social media, print and sell directly to offices, hotels, school, private homes.