How to Start an Outdoor Furniture Business in 2022 (Ultimate Guide)
If you enjoy designing homes, be it interior or exterior, the furniture business might just be the best venture for you. However, you must be conversant with how the furniture business operates. Factors such as clients’ preference for specific materials, design, styles, where and how to sell, and many other factors might affect your profit and the growth of your business.
At Ningbo Shiheng Import & Export Co., Ltd., we have been operating in the furniture business for over a decade. In our first 8 years of operation, we operated as a rattan furniture manufacturing company.
Over time, based on the increased demand, design choice, easy maintenance, and durability, we began manufacturing High-Density Polyethylene outdoor furniture (HDPE). We have been manufacturing HDPE furniture for about 7 years.
We are proud to identify as one of the best outdoor furniture manufacturers worldwide. We have clients across Europe and America.
With our experience over the years, we have produced an ultimate guide that will provide all the information and details you need in the outdoor furniture business. We will discuss the dos and don’ts, together with factors that affect the furniture manufacturing business.
In addition, this guide will provide tips to make more sales, how to find clients, and potential online platforms for best sales. We will also show you how you can drive traffic to your store, whether online or offline.
The Outdoor Furniture Industry: What Should We Know About It
The outdoor furniture industry market size was approximately $44.08 billion in 2020. Experts say this market size will increase by $34.57 billion by 2027. The outdoor furniture industry is projected to grow by an additional 5.9% CAGR (Compound Annual Growth Rate) between 2021 to 2027.
Hence, the potential increase in the market size. One of the factors that will most likely be responsible for this surge is the wavering preference of consumers toward private residential buildings and commercial buildings are unfolding nations.
These days, the preferences of consumers are now in utilizing the outdoor space to create a comfortable, attractive, and appealing design in their porches, balconies, and other outdoor spaces.
Such consumers are more than willing to spend a considerable amount on outdoor furniture to improve the aesthetics of their property. In fact, they can spend more when the furniture requires less maintenance and is highly durable.
An important piece of information you should always have at hand is that the weather condition in various regions may directly affect the demand for this outdoor furniture.
Before you delve into the outdoor furniture business, we are sure you must have asked yourself a series of questions. Surely one of them is “can I profit from the outdoor furniture business” or “is the outdoor furniture business profitable or lucrative?” Another is “what are the factors that might affect my profit in this business?” Say no more! This section will provide a solution to your puzzle.
1) Can We Earn Profit From the Outdoor Furniture Business?
Definitely, you can earn a lot from the outdoor furniture business. The outdoor furniture industry is quite popular, and there is a high demand, growing higher, especially when it is outdoor furniture.
However, you must note that these profits don’t come easy. Aside from the cost of the materials and tools required for making a particular piece of furniture, you must also devote your time, energy, and resources.
Traditionally, furniture making requires a lot of effort. Anyways, thanks to modern technology and the invention of power equipment like the table saw, power drill, random orbital sander, router, and many others, furniture making has been a lot easier.
A useful tip that will help you earn profit in the outdoor furniture business is making use of high-quality materials and providing the best services. When you produce high-quality pieces and sell them, surely, the consumer will appreciate it, and you might even get a referral or two.
You acquire more skills and even learn a few tricks as you produce more pieces. These self-developed skills and tricks will make the production of furniture easier and faster for you and even increase the quality of the services you provide.
With these, you can up your prices to earn more, and the best part of it is your clients will always come back for more because they are getting their money’s worth.
In essence, you can make a living from the outdoor furniture business.
2) What Factors Determine the Profit of the Outdoor Furniture Business?
This is a very important question every aspiring outdoor furniture maker should ask. It is also very important that this question is answered.
Earlier, we mentioned that we have been operating in the furniture business for a while. With our experience, we have vast knowledge to answer this question.
Below are some significant factors you must consider to make a profit in the outdoor furniture business.
The Size of the Store
The size of the store matters only if you own a brick-and-mortar store. If you operate in a brick-and-mortar store, you will need enough space to store the furniture. You will also need another space to exhibit finished furniture.
In addition, trends show that more customers make their decisions while wandering and viewing other exhibits in your store.
Let’s not forget the workshop. To set up a modern furniture store, you need a lot of space to work and store materials and tools. This applies to both the local store and the online store. The more convenient the workshop is, the more efficient you will operate.
Usually, consumers prefer the most accessible store in the neighborhood. This makes it easy for consumers to come by and check what you have in store, and if they like it, they buy it.
Once again, this only applies to the brick-and-mortar store. Another important factor to consider for location is the zoning laws. It may be quite easy to select a location to start your furniture store, but you must also make sure you are not violating the zoning laws.
The Style of Outdoor Furniture Store
Consumers will buy furniture based on demand as well as interest. The designs of outdoor furniture will be a great source of attraction to consumers. In addition, you must be versatile so as to create various designs of the furniture you are producing.
This is a very important factor you must put into consideration whether it is a local store or an online store.
For your business to grow and thrive, you need a marketing strategy, and a good one at that. With a good marketing strategy, your business will get as much brand awareness and traffic as possible.
In other words, a good market strategy will put your business in the spotlight. Below we will be serving tips for a good market strategy.
Create brand awareness – It is important you make your target consumer aware of your products. You can achieve this through social media platforms. For example, you can create an Instagram profile for your store and upload pictures of the furniture for sale.
Host Shows – Hosting shows and even contests and giveaways will help increase the visibility and popularity of your business.
Find reliable suppliers
Finding a reliable supplier is crucial, especially when your client orders custom furniture. With a reliable supplier, you can get the materials you need when you need them. This will help boost the speed of the production of that furniture.
Start Your Outdoor Furniture Business With 8 Steps
Knowing the basic steps to start your outdoor furniture business will help you a long way. Not just in starting the business but when in business too. It will also help reduce certain risks.
We have outlined steps to help you start your outdoor furniture business.
- Understand the outdoor furniture industry market and trends
- Find your niche
- Find your suppliers
- Find a selling platform
- Drive traffic to your online store or your local store
- Turn store visitors into your customers
- Make a business plan
- Form a legal entity
1. Understand Outdoor Furniture Industry Market and Trends
Recent reports show that the furniture market will increase by 5.9% CAGR by 2027. Factors like income increment and demand for traditional or luxurious outdoor furniture affect the outdoor furniture market.
It is important that you are conversant with the key market segment, mainly eCommerce. Ecommerce, with the integration of online interactive rooms, can boost the sales of furniture. What is more interesting is that you can accomplish this while at home.
2. Find Your Niche
As a business owner, one of the first things you must consider is the item you produce and the target audience. This will help you find your niche. Irrespective of the fact that outdoor furniture manufacturing is tedious, it is the trend these days.
Outdoor furniture can be in various forms; some serve as household properties, some are used only in commercial buildings, and some serve decorative purposes. Identifying your objective is another factor that will help you determine your niche.
You must identify your passion and skills in furniture making, which will play an important role in identifying your niche.
Surely, there will be a market for your niche – this simply means there will be consumers for your product. When you are new to a market, be sure to research if you have a competitor in the market or if you are the only manufacturer.
3. Find Your Suppliers
As a furniture maker, you must always have a supplier that will always deliver when called upon. Having a good and reliable supplier will ensure that you are never caught off-guard.
You can find suppliers by creating a relationship with wholesalers. These wholesalers will come in handy when you need a large inventory for production.
Looking for suppliers these days is even easier as you can find them through referrals, online platforms, and the internet.
It would be best to carry out extra research to make sure that the supplier is legit. Having the right supplier will smoothen production and, as a result, ensure consumers’ satisfaction.
4. Find A Selling Platform
This is in two ways. You can choose to have a local store or an online store. You might also decide to have both. If you are considering a local store, you must also consider a very large area for production, storage, and exhibition. However, if it is the online store you are picturing, you might not need this space.
With the evolution of eCommerce platforms and online marketplace, you can start your outdoor furniture business from your garage. The only space you need is storage and a workshop.
You can create your eCommerce website for exhibit and sales or put your products on third-party eCommerce platforms like AliExpress, Shopify, and Amazon. The online market offers a lot of opportunities and benefits, one of which is the chance to expand the market and have full control of your business.
Operating in an online platform can also help reduce certain expenses like the cost of hiring and renting.
5. Drive Traffic to Your Online Store or Your Local Store
This is most important if you want to operate an online store. However, it also applies to the local store operators.
The online market is quite competitive as a lot of furniture manufacturers these days turn to eCommerce to make the most out of it. In addition, people tend to surf the internet more these days, so you might also want to consider operating online if you are yet to.
One of the most effective ways to drive traffic to your online or local store is by developing an extraordinary market strategy.
Earlier, we mentioned the use of social media as an effective marketing strategy tool; it applies here again. You can use a social media platform like Facebook to create a page for your store.
This platform will also help you create a channel for interaction between you and your potential customers. In addition, online ads will help deliver your product to the right audience.
Moreover, if you have the funds, creating a website for your store is a very good idea. You can also try connecting with Amazon and AliExpress, and many others to sell as a third-party client on their website.
SEO strategies have also proven to be very helpful in driving traffic to websites, so you might want to utilize this.
One thing you must have in mind is the content of your products. You must deliver high-quality outdoor furniture to customers. And if you will be uploading pictures of available furniture for sale, it must be a live picture from your workshop or gallery and not one from the internet.
Always deliver the best quality and have in mind that consumers will be very interested in the reviews of your products and the services you offer.
6. Turn Store Visitors Into Your Customers
The design of your store, the outdoor furniture you produce, and how you market them play a major role.
Unlike the online stores where you can’t tell who exactly is visiting your store, the local store gives you this opportunity. When someone walks into your store, whether to make inquiries, buy outdoor furniture, or merely visit to see what’s on display, you must offer them the best services.
The first impression matters a lot, and this can quickly convert potential consumers to long-term consumers. There are useful tips that help convert visitors into customers, and here we shall provide the most crucial tips for you.
Know your selling point
Identifying your selling point means you know where your strength lies, and this will help produce a reliable and suitable plan that will thrive in your outdoor furniture business.
This creates a rapport between you and your customers, and this will, in return, establish a level of trust. If your outdoor furniture contributes to the social value of society, it will be highly appraised.
Blogging is a very popular method to acquire customer data, and this industry is already utilizing this tool. The blog is often published on websites where the target audience will eventually click on the products.
Creating an email list
We are listing this last here because it is a tedious task to get done, but it is actually worth all the time and effort. This tip requires you to collect customer data; however, it’ll be of more import to collect relevant data that can be utilized sooner or later.
7. Make A Business Plan
A business plan, among many others, is important to the success of your outdoor furniture business. You must define a business strategy, create a business plan, manage your business and develop a financial and organizational projection.
You can start by writing out a description containing the following:
- The type of outdoor furniture you specialize in.
- How you manufacture your outdoor furniture.
- Your target audience.
- What differentiates your products from that of your competitors?
- The kind of materials for certain designs and how materials can be of benefit to consumers.
Research other outdoor furniture manufacturers and how your business can fill the hole in the market.
8. Form A Legal Entity
When you want to start an outdoor furniture business, you will be required to register for taxes, and you should also consider going legal.
The first step to acquiring this is choosing a business type. There are many business types, and each one has its method for calculating taxes. Some of the most common business types are listed below.
- Limited liability companies (LLC)
- Sole Proprietorships
Among the three common business types above, the Limited liability companies (LLC) will save you from personal liability if there is a lawsuit against your outdoor furniture business.
In addition, when you form a Limited liability company (LLC), it is mandatory-you pay the LLC costs for the state.
However, it is important you note that there will be a direct effect on how you pay your income taxes for whichever business type you are choosing. To this end, we advise that you seek the consultation of an attorney, a Certified Public Accountant (CPA), or a business advisor on how you can take your outdoor furniture business legal.
Another option is hiring the service of an agent to register your business as a Limited liability company (LLC). Such agents are specialists in the field, and they can deliver within a shorter time.
Successful Outdoor Furniture Businesses
For an inspiring moment, we shall share some successful outdoor furniture stories. Before we proceed, here are the successful outdoor furniture businesses we will share their stories with you.
Polywood began operation in 1990. In fact, Polywood is the first outdoor furniture business to make recycled plastic into outdoor furniture. In other words, they are the first recycled plastic outdoor furniture manufacturers.
If you have been seeing or hearing “made with genuine Polywood timber,” you should know it comes from the first recycled plastic furniture manufacturers. However, it is more than a slogan; it is a brand promise.
Polywood claims to produce furniture that withstands any season or weather with the main aim of utilizing spaces for family and friends to come together and chill.
The inception of Polywood is similar to many entrepreneurial stories you might have heard or seen. This one, like many other successful businesses, started in the garage.
Polywood was born when 2 school friends with great minds came together with a similar mindset to manufacturing outdoor furniture and put them up for sale.
Polywood is an environmentally conscious business. This outdoor furniture manufacturing business is popular for recycling plastics in producing its outdoor furniture.
As of today, this company recycles millions of landfills dominated by plastic waste. Polywood is outstanding for its durability. The products of this company are known to withstand several weather conditions, and they require only little maintenance.
Keter is one of the leading home lifestyle solutions. They produce a vast range of products and services, including outdoor furniture. In addition, all the products from this company can be trusted to be durable. Keter utilizes innovative techs and high-quality materials.
Just like Polywood, this is another sustainable and environment-friendly company. Keter believes in and encourages the use of reusable plastics in outdoor furniture manufacturing. At Keter, they believe in prolonging the lifespan of products.
You can expect durability, longevity, and usability from Keter outdoor furniture. It is safe to say that Keter is a sustainable furniture manufacturing business and one of the best-recycled plastic outdoor furniture manufacturers.
Outer was established to consciously connect humans to nature. We tend to disconnect from our screens when we sit outdoors with family and friends. From the company’s name, you can tell what they are about.
Outer is about bringing life outside. In order to achieve this, they produce very comfortable and durable outdoor furniture.
In addition, this furniture is aesthetically pleasing, and they are also sustainable. With such furniture, you can enjoy nature in style.
It all started with the outer sofa. It is a product of top-notch performance coupled with luxurious material and professional craftsmanship.
While Outer produces impeccable outdoor furniture, they are also a big fan of the simplest things, from enjoying nature to time with family and friends.
To this end, they ensure they do not affect the safety of the environment in the process of manufacturing their products – this is why they are listed among the formidable recycled plastic outdoor furniture manufacturers.
Furniture making is more of arts and crafts. If you want to go into this business, you must be willing and ready to acquire more skills to work more efficiently and produce high-quality and durable outdoor furniture.
When starting your outdoor furniture business, you can begin by defining the kind of furniture you want to sell, maybe for homes and households or commercial purposes.
After this, you should determine the best market for you and your audience. Is it an online store or a brick-and-mortar store? And if you are financially capable of having both, it is best.
The size is also important. If you choose to operate on online platforms only, you don’t need too much space. However, you must secure a space for your workshop and storage.
In addition, you might want to consider drawing up start-up expenses. This will give you an idea of your start-up capital. There is the legal aspect that you must take seriously, so you don’t become a victim of the law.
Therefore, it is crucial to contact a CPA, an attorney, or better still, your state government to fill you in on the legal requirements for your new venture.
On completing this post, we hope you understand it and use it to the most of your advantage. Lastly, the outdoor furniture business is a popular one with high and increasing demand, and in return for making high-quality furniture, you can earn a lot from it.