How to make money from woodworking
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Are you looking to turn your hobby into a profitable business? If so, you’re in luck! Woodworking can be a lucrative and rewarding career, as long as you have the right strategies in place. But if you don´t know where to start, fear not, cause, once again we got you covered! Making a business of your passion is a process, and there are some steps you can follow to ease your way into making money while having fun.
The first step to making money from woodworking is to have a clear business plan. This sounds fancy and maybe a little complicated but it is not, it’s just a matter of putting in order your ideas. This starts with simple things like identifying your target market (which is nothing more than finding out who your potential customers are), determining the products or services you will offer, and setting your pricing (that’s a little harder emotionally, I know). You’ll also need to decide on a business structure, like choosing between sole proprietorship or LLC, and obtain any necessary licenses or permits. It might seem like a lot, but don’t worry. Here are a few ideas to get you started:
One thing to keep in mind is that it is better to start with what you have. You don’t need a full workshop of expensive tools to get started. Focus on the projects you can complete with the tools you already have and gradually build your collection as you progress. Buy tools as you need them, not as you want them. It’s tempting to want the latest and greatest tools, but you may not need them to complete a particular project.
Next, it’s important to create a strong online presence. But how, you ask? it’s just like everything else. Step by step until you get there. Start by creating a website to showcase your work, you can do it for very little money and is not as difficult as you might think (there are lots of tutorials on youtube to get you started). Secondly, you have to have a social media presence on platforms like Instagram and Facebook (they are free, so no worries there). While the two first steps are a little more obvious, not many people go beyond those, but it’s also a good idea to join woodworking forums and communities to connect with potential clients and showcase your skills. Try facebook groups, there are lots of them in a huge variety of topics.
And speaking of the internet, you can sell your projects online. Setting up an online store or using a platform like Etsy or even Amazon, allows you to reach a global audience and sell your finished woodworking projects. From furniture and home decor to jewelry and crafts, there is a market for a wide range of products. Be sure to take high-quality photos and write detailed descriptions to showcase your work and attract customers.
Here’s another idea: offer custom woodworking services. Think about it: Many people are willing to pay for custom woodworking projects that fit their specific needs and style and you can become the solution they are looking for. Consider offering services such as furniture refinishing, cabinet making, or building custom pieces for clients, just remember to always ask for a down payment for all commission work. This will help secure the sale and ensure that your customers don’t back out after you’ve started working on their project.
Widen your offer. To attract customers, it’s crucial to have a diverse range of products or services to offer. This could include custom furniture, cabinetry, or even smaller items like cutting boards or jewelry boxes… don’t expect every project to be huge and highly artistic. Selling cutting boards can improve your cash-flow and help you connect with more people that in time will lead more business towards your way . Consider specializing in a particular type of wood or style as a way to differentiate yourself from other woodworkers people might be considering. One important advice though: Remember to build what you love. If you enjoy what you’re doing, it won’t feel like work. This will help you stay motivated and focused as you grow your business.
Another way to make money from woodworking is to teach others your skills. This could be through workshops, classes, or online courses. Teaching can be a great way to supplement your income, and it’s also a great way to share your knowledge and passion for woodworking with others. You can offer classes in your own workshop or at a local community center or maker space. This is a great follow your passion and make money at the same time.
You can consider also selling woodworking plans. This is another excellent way to make money from woodworking: By selling plans for projects that others can build on their own. You can create detailed drawings and instructions and sell them through your online store or on websites like Etsy.
What about selling woodworking tools and supplies? As a woodworker, you have likely accumulated a variety of tools and supplies over the years. Consider selling some of your excess or gently used items to other woodworkers. You can also consider partnering with a supplier to sell woodworking tools and supplies through your online store (remember that online presence we talked about?) or at craft fairs and markets.
Now, for the big issue about money and emotions. We all know that one of the biggest challenges for woodworkers, specially for those just starting to sell, is finding the right price for their products. There are two ways to price a thing: the first one is to base your price upon costs involved on the thing you’re selling adding a profit margin, and the other one is to have a market reference. The wisest option, though is to combine both. Start by carefully considering the time and materials used to complete the project, as well as any overhead costs (electricity, rent, ad costs, etc.) once you have that number that’s your floor. You cannot sell below that number or you will lose money. Add to that number you work and do your best to avoid undervalue the cost of your labor. Now try to determine what’s the maximum the market is willing to pay, and price your stuff slightly below that point, be realistic about what the market will bear.
It’s also a good idea to offer a range of pricing options to appeal to different budgets. One way to ensure customer satisfaction is to provide extra value to your clients. Give them a little more than they expect, and they’ll be more likely to tell their friends and family about you, and that will keep your business well, busy.
One last word of caution, though. As exciting and doable this all seems, be sure to keep a source of income if you already have one. Remember that this is a business, and all businesses can either fail or take longer than expected to succeed. Don’t quit your day job until you’re sure your woodworking business will be successful.
Now, what are you waiting for? That wood is not going to assemble all by itself! Go work!