Industry sector: Consumer services

Furniture restorer: Postage, stationery, advertising

Enter in your cash flow forecast the amounts you will spend on:

  • postage. You are likely to spend a certain amount on a regular basis, but every now and then you might decide to do a mail shot advertising your restoration business. This will increase the amount you spend on postage in that month
  • business stationery such as letterheads, invoices and so on. Your local printer will be able to give you an estimate of how much a package of essential business stationery costs. You will probably pay for this in month one or two and then reorder as necessary later in the year
  • miscellaneous stationery items
  • advertising. You might decide to advertise your business on a regular basis, for example in an antiques magazine or business directory. You could have leaflets printed which you distribute or send out as part of a mail shot - for example telling trade customers such as antique dealers, museums, stately homes and so on about the service you can provide and your prices. Many restorers attend antiques fairs and markets on a regular basis. A website is a very good way of advertising the services you offer and showcasing some examples of your work

Once you have decided on your advertising strategy enter your estimate of the cost in the months in which you will spend the money.

Freight and courier charges

If you're going to sell any items - like pieces you've bought yourself to restore - online or by mail order then you'll almost certainly be spending considerable amounts each month on parcel or freight services.

You'll need to decide which carrier is the best suited to the products you sell and provides the most economical and efficient service. You could consider using several different carriers depending on what you're sending.

Unlike general business postage costs and other overheads, you'll only incur shipping charges when you make a sale. So if you think you'll sell 10 items online each month, and they'll cost you £10 an item to send, then your monthly shipping costs will be £100.

It's important to price up shipping costs before you start selling. If you're going to offer free or subsidised delivery then you'll need to know how much to build into your margins so that you make a profit. And if you intend to charge for shipping at cost price you'll need to know how much to charge.


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