We made it through the New Year, and DAY 1 of finding financial freedom in the furniture business, playing games and telling jokes… and dreaming of furniture. On camping chairs (some of us fell asleep earlier than others).
Just as the sun showed its full self again on DAY 2, I am all in and in full swing for this new gig. I’m thinking of how I went from house-sitting to home-showcasing. Did we just find a way to both fund our dreams and maybe help fund a dream or two for others?
The problem is, how? What do we do now?
“Do what Angie and I did,” Larry says to me today over the line. “Once you have mattresses and furniture [please, Great Maker, sooner than later, I pray], you’ll put it on display, sell it, then eventually flip the now staged home.”
“I think I can do that,” I said. Now, how to get started.
Time for a marketing plan
So, like all good entrepreneurs, I start by putting together an intense, creative marketing plan.
First, call Larry. A lot. He’s done this quite successfully for years (see DAY 1). I’m already on the line with him every other hour. Actually, can you hold a minute? That’s Larry now.
I’m back. Sorry about that. He has another idea for me. I will have to share it later. Where was I? Oh, yes …
Next, we’ll take fancy pictures of the mattresses and furniture with our fancy mobile devices and advertise them individually on Craigslist and Facebook. With pics of the million-dollar home, of course. I actually hired my eldest daughter to do this for me. She’s good with selfies, this shouldn’t be much different.
As we don’t want to spend too much time online managing ads (lazy, I know), we will recruit a handful of folks interested in making money with us. Our handful of recruits, Larry calls them FurnitureBrokers, will help by placing and coordinating the ads for us. We’ll pay them 10% on all mattress and furniture sales. That could be a couple hundred to a couple thousand dollars in referral fees to them. We are happy to pay it! Our recruits can do this right from their lovely, furnished homes.
Heck, we may even host an open house–or twenty–as part of our marketing plan. We are social bugs, after all. And we’ll have lovely patio furniture for fabulous pool parties. We’ll just leave the sale tags on all the furnishings and find a way to invite our guests out to the garage and show them our comfortable, affordable, money-making mattresses.
Let’s not forget the value of giving mattresses to those in need. We love helping local charities. Maybe we could organize a mattress fundraiser? Hmmm…
There you go. Marketing plan complete. And Larry-approved. (I think.)
Meanwhile, back in the million-dollar emptiness
Angie (Larry’s Romanian wife and the company’s designated interior designer) and Denielle are busy picking out furnishings through our wholesale partners. It is taking longer than I had anticipated. Ironically, our family is experiencing life without furnishings just before we go into the business of furnishing the homes of others. Hmm, kinda like living life without a dream just before helping others fund theirs. Deep.
“What do you think of this?” Denielle asks, awakening me from my pensive stupor. She shows me a picture of a dining room table fit for a queen.
“Do they have it in blue?” I smirk. She hits my arm lovingly.
At this point, I am really leaving it up to Denielle and Angie to choose the furnishings. Some things they show me I like a lot. Other things, well, I guess it’s time to upgrade my taste for luxury. Nice thing is, it’s a very affordable luxury!
Just now I get a text from Larry: “Your mattresses will be in on Thursday. You can pick them up in Glendale.”
Glendale? That’s like two hours north of us. I respond differently, “Great! I will find a way to pick them up.”
“There are eleven sets,” Larry texts back, “a 14-footer ought to do.”
Eleven sets of mattresses. That will take a large moving van.
Why eleven for a family of seven? Some for us, yippie! And others for soon-to-be happy shoppers. A trial run, if you will. Just to put the first buck from the business back into our pockets. Perhaps by this weekend?
I get an email from Larry with the paid invoice and another note telling me he plans to have a delivery partner up and running in Tucson before long. That way I won’t have to worry about fetching the furniture.
I then look at the invoice. “Holy cow!” I shout.
“What is it?” Denielle asks from a camping chair in the kitchen.
“These mattresses are cheap!” I yell back.
Not cheaply made. Just cheaply priced. They are, as Larry says, some of the best-made mattresses on the market. Made to order. PerfectDreamer label. High-quality pillow-tops. “But, how can they get away with such low prices?” I ask out loud. Denielle ignores me.
I can’t wait to try one out. Literally. Like, right now. The rest of my family of seven agrees. We are so done with sleeping on air.
How will I get to Glendale on Thursday to pick up inventory?
What can I do to keep the kids entertained without furnishings and a TV?
Who should I reach out to and recruit to help me coordinate furniture ads?
How much money can I make my first month and beyond?
And, will I finally fall asleep on my fully inflated air mattress?
Tune in to DAY 3 for these answers and more as we continue to find financial freedom in the furniture business.