Requirements to Run a Successful Furniture Business in Nigeria
Some years ago, furniture making in Nigeria was seen as an investment only illiterates would take part in. However, with time comes change and we have seen our society change its perception about the furniture making industry as more enlightened and educated people show interest in it.
Furniture making in Nigeria is gradually proving to be a lucrative venture as its general appeal lies in the universality of its usage. It is also a noticeable trend that successful furniture companies are based in the cities and this is to show that the business has the prospect of thriving more in urban and semi-urban areas than rural areas. This is because most times, the financial capability required to appreciate these works of creativity are in urban areas.
Presently, the industry employs many globally and gives room for many to create. Its array of marketing opportunities and the creativity involved allows these skilled individuals to earn a good living from what they do.
If as a furniture maker your experience of the industry is different from the above, here are some things you might need to take cognizance of;
1. Customers will seek for a furniture maker that is skilled in his trade. Although your location may matter to some extent, wherever a skilled furniture maker is, there will always be customers willing to patronize. As a well grounded furniture maker in any location, to a large extent, you enjoy the liberty of deciding the price for the sale of your furniture regardless of what is obtainable elsewhere. To gain skills, it is advisable that furniture makers should be trained for at least three years because it is only when you are skilled in your trade that you can enjoy the benefits associated with the art.
2. A minimum of N450,000 should be enough for anyone who wishes to start this venture on a small scale basis. The profit from the trade will vary depending on the location, the owner’s negotiating ability, the type of furniture work the furniture maker specializes in and their profile. A furniture maker’s profile is something that shows evidence of one’s ability to deliver credible jobs. As long as your customers can confirm your work is top quality, they will come back to you and you will get calls from other people who you don’t even know.
3. Paying attention to detail is highly required in this venture. If you are going into this business or you are already in it, ensure that you are dedicated to what you do. By being dedicated, you will be interested in broadening your knowledge by learning how to use different materials to produce furniture that will appeal to the eyes e.g knowing how to make tables made of glass, wardrobes made of steel and chairs made of other materials aside from wood.
4. Despite the several challenges that face furniture makers in this part of the world such as inadequate power supply and expensive machines for the trade, customers still require that their furniture be done excellently. It means that the end result of any furniture should meet these three requirements “brilliant wood finishing, excellent leather sewing and crisp polishing.” If you think about it, the profits will outweigh the challenges you may face.
We can see a gradual end to the importation of furniture from other countries as our furniture industry continues to advance beyond what they have been able to achieve in the past. Moving forward, learning new things about this significant industry will go a long way in improving their works of aesthetic brilliance and creativity.
A complete four set of imported SOFA costs from N1.5 m while the same complete set of chair, made with good materials (the Nigerian way) cost about N70,000 from the local carpenters. With good negotiation, you are sure to get it cheaper, sell for N100,000 in your showroom, and make N30,000 pure profit from that single sell! Is that a good business or not?
Now that I have tickled you a bit, let me take you through the 2 easy steps you need to take to get your local furniture business started as soon as this week.
Look For A Good Carpenter
Every Carpenter can hold hammer and nail but not every Carpenter is capable of producing good quality furniture job. Some Carpenters are very good at producing good furniture job but not all of them can deliver it on time. Very few does! Look for one or two among these few and negotiate good deal with them.
They will be responsible for supplying you the furniture you need to sell to your customers. A full set of Living Room Chairs (N70,000), 2 Beds (N40,000), and a Dinning Set (N20,000) is all you need for a start. You may add very good Foams on those Beds which you are going to sell together with the beds and make profits from both.
Get A Showroom For Your Local Furniture Business
You need a showroom to be able to display your furniture to the public. Make sure it is by the roadside for passerby to see them. Advertising is everything in business, if your furniture is hidden, no one will see them and you wouldn’t make a sell. You must by all means get your product where people can see them for you to make sells.
If you don’t have money for a showroom, go for open place by the roadside. Many Nigeria furniture sellers, sell at the open place by the roadside and they still make good sells.
When you have these two things in place, you are ready for business but don’t forget that your Customers are the lifeblood of your business, give them good services and treat them well.