Start a Small Business in Furniture Repair
Description of Job
• Repair broken pieces of furniture. • Make minor fixes to torn upholstery.
The Need and Demand for this Business
Things break, and upholstery tears, but a major piece of furniture, a valued heir- loom, or merely a favorite couch may be worth repairing to save the cost of buy- ing a new piece.
Challenges Faced by the Furniture Repair Business
The two principal challenges are deciding whether a broken piece of furniture can be repaired and whether the repair makes economic sense. If the total cost of removal of the item, labor, parts, and return of the piece is appreciably less than the price of a new one, you have business to perform.
Be especially careful if you are working on an heirloom or antique; don’t accept a job you are not capable of doing properly, and don’t accept liability for an item of extraordinary value.
What You Should Know Before You Start This Business
You’ll need to have basic repair skills and access to dependable specialists for jobs such as welding broken frames, cutting a custom piece of wood or metal, and reupholstering. In a way, this job could be compared to being a contractor on a house: Much of the work consists of assembling a team of capable subcontractors.
Some jobs can be done in the homes of clients; assemble a mobile workshop for house calls. Otherwise, you will need a truck or require that the client arrange for pickup and delivery.
How to Get Started with a Furniture Repair Business
Advertise your availability at community centers, home and houseware stores, and antique stores.
You’ll need a set of basic tools. You can rent many specialized devices or sub- contract out unusual tasks. Other expenses include promotion and advertising.
How Much to Charge For this Service
Charge an hourly rate plus the cost of materials; give your clients an estimate of the number of hours a job should require and notify them if the price will change markedly.
Legal and Insurance Issues
Special notes: In dealing with your client’s property, seek to limit your liability for damage or loss to the actual replacement value of items in your possession. You should protect yourself against claims for sentimental value or loss of use.
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