As long as people want to leave in a house rather than been on the streets, there is a way for those who understand essentials of arts and design to earn a living from the production of different furniture products. People need sofas, chairs, tables, wardrobes and so forth to perform certain activities at office and rest on at home. In early 60s and late 90s, furniture making was regarded as illiterate business, because majority of producers were those who could not attend school or complete their education. Now, the perception has changed, everyone are now having interest in the business. No doubt, it is a sector that could be explored by aspiring entrepreneurs, especially those intend to transit from being employees to successful entrepreneurs.
The aspiring entrepreneurs’ understanding of the specifics of the business will help in gaining access to the market and remain preferred furniture makers. There are two structures of the business applicable to the Nigerian society. One could be a supplier to business establishments and selling directly to private individuals or establish as a maker of a number of product lines.
Cities like Lagos, Ibadan, Abuja, and Kano are growing everyday in terms of real estate, low-cost houses construction. These houses and old ones need different furniture. At the same time, businesses are not stop evolving at micro, small and medium scales, which require a lot of furniture materials. With over, 170 million people, Nigeria still not have enough furniture makers that will meet up the people’s demand for chairs, office cabinets, among others.Certainly, the prospect of venturing into the business is great. The trend is, everyone wants to have furniture! Hence, a need to explore the market with a mind-set of succeeding in all ramifications.
Nigerians with low income will definitely patronise you, because majority could afford locally produced furniture than imported ones. So, you are 100% guaranteed of good patronage, if you locate your workshop or showroom in appropriate places. Many of the renowned furniture makers started on small scale but thought of becoming leaders of the market within a specific period. Hellman-Chang Furniture was established by two friends in US, who have passion for designing and building furniture by hand while in school. Others key leaders in the market are Ashley Furniture Industries Ltd., IKEA International Group, Sears Holdings Corp., and Steelcase Inc.
What is the ideal model for the business?
If your model of the business is to supply people, experts say you need a full set of Living Room Chairs, 2 Beds, and a Dinning Set for a start. These could be sourced from the roadside furniture, then you secure a showroom and hire a sales person. This model is appropriate for those who want to move from being employees to successful entrepreneurs within the industry. For those who want to produce for the suppliers, a number of factors need to be considered. Acquisition of relevant skills is a must! This should be done for about three years.
Creativity and understanding the fundamentals
At the learning stage, it is imperatives to know the fundamentals of producing different furniture using local resources. A successful furniture business, however, depends on the ways it is structured. Basically, furniture making firm needs to be strategically structured into three divisions -carpentry, upholstery and spraying. Though, the work requires larger machines to perform some complex activities such could be outsourced to bigger workshops for an agreed charges.
Implementing your idea in consultation with professional business advisors will make you stand out from others, by having insight of what it takes to structure an ideal furniture making business model. They have the knowledge and experience that will help in matching the quality of established furniture makers in Nigeria and outside the country.