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How to Run a Furniture Business in Canada

Level up your expertise by following these tips on how to successfully run a furniture business.

The market size for furniture businesses in Canada is an incredible $12.4bn as of 2021, and as people continue to spend more time in their homes, customized furniture will continue to increase in demand.

Likewise, infrastructural developments in the housing sector are increasing, so new home owners will be searching for furniture that can meet their needs. This context proves fruitful for established furniture businesses, including those who are looking to invest or buy a furniture business for sale.

Your furniture business can gain from this billion-dollar sector, but you’ll need to put in the work. Aside from being a skilled furniture designer and manufacturer, you'll also need to know how to manage a business that can thrive.

Here is a step-by-step roadmap to help your furniture business continue to grow.

Ideas to stand out and grow

Trends in the furniture industry vanish in terms of both style and substance instantly. Businesses need to adapt rapidly as consumer wants shift.

For instance, fast & free shipping, easy payment structures, personalization, and meeting environmental standards are top priorities. However, the most decisive element is to be a technologically driven furniture business.

Utilize the e-commerce landscape

Customers are buying furniture online, and these new consumer behaviors are impacting sales and business models. Adapting to these times will only set you up for success.

You should also utilize Search Engine Optimization (SEO) – which brings local traffic and Pay Per Click (PPC) advertising – which leads to expanding reach economically and strategically. Rich, user-focused content, social media marketing, podcasting, and video production with the assistance of a seasoned marketing expert will aid you in completing these tasks.

Understanding the Market Landscapes via Research

The Mordor Intelligence report & Statista (outlook of furniture in Canada) suggests that the Canadian furniture industry ranks among the top ten globally. In addition, Canada has a long history of furniture manufacturing competence.

  • The Canadian home furniture market is projected to develop speedily, owing to an increase in infrastructural development in the housing sector in many parts of the country, as most furniture purchases are influenced by customers shifting to new homes
  • Household sales of bedroom, living room, and dining room furniture account for most of the market, followed by spending on other furniture categories
  • In Toronto and Montreal vicinity, customers emphasized more on durability and long-lasting designs
  • Canadian wood species (accounts for over 30% of furniture) such as Western Hemlock, Western Red Cedar, Douglas Fir, and Spruce-Pine-Fir provide enormous functionality, excellent durability to manufacture superior furniture
  • It’s dominated by chief players, for instance, IKEA Canada, Palliser, Durham Furniture, Artage International & Bermex Inc.
  • In August 2021, retail sales of furniture stores in Canada reached approximately 1.16 billion Canadian dollars

Inventory System Management 

Market trends swing because of fashion or seasonal shifts. As a result, furniture retailers must keep a penetrating eye on these modifications to avoid having products with declining market demand. Stock lying in the warehouse for an extended time is at risk of becoming outdated.

Due to recent rail and seasonal change disruptions, pressure is mounting to manufacture locally (while reducing emissions, which is driving furniture businesses in Canada to purchase closer to home or produce in-house. The Quebec Furniture Manufacturers Association (QFMA) has introduced the province's first supply chain optimization program for the furniture manufacturing industry.

Artopex, a Montreal-area furniture manufacturer that already sources principally in Canada, is taking the necessary steps to locally manufacture some components that it used to purchase from Asia due to delays and higher shipping costs. You can also save time and manual efforts while enhancing furniture inventory exactitude with an automated real-time system.

Bird’s eye view of the Canadian Furniture Industry

  • Canada ranks fifth in the world in terms of furniture exports. Household furniture, such as mattresses (38.5%), office and institutional furniture (40.8%), wood kitchen cupboards and countertops (17.9%), and blinds and shades (2.8%) make up the Canadian furniture industry
  • The Annual sales exceed $11 billion. Québec produces nearly half of all case goods (wooden); Ontario produces a large amount of upholstered and office furniture. Rural areas are home to almost half of all the major manufacturers
  • The Canadian furniture industry frequently struggles to compete worldwide. Labor costs are higher than in most regional competitors, notably the United States. Transport costs are also high for Canadian businesses

Accelerate Revenue Streams

88% of Canadian customers want manufacturers to assist them in making a positive and long-term decision. The constant advancement of technology has also fueled a shift in consumer behavior. By utilizing technical and 3D solutions that demonstrate your furniture products in amazing, photorealistic detail, you can appease your consumers in new ways. 

Product details in a variety of colors and styles help customers make informed purchasing decisions while also distinguishing your business from competitors.

Likewise, you should start a referral program for new furniture customers while keeping a focus on existing customers who can continue increasing your store's profits.

Escalate your marketing efforts 

Marketing in the furniture industry is, of course, pre-eminent. Whatever marketing mix you use, the goal must be to reach your target market and acquire new customers. These straightforward steps will assist you in developing a strategic work plan.

Observe Customer’s Demands

Whether you're spending time and resources on display ideas, in-store and online advertising, or product display strategies, your entire marketing strategy should aim to meet a customer's needs.

Enrich Buyer’s Journey

As the customer arrives at various touch-points such as your website, a Google review, a social media page, a visit to your furniture showroom, or a chat with a customer service representative, make this journey as informative and user-friendly as you can.

Leverage Social Media 

Consumers today want an interactive experience, and most of them will continue to use social media platforms for the foreseeable future. This can help your business differentiate itself from competitors, enhance brand recognition, and strengthen relationships.

Fund Your Business

The varied forms of financial assistance can help you grow and expand by purchasing the necessary tools, machinery and supplies, paying for staff, covering marketing costs, and more:

You can also apply for a seed investment through independent online lenders such as iCapital and Lending Loop - the first regulated peer-to-peer loan platform for Canadian small businesses.

Considerations for employees

Staff training that is well-designed and implemented can facilitate both your employees and your business. You can gain more customers by investing in your employees, even if you only have a limited training budget. You can choose from the following options, depending on your employee's specific requirements:

  • Seminars for vendors
  • Sessions of public training with coworkers
  • On-site training at your business premises

It can also be configured to suit particular criteria, such as:

  • How to qualify raw materials (textiles, wood, etc.) and ensure the safety and quality of the final product
  • Regulations that apply to furniture

Exit Strategies

You're probably focused on growing your company, not on the day you'll sell it. But selling a business is just as common as buying and starting one, so it is crucial for you to prepare for that day.

  • Value a business: account for your finances comprehensively. Sound knowledge of your expenditures, assets, and business performance will benefit you in locating and negotiating a bid that is in line with the actual value of your business.
  • Negotiate a business: choose a competent team to assist you in this strategic process to search for a buyer and negotiate your company.
  • Vet your buyers: you should choose the most appropriate buyer who will take your business to new heights, and will take your business seriously.
  • Understand what you want from the sale, and reflect that in your deal terms.


Megan Kelly

About the author

Megan is the Content Manager of Dynamis, and writes for BusinessesForSale.com, the world's biggest marketplace for businesses for sale.

@Be_theBoss

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