furniture repair business

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The business associated with the provision of services for the repair of cabinet and upholstered furniture can hardly be called original and highly profitable. However, it is quite popular among people who are just choosing a direction for organizing and running their own business. The popularity of this business is due, first of all, to the absence of large requirements for start-up capital. You can engage in such activities with minimal investment. However, you can’t count on high profits either, unless you consider this business not as an independent direction, but as the initial stage for a larger project.

Furniture repair services include, in addition to the actual repair of cabinet furniture, upholstering of upholstered furniture and replacement of old fittings. It would seem that there is no lack of demand for these services: modern furniture is not made “for centuries”, as before, so it needs to be updated regularly (once every three to five years). An additional advantage for small businesses is the fact that furniture manufacturers themselves, as a rule, do not provide furniture repair services, since it is too unprofitable for them.

However, the main problem is that with the growing prosperity of the population, even middle-income consumers who cannot afford expensive furniture prefer to buy cheaper furniture, and simply replace it with a new one when it breaks or wears out. Bulky headsets, walls, chests of drawers and cabinets are gradually becoming a thing of the past. Furniture in series is purchased now, as a rule, for the bedroom and children’s room. In the first case, it is, as a rule, expensive and high-quality furniture, which rarely breaks. In the second case, a set of furniture is purchased for a certain, not very long time (for example, for babies, then for preschoolers, then for younger students and, finally, teenagers), and the headset simply does not have time to fail during this period.

In the case of individual pieces of furniture, the upholstery of upholstered furniture and the frame base of beds or sofas, which break with frequent and intensive use, are subject to the greatest wear. Repairing the frame is quite simple, but replacing the upholstery is a time-consuming and expensive procedure. The cost of such a service is often at least half the cost (or even more) of the price of similar new furniture. In addition, if the fabric is not stretched enough, the new upholstery soon loses its original appearance: the fabric sags, forming ugly folds and folds. For these reasons, most people rarely try to repair old furniture, but more often they sell it for next to nothing (for a summer cottage or “for tenants” in rented apartments) and purchase a new one.

Of course, this does not mean at all that the services of a furniture repair master are not in demand at all. You just need to choose the right direction for your work and have a good idea of ​​​​the prospects for business development. In general, we can single out the following services that furniture repair workshops provide to their customers: reupholstering upholstered furniture, repairing cabinet furniture made of MDF and chipboard, as well as restoring the frame of upholstered furniture (armchairs, sofas, chairs, etc.), restoration of old furniture made of natural wood, replacement of fittings, including for the purpose of updating old furniture that has gone out of fashion, assembly and installation of new furniture, custom-made some details or even pieces of furniture (depending on the staff and the equipment of the workshop). Least of all profits are brought by services for the upholstery of furniture and the replacement of fittings. And the point here is not at all in demand. On the contrary, up to half of the orders of the furniture workshop are somehow connected with the change of upholstery of upholstered furniture and the repair of cabinet furniture. But potential customers are deterred by the high price of such services. Although it is obvious that such work in terms of complexity and cost differs little from work on the manufacture of new furniture, therefore, their cost cannot be low either. However, not every consumer is ready to pay up to 50% of the cost of a new one for the repair of an old sofa. Since you will not be able to reduce the prices for your services, otherwise you will simply go into the red, the only way to keep the majority of potential customers is to make your pricing policy as transparent as possible. Place a price list for your services in your flyers or on the website, describing in detail what is included in the cost of the work. Some start-up entrepreneurs try to beat competitors by underestimating the cost of their services. It’s not worth doing. In extreme cases, for a greater variety of prices, you can offer different types of upholstery material in different price categories, while honestly explaining to potential customers what savings on fabrics are fraught with.

More promising is the direction of work associated with the restoration of old furniture, usually made of natural wood. Here, the issue of the cost of work is not so acute, since your customers, turning to specialists for services, understand that a good master will not work for nothing. In addition, the cost of the furniture itself for restoration will still be immeasurably higher than the cost of services for its restoration. However, if you are planning not only to repair old furniture, but also restoration work, you will need separate specialists for this area. Ideally, you yourself should have experience working with antiques, know all the nuances of such activities and be able to evaluate the result. This will be useful even if you yourself do not intend to work directly in the workshop, and you will only perform the functions of a leader. After all, otherwise you will not be able to assess the classification of your potential employees and will be financially responsible for all their mistakes and shortcomings in the work. Additional costs are also associated with the purchase of special tools for restoration work.

In addition, your workshop should also provide upholstery upholstery and cabinet furniture repair services. Although, as we mentioned above, you won’t earn much on this alone. On the other hand, the costs for providing such services are also negligible. You will need samples of fabrics, films for MDF facades and chipboard decors. These can be obtained from your repair material supplier. You will purchase fabrics and various components (including hinges, shelf supports, guides, etc.) directly after receiving a specific order and at the expense of your client. This direction has prospects for expansion: you can subsequently offer your customers the sale of furniture partially from their own production. For example, at first, more or less labor-intensive types of work that require special experience and equipment (sawing, production of facades and edges), to carry out at other enterprises, and to deal with the delivery, assembly and installation of fittings. In the future, as the business develops, it will be possible to think about purchasing this equipment, tools and even transport.

There is another option – you can do not hauling furniture, but making covers for it. The option with covers looks more attractive and promising, as they are sold at the price of new upholstery, while they are easy to remove from furniture, wash or change if the old design of the cover has already become boring. There is only one difficulty – a wide variety of different models of upholstered furniture, which makes it difficult to tailor non-individual covers (and individual is not so profitable). But decide

This problem is possible by proper selection of materials. As a rule, for the manufacture of universal covers, various types of fabrics are used, which differ in density and composition (chenille, jacquard, microfiber, etc.), but have a common property – elasticity. Universality in this case is a relative concept. Of course, with all your desire, you are unlikely to be able to sew such a cover that is equally well suited for double, triple, and corner sofas. But due to the increased elasticity of the fabric, it is possible to make such covers that are suitable for different types of one model of upholstered furniture. So, for example, there are euro- and ordinary removable covers for double sofas, triple sofas, corner sofas (including those differing in the location of the protrusion – on the right or left), on armchairs and chairs (do not forget that that upholstered furniture for living rooms is often selected as a set, so the covers in your assortment should be for different models, but of the same design and color). Covers can differ not only in color, but also in the presence of various decorative elements – “skirts”, ruffles and frills, as well as the density of the “fit” – they can fit furniture tightly, sit on it freely or fall in beautiful folds. The production of replacement furniture covers is a much more profitable business than reupholstering. Firstly, it does not require the master to visit the client and / or transport large furniture to the workshop and back to its owner. Secondly, for sewing covers, only fabric, consumables (threads, fasteners – hooks, Velcro, safety pins) and sewing machines are required. Thirdly, although the production of interchangeable covers is a less costly direction, rather than reupholstering furniture, and their cost is quite commensurate with the prices for such services (for example, the retail price of a replacement cover for a three-seater sofa is about 8.5-10 thousand rubles), however, buyers are much more willing to purchase a cover. The main reason for this is the understanding that the cover can be used in the future with new furniture, while the new upholstery can no longer be removed from the old sofa if you suddenly want to update the furniture. An additional advantage of removable covers is the possibility of their sharing with furniture equipped with transformation mechanisms. The design of the cases and their colors are limited only by your imagination (or the imagination of your designer, if any). Although the more complex the case, the higher its cost will be and the more difficult it will be to find a buyer.

An additional advantage of this line of work is the lack of great competition in this segment. Making covers is a rather laborious task that requires a lot of time and special knowledge. The designer who develops models must take into account the design features and the variety of different types of upholstered furniture. For these reasons, furniture manufacturers and textile companies rarely make replacement covers. On the other hand, some small firms that provide furniture repair services also prefer not to sew covers because of the additional costs associated with hiring a designer and purchasing sewing equipment, searching for and ordering fabrics, and organizing a sewing workshop. However,

So, in order to provide furniture repair services, you will need a separate room, as well as the necessary equipment and tools. If you are going to do only a small repair of cabinet furniture and reupholstering upholstered furniture, then you can do without your own workshop space. In extreme cases, such work can be carried out directly at the customer’s premises (although this is not always possible), or you can agree on a partial lease in the production workshop, where you purchase materials and parts for furniture. For sewing covers, it is still better to have your own areas for placing sewing equipment. Although at first you can sew them at home at home, if you plan to do this business on your own, or deliver blanks to seamstresses, and then pick up finished products. One side, the latter option seems to be more profitable, since it does not require additional costs for rent and often even for equipment (professional seamstresses usually have their own sewing machines and everything necessary for work). However, the most common problem with this format of work is the control of deadlines and quality of work. Seamstresses, in the absence of strict control by the employer, can also hand over defective products. Moreover, it is quite difficult to check each case for the presence of marriage (and with large batches it is completely impossible). The cost of a cover at retail is quite high, so even a small percentage of defects is fraught with the costs associated with the return of the batch, and the deterioration of the reputation of your company. as a rule, they have their own sewing machines and everything necessary for work). However, the most common problem with this format of work is the control of deadlines and quality of work. Seamstresses, in the absence of strict control by the employer, can also hand over defective products. Moreover, it is quite difficult to check each case for the presence of marriage (and with large batches it is completely impossible). The cost of a cover at retail is quite high, so even a small percentage of defects is fraught with the costs associated with the return of the batch, and the deterioration of the reputation of your company. as a rule, they have their own sewing machines and everything necessary for work). However, the most common problem with this format of work is the control of deadlines and quality of work. Seamstresses, in the absence of strict control by the employer, can also hand over defective products. Moreover, it is quite difficult to check each case for the presence of marriage (and with large batches it is completely impossible). The cost of a cover at retail is quite high, so even a small percentage of defects is fraught with the costs associated with the return of the batch, and the deterioration of the reputation of your company. Moreover, it is quite difficult to check each case for the presence of marriage (and with large batches it is completely impossible). The cost of a cover at retail is quite high, so even a small percentage of defects is fraught with the costs associated with the return of the batch, and the deterioration of the reputation of your company. Moreover, it is quite difficult to check each case for the presence of marriage (and with large batches it is completely impossible). The cost of a cover at retail is quite high, so even a small percentage of defects is fraught with the costs associated with the return of the batch, and the deterioration of the reputation of your company.

The necessary set of equipment for furniture repair includes a hand-held power tool (drill, jigsaw, milling cutter, screwdriver, industrial hair dryer), sewing machines and sewing accessories (scissors, needles, etc.), a set of hand tools. If you plan to engage in the restoration of furniture, then, in addition to cutters and drills for wood (primarily screw and marking drills), you will need the following tools: a semicircular chisel (the so-called cabinetmaker’s cutter), V-shaped chisel, plain chisel with square edges, cabinetmaker’s screwdriver, broken chisel, carving knife with interchangeable blades, hacksaw, tenoning hacksaw, carpenter’s rasp, triangular file, brace, wood and rubber hammers, punch, jointer, falzgebel, small triangle, caliper, contour ruler, needle nose pliers, screw twist. You will also need a glue gun, a bottle of glue with a long thin spout for applying glue in hard-to-reach places (a syringe can also be used), a fastening belt and an electric glue heater (keeps skin glue used to repair antique furniture at the right temperature).

Although most of these tools are sold in sets, experts still advise purchasing everything separately. Each of these tools is inexpensive. To save money, you can purchase them in small wholesale lots at the relevant trading companies and bases. The minimum lot for the purchase is, as a rule, about 5 thousand rubles. The cost of all the necessary tools, even at retail prices, will not exceed 10 thousand rubles.

As for the most effective ways to promote your services, they include advertising on outdoor media (and in this case, bulletin boards near the entrance of a multi-storey building will be much more effective than a large billboard in a place with high traffic), on the Internet (on regional websites and forums), distribution of leaflets through mailboxes, through racks at partners, etc. You should also take care of creating your own website with examples of work, a list of services and prices for them. Your target audience is very different in age – from young people to retirees, but similar in income level – mostly middle. If you provide furniture restoration services, then in this case your target audience will be different – mostly middle-aged people (from 40-45 years old and older) with a high level of income, including collectors and connoisseurs of antiques. It is best to look for such clients on specialized resources on the Internet, as well as on social networks, where you can create your own groups.

If you are engaged (as an additional or even main direction) in the manufacture of covers and / or furniture, then you can sell finished products both directly and through wholesale companies, retail stores, joint purchase sites, online stores, etc.

With a large number of different options, directions and requirements for start-up capital, it is obvious that the payback periods will vary. The payback period for the business of providing standard services (furniture repair and upholstery change) is from two months with minimal investment (from 10 thousand rubles). The profit, however, will also be small, especially if you are going to work on your own. The most promising business is the production of interchangeable covers. With investments from 100 thousand rubles (purchase of fabrics and accessories, piecework wages for home seamstresses and promotions), the payback period will be from six months, and profitability will reach 28%. The furniture restoration business is the most difficult in terms of forecasts. With minimal investment, payback periods can range from one and a half to nine months. They will be less

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