Is starting a woodworking business right for you? Do your friends look forward to your custom wooden toys or furniture at gift time? Have you been able to successfully fix or upgrade distressed wooden furniture or cabinets? If the answer to the one or both of the above questions is yes, then you might want to consider starting a woodworking business. If you already have many of the woodworking tools and equipment, then you are off to a great start. High quality finished wooden items are often considered a luxury. Handcrafted wooden items like furniture, home décor, toys are very much in demand and people are willing to pay a premium for them.
When starting a woodworking business, your duties will involve finding good prices on raw materials, finding customers, making wooden items customized to your customer’s needs, delivering of the final products, etc. You will also need to decide in which area or areas to specialize. Sourcing good quality raw materials is very important so you can control the quality of your finished products. You will need to find reliable wood distributors, who will provide you with sufficient quantity of high quality wood at reasonable rates.
Where will you work?
If you starting a woodworking business on a small scale, you can work in your home, garage or workshop. For a larger operation will need to find a warehouse or commercial workspace to set up the necessary infrastructure for your workshop – complete with tools, transportation facilities, raw material storage area, finished goods, storage area etc. Either way, make sure there is enough room for safe storage of all your materials. Also make sure that the working environment is designed in an ergonomic manner so as to increase worker comfort and productivity. Also, you should have a location with easy access to highways for easy delivery and supply.
Basic start-up costs when starting a woodworking business will include the setting up your workshop, buying equipment and other required items; sourcing raw materials prior to your finished products etc. If you are planning a big scale operation, then you can consider purchasing a truck or trucks if needed. A big operation may also need the help of an industrial engineer.
When starting a woodworking business you will also need to hire a staff to fit the scale of your operations. Areas of employment include: transportation of raw materials and finished goods, lathing, assembly, wood finishing, milling, design, customer service, etc.
Starting a Woodworking Business Tips
- Maintain quality– In this business, quality of goods is the key. Never compromise on quality. Always hire high skilled craftsmen who do a great job in building and finishing the wooden products.
- Build a solid portfolio– It is good to set up a small portfolio of your products and display them for potential customers. Make sure that you show off all the skills of your business in the items included in the portfolio.
- Concentrate on one particular genre– Specialize your business in a niche of woodworking and try to be the best in the segment. You will gain more customers and reputation to keep your business flourishing.
Advertising a Woodworking Business
You can advertise your business through the methods listed below. I recommend experimenting with various advertising methods and keep track of which methods are more effective for your business. Stick with the methods that are bringing you high returns and get rid of the ones that don’t.
- Word-of-mouth– Word of mouth is the cheapest but can be the most effective form of advertising. Do quality work and leave your customers satisfied and the word will spread.
- Flyers– Determine if you can put up flyers in local grocery stores, bakeries, restaurants, home repair stores and community centers. It is best to ask the owner of these businesses for permission first. Also hand out flyers to passer byers on the street.
- Wordworking Business Cards– Create business cards and hand them whenever an opportunity appears. Network as much as possible. Seek recommendations from friends and family.
- Yahoo Local Searches– If you include your business in the Yahoo Local Searches, when people search for your service in your local area your business will appear in the list. To add your business to Yahoo local search, enter the term “add business to yahoo local search” in Yahoo.com and click on the first link.
- Google Local Searches– Google has a local search as well. To add your business to Google local search, enter the term “add business to google search” in Google.com and click on the first link.
- Newspaper classified ads– Newspaper ads in your local newspaper can help bring attention to your construction business. Check if your local newspaper has a home improvement section. Perhaps you can submit an article featuring tips and advice.
- Website– You can decide to develop a website to provide clients with access to general information about your woodworking business. Be sure your website has pictures of your best work.