Many citizens spend most of their free time in their own summer cottages. And most of them relate to their country houses very kindly, investing a lot of money in their construction and arrangement. Fortunately, the mentality of our fellow citizens is gradually changing. If earlier they bought suburban areas to create their own small economy, where vegetables, berries and fruits were grown, now dachas are increasingly becoming a place for outdoor recreation. For this reason, for owners of homesteads, a problem arises with the design of both their internal and external spaces. Thus, own business for the manufacture and / or sale of garden furniture, which is always in great demand, can become profitable.
Its advantages are a relatively small start-up capital, low competition and favorable marketing opportunities. True, there are pitfalls. If you are going to do this business yourself for the first time, then you should have extensive experience in the field of furniture production (and not furniture, in general, but garden furniture). Your products must have excellent quality, and the requirements for it differ from the requirements for ordinary cabinet or upholstered furniture. Garden furniture must withstand high loads and be resistant to adverse weather conditions. Even if it is intended for indoor use, usually all the cold season, such furniture is stored in an unheated house with high humidity.
Of great importance is not only the material from which such furniture is made, but also its appearance. Often the most difficult and costly is not production, but the production of drawings. Specialists should do this. When developing new models, they take into account several factors at once - ease of use, functionality, ease and speed of disassembly, compactness for transportation and storage. Expensive garden furniture is sold in special packaging that can be reused, or with special covers for storage. Particularly noteworthy is the choice of material for the production of garden furniture. The material depends on the type of furniture, which can be stationary and portable. Cheap products are made of plastic and laminated MDF. More expensive, beautiful and durable furniture is made of metal, vine, natural wood. In this case, the materials can be combined with each other. For example, wrought-iron garden tables are very popular, the countertops of which are laid out with ceramic or glass mosaics. However, furniture that is too complex in shape and color should not prevail in your assortment, but you can offer custom manufacturing services.
Experienced entrepreneurs are advised to start with the production of simple structures. For example, at the first stage, the range of your products can include simple stools and chairs, deck chairs, tables, swings, shelves and cabinets. Some of this furniture can be made of wood. Then you can gradually expand the assortment and introduce into it individual interior items that are more complex in terms of design or entire sets (for example, furniture for the veranda, for the summer kitchen for the terrace, gazebo, etc.).
Work on the production of garden furniture includes several separate stages. First, drawings are developed, then samples are created from them. If necessary (and such a need is likely to arise), individual furniture details are being finalized, changes are made to the design. Then, after the approval of the drawings, the costly part for each model is compiled taking into account the cost of all parts and its manufacture. To reduce the cost of production, it is recommended that at least part of the furniture be used with standardized parts (for example, legs, armrests, backs, etc.). Then they can be ordered in bulk at more favorable prices.
To organize furniture production, it will be necessary to rent a small area (from 30 sq. Meters) for the workshop. Many entrepreneurs organize such workshops in their garages, which allows them to save on rent. For medium-sized production facilities, premises with a total area of 200 square meters will be needed. meters (for the workshop itself, domestic premises and warehouses). When choosing a place, pay attention to the possibility of access to your truck production. However, the presence of an entrance for freight transport and a separate area for storing finished products will be required even if you open a small workshop near your house.
The workshop will house machines and other equipment. The exact list depends on the type of furniture you produce and the materials used, but in most cases, for a standard assortment, at the first stage of work, you can do with a thicknessing machine, a milling machine and a DBMS. But even with such minimal equipment it is not worth saving, because more expensive tools will last longer than cheap ones that quickly fail. Some furniture manufacturers use custom-made tools. If you are going to make garden furniture of an unusual design, then it is quite possible that some of the necessary equipment you will not find on sale. Manufacturers of typical cabinet furniture save on components (screws, hinges, plugs), purchasing them in bulk. In the manufacture of garden furniture to save on such details, most likely, will not work. Moreover, your costs will turn out to be higher, as individual furniture elements (for example, forged and plastic parts, decors, etc.) will have to be made to order.
Garden furniture is quite time-consuming to manufacture, so you can hardly do without assistants. Ideally, your employees should be able to understand the drawings, distinguish color shades, choose high-quality material, etc. Of course, preference should be given to workers who already have extensive experience in this field. But usually semi-handicraft enterprises cannot offer their employees large salaries, so they have to recruit personnel with minimal or no work experience and train employees in all the intricacies of furniture production on their own (of course, in this case you yourself must be a master of your craft). However, in this case, there is a high risk that the specialist trained by you, for which you will spend a lot of time and effort, will soon leave you to competitors who will offer him more money. It is best to place furniture production on the outskirts of the city or in the region (the latter option is less preferable). So you can save a little on wages (you can hire residents of small towns near your city) and on rent (the closer to the center, the more expensive it will cost you).
Before you determine the assortment of your products, develop samples and models, carefully study the situation on the regional market and determine consumer preferences. You should not copy models for which there is an increased demand, but you can develop your own original furniture, in which there will be all the advantages of “samples” without the disadvantages of the latter. According to the results of research on the demand and assortment of competitors, it is possible to determine not only “preferred” models, but also those that are not worth producing at all. Do not forget to interview your customers, find out their wishes and preferences. For example, many manufacturers of garden furniture were very surprised that the beautiful and durable forged chairs with mosaic seats were not, oddly enough, popular. In a survey among furniture buyers, it turned out that such chairs are usually purchased for a terrace, porch or gazebo, and not for a house. During the night, the metal is very cooled, and during the day, in direct sunlight, on the contrary, it heats up, and it is uncomfortable to use such furniture. It’s quite troublesome to bring heavy metal chairs overnight in an enclosed space. The solution to this problem was soft pillows, which are fixed on the seat.
The simplest garden furniture does not require a large number of expensive materials. As a rule, boards with a section of 45 by 90 cm are used for its production. Benches and countertops are assembled on screws and epoxy glue. The individual elements of the frame are interconnected using bolts with nuts M10, which creates the possibility of disassembling furniture into its constituent parts for its transportation. In addition, for the manufacture of such furniture will require drying oil and oil furniture varnish. They are used to protect wood from moisture. First, the tree is covered with several layers of drying oil, and then, after it dries, with varnish. In most cases, wood, oak, aspen, beech and other hardwood are used to make wooden garden furniture. This is due to the fact that conifers require careful removal of resin, otherwise it, standing out from the wood, will leave marks on clothing. A special compound is used to tar the garden furniture made from coniferous species. It includes components such as acetone, caustic soda or soda ash or water, or soda ash with potash. The composition is diluted with water to a creamy state.
However, the production of the furniture itself is not such a big problem. The most difficult thing is to establish sales channels and find regular customers. Garden furniture is usually sold at retail in stores, through large specialized retail chains, through own stores (the most expensive sales option), through direct sales (directly to end consumers and the customer), via the Internet (own site, independent sites, online message boards) . Of course, garden furniture is a seasonal product that is most in demand from February-March to August-September. The peak of sales falls on April-July, depending on the region.
Before you start organizing your own production, make a detailed business plan where the payback periods of such an enterprise and the costs of its organization will be calculated. A small workshop can be opened from 200-250 thousand rubles. The payback period is from 1.5 years (on condition of working to order) and from 2.5 years (if you sell finished furniture through retail chains). Opening production is recommended in the fall or winter, then you will have time to prepare for the season.
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