Look around. See how many box shapes there are in your everyday life. When you notice how many, you will begin to realise the versatility in the shape and how it could lead to a number of business opportunities.
Using basic carpentry skills you can take this simple shape and adapt it into: bed bases, display systems, room dividers, desk struts, perhaps sold in kit form (cheaper in labour, transport and storage costs). Rectangular shapes lend themselves to linen boxes, storage boxes, toy boxes. Smaller shapes turn into spice boxes, jewellery boxes, pencil cases. Have a brainstorming session to think of others. How might you decorate them?
Consider how to sell. Do you supply shops or retail them yourself? Could you run a market stall instead of a shop, or sell them from your workshop? If you’re going to make one-off handcrafted designs, you could consider craft fairs as well.
A rider should be added which will help your marketing. The consumer’s awareness about green issues is now firmly in place. Choose woods which come from sustainable sources – and advertise the fact that you do. Don’t leave it up to the consumer to decide whether you do or not.
So, by using basic skills and adapting a simple concept you could start to build a sound business.
This will appeal if
– An easy business to test out first with samples.
– You can start part time.
– You can start with small items and a limited product range to keep initial costs down.
– It’s an adaptable business concept.
– Investment in tools, materials and a work space needed.
– Could be boring – 26 jewellery boxes, all the same design, by Thursday!
– Time – if you intend to make, market and sell by yourself. Future possibilities
– Invest in plant to speed production and reduce labour costs.
– Open a retail outlet (The Box Shop?), selling boxes in different materials: cardboard, raffia, basketwork etc.
– Establish outlets in other towns/cities.
– Investigate export possibilities.