Industry sector: Manufacturing

Furniture maker: Services to offer


As well as producing a range of furniture items, you might offer various services, for example:

  • making individual pieces of furniture to a customer's specification. This might range from single, free-standing items to fitted bedroom, office or kitchen furniture
  • installing bespoke fitted furniture and fixtures
  • offering customers a choice of finish on otherwise standard ranges, for example stained instead of polished wood
  • repairing, restoring and re-upholstering - more and more ethically and environmentally minded consumers prefer to repair or recondition furniture rather than throw it away

You might also be in a position to offer specialist services to other furniture manufacturers, such as French polishing or preparing veneers.

If you're producing large items of furniture like sofas then you'll probably need to offer a delivery service. Depending on your target market and how you sell, deliveries may need to be made to a fairly small number of stockists or to a much larger number of end-user customers.

Samples

Don't forget that your retailer customers will want samples showing different finishes or textiles, if you decide to offer some choice. Don't overlook the cost of producing these and replacing them when you introduce new ranges.

Returns

People expect items of furniture to last for some time and the industry has in the past suffered from a high proportion of products that have been returned to the retailer/manufacturer because they have developed faults. You should give some thought to your returns policy so that your retailer customers know what procedure to follow in the event of a complaint from the consumer. Set out clearly the terms of any guarantees that you offer, for example a five year guarantee against faulty workmanship and materials.