In this post I discuss how to start a woodwork business from home and turn your passion into a profitable home based business.
Do you love breaking out the hammer and nails in your spare time? Have you recently been made redundant or are looking for ways to supplement your income? If so, you might be interested in starting a woodworking business from home.
There are many reasons why a woodworking business can be a great home based enterprise:
- The startup costs are relatively low
- You can start off in your garage or shed, without having to rent a work space
- You don’t need to be a professional woodworker to succeed
- You can pursue a business you enjoy and have a passion for
- You can work from home, enabling you to gain the lifestyle benefits of being your own boss and spend more time with your family
- Woodworking business’ can be very profitable once you’ve built a client base and identified a woodworking niche
But before you rush off to grab some wood and nails, there are pitfalls to be aware of before starting a woodworking business from home.
Differentiate your woodwork business on quality, not price
The biggest challenge is going to be finding a way to compete with the major retail stores. They ship in prepacked kitchen cabinets, shelves and other furniture at rock bottom prices from abroad which they then sell as low as possible to entice customers through the door. Simply put, you are not going to compete with the retailers in price at the low end of the market.
This means you have to consider how you can differentiate yourself from the retailers and justify the higher price. Thankfully, there are still plenty of people happy to pay a premium for unique, hand built furniture that’s of a higher standard than that they can buy from large scale retailer. And if you’ve seen the poor quality materials and shoddy craftsmanship of some of these mass produced furniture flat packs, you’ll know that quality is something you can easily compete on.
Another way to differentiate yourself is to offer unique or custom built furniture, which ‘one size fits all’ retailers can’t compete with. You could focus on a specific woodworking niche, such as environmentally friendly wooden toys, built to order bookshelves or custom designed coffee tables. Another option is partnering with local interior designers and supplying them with unique furniture built to spec for each home, or focusing on the lucrative market of antique repair and restoration.
Finding Customers the Traditional and Social Media Powered Way
Another challenge is going to be promoting your business and attracting enough customers. Along with placing ads in the local press and newspapers, there are craft fairs and farmers markets where you can promote and sell your hand built furniture. You could also approach independent furniture shops and ask whether they’d be interested in stocking a few of your items in exchanged for a slice of the profits.
Then there’s the internet. Social media can be a very powerful tool for developing a lot of exposure in your local community fast. Advertising on Facebook can also be a powerful way of reaching tens of thousands of people in your local community relatively cheaply. You can also target your ads at people based on their demographics, such as age range, income and interests, to maximise those viewed by your target market and get the best return on your budget.
If you want to keep marketing costs low while you get started, creating a Facebook fan page and starting a Twitter account is a no brainer. You can promote your products, along with offer tips and advice on woodworking, to grow your exposure and showcase your furniture without spending a cent.
Getting your sums right is one of the keys to success
A common mistake many people make when starting a woodworking business (or any business, for that matter) is jumping in headfirst without a business plan. If you haven’t sat down to calculate the cost of materials, woodworking tools and realistic overheads then you are already setting yourself up for failure.
It’s easy to jump in with a pot of gold and then try to spend your way to success. But you must have a clear view of how your costs are translating into profits. So make sure you’ve put a spreadsheet together with all the costs worked out and how much you will need to sell furniture for in order to push the bean counter in your favour.
Woodworking courses to fast track your business’ push into profit
Working out your profit margins and having a marketing plan ready to roll is all well and good. But your woodworking business is only going to be a success if you have a range of quality custom built wooden products to sell to the market.
There’s no shortage of woodworking magazines that will have designs for you to try and, of course, Amazon has a vast collection of woodworking guides to choose from. Woodwork: A Step-by-Step Photographic Guide to Successful Woodworking, for example, has nearly 400 pages of woodwork designs to choose from and gets a lot of 5 star reviews.
Another option could be to buy one of the online woodworking courses that are available. Without the size limits of a printed book, these typically offer far more woodworking designs and projects to choose from. They often provide additional training resources, such as videos, email coaching and guides on pricing, advice on tool selection and technical guidance as well.
Jim Morgan’s Wood Profits Review
Jim Morgan first starting building a woodworking business (literally) in his garage 15 years ago. He’s since since expanded his operations from a garage into a 1400 square foot space and earns an average of $9567.00 per month selling easy to build furniture and crafts. To help others to achieve similar success, Jim put together a guide, Jim Morgan’s Wood Profits, covering everything you need to know about how to start a woodworking business of your own. He explains how to avoid the mistakes he’s made over the years and how to be making profit as quickly as possible.
Some of the topics covered in the course include:
- How to start a woodworking business for less than $50
- How much to charge for the furniture you build to maximise profits
- Estimating the cost of materials and production time
- The ten most profitable crafts to sell
- How to save $1,000s on tools and materials
- How to build your client base and gain commercial contracts
- Contracting out work as your woodworking business grows
- How to promote yourself online to attract customers to your woodworking business
Whats more, Jim provides unlimited one-on-one coaching to answer all the questions you may have on getting your woodworking business off the ground. His course also includes an eBook packed with 500 woodworking and furniture plans.
In Jim Morgan’s Wood Profits everything is covered on how to start a woodworking business, and having it all collected together can save you days or weeks of trying to piece it all together yourself.
Ted’s Woodworking Review
If 400 pages of designs isnt enough for you then you should check out Ted’s Woodworking. Based on his 36 years of woodworking experience, this course by Ted McGrath, has 16,000 designs to choose from, all of which have detailed step-by-step instructions. This woodworking course has the amateur in mind, with the program making a big deal out of the fact that no natural woodworking talent is required.
Along with the 16,000 woodworking projects, covering literally anything you can think of or never even imagined could be made out of wood, you also get cutting lists, information on choosing the right materials, buying guides and instructions on technique with all the various woodworking tools.
You also get:
- 150 videos of woodworking tutorials
- a video guide to starting a woodworking business
- Complete woodworking technical guide, with 200 pages of tips, tricks and detailed drawings
- Lifetime updates, with new woodworking plans provided every month
- A year’s worth of one-on-one email coaching with Ted McGrath
So you get a lot for your money and Ted’s Woodworking covers everything you need for working out which projects offer the best profit margins and step-by-step instructions for building every single one.
Ryan Shed Plans Review
The name of this course is a bit confusing because Ryan Shed Plans actually covers all types of woodworking, albeit with more of a focus on the outdoors. After all, you’d be pushed to find 12,000 ways to build a shed.
If you prefer to do your woodworking projects in the garden, this could be the ideal woodworking course for you. Ryan Henderson has harnessed his two decades experience in woodworking to put together training material that covers hundreds of shed designs along with garden benches, gazebos, decking, fencing, trolleys, lattices, picnic tables right up to how to build an entire horse’s stable.
Ryan Shed Plans also covers the vital task of setting the foundations for an outdoor wooden structure, inserting doors and windows and materials estimates. Just like the other woodworking courses, you also get tips and tricks on using woodworking tools like a pro so you can create any one of the 12,000 woodworking projects to a professional standard.
>>Find out more about Ryan Shed Plans