Furniture is the essential part of our housing, office and beyond. In everyday life we need these furniture to our advantage for various usages that can be domestic as well as official depending upon our needs.
Furniture can be extended to a wider horizon like your wooden floor or your kitchen cabinet but renting of furniture can only be limited to movable items that can be easily moved from one place to another.
Furniture rental is one such business that has a wider market in cities and places of employment that draws people from different cities, states and countries. The United States has many such cities where people migrate from different regions in want of employment.
Not all can afford the necessary furniture at once and are compelled or they find it affordable and smart to rent them for the time being, at least the essential ones. Now what comprises the essential furniture?
Essential furniture are those that are used on a daily basis without which it is not easy to live a decent and comfortable life. They include:
- Sofa Chair
- Simple chairs
- Desk or table
- Dining table set
- Office desk along with chairs and cabinet
- Wooden almirah
- Book shelves and many more
It is hard to imagine our lives without these items since they form essential items on which we are dependent in one way or the other.
Thus, in most cases, many people are compelled to get these items in their homes when they get newly settled.
Now, purchasing all of them is not very feasible for freshers in the job or students or the family who do not already have furniture or they find it too expensive and troublesome to transport them from their native place to the newly settled place.
Thus, renting the furniture is the easiest and affordable option for them for the time being. Choice of renting depends on people to people. For students who have a temporary stay at a place and have no source of income choose to rent the furniture.
Those in fresh jobs also tend to rent furniture. Also, those who have jobs that require them to frequently shift from one place to another also find renting furniture a cost effective and easier option as it frees them from the hassle of packing and transporting their furniture from one place to another, subject to the damage that may incur during transportation.
Who are you Potential Customers?
It is necessary to ask this question to yourself: who are your potential customers? Venturing over the years in new businesses, one that I have realised is that every idea is excellent unless implemented on ground.
You may well go ahead with your rental business idea but finding your potential customers is a daunting task that requires due diligence and application of mind. This might also require you to carry out a research or feasibility analysis of your projected business.
Do whatever it takes to identify your potential customers. To make it a bit easier for you. These sets of people may be your potential customers.
- Those who are students, interns and freshers at a job with meagre or no salary at all relying on parents for money. They may very well rent your furniture.
- Those who have newly joined as professionals and have jobs that require them to shift from one place to another in a short period of time. They can also be government officials.
- Offices that are newly started and require furniture for their employees in good quantity. This includes the office desk, chairs, cabinet, drawers, sofas, etc.
- Schools or similar kinds of institutions like vocational institutions, small businesses, etc, that might also need furniture in a relatively large number that they find it cost effective in hiring.
Now, since you have got an idea of who can be your potential customers, it is equally important where you will locate your potential customers.
Most likely, you will get them in cities or townships that have a large number of migrants coming from different places. Places that are sources of employment for a good number of people.
And at the local level, there is a possibility that you can find schools, vocational education centres, offices and businesses that might rent your furniture.
The possibility of success of your business along with growth is much more in cities and townships that are a source of employment for many and those that are industrialized or are in the process of industrialization.
Comprehensive Strategy for your Furniture Rental Business
Your strategy for your furniture rental business will revolve around your potential customers. They can be anyone or more from the list enumerated above. So, what should be your strategy for starting and running a successful rental business of furniture?
Five Point Strategy:
- Attract your potential customers by offering them what they exactly want
- Give them some complimentary offers along with what they rent. For example, someone renting a dining set may also want a rented fridge or microwave. You can rent them for free for 3 months or more.
- Setting a standard, profitable yet attractive pricing for your rental items.
- You should be easily accessible and visible.
- Providing the best services like no one else.
From the above points. At least 3 are worth an explanation.
Attracting your Customers with better offerings than others:
It just can’t be all about renting furniture, taking monthly rent and providing them with furniture. It should be something comprehensive like a plan which your customers can avail that has lots of flexibility and temptation.
Three months free rental for a fridge, microwave, an extra desk, air conditioner, free installation or service charge, etc. You can plan your offerings in a way that is attractive which offers something more to your customers and at the same time it is profitable to you.
Free installation on certain rentals, free services for a few months of something else, complimentary add-ons when you rent a certain number of furniture, etc. Think what people might need more apart from the usual furniture which you can give them as a compliment for a few months.
This is how you can attract new customers in an already competitive market.
Accessibility and Visibility:
Building your own brand is a time taking process. You must be advertising but when someone needs the service you render, people may not remember your name.
Important is to be accessible and visible to your customers. Plan your advertisement in a way that you are visible to your customers whenever they need you. Use certain methods of advertisement that are done for certain kinds of services.
Posters, bills and pamphlets are a common way of reaching your potential customers. It should be repetitive in a way that when people need services related to your business, they recall and can easily reach you.
Accessibility thus plays a key role in your business. People may not take the pain of reaching an extra mile for you. How much access are you to them? It is not always necessary to have your office everywhere.
In the virtual world, you can still be available on internet platforms like social media, websites, etc. You can also be available through phone calls by advertising your number. The real job is to attend all such calls no matter how vague they may be.
You should set up a call centre dedicated for your potential customers who are nice and smart to deal with customers on a regular basis. They should know how to sell your products and services. Offer them attractive plans that they cannot refuse.
Service Matters and so is the Product:
Whatever you are about to rent must have a certain standard. Obviously, you can set a standard of product for different price ranges but it should still bear a certain standard. Do not ever prefer your income over the quality of product you are offering.
Before renting them, ensure that they are perfect for use and in the best of state. All of your products must be easy to use and rely upon. They should be presentable and stylish that people may like to showcase in front of others.
Moot point is, your products should not look as if they are rented. They should look like standard furniture in a household or in an office.
Service part is where you can actually make a lot of difference. People want prompt and effective service whenever they require. Whether it is related to installation or post installation services, you should always be at your toes to deliver to your customers.
Suppose, one of your customers calls you for installation. Ideally, you should try to install your service by the end of the day or maximum within 24 hours of the final call of confirmation.
Your services should be prompt to an extent that the customer never feels that he is putting too much effort. A sense of comfort from the customer’s side is always rewarding as such customers will always recommend you to others.
Repairs, maintenance and similar other services should be attended promptly within the designated time you have fixed. Ensure that your service agents are cordial with your customers and are very helpful even if it requires to go beyond the limits of their job, if possible.
You can only build your brand through your services. Once you have established yourself, things will be much easier for you in years to come. Any bad experience experienced by your customer can dent your future prospects.
Groundwork for your Business:
There are certain steps necessary to start your business. Here are some of them.
Your Furniture Inventory:
From where you will get all these furniture that you are about to rent? Are you going to buy all of them or you have some other plans?
A smart plan suggests that you may not need to buy all such products. You can team up with furniture suppliers and dealers who can easily rent you or may sell you such products at cheap prices.
Especially, not all products so manufactured are distributed in the retail market at showrooms. Some of them are defective or not perfect enough to be sold at their market price. These products with some repair can be converted as worthy products and can be rented.
You need to form your network for the same. You will also need a space to keep your furniture when not on rent. You can either have your own inventory or you can directly ship it to the location from your distributor or seller.
Manpower and Transportation:
You will need vehicles to transport furniture. You may not necessarily need to own one vehicle but you can team up with a transporter who can assist you with the same when required.
Ensure that you have a transporter as it eases the job of your customer. Manpower is also necessary for installation and repair work. You will need manpower who will install all such furniture in the right way.
You will also need carpenters who will repair damaged furniture when needed. Get them through training to ensure quality service. Ensure that they are prompt and professional.
Capital Investment and Return:
At the end of the day it is the return that matters along with the investment so made. Plan all your strategies accordingly keeping in mind your capital investment or budget along with the potential return you seek and in what time limit.
Be realistic keeping in mind your competitors and the market. Be judicious in your expenditure and at the same time you should be smart when it comes to services. You can have your strategy and plan regarding the rent structure which is flexible, attractive yet profitable.
You can take loans from a financial institution or you may use your savings for the same. But have a definite plan about your expenditure and return. In such businesses, returns can take a bit longer given the number of customers you get. Stay motivated yet practical.