Bunk Bed Specialties, Inc.
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Frequently Asked Questions

Below are some of our most frequently asked questions, with answers provided by our very own Bunk Bed Bob. If you have further questions, or need more information, please email us at info@bunkbedspecialties.com.

How does the business work?
  You will make one or more sample bunk beds and set them up where potential customers can come in and look them over. Customers will then see what you have (and possibly look at your picture display book) pick out the model they want to buy and give you a deposit. Within the next week or two you will make the exact bunk bed they have ordered, then call and let them know their bed is ready to be picked up. It's that simple!
 
Bob, how good do you have to be with wood to make great looking beds?
  My beds really are easy to make. I started with no experience whatsoever. And, you can even hire someone to make the beds if you don't enjoy woodworking. Before my business grew, I found it fun and relaxing to make the beds. You probably will too. You'll get a lot of satisfaction when you show a bunk bed you've made to a young family who really needs it.
 
Where do I get raw materials to make the bunk beds?
  For lumber, you will use spruce, fir or pine construction grade (#2 or better) which is available at lumberyards and home improvement centers throughout the country. Most often you will use 2 x 6's, which give the beds their super strength. Hardware (the nuts and bolts that hold the bunks together) are a minor item. Until you get going and have a chance to talk with local distributors, you may just want to purchase hardware from us. We include samples in the Business Package.
 
Where do I get customers to buy my bunk beds?
  Advertising, promotions and word of mouth will bring in customers. The Operations Manual has lots of information where and how to advertise and promote. The techniques that have taken me eight years to refine are carefully laid out. Advertising for bunk bed customers, while very important, is not particularly expensive.
 
Can I sell bunk beds wholesale?
 

Yes. Through the years I have sold lots of bunk beds wholesale. I have sold them to church camps, jails, resorts, fishing camps, Boy Scout camps, furniture stores and mobile home builders, among others. For the most part, this wholesale business has come from the classified ads or by word of mouth (from satisfied customers).

I had planned on eventually calling the furniture retailers within 200 or so miles. I wanted to offer those that weren't carrying bunk beds a no-lose proposition. I would set up 1, 2 or 3 bunk bed models on the retailer's floor, at no cost to the retailer. The retailer would then take orders for bunk beds from their customers, and then send the orders to me, earning a commission maybe 25%. I would then make those beds, and once a week load them on an old truck that I would buy. Then I would hire someone to drive around and deliver beds, probably even setting them up in the customers homes.

 
After buying the Business Package, are there any other fees to pay?
  This is not a franchise. There are absolutely no royalties or other fees to pay. Profits from the business are yours to keep.
 
What tools will I need?
  The Operations Manual will explain in detail what equipment you will need and how to set up your work area. You do not need much room, or many tools. (I started the business in my garage with just $120 worth of tools and no woodworking experience.) You will need something to cut the wood to length (e.g.. a portable circular saw), a portable sander, a variable speed drill, a wrench, screw drivers and maybe a saw horse or work bench to hold the wood up off the floor while you are working on it.
 
How much space will I need to make the beds?
  About 200 square feet. You can use a garage, a basement, and even a spare bedroom.
 
Can I get someone to sell the beds for me?
  Yes. Check with your family and friends to see if one of them would like to handle the sales, while you concentrate on making the bunk beds. That can be an ideal way to conduct this business. Or you can concentrate on the wholesale aspect of the business (refer to earlier question) and let furniture stores do the selling.
 
Can I get someone to make the beds for me?
  Absolutely. I made my own bunk beds for about a year. Since then I have hired others to make the beds for me. That's the best way to make really big profits in this business. Otherwise your sales will be limited to the number of beds that you will be able to make personally.
 
How large of a community do I need to draw customers from?
  This depends on several factors. Do you intend on using bunk beds as a part time job to supplement your retirement income? If so, really any size community is large enough. One of our associates is making and selling bunk beds on a farm 40 miles from the nearest town. He advertises in 2 weekly rural newspapers and he frequently has to pull the ads to give himself time to catch up with the orders he has already taken. If you want this to be a really substantial business, and you live in a town under 30,000, you may want to add other products to your line. Products which you can make yourself. (See next question.)
 
Should I make other products as well?
  Sure, but start out with the bunk beds and then slowly add new products as you need to. You may be pleasantly surprised with all the bunk bed business that is available and choose not to expand into other products. Some products to consider adding would be anything you would like to make. Maybe custom wooden bookshelves, picnic tables, wooden doll houses, bird feeders, flower planters, benches, nick knack shelves, chests of drawers, desks and stools. For more ideas, attend some craft shows and study a few woodworking magazines from your library.
 
Bob, do I need a truck or trailer?
  No, you don't. Everything you need to build bunk beds can be delivered. I have always used a deliver service to deliver the finished bunk beds. Eventually though, you may want to get a truck or trailer to increase your profits by delivering the beds yourself and setting them up for customers.
 
How much money does it take to get started in the bunk bed business?
  In addition to purchasing the business package, you will need tools costing approximately $200, some of which you may already have (see earlier question). You should also plan to invest $100 to $200 in your sample bunk bed models and have at least $100 to spend for advertising.
 
Will I need much working capital for my new business?
  No. That is one of the nice things about this business. You will not have to pay for inventory, as you will only be building each bunk bed after a customer has given you an order and has made a deposit. You will want 1, 2 or 3 bunk bed models set up to show people what your beds look like. Also, you will not have accounts receivable. You will be paid in full by the time the bed is completed. Historically, about one third of our customers pay in full for their bunk bed at the time they order it. The others leave a deposit (1/4 to 1/2 of the sale amount) when they place their order. That way you will have some cash to purchase the lumber.
 
Do I need invoices?
 

Invoices are a good idea. We include a sample invoice in the Business Package. You can probably get invoices printed inexpensively in your own community. You customers will feel better about giving you money if you have printed invoices.

 
Bob, what should I do first, if I really want to start fast and make good money?
  I would build two beds, A Paul Bunyan and a Trim Line. Next, place one of my tested and proven classified ads in your local newspaper and invite folks to see your beds. You will likely have so much response that you'll take advance orders for beds, all with a deposit. This is all explained in detail in the Business Package.
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