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You will now no longer be a fixtures maker, to call some large points and gst on clothes.
1. You become an Entrepreneur
That’s true, the very thing you wanted to spend more time doing will quickly take a back seat to the responsibilities of running a small business. You’ll be lucky if you spend half your time in the workshop and the other half looking for clients, giving quotes, sending bills, monitoring social media, and so on.
Your priority will shift from producing cool furniture to making money. You will need to do a lot of networking to discover new clients and work hard to keep those relationships going. You don’t need thousands of customers because you’re little, but you do need them to prefer you over IKEA and other brands that you can’t compete with on price.
2. Style & taste does not matter!
Learning new techniques is excellent, but in order to make a profit, you must make whatever your customers want and are prepared to pay for. If it means painting over magnificent rift sawn wood or adding way too many shelves to a bookcase, that’s what you’ll be doing as a custom craftsman.
You must accept the idea that what you like and wish to build is no longer important. You are at the mercy of your customers’ desires. The good news is that this can sometimes propel you to new heights and provide you with a greater understanding of your industry. Furthermore, as you network and create a client list, you will be able to be more selective about the tasks you accept.
3. A market smaller than you think?
People in today’s society have virtually endless alternatives when it comes to almost any goods. Why on earth would they buy yours? Setting up an internet store may appear to be a nice place to start, but in my experience, it’s more of a time drain than a gold hen. I spent months creating a beautiful website with excellent product descriptions and professional product photography. Then there’s the time and effort spent trying to reach an audience.
Furthermore, if somebody does decide to give their money to a stranger on the internet, you’ll have to find out how to get it to them, wherever they happen to live. Your things will be costly if they are large pieces of furniture.
When you first start out, you should expect almost all of your customers to be local. Attending a few fairs is a wonderful way to get your name (and face) out there and possibly make some sales. People are far more inclined to buy your furniture if they can see and touch it, and they are far more likely to trust you if you engage them in a face-to-face conversation. It will be much easier to sell online after you have an established customer, reviews, and so on.
The furniture industry is difficult (gst on furniture, hidden costs etc, etc) , and if you don’t plan for it, you’re setting yourself up for disappointment and failure.
Consider taking some business classes, learning about your local market, and developing a sound company strategy before taking the plunge. It’s certainly feasible, but don’t expect it to be anything like what you’ve been doing on weekends as a pastime. The good news is that if you persevere, you will quickly learn a lot. And if you can use what you’ve learned, you’ll be the proud owner of a successful little business.