Over 50% of businesses will fail in their first five years and one of the biggest reasons for that is the actual cost of running a business. For furniture designers, the last thing they’ll want to scrimp on is their materials or their tools, so what are some other ways to keep the costs down?
Ditch the bricks and mortar store
There’s no hiding the fact that maintaining a physical store is expensive; rent, utilities and staffing all add up and you might not even be getting that much benefit from it.
Most people don’t buy bespoke furniture on a whim; they are specifically looking to buy it. So, you could save yourself a tonne of money by moving online and arranging a storage facility for all of your items and renting a workroom if you can’t work from home.
If you are worried about the idea that no one will be able to see the furniture in person, consider renting a small area in a gallery to display a couple of pieces or taking your collection to a local craft fair for a day or two. In both cases, you can provide business cards with links to your website and social media so that people can view the rest of your stock.
Use woodworking software
One of the biggest costs for furniture designers is making measuring or cutting errors as this means wasted labour and often wasted material. Investing in woodworking software, like WoodDesigner, will allow you to create easily editable furniture designs and 3-D models, which provide you with the exact measurements needed to bring your designs to life.
Woodworking software also saves time on design and cost calculation, meaning that you have more time to create beautiful furniture.
Get a Social Media Presence
If you are working in any kind of artistic field nowadays, whether it’s as a baker, sculptor or furniture designer, you need to promote your work via social media and get your work in front of people who aren’t necessarily looking for it. Unlike other forms of promotion, establishing and maintaining a social media presence can be entirely free.
On your business’s profile or page, make sure to include a link to your website, a contact email, and business opening hours to let potential customers know how to contact you.
Below are the top three social media sites artists use to promote their work. Prioritizing social media sites that encourage visuals will allow you to show your furniture at its best:
Pictures on here are easily searchable via the hashtags, so don’t be afraid to use them to highlight the #TypeOfFurniture, #MaterialsUsed, or #StyleOfFurniture.
Here you can sort your photos by boards; try arranging boards by type i.e. bookcases, style i.e. modern, room i.e. living room, or any combination of the three i.e. modern living rooms.
While less easily searchable as the sites above, it’s always important to maintain a Facebook profile because everyone and their mother is on there. You can also communicate with clients via the chat function including sending files (like your design sketches) and even invoice them via chat.
Embrace the furniture design business as a business
Many woodworkers love the creative aspect of their job, but not the financial side of the business. If you’re running your own furniture making business, it’s essential that you acknowledge that it’s a business and that there’s nothing wrong with making money from your hard work, talent and expertise! Applying good business practice includes being willing to charge what you’re worth and look for the best deal from your suppliers.