Adam tells us how Expand Furniture provides online furniture that will expand your living space.
Tell us about yourself, your career, and how you founded Expand Furniture.
Adam: I studied Economics at the University of Victoria but took a semester abroad in Hong Kong. This semester was eye-opening to see how condensed, expensive apartment living is and how it could become in North America in popular cities. Later I returned to Vancouver after an eCommerce working holiday in Australia. I struggled to find a good apartment and started looking for smaller ones. The furniture I needed did not exist in our market, so it was a need I wanted to solve for myself, and I knew others would want the type of furniture I wanted to make my living more convenient.
Do you have small habits that made a meaningful impact on your life and business?
Adam: Yes, I have a simple habit of taking notes and setting reminders for important tasks. I am busy, and it is very easy to forget tasks and having these reminders and notes makes things much easier. It is a small habit but a useful one.
How does Expand Furniture market its product/services online?
Adam: We post content to social media, and we have an online site, but beyond that, we don’t really have a marketing arm.
What specific tools, software and management skills are you using to manage your online marketing?
Adam: We use WooCommerce/WordPress for our site, and we run a Facebook and google pixel for remarketing. Facebook and google have good platforms to manage ads, and that’s all we need.
What is your hiring policy/process, and how do you retain your employees?
Adam: We just hire using indeed. We try to retain employees by having fair wages and listening to their needs. We give some role flexibility, so most members do more than just their assigned role. We think job variety is important and healthy.
How are you funding your growth?
Adam: We funded this ourselves from years of savings and by building our company slowly rather than quickly. In hindsight, we probably should have taken on capital to grow faster, but we are also debt-free now, building things slowly.
Who are your competitors? And how do you plan to stay in the game?
Adam: Really, our biggest competition is actually Wayfair or Amazon. They are tough on prices, move volume, and dominate key search terms and ads. We can be more nimble as a small company and create niche products that are too hard to automate in a big marketplace. The big companies might not be able to give our level of service or have our product knowledge as they have so many products. We know our products well, and we actually use them ourselves.
Tell us a customer success story of yours.
Adam: We recently had a customer email informing us that they moved their Murphy Bed with a Couch to a new apartment. They have moved it multiple times, and it still works perfectly. This was a nice story to hear, as so many people put off buying high-quality furniture until they own their homes, but this is proof you can do it as a renter, and it adds huge value.
Your final thoughts?
Adam: We hope people become more educated about the type of multi-functional furniture we design. For so long, investment and energy has gone into electronics, while furniture design stagnated. We use furniture every day, and we can do it better, and we are doing it.