How to Start a Furniture Store

Have you become interested in learning how to start a furniture store? Your business will need furniture store insurance, the right customers, a professional website, and other essential elements to find success. Keep reading to learn what you need to know about starting a furniture store.

How to Start a Furniture Shop

If you are interested in furniture, you should learn how to start a furniture shop. What starts as a passing interest may develop once you learn about the industry. Below are a few steps to become a furniture shop owner.

Learn About the Furniture Industry

The first step when learning how to start a furniture company is to acquire general knowledge about the industry. You will want to study how other furniture businesses operate. For example, an online source predicts that customized furniture will continue to be in high demand. You can use the trends to understand where your business might be headed.

Market Research

Furniture products are made from a variety of materials and designs. You will want to utilize focus groups and surveys to determine if your customers prefer wood, metal, plastic, or silver furniture. The furniture market will change with time and can be different between areas.

Market research can also give you insight into what your competitors are doing. You will want to investigate your competitor’s marketing tactics and grasp their products’ weaknesses in the market.

Find a Building

Do research about where is the best place to start a furniture store. One idea is to find an area where customers have disposable income. People with a higher income level will have a bigger budget for decorative furniture. Another idea is to find an area with fewer competitors. This will make you a more convenient option since you will be closer to your target customers than other furniture stores.

Get An EIN

An employer identification number (EIN) could be required for your furniture store. You need an EIN if you plan on hiring employees or applying for a business license. It is also required by most banks to open a business license. To get an EIN, you must follow these steps:

  1. Eligibility: You must have a business in the United States to be eligible for an online EIN application.

  2. Fill out an application: You can head online to the IRS to start your application. You will need to complete it without having 15 minutes of inactivity. You must provide personal information and identifying information about your business, like the founding documents.

  3. Receive your EIN: After completing the application, you can immediately get your nine-digit EIN.

Design Your Shop

One of the critical aspects of a furniture store is the show floor. You will want to create a welcoming environment where customers feel comfortable shopping. A few layout choices to consider include:

  • One-way path: A one-way path layout makes it so your customers have to continue walking through the showroom in a single direction. This ensures they have to see everything you have to offer before they exit the show floor.

  • Grid: A grid layout gives the customer more freedom to browse floor sections in the order that they want. This is an excellent pick if you have a large quantity of product to show since it’s more space efficient.

  • Loop: This puts your customer’s path in the center of your store, surrounded by your products. Customers can loop around the show floor before being encouraged to purchase.

Register Your Business

To register your business, you must create a legal entity by submitting your business name to a state and local government. You especially want to do this if your furniture store is physically in the state. You can register online or send an application through the mail. Examples of types of businesses you can register as include:

  • LLC: A limited liability company protects your personal assets from business liabilities. If your business gets into debt, an LLC will prevent you from shouldering those debts personally.

  • Corporation: This business structure is a separate legal entity made up of shareholders. With a corporate structure, you can issue stocks to raise capital and make it easier to get investment.

  • Partnership: A partnership is when two or more people agree to be business co-owners. Unlike a corporation, a partnership gives the owners more legal liability. Each partner is also taxed proportionally.

Open a Business Bank Account

A business account has many advantages for your furniture store. To open a business account, you must complete an application, have an EIN, a business license, and submit business information. Typical benefits of a business account include:

  • Credit card payments: A merchant account allows you to process credit card transactions

  • Taxes: With a business account preparing your taxes becomes simpler.

  • Liability protection: A business account keeps your finances and your business finances separate, offering you a limited form of liability protection.

Get Insurance Coverage

A critical consideration for your business is insurance coverage. You will need insurance to protect you from lawsuits from injured customers in your furniture store. If you hire employees, you must have workers’ compensation to protect them if they get sick or injured.

How to Start a Used Furniture Store

Are you wondering how to start a used furniture store? There are many ways you can approach this business. Below are a few tips to help you learn about operating a used furniture store:

Decide What to Sell

What should you consider when learning how to open a used furniture store.? As a used furniture store owner, you must decide which products to provide to your customers. It might be helpful to hire an expert to evaluate used pieces to determine the profit you could make by reselling it. Do you want to focus on decorative furniture or practical furniture? You could focus your business around sofas, beds, cabinets, or tables.

Find Suppliers

A used furniture shop will constantly look for used pieces to buy and sell. A few tips for buying used furniture include:

  • Check yard sales: Yard sales are easier to negotiate on pricing. You may also find hidden gems that you will be able to sell for more.

  • Buy from upscale areas: Places with higher income tend to have more valuable pieces. You may need to travel to acquire valuable furniture pieces.

  • Attend estate sales: The goal of an estate sale is to sell possessions as quickly as possible. You can maximize the value of your money by purchasing inventory through estate sales.

Hire Someone To Fix the Furniture

Since you are dealing with used furniture, you will need someone handy to fix different types of furniture. Sometimes people will throw away used furniture that is easily fixable. They throw it out because they lack the time or technical knowledge to fix the item. If you have someone knowledgeable in repairs, you can significantly benefit.

Learn about Furniture Value

You will want to study the prices of different furniture pieces to get a handle on making a profit through used furniture reselling. Talk to an expert who has experience in the furniture market. You can also check the prices of sold pieces online to see how the market rates are trending.

Find Customers

A business can only be successful with customers. A way to find furniture customers is to attend trade shows. You can develop a network of contacts and get your business name out there so customers will know where to go for valuable pieces.

How to Start a Furniture Store Online

There are different steps to consider when learning how to start a furniture store online. With an online store, you must make do with a digital show floor and be familiar with other technical tools. Below are a few steps to start an online furniture store.

Create a Website

A website is important in the eyes of most customers to establish credibility. Creating a website is a crucial step when researching how to start a furniture business online. In today’s age, a customer may look your business up on the internet before purchasing. A website serves as a place to display customer reviews, answer common questions, and display your products. To create a website, you must register a domain name and find a service to help design the site. You can design the website or use a pre-built template to save time.

Decide on a Marketplace

You will not just be selling products on your website as an online furniture store. You will also want to create a storefront on places that include:

  • Amazon: Amazon is a high-traffic marketplace that can help your business grow. They offer a marketplace already set up, so you can start selling furniture quickly as an Amazon seller.

  • eBay: A shop on eBay is an excellent choice because it’s easy to use and has low selling fees.

  • Shopify: If you make a shop on Shopify, you get access to a bigger range of convenient online selling features. It also gives you a greater ability to customize your storefront them Amazon.

Figure Out How To Ship Your Furniture

A challenge to running an online furniture business is shipping furniture to customers. Furniture pieces can be heavy and fragile. For bigger pieces and furniture sets, you must use a freight shipping company that uses trucks to transport them. A few limitations with common carriers are outlined below:

Shipping Company Weight Limit Dimension Limit
FedEx 150 lbs 119 inches long
UPS 150 lbs 108 inches long
USPS 70 lbs 108 inches long

Consider Buying Online

You will also want to look online to find products to sell for your online furniture business. If you understand a piece’s market value well, you can buy furniture at a low price and sell it at a higher price. You could also buy furniture pieces and customize them. After customizing them, you would sell them at a higher price than you bought them for.

Check the Prices of Competitors

When deciding how to price your merchandise, you will want to see how your online competitors are pricing similar items. You may have difficulty selling your furniture if your prices are undercut by too much. If you cannot afford to lower your prices, you should find other ways to add value to your pieces. This can include customizing them, painting them, adding legs, or replacing small details like knobs.

How to Start a Furniture Consignment Store

You might be wondering how to start a furniture consignment store. The next sections will cover topics related to running and operating a furniture consignment store. 

Find Investors

When starting your store, you may need an initial capital injection to cover your initial costs. Ask family or friends if they want to invest in your promising new business. Offering potential investors equity in your company can be a way to raise money for your business without having to rely on paying back those loans.

 If you are lucky, you might find angel investors. Unlike a normal investor who is looking to make a profit and shies away from risk, an angel investor believes in your idea and wants it to succeed. A few groups to look at to find angel investors include:

  • Angel Capital Association

  • Angel Investment Network

  • Angel List

  • Alliance of Angels

  • Robin Hood Ventures

Decide If It Will Be a Main Income Source

You must decide whether your furniture store will be your primary income or a side hustle. You could leave the management of your furniture consignment store to someone else so it becomes a passive income stream. Making this business your primary income comes with a bigger risk. Still, you may also be rewarded for the extra resources and time you invest.

Ask A Shop Owner for Advice

An excellent way to learn about the furniture consignment business is to ask someone already running one. The shop owner may offer advice freely if you become friends with them. However, you will want to do your research and ask well-informed questions as a courtesy to the person helping you. You may also consider getting a job at a furniture consignment shop first to get a feel for how the business is run.

Make Business Cards

Business cards are an excellent way to promote your brand. If you are just starting, you will need every contacts and customer you can get. Print many cards with your business name, address, and phone number. You can then hand them out at parties, social functions, and if you are just waiting at the bus stop.

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How to Run a Furniture Business

Now that you know how to start a furniture business, you also need to know how to run a furniture business. Below are a few tips for keeping your furniture business going.

Delegate your Tasks

Running a furniture business requires skill in delegating your responsibilities. It may be tempting to handle everything yourself to ensure it gets done right. However, you should hire or enlist people who know what they are doing. This allows you to focus on doing the things in your business that you are good at while not being overwhelmed by the amount you have to do. Hire sales associates to interact with customers who have furniture expertise.

Rely on Family and Friends

Reach out to your personal support network for help when you need it. They can help you with small projects in your furniture business and will want to see you succeed in your venture. If you need help raising money, you can pitch your business idea to a receptive audience like friends and family and hopefully get them to invest.

Learn Business Tools

When running a furniture business, you will want to get accustomed to the tools of your trade. Leverage the experience of professionals to learn how furniture is crafted, repaired, and customized. With an intimate understanding of the products you are selling, you will have a better knowledge base to make intelligent business decisions. The more you know about your products, the easier they sell.

Find a Niche

A crucial part of succeeding in running a furniture store is finding a place in the market. You do not want to spread your net too wide. There is a saying in marketing that says, “A person who speaks to everyone hears no one.” This means that you should focus your business around a target customer base to whom you aim to appeal. As you build an audience for your business, you will start to develop a loyal base of customers. You will better identify what products they want to see and what price they will accept.

Use an Email Campaign

Email campaigns allow you to target different portions of your target market and spread brand awareness. They are an excellent return on investment. Email marketing is estimated to return between $30-40 for every $1 spent on it. An email campaign is also an excellent way to get targeted customer feedback about the items you sell. 

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Insurance Requirements for Boosting Income

Your furniture store greatly benefits from a comprehensive insurance policy. Insurance protects you from unexpected lawsuits, injuries, and product damage. With insurance, you can boost your income because it saves you money in the long run. Below are a few policies you should consider picking up.

Business Owner’s Policy

A business owner’s policy is one of the most comprehensive types of insurance. Your business owner’s policy combines general liability and commercial property insurance coverage. NEXT is an excellent choice for your policy because of its industry experience. They let you save 10% or more on business insurance when you bundle multiple policies.

General Liability Insurance

General liability insurance protects your furniture store business from third-party lawsuits for property damage and bodily harm. Thimble is our recommended provider of general liability insurance. They have options for short-term coverage that you can set down to the hour. They are a popular choice with first-time buyers. Thimble boasts that 75% of its customers are first-time insurance buyers. Thimble has an A+ rating from the Better Business Bureau.

Professional Liability Insurance

Professional liability insurance protects you against lawsuits resulting from mistakes made during business. You get protection for failure to provide service, negligence, and other errors that cause other parties a financial loss. Hiscox offers an excellent professional liability insurance policy for furniture stores. They focus on specialty insurance tailored to your furniture store business’s needs. Hiscox has an A rating with AM Best.

Commercial Property Insurance

Commercial property insurance covers physical damage to your business assets and property. It protects you from fire, theft, vandalism, wind, water, lightning, and more. CoverWallet helps you protect your business property with over ten insurance partners. You can skip the insurance form and call them directly. Quotes you get from CoverWallet’s services do not lock you into a buying commitment.

Commercial Auto Insurance

A commercial auto policy protects vehicles you use for work-related purposes. It offers liability protection from vehicle accidents and helps you pay for vehicle damage costs. Tivly has over 200 insurance partners to select your commercial auto policy on their platform. The company matches you with the right provider and policy, so the insurance shopping process is simple.

Workers’ Comp Insurance

Worker’s compensation insurance is required in most states to protect your employees. It pays the medical treatments for employee injuries and compensates them for lost income. For your workers’ comp policy, you should choose The Hartford. Their workers’ comp policy helps your employees coordinate their treatment so they can return to work quickly.

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