Opening a Sofa Store
Do you have experience in furniture manufacturing or retailing industry and would like to start your own business - making, buying and selling sofas?
Our basic guide can help you through the process of preparing to open your sofa store. Learn some of the important things you need to know to operate this kind of business.
Sofas are not like any generic merchandise you can sell. You’d need to have some level of expertise in sofa designs and manufacture, and in knowing where and how to order them, among others. If you are planning to go into the business of selling sofas, it would be best if you have experience working as a designer or craftsman for a sofa manufacturer, a buyer for a sofa distributor or a salesman for a sofa retailer.
If your experience is more on selling, you can own a sofa store by becoming a dealer of an established sofa distributor. Look for some big furniture stores that license agents to sell their products. If you meet their qualifications, they’ll let you in on how they do business to the extent of giving you trainings on how to successfully run a store. Or if you have been a buyer for a sofa store, you can use your own contacts to run a store where customers can choose a sofa and you order them from manufacturers you knew.
If you have directly worked or are working in a facility that makes sofa, you can go independent and start your own manufacturing business. You can then supply your creations to sofa retailers or you can sell them directly to customers. Either way, you have to:
- Determine what kind of items to carry. If you are small or just starting, the best way to survive competition with larger furniture stores is to specialize. Produce a unique line of products, introduce a new way of doing business, or target a niche market. Some sofa retailers find their success in offering products that come in a wide variety of sizes, fabrics, colors and cushion types. Others in template type couches that are basic, durable, comfortable, and affordable. Define your kind of store. Will you operate a warehouse-type one or a high-end shop?
- Determine where to locate your store. You have the choice of constructing a building, renting a space in one, or in a mall.
- Determine capital requirements and where to get them. You can tap your savings, borrow from friends, relatives, the bank or some lending institutions to lease space, invest on equipment for cutting, making frames, sewing and upholstering.
- Get the necessary permits and licenses to operate the store.
- Enter into relationships with wholesalers, manufacturers and distributors.
- Define business policies regarding returns, deliveries, order time scales.
- Hire and train workers and salespersons
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