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Starting a business

Good Small Business Ideas: Refurbishing and Upcycling Furniture

Restoration experts enjoy bringing vintage or antique furniture pieces back to their original states, while upcycling aficionados transform old or broken items into something entirely new. Maybe you love refinishing 19th-century wooden chairs, or perhaps you prefer to create steampunk coffee tables out of old wrought iron. Either way, you could turn your hobby into a business and make money doing what you love.

Start-up Costs vs. Income Potential

Arguably one of the nicest things about an upcycling and furniture restoration business is its economical start-up cost. Hand tools, wood stains and paints, and hardware items are fairly inexpensive and easy to find. Power tools can be a little costlier, but high-quality instruments typically last years and usually pay for themselves over time. Entrepreneurs regularly find low-cost furniture in need of TLC on sites like Craigslist; at thrift stores, garage sales, and estate auctions; and for free on local curbs. Reasonably priced supplies and secondhand furniture bargains increase your profit potential and make restoration and upcycling a lucrative pursuit.

A Part-Time Income Solution

If you’re not ready to ditch the day job, furniture restoration and upcycling might be just the part-time gig you need. You can work on as many or as few pieces per week or month as you want to, and you can modify your workload at the drop of a hat. Because furniture pieces tend to be fairly compact, you can easily move your entire venture to a new location. Some people work in their garages, while other more dedicated upcyclers and furniture restorers build or repurpose workshops to suit their growing businesses. In recent years, the furniture restoration and upcycling market has grown considerably in Canada, so the products you create may find new homes quite quickly.

Selling Your Furniture

A multi-pronged approach to sales can help you gain a foothold in your local area, particularly when you first start your business. You can drum up quick interest via Craigslist ads and newspaper classified sections, or you might install a sign in your front yard and sell directly from your garage or workshop. Print advertisements can be pricey, but they attract consumers who prefer shopping offline. Sites like Etsy help you reel in consumers who live further afield. If you restore period furniture to a high standard, you might decide to get a booth at an antique mall or flea market.

Getting Started

To get your budding restoration or upcycling business on the right track, consider writing a business plan. Create your company strategy by researching your local market, writing a list of popular furniture items, figuring out your niche, and coming up with a few places to sell your finished products. Prepare in advance for tax time by opening a business bank account and look into services like Dream Payments, which let you accept Interac debit cards, credit cards, and contactless payments on the spot. Restoration and upcycling are both creative and popular business ventures, and both involve vision and expert craftsmanship. If you can generate the start-up costs, create an effective plan, and figure out a successful sales strategy, you may make a big impression on your local community and generate income at the same time.

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