You will need to give some thought to how your prospective customers will know about you and your furniture ranges. You could either market and sell your products directly on your own account, or sell them through furniture retailers.
There are a number of ways in which you can advertise your business and market your furniture, such as:
- contacting the buyers at both multiple and independent furniture retailing outlets
- advertising your product ranges in the trade press
- exhibiting at the major trade shows for the furniture industry
- obtaining a listing in a specialist directory for the furniture sector, or participating in the British Furniture Manufacturers Association's online Product Finder directory
- contacting specialists such as architects and interior designers who might put contract work your way
- making sure that housing developers are aware of any bespoke services you offer (such as fitted kitchens)
- setting up your own website, perhaps with an online ordering facility
- using social media, forums and blogs
Don't forget to highlight factors such as membership of the Furniture Ombudsman Scheme - or perhaps the fact that you obtain your materials from a sustainable source - in any promotional material you send out.
Although we currently import more furniture than we export in the UK, there may well be opportunities for UK furniture manufacturers to sell products overseas. The government provides assistance to companies wishing to enter export markets. UK Trade and Investment (UKTI) is the body which brings together the activities of the Foreign and Commonwealth Office and the Department for Business, Innovation & Skills (BIS). Details about some of the help available are included on the UKTI section of the Gov.uk website.