Make pallet furniture
How to start a business making pallet furniture
A great small business that can be started with very little money is a business that makes and sells pallet furniture. Not only are these items easy to make but they can be made at a very low cost. When made well, they look great, work well, and last a long time.
They are also quite fashionable and many people like them. Also important is that you can make a wide range of inserting furniture from pallets.
You can make beds, tables, desks, chairs, outdoor furniture, and a host of other interesting items.
We will give you some ideas to guide you in starting a business making pallet furniture.
- Get ideas and designs
The first step is to have some idea of what it is you can make from pallets. There are many options. If there are other people making pallet furniture in your area, take a look at what they make to get ideas. See what looks good and what people like. You are not stealing ideas. All businesses look at the competition to see what they do.
If you have internet access then you can find a lot of ideas. There are many sites that give you the latest ideas in pallet furniture. Social media such as Facebook is a good place to start and Pinterest has endless ideas. Otherwise, you can simply Google and search for pallet furniture ideas.
The sites will not only give you the ideas but will often help you with design and instructions. This will make your job easier.
- Find out what people want
You want to make pallet furniture that people will buy. Ask around, speak to your friends, family, and neighbors. Ask questions about what they need and what they like. This is market research and will help you to focus on the most popular products that will sell quickly. You want to be sure what you make is needed by the people in your area.
- Get the pallets
The main thing that you need in order to make pallet furniture is quite naturally the pallets. If you are lucky you can often get them for free but sometimes you will pay a small amount for them. The price will often depend on the condition. Sometimes a few of the slats are broken or damaged and you can get a good price. This is fine because you do not need to use every piece on the pallet.
You need to ask around and keep your eyes and ears open to find free or cheap pallets. Many companies have to get rid of them quickly as they take up space. You need to look for these opportunities and act quickly.
- Set up a working area
You will need some space to work. It does not have to be fancy or large. It is preferable if there is some protection so that you can work in bad weather and it also helps if there is somewhere safe to keep supplies.
Keep it clean and well organised as this will make your work faster and better.
- Get basic equipment
You will need a few additional items to make pallet furniture. Depending on what you want to make, these items could include:
- A basic hand saw
- A hammer
- A screwdriver
- Wood glue
- Varnish/wood stain or sometimes paint
- A measuring tape
- Make the products
If you have the internet you can get hundreds of ideas and clear instructions. This can even be done on your phone. If not, you will need to use a bit of imagination and practice. Also, look out for people in your area that have woodworking skills that could help you. You could work together if you lack the skills and experience.
The great thing is that pallet furniture is easy to make so you do need too many skills. Just do it carefully and take pride in your work. The end result should look great.
- Price the end products
With any business you need to look at your costs. Add up all the costs that you spent to make the item. This could include transport, raw materials, and any other costs. Even the small items such as screws and nails need to be added in as these add up over time.
Once you understand the cost, add on a fair profit so that you make some money from the deal. Also, look at what your competitors are charging for similar items. You do not want to be much more expensive than them unless there is a good reason.
- Market and sell the products
Often, the hardest part of any business is selling the products. It does not help to make excellent pallet furniture if you cannot sell it for a fair profit.
Word of mouth is free and effective. Let people in your area know that you are making these products. If you have happy customers, ask them to mention your name if someone likes the products.
If you have Facebook, Marketplace is a great way to promote your products. It will take some time and effort but you can promote on local groups and pages for free. Keep the posts regular and interesting and they will get noticed.
If you set up a display on a busy road, people that go past will see your products and this could be a good way to sell them.
You could also sell to shops that sell furniture but then remember your profit will be a bit less as the shop also has to make money (profit). If you are making a lot of pallet furniture and your costs are low, this is a good way to sell your products.
If you have a vehicle you could offer to deliver the furniture. This will help you sell a bit more and could help to bring in some extra money. Think about the cost of petrol or diesel when working out the delivery charge.
- Don’t give up
It might take a bit of time to start making money but if you are making good products and letting people know, the orders will come.