Any business is hard to start considering each business has its own set of troubles and problems it comes along with. No business is free of problems. While an IT business may have problems related to engineers and overwhelming competition, a furniture business in India has problems regarding labour and ever thirsty market for new designs.
The generation we have, gets bored of things very quickly, we need change! Every business needs to keep evolving with new ideas and needs to feed new products to its consumers. Without change no business is able to thrive for long.
Does that mean you need the same pace of Change in the Furniture Industry as in the IT Industry?
Furniture Industry is a very safe and slow moving industry. Everything, be it growing from 0 – 100 or be it falling from 100 – 0 is very slow compared to most industries in the Market.
Now, the first rule of any business is understanding your Business Model. The target market or the basic audience your Business shall target.
Types Of Furniture Businesses In India
Just like most other businesses, there is no one fixed business model. There are many types of Furniture Businesses, I will cover them in this Article. Based on the different business model suggestions you can then decide which one works best for you.
Each model again has its own set of challenges and the ways to get a profit out of it.
Retail is perhaps the first business model you think of when you consider opening a Furniture Business in India. The idea of a Showroom or a store with A class furniture aligned in it with a team of Salesmen hunting every customer that sets their foot inside is a dream for many.
Although the idea of owning a fancy store sounds Amazing! However, this business model may involve investing the most capital compared to the other businesses that will come up in this list.
If capital is not a problem for you, then having a Retail store is perhaps one of the best ways to enter the Furniture Business in India.
A couple challenges that you shall face in the Retail Model include –
Buying or Renting a place big enough to display Furniture – Furniture is a product which needs a big enough place to be displayed properly. Furninfo wrote an article which spoke of planning a space to display furniture. There is a lot of planning needed to understand what furniture which suit which place of the store and where it can get most Sales. I definitely recommend reading the Article for a better understanding on the Subject. Use a tool like Plan Your Room before stocking up your Furniture in your showroom.
Capital to stock up your Showroom with Furniture – This is a tough one. You have decided the furniture you need to add, the furniture which is important and how to divide the space as well. However, what you shall face problems with initially is investment. You would need to invest some money from your own pocket or your friends and family to buy furniture from other Manufacturers to add it to your store. Once you have them added, slowly you can pay off the loan with the profit while maintaining Cash Flow of your business.
Frequent Need of Marketing – Retail businesses are often in a need of some marketing service or rather a monthly Marketing plan. They need a combination of Digital Marketing and Offline Marketing while word of mouth is complimentary on top.
All these factors included create Retail model of Furniture Business somewhat difficult to excel at. Does Retail model of Furniture Business interest you? If not, have a look at Wholesale next.
Wholesale involves manufacturing of furniture. Wholesalers basically supply furniture to the Retail Showrooms while getting a recurring business from retailers. Unlike Retail, wholesaling in furniture industry is much easier to tap into.
There are many advantages that wholesalers have over the retailers like almost no need of marketing, renting a place in an expensive location etc. However, it comes with a different set of its problems.
Competition – As it is so much easier to get into Wholesale model, there is a lot of competition. Sellers are willing to take much less profit margins which creates this model very competitive. Also, as many times the labor itself involves directly in this industry at a bare minimum profit, it leaves almost no room for profit for businessmen.
Lending – Retailers don’t usually pay up front the 100% amount of the furniture you just delivered at their store or showroom. Often, they pay just 50% of the total cost of the furniture and promise to pay the remaining 50% once the furniture is sold. This makes it difficult for the wholesaler as there is a lack of cash flow.
Labor Problems – As the work is entirely dependent on labor, this poses many problems a lot of times due to shortage of labor.
E-commerce is something that has recently picked its pace and is continuing to grow exponentially in furniture Industry. Although, the E-commerce businesses are trying their best to give customers a pleasurable experience over the website. However, it is unable to beat the experience of a Retail Store where a customer can actually experience and touch the Furniture.
Most E-commerce businesses in furniture industry do not Manufacture their own Furniture. Rather, they just focus on Marketing. Once they have the order of a client, they share it to their wholesaler who is then able to pack the product under the name of the original E-commerce company which first took the order.
E-commerce model of Furniture Business has just major Investments – A Fully Capable Website with a great bandwidth and ability to receive payments and Digital Marketing.
There is no limit to the amount of business a company can make with it’s E-commerce website as there is a huge chance of scalability.
Now, once you have decided which business model works for you, understanding how to start a furniture business in India is easy after that. Most businesses don’t stay in just field or one line of business model while selling furniture in India. Usually they adopt a combination of 2 models such as Retail and Wholesale or Retail and E-commerce etc.
But, what should you focus on initially?
Your focus should be based on what pros and cons does each business model have. Weigh the different options and then choose the one you think you can continue in the long run. Investing in Furniture Business is not a very tough model. However, growing in a market where there is a very tough competition becomes a tough nut to crack.