If you are like me then when you first start the business, you’ll probably not keep track of your profits and spending. I know it’s hard to do it when you have just so much going on and it’s all new to you. However, this is something that you’ll want to start early and you’ll be grateful for it in the long run. Here’s a quick story:
I started this and obviously used all of my own money to start. I didn’t keep track of any of the costs that I had. This was a very bad mistake. I didn’t really know if I was making money once I was selling items and getting clients. What I did know, was that I was getting paid and receiving money. This is something I think most people get stuck with. You realize you’re getting paid, but since you’re not actually tracking anything you don’t know if you’re getting any profits. I would sometimes try to think about how much I spent and how much I received to estimate profits. This method did not work out well at all. I had guesses, not stats.
When did it get bad? It got really bad once I started to have issues paying for things. This was my big wake up call. I finally started to track all of the supplies I bought and the cost. Then I would put in the price and calculate the profits. I wasn’t using any complicated program. Excel was my go to and it worked well, and to be honest I still use it because I see no reason to buy a program.
Now if you don't want to use excel here's a quick video that goes over a cool app to track your profits.
How to get your first sales
So you’ve finally decided to make your dreams a reality. You’ve started to find and restore furniture. Now you’re wondering when you actually start to make money. Well, lucky for you, I’m going to be going over some ways you can start to do that. Just a fair warning, this is by no means easy. It takes time and consistency in order to actually get to where you want to be.
I know what you might be thinking, “I don’t want to call random people”. Just bare with me and you’ll see it’s actually not that bad. To start, you’re not going to be calling random people in your community. You’re actually going to be calling local businesses.
Go on Google and look up furniture stores near you. The best to find are mom and popshops or stores that are local only. This is because they’re more likely to actually want to carry your furniture. It won’t be easy. The first call you make won’t be a hit, but you need to follow up. Maybe you can go into the store and introduce yourself days later. Bring your restoration or just show them pictures. Once they see it they might have a complete change of heart.
Some people think it’s scare or that no one will actually buy their piece. This can be farther from the truth. There are many different ways to make the interaction safe and there’s someone on craigslist looking for your piece.
Now when it comes down to the meeting. The best thing you can do is making sure you meet in a public location and possible bring a friend. If you’re brining a friend make sure that you let them know ahead of time. The last thing you want is the person buying from you thinking they’re about to be robbed.
Friends and Family
The last method I can think of while writing this is your family and friends. They’re usually your best bet. They’re out there to help you and may request a custom piece from you. They trust you and probably know that you’re pretty good at what you do by now. I know for most people it may be uncomfortable to ask, but you need to get our of your comfort zone. Also, you need to remember that they’re there for you not against you.
I hope this helps some of you take action and start loving your life. If you have any questions don’t hesitate to ask. Don’t forget it’s not going to be easy, but it’ll be worth it.
Hey everyone. I know I’ve been absent quite some time now, but I have a great reason! I found this cool dresser while I was out hunting at an antique store. Honestly, I’m surprised I even decided to pick it up. It’s not something I’d typically try and restore. However, regardless of that it turned out wonderful.
It was actually pretty easy. And that’s saying a lot because restoring in general is actually really easy. With that being said I’m planning on putting up tutorials of how to restore. Since it’s so easy and it’s so much cheaper than buying the big name brand furniture. I have people who come into my home asking if this and that is pottery barn, when in reality it’s a one of kind creation from me. Of course, these are the people who don’t know that I do restoration because everyone who does just assumes I do it.
Anyways, hope you enjoyed this quick update. I’ve just been busy with this and other projects I look forward to showing you guys. I’m also going to make sure I post more frequently and consistently because I’m here to help anyone who needs any type of help.…
Furniture Restoration Business Models
When you decide you finally want to start your furniture restoration business there’s something serious you need to decide. This being your business model. Your business model describes how you’ll do business. There are two models, which I think are the most popular in this industry, that have there own pros and cons. The first being client services. This is when you take your clients furniture and restore it for them. The second is inventory. Inventory is when you find and buy furniture to restore. You’ll then sell this furniture to your prospected buyers.
With client services you’ll work directly with your client and take a note of how they want to restore their furniture. You will have little say, only your professional opinion, about what the restoration end result will be. If you’re like me this can sometimes be difficult. This is because you have a vision of what it should look like, but your client’s vision is completely different. However, at the end of the day, it’s the client’s furniture and you want the customer to be happy. So no matter how hard it is you have to just let it go.
Some of the pros are that you have a larger profit margin. This is because you don’t have to buy a product. You’re being paid to provide a service to a customer. Also, people tend to pay a much higher price for custom work because it’s more difficult to find, and you’re catering to exactly what they want. Another pro is that you don’t have to worry about inventory. Again this is because you don’t have an inventory and are just providing a service. The last pro that I can think of is that you can work less. Yes, you heard me right, work less. This is due to the fact that you’re charging a premium for you custom service and will need a few clients to make a good profit.
Now for the Cons. In my opinion there are only a few because, again in my opinion, this is best option when it comes to the business models. So for the cons. Well, you have to work for someone, in a sense. I know, you want to start this business to get away from that, but that’s the reality. In order to make the most money you have to get clients. Honestly though, I think that’s really the only con. You still get to work your own schedule and can take a day off as long as you get your project done on time.
So the inventory model is the best to start out with. This is because you’re just starting out and getting clients may be difficult without past work. This will help you build a portfolio, and help you start to get cash flow from your business. Overall, this is a great way to make income if you like to restore furniture with your own touch. However, you need to make sure it’s a style that people will buy because the last thing you want to do is restore a ton of furniture and not sell any.
First, lets start with the pros of the inventory model. For starters, you’ll start to build a creditable portfolio to show your potential clients later on. This is a must because most people won’t hire someone who they don’t know if they can trust restore a piece of furniture for them. Can you blame them though? Back to the pros. You can setup a shop and become someone’s, especially an interior designer’s, go to shop for furniture. Again this goes back to having a style that people actually want and are willing to buy. To be honest though, I think these are the only pros to this model. I am bias to the client model though.
The cons are a longer list. Having to have inventory is the biggest one. You’re going to have to constantly spend money in order to have a large enough inventory for everyone to look through. This can be quite costly because you have to buy the furniture, as well as restore it. The other thing is that the profit margins are small. You’re buying furniture, spending money, and you’re restoring them, spending money. That’s two expenses you have to pay for before you even make money.
My conclusion to this is that you can do both if you want. It’s quite ideal to do because you’ll get a great income from your clients and a side income from your store. This is also great if you absolutely love doing restorations since you’ll be doing it twice as much. However, if you just want to do one I would go with the client model because you make more money while doing what you love, and isn’t that what this is all about?
Many people who are working at a job where they are successful and are progressing in the right direction, are not happy because their passion and talent lie somewhere else. Such people are always thinking about starting a business of their own so that they can do what they love and still earn enough money out of it. If you are one of those talented people who love to restore the old and antique furniture pieces to their former beauty and have patience and commitment to do the same, then a furniture restoration business is the perfect business for you.
Tips for a successful furniture restoration business
However, it needs to be understood that starting a business and succeeding in that business is not an easy task, and therefore, it is always prudent to launch the business after evaluating all the aspects.
Make sure that you start with small projects that you can complete in the garage or a small workshop near your home so that you won’t need much starting capital for the same.Remember to take before, and after photographs of every restoration project, you complete. These photos can be helpful when you create a portfolio of your restoration projects.
Take Care To Design Your Workshop
Stream Of Projects
• Make contacts and build networks that can help you in getting a steady stream of projects so that you are not sitting idle inside your workshop. Once your name is circulated in such networks, you will surely get more projects.
Take care to design your workshop so that it is properly ventilated and has enough light and space to accommodate all your tools, workbench, and necessary facilities. This is of paramount importance for the consistency in quality of your restoration work.
The only talent is not enough for being successful in business. Therefore you should learn some business related skills so that you will be able to handle the additional responsibilities when your business starts growing.
Once your business has reached a certain level, then you should be able to delegate the different responsibilities to the experts so that you can concentrate on what you love the most and that is restoring the antique furniture.Furniture restoration is a very technical and detailed work and only a person with patience and passion can work in such a business because the projects take a lot of time to complete. Therefore if you want instant results in the furniture restoration business, then you will not get what you expected.
It is necessary to give enough time in this business as each restoration project is a time-consuming task and working in a hurry can ruin the work of beauty. Success in this business will not come fast as it will take some time to build a reputation as a passionate and talented artist and therefore you should also make sure that you have financial security for your family for the period it takes to make your business successful. If you follow these tips, you will surely be a successful restoration artist.