Business Overview

Furniture wears out over time, and must eventually either be repaired or replaced. Many people who have nice pieces of furniture would prefer to get their furniture reupholstered rather than replace it. Upholstery businesses offer to reupholster furniture when it wears out.

According to IBISWorld, the United States’ furniture repair and upholstery industry has an annual revenue of $2 billion and is growing at a rate of 1.7 percent. Moreover, there are no businesses with a dominant market share. Thus, there’s plenty of opportunity for small business owners who want to start their own upholstery business.

Who is this business right for?

Anyone who enjoys working with their hands may enjoy running an upholstery business. Reupholstering furniture is hands-on work that results in a tangible finished product.

Business owners don’t need to leave their current occupation to start an upholstery business. Furniture can be reupholstered and repaired during the evenings and weekends, which lets business owners start an upholstery business part-time while working another job.

What happens during a typical day at an upholstery business?

Upholstery business owners spend a lot of their time reupholstering furniture. This may involve:

  • removing cushioning and fabric from existing furniture
  • cutting and installing new cushioning and fabric
  • making minor repairs as needed

When not working directly on furniture, business owners spend time:

  • providing estimates for prospective clients
  • picking up and delivering clients’ furniture
  • ordering supplies
  • paying bills
  • marketing their business

What is the target market?

An upholstery business’ ideal customer is someone who has high-quality, expensive furniture.

People who buy low-priced furniture will frequently buy new furniture when their current chairs and sofas wear out. Since reupholstering pieces frequently costs about the same as new budget-friendly furniture, they’re less likely to have worn-out pieces reupholstered.

People who have expensive furniture, however, are often willing to pay to have their pieces reupholstered when the upholstery wears out. Reupholstering is often much cheaper than purchasing a new high-end piece of furniture.

How does an upholstery business make money?

An upholstery business charges customers for reupholstering their worn-out furniture. Work may be charged on a per-piece basis or according to an hourly wage.

What is the growth potential for an upholstery business?

Most upholstery businesses serve a single geographic area. This may be a city or a larger region depending on the area’s population density. However, if your business grows a large enough, there is the possibility to serve multiple locations.