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How to Start & Run a Successful Furniture Retail Store

Furniture is something that features in every home in different forms and styles but not every furniture shop is a success.  The reason for this can be varied but there are some basic things you need to be doing as you start your new ffurniture retail store to increase your chances of success.

Do some research

If you are thinking about starting a furniture retail store, there’s a good chance you already have some ideas about the type and style of furniture you want to create.  But it is also important to make sure there is a market for it. Are people making and selling similar furniture?  Can you create something that is a little different to create your own niche within the market?

Also consider areas that complement the furniture – such as customer service.  How will you offer a top-quality service for customers that will make them come back to you and to tell their friends about you?

Understand price margins

Often businesses end up either under-pricing or overpricing their products because they don’t completely understand their price margins.  Pricing should be based on the perceived value of the item but still with some flexibility to allow you to do special offers or deals.

This is also where working with the right suppliers is important.  For instance, Baumhaus a trade furniture supplier based in the UK where you can obtain furniture at trade prices to then adapt or embellish to match your style.  Or if you are making everything from scratch, you want to find local or national specialist who can offer raw materials at competitive prices.  With both situations, understanding how much profit you can make after the basic costs is very important.

Get the right people involved

You may start with just yourself in your business but in the majority of cases, you will have one or two people or a whole team involved.  Getting the right people for different roles is also very important for your success.  

The sales team who will be in the store dealing with the customers are key – they need to go out of their way to help people and to establish a relationship.  They will be the face of the business and the first point of contact for customers.

You will also want to have people either in the business or as freelancers to handle some of the specific tasks.  Examples of these can be bookkeeping and payroll, marketing and even creating and maintaining an online presence for your company.

Decide on delivery

In the majority of cases, you will need to offer delivery for your furniture, and it is important to establish what and how of this before you start.  Depending on the size of the pieces you make, you will likely need a courier who can handle larger loads. You want to factor in the cost of this to your prices – does the customer pay it on top of the price or do you adjust the price to accommodate this?

It is important to be able to lay out delivery expectations for customers before they buy.  You may say that the item will be delivered in 3-5 days or that you will provide a delivery date when the order is made, usually within a set time frame.  This may be different if you offer made to order but you should still give an idea of time frames for customers.

Study what works

Finally, you want to have a process in place to record sales and other data so you can see what works, what sells and where to focus your attention on to help grow your business.