Antique Furniture Store
Opening an antique furniture store requires time, energy, and a little bit of ingenuity. An antique is described as a collectible that is desirable because it represents a previous period in time. Some items are rare, some are period pieces, some have been well preserved, some are just old. Almost any object could become an antique. But critical to this designation is age and appeal to the marketplace. If the item survives long enough, the value of it in the market place is determined by its appeal and social acceptance. Many people find that, when they visit an antique furniture store, there is the challenge of finding something that might be valuable. There are actually people who make a living from visiting stores and shops, of used articles, just to find out if they have items that fit the criteria. Yard sales and garage sales are also favorite stomping grounds for lookers. Collectors don't always want to sell their finds, but keep them as show pieces in their homes. But, there are those who would do this to turn a buck.
When a person is seriously looking into the prospect of opening an antique furniture store, that individual must be aware that success often comes from the implementation of a good plan. Unlike a regular furniture store, finding easy and quick ways to keep their shelves stocked can be the most time consuming part of the venture. If a person sells a Wainscot chair, for example, they are not likely to find an identical one to replace that one. Other than yard sales, garage sales, and other shops there are a number of sources for a person who has their own store.
An estate sale is a wonderful venue for collecting choice items. The whole concept of the estate sale is that everything in the home is for sale. People with few valuables, rarely have them. Therefore, in many cases, an estate sale is apt to be a place in which a person could find several items in one trip. An estate sale most often happens when a person dies and the family does not want the stuff. It's amusing how one person's trash is another person's treasure. In these cases, the items are not typically trash, but valuable heirlooms in which the family has no interest. The family members would rather have the money from the sale to a person who owns an antique furniture store. Sometimes, the estate sale is by default. A person has a storage unit with plenty of valuables, but can no longer make the payments to the storage company. Or perhaps, they just don't care enough about the stuff to continue to pay. Either way, the storage company sells the contents. What's really interesting in how these businesses tend to conduct the sale. Often the entire contents are not separable. There may be good stuff, ugly stuff, beautiful stuff, or even trash. Basically, in this situation, you get what you get.
There are also marketplaces that are organized specifically for the antique dealer. These marketplaces, usually, travel from State to State, throughout America. An antique furniture store is most often a labor of love. People who have collected some articles they want to sell, pay for a booth and sell articles at these shows. Sometimes people know a great deal about the items being sold and sometimes there is limited knowledge. When a person is in a position to purchase at these events, extreme caution should be taken about the specific purchases made. Imitation is not the same as the real thing. There is possibility that someone tries to pass off an imitation as the real thing. In some cases, an imitation could still be valuable, though. Various cities around the country also have annual events in which a person could attend and find some good deals.
Once sourcing has been secured, research must be done to calculate sales forecast, cash flow, projected profit and loss for the antique furniture store. For a furniture store, a business plan can mean the difference between mediocre success and phenomenal success. The business plan is like a map. It outlines where a person intends to take a business and how they will get there. If a person just wants a mom and pop operation, that's fine. But even a mom and pop should have a plan and perhaps even an exit strategy. "Moreover, brethren, I would not that ye should be ignorant, how that all our fathers were under the cloud, and all passed throughthe sea; And were all baptized unto Moses in the cloud and in the sea; And did all eat the same spiritual meat; And did all drink the same spiritual drink: for they drank of that spiritual Rock that followed them : and that Rock was Christ." (1 Corinthians 10:1-4)
Planning to get out of business is just as important as getting in. Perhaps a person wants to pass on their antique furniture store to the next generation. Having a plan to do that and also having an operational plan would help in maintaining the style and feel of the original shop. The person who owns such a concern appreciates the beauty and history of the pieces. They are making a business out of passing on that history to the next generation. Though the cause may be noble, making money is the underlying objective. Going into business without the goal of making money is like cooking and not expecting to have a meal. Though it requires time, energy, a some ingenuity, an antique furniture store can bring lots of joy.
Living Room Furniture StoreAn efficiently run living room furniture store can be, not only, profitable, but can stand head and shoulder above the competition. Furniture is a necessity. Although people could make it and not buy it, it takes some skill and ability to craft. Simply put, some people just don't have "it." As a matter of fact, most people neither have the time nor the inclination to make their own furniture. Because of that, furniture manufacturers have flourished. This fact gives rise to the living room furniture store industry; as well. "Sell cheap and tell the truth," was the motto of a woman by the name of Rose Blumkin. Though she died at age 104, she worked seven days a week on the sales floor, until she was 103. Her store was Nebraska Furniture Mart. Warren Buffett, of Berkshire Hathaway, purchased a majority interest in the business in 1983. Since its initial success in 1937, this store became the largest in the business. Nebraska Furniture Mart remains the largest home furnishing store in North America.
Generally, a living room furniture store is full of very practical seating, tables and storage objects. Most of these items are essential to home living. They include things like sofas, chairs, side and end tables, coffee table, sofa tables, armoires and entertainment units. Along with these main pieces are accessories. Most shops have, at the minimum, rugs, lamps, and pillows. Some of the more expansive stores have televisions and stereos, wall clocks, paintings, and linens. A sofa can typically seat three or four adults; depending on the length. A love seat, however can only seat two people; three at the most. An end table could be as small as 12 inches in diameter to 30 X 30 inches square. Rugs can be as basic as a rag type or ornate as one with an Oriental design. What the items in a living room furniture store look like depends upon the theme of the store. Some people want to go with the basic, undecorated, plain wrap type. Other owners prefer an extravagant, elegant, and ostentatious look and feel.
The people who come to buy in a living room furniture store come from all walks of life. Sometimes they are very young and shopping for their first pieces. Cost, above all things, is the main consideration. As long as a sofa has cushions, these buyers will buy if they can afford it. After a person buys a home, they often have a desire to decorate it a certain way. They have personal preferences in color, style, and size. There are also those who need status symbols. In this case, the furnishings themselves take second place to the designer. These people want to have a certain piece designed by a certain person. The cost does not matter to them. Of course, not many people fit into this category. The average person looks at how much beauty they can afford on their current wage. Some people actually go into debt with their furnishing selections. Furniture is not an investment, except for antiques that are purchased specifically for this reason. And if the piece is an antique, in a lot of cases, the piece will be set aside as a museum piece and probably would not be found in a living room furniture store in the first place.
When opening and operating a shop that specializes in furnishing for the living room, a person should consider developing a business plan. A business will help the individual to project how the business will be operated. Operating a business is not as easy as just buying and selling some stuff. The cost of the stock must be low enough that when a profit is added, the price to the customer is within a range that people will be comfortable paying. Obviously, a purchase depends upon who the target market is and whether or not the target will actually buy what a person has to sell. A person with a specialized living room furniture store, that has been developed for the rich and famous, must be aware of the costs associated with keeping up image and status. This is considered a high end market. By the same token, when selling cheap, people are still looking for value; not junk. Just because a person does not have much money to spend, doesn't mean they expect that the item will break down or be ugly. The expectation is that the item will be well made, but plain or undecorated or only have a few features.
There has been a massive departure from quality that has lead to a major increase in consumerism. Frankly, many companies make products with "planned obsolescence." In the case of software that means, it will be outdated within months. But, because of the practical nature of furniture, outdatedness, in a few months, doesn't make sense. Therefore, weakness takes its place. Wood components are thinner, the metal is weaker, and the fabric is looser. When furniture is made in this manner, people quickly become dissatisfied and replace the item. To say this practice is unfair would be putting it mildly. In a majority of cases, the consumer is unaware of this practice. "Now all these things happened unto them for ensamples: and they are written for our admonition, upon whom the ends of the world are come." (1 Corinthians 10:11) Manufacturers and living room furniture store owners alike could take a lesson from Mrs. "B." By selling cheap and telling the truth, their store could still be profitable, yet stand head and shoulder above the competition.