STARTING A FURNITURE MAKING BUSINESS IN NIGERIA
Furniture is one of the things we cannot do without. There is no place you go to, be it an office, a shop, a store, an apartment e.t.c that you will not find furniture there. Many people spend thousands or millions of naira every day to get a good furniture for their homes, offices e.t.c.
Furniture making business is also one of the most lucrative business in Nigeria, many people don’t have the money to import furnitures from abroad so they settle for the best local one they can get.
Who can start this business? Any one can, as long as you have the required capital and have the right knowledge about the business.
Really? Can I start the business? But I am not a carpenter? Yes…you might not necessarily be a carpenter but you can still do the business.
Most people often think that furniture making business is for carpenters alone. Furniture making business is divided into two categories;
The first category is a carpenter who wants to start making furniture in large quantitites for sale while the second is a person who does not have any knowledge in carpenting but wants to start the business. You might ask me that how will the person cope, but as we go through the steps below, we would see that anybody can actually start the business.
STEPS INVOLVED IN STARTING A FURNITURE MAKING BUSINESS IN NIGERIA
Even though many entrepreneur skip this step, I will say this is the very first step to take in starting a business ; evaluating yourself. Many go into business without asking themselves some questions. Before embarking on a business, you must ask yourself some questions like;
- Am I ready to be an entrepreneur?
- Why do I want to start this furniture business?
- Is it my passion?
- Do I have what it takes to start it?
After answering the questions above, then you can be sure whether you want to start this business or not. The truth is that, not everybody can be entrepreneurs. So before you decide if you want to start this business or not, you have to discover yourself, where your strength lies, your weaknesses, skill sets e.t.c
To be an entrepreneur is a whole lot of responsibility, one has to sacrifice his/her time ,energy, resources e.t.c so one should be sure he can meet up with the sacrifice before starting a business because trust me, it will cost you a lot. Responsibility is the key word here. As an entrepreneur, you will be responsible for all the happenings in your business.
This is the first step in starting a furniture business because many do not have the capability and ability to run a business on their own, many are also afraid of failing, so the first step is to answer the four questions listed above.
PLAN YOUR BUSINESS
This is very important especially for those who don’t have any knowledge about furniture, it is not restricted to those who don’t have the knowledge, even if you have adequate knowledge about the business but you refuse to plan yourself and your business, you will fail woefully. Planning is very important in a business. It is the first step to take when starting any business at all. Before starting a furniture making business, you need to sit down and plan. You have to think about and decide on how you want to start, that is, the scale on which you want to start, whether you want to start big or small depending on the amount you have. You should also make plans on how you want your business to operate, methods of operation to be used, how it would be different from that of your competitors. The truth is that, there are so many people who make furnitures in Nigeria so you have to make strategic plans on how to make yours unique and how to make it stand out from that of your competitors.
RESEARCH ABOUT THE BUSINESS
Before investing your money into any business whatsoever, you must have done the necessary research.. Before starting a furniture business ,you must have adequate information about everything that has to do with furniture; the cost of starting, how it operates. You must make necessary research about the market, your potential customers. Research is very necessary as it gives you more insight into the business you want to embark upon. Meet with those who have done the business in time past or those who are still into the business to get information about the business, ask them questions and receive feedbacks.
WRITE A BUSINESS PLAN
One of the mistakes most business owners make is that they believe that business plan is only written for some selected business but actually it is not. A business plan is needed for any business you want to start as it keeps you focus.
What exactly is a business plan?
According to Wikipedia, a business plan is a formal written document that contains business goals, methods on how to attain the goals and the time frame in which the goal will be achieved.
In simple terms, a business plan summarize your business and its goals. A well written business plan also drive investors to invest in your business. A business plan should contain;
- Executive Summary : This is the summary of all what is in your business plan. The executive summary must be captivating enough to make people want to read your business plan. It should also contain your vision and mission statement.
- Company Overview : This should contain who you are, your business goals, how you intend to operate your business , and everything about your business.
3.Products and Services : This section of your business plan contains or explains a clear description of your product or service, the products you want to sell ,the cost, description of your suppliers.
- Market Analysis : This describes everything about the market for your goods, your market research, your expectation on the market , how your supermarket will strive in the market, your competitors. It also contains your SWOT analysis where you list your strengths, weaknesses , opportunities and threats .
- Marketing and Sales Strategy : This section explains how you intend to market or make people know about your business, how you will promote your business and penetrate into the market. It should also include your selling cost , promotion and advertising costs, e.t.c.
- Business Structure : This will contain everything about your business, the type of business; either sole proprietorship, partnership or limited liability company , the number of staffs you want to hire and the intended salary.
- Financial Analysis : After getting your market research, a professional accountant should be consulted to help prepare the financial analysis of your business plan. It should contain realistic financial information, which should include your cash flow statement, projected income statement and statement of financial position ( balance sheet ) for the next three or five years and other relevant information.
- Conclusion : This should highlight the key strengths of your plan, remind the reader why your business is in the best position to execute the plan , and the summary of your vision and goal.
GET THE REQUIRED CAPITAL
Starting a furniture business requires a very huge amount of money ,the type of shop you want to open will even determine the amount of capital needed to a large extent. Money is very important in starting any business, the next step to take is to source for fund. If you have the required capital to fund your restaurant business, you are good to go but if not, below are some of the ways you can raise capital for your business;
- Personal savings.
- Get a bank loan : This is one of the most common way people finance their business, by obtaining loan from bank.
- Crowd funding : It is the act of funding a project by raising small amount of money from a large number of people.
- Loans from family and friends.
- Apply an Angel Investor: An angel investor is a high net worth individual who provide financial backings for small start-ups or entrepreneurs, typically for ownership equity in the company. They are also known as private investor or seed investor.
- Cooperative Societies : They also give people loans at a particular interest rate which they must pay at an agreed period of time.
SECURE A GOOD LOCATION
Location is a very important factor in setting up a furniture business. A furniture business should be located in the urban or sun urban area, it should be located in a busy area where people who pass through everyday can see the furniture displayed in order to drive more sales. To make sales more feasible and realistic, you should get a location close to your target market. Apart from the nearness to potential customers, other things to look out for when securing a location are;
- Competitors : Another thing to look out for when determining the location of your business is the nearness to other furniture business.
- Costs : You must also consider the cost of setting up your business in a particular location.
GET A GOOD CARPENTER
This stage is for the second category of people who don’t know anything about furnitures, you need to get a good carpenter who you would negotiate with that will help you in the making of the furnitures.
PURCHASE THE NECESSARY EQUIPMENTS
After getting money and a good location, you need to get the necessary equipments needed to run the business.
LEGALISE YOUR FURNITURE BUSINESS
It is very advisable to hire a lawyer to assist you in this legal process . To make your supermarket legal, you must do the following;
- Have a Business Structure : supermarket should have a structure, maybe it’s going to be a sole proprietorship, partnership, joint company e.t.c
- Have a Business name : One should start thinking of the name you want to give your supermarket, this is very important. Do your research to know if the name you have chosen can be legally used by your business, that is, if no one has registered that name.
- Register your business : After deciding on a business structure and a business name, the next step is to register your business name and your business with the Corporate Affairs Commission ( C.A.C).
- Get your federal and state Tax ID
- Permits and License: Get the necessary permits and license.
- Get necessary bank account : As a business, you need an official bank account to run your business.
HIRE COMPETENT PEOPLE
You might not need to hire people at the initial stage of your furniture business but as time goes on and as the business progress, you will need to hire people to help in your business.
START MAKING FURNITURES
This stage is for the first category of people who are into furniture themselves. At this stage, after all equipments have been bought and all necessary things put in place, then you can start making furniture for sale. As a furniture maker, you should not be really after money but you should be after making quality furniture for your customers because many don’t care about the cost of a furniture but as long as it is quality, they prefer to go for it.
Oh yeah!!! Now you can start selling your furnitures after every necessary thing have been put in place.
PROMOTE YOUR FURNITURE BUSINESS
Participate in many promotions as possible, make people know about your furniture making business and build a name for yourself. One of the ways of doing this is to make quality furniture for your customers, when you do this, your customers will speak about your business and bring in more customers. Also, you can advertise your furniture making business on a local radio station, print handbills e.t.c
NOTE: This article was first published http://www.bullscapitalltd.com
ABOUT THE AUTHOR
Damilola Babatunde has a great passion for writing. She write articles on starting a business, how small business owners can grow their business e.t.c and many small business owners have really benefitted from her write ups.
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