Woodworking is a timeless craft that will always have a place worldwide. Even with the ushering of the machine age, handmade wooden furniture is still widely popular. These days a lot of people have picked up woodworking as a hobby. However, you can also turn it into a stable and profitable income stream. So, turn your hobby into a business right from the comfort of your home. If you are not sure how though, let us give you a helping hand. Here are 5 things to know before starting a woodworking business from home.
Yes, you can start a woodworking business from home, but there are things you should know before you do so. While there is a lot to cover, the most essential 5 things are: Remember to Invest wisely and buy only the necessary tools to start your business. Find a proper space, so you can work in peace and quiet as it can help you focus on your craft. If you are stuck with a project, check out a guide from some other professional woodworker. Start small, you can start off with smaller projects and restorations. Lastly, market your work and business on woodworking blogs as they can provide you with clients.
When you are starting your journey as a professional woodworker from home, you will come across a few hurdles. You need to register your business name with the relevant authorities as well. The real work, however, starts after you have finished the legal formalities. You have to take everything one step at a time when it comes to starting a business. Not to mention there is also to consider the initial investment for buying the necessary tools to help improve your craft and reduce the time it takes on each project. After that consider working on your portfolio for marketing, which will not only bag you clients but also give you practice in woodworking in general.
How Can You Do Woodworking from Home
There are many factors involving a woodworking business. However, most of the time people start from their own homes. Ask any famous woodworker how they started, and they will tell you they started small and from their home. Let us elaborate on the five most important things to start a woodworking business from home.
1. Buying Tools
Starting a woodworking business will require you to purchase tools. Some people might already have tools in their homes. This is because if they are considering starting a woodworking business from home then they must have enough practice to start off. However, you might want to purchase some bigger tools now that you are running a business. In business, time matters a lot which makes buying bigger tools that can make work faster, essential. It is an investment that will be paid off as you shave off hours and days from projects thanks to those tools.
Some important things to consider purchasing might be a table saw, a proper workbench, a random orbit sander, a planer, and a router. If you already have these tools in your possession then you should save up your money to expand in the future.
2. Finding Workspace
When you are starting at home the most ideal place to start your woodworking business will either be a big shed or your garage. The garage is one of the best places to start your work as it is usually big enough to park cars while also storing tools. Some people double their garage as storage if their home does not have an attic. The garage is also separate from the home and this is very important. Working on wood requires focus, concentration, and peace of mind. You are working with precise measurements so you would want a peaceful space.
A shed would be even better as it is completely separate from the main house. It will also give you the privacy you need to work on your projects and renovate the space to your heart’s desire. However, if you don’t own a shed and don’t have either space or money to build one, then your garage will have to do.
Many times you will find a client who will commission you to make something unique. With the limited experience you might have accumulated over the short time you start your business, it will be a challenge. Such jobs should only be taken up if you think you have what it takes to do them. Before taking on the job though, you should consider researching as it will reaffirm your confidence in whether you can pull this off or not. There are many professional woodworkers, masterclasses, and tutorials on woodworking online. Be sure to find a guide that best suits your particular project.
If you can’t find a tutorial or complete guide on the task you have taken up, then you can always ask for advice from gurus on posts. There are many woodworking forums which will have professionals that can guide you on which route to take to achieve the best results with your project.
4. Starting Small
Starting any business requires you to take small steps in the initial stages. This helps build up your portfolio that you can show to other clients. That way they might be willing to pay the big money that their commission requires. Most of the time, people will take up a big project right at the beginning and it becomes too much for them to handle as well.
Starting small helps give you experience that accumulates and polishes your skillset. Once you are confident enough you will have not only the skillset to take on big projects, but also the experience to show off to people. This will allow you to quote higher amounts on their projects which best represents the value of your skills and time.
Initially, you can start by renovating and flipping older pieces of furniture to help give you a feel for different kinds of wood. This will ultimately help you select better lumber for projects depending on what it is. It will also give you a better idea of how wood reacts to different types of treatments.
5. Marketing your Business
Any business, no matter how big or small, requires marketing. No business can stay afloat in this age and day without having a proper marketing strategy. These days it is essential that you allocate a specific amount of your budget to marketing your woodworking business. If you don’t get the word out, how do you expect to reach clients from all over? At the start, you might want to ask people close to you if they will be interested. However, a time will come when you will need to expand your audience and that requires a fair bit of money to do so.
If you are not good at marketing or don’t know a lot about how to do it yourself, then just outsource the job. There are a lot of marketing firms and companies that will help you provide a better clientele as they know what kind of people would be interested in your particular skill sets and business. They will get the word out to the particular audience that needs to know about your small business. If you feel like outsourcing the marketing of your business does not fit your budget, then you can always rely on the internet.
Is it Profitable to be a Woodworker?
Woodworking is a very lucrative business and the market right now for woodworkers is valued at above 250 billion USD. A professional woodworker can make anywhere from around 30,000 USD to 75,000 USD a month on average. Woodworkers earn one of the biggest salaries with the best hourly wages in the United States. So if you were thinking of getting into turning your passion for woodworking into a business, then you couldn’t have thought of a better job.
A lot of the time projects aside from the cost of materials can earn your profits of up to 5000 to 10,000 USD depending on the client and the job itself. So earning big money is definitely possible by stepping into the professional woodworking world. However, you will be paid according to your skillset, so you will need to match your rates with the results. So starting small will help you learn and polish your skills so you can start charging more on the basis of your experience.
How to Start a Small Woodworking Shop
We already covered most of the important aspects above when we discussed whether you can start a woodworking business from home and how to start it. However, a time will come when you will have to expand your horizons and move from a home business to a proper shop. Having a shop puts you on the map and radar for customers who want to commission a woodworker for their furniture needs. A shop is not just a location and workspace, it is also proof of your authenticity, that you are a running business and that they can trust you with their money to work on their projects.
A small shop also ensures that your work life does not affect your personal life. It gives you the personal space you need to go all out on your work without being disturbed by family. As we said before, woodworking requires focus and concentration, so a shop will be a place where you can work without being disturbed and ultimately take your skills to the next level. This also gives you the freedom to hire more personnel if your business is growing.
Where to Advertise Your Woodworking Business
Marketing your business is one of the fundamental aspects that you will need to give a lot of thought, time and money. Advertising any business requires you to research how it is done usually. While back in the day, signboards and brochures used to be affordable advertising means, today, the best way to market any business is on the internet. Social media these days is no less than a marketplace. People use social channels to spread the word about their business and achieve a following.
This ultimately leads to finding potential clients. Social media is not just a place to connect with people anymore, it has become a marketplace. So utilising that potential is very important. However, you cannot undermine the power of blogs online. Many people use forums and blogs to spread the word about their business. You can approach woodworking blogs to advertise your businesses and work. A lot of search engines will direct people looking specifically for a woodworker with the skillsets they need to websites and blogs.
Lastly, you can always use the word of mouth, while not as huge as social media or websites and blogs, word of mouth does spread fast. It might help you achieve your first clients and start your journey towards woodworking.
Is it Worth Investing in Power Tools?
Hand tools give a person great precision and control over their actions. However, it also takes up a chunk of your time and there is a saying that time is money. So the more time you spend on one project, the less money you will end up earning. To help you speed up your work you need to transition to power tools. While it might require some getting used to, power tools can provide you with extremely accurate results. For instance, if you are planning on ripping a board, a table saw will do the job within seconds. While doing the same thing with a handsaw will require you around 10 minutes per board.
Just imagine cutting 10-20 boards for one project and how much time you will save if you use a table saw instead of a hand saw. Not to mention these are extremely precise as well, so you end up with accurate results each time. That is just one example as there are many power tools that can speed up the process of woodworking by a lot. The more time you save, the more projects you can take up and earn more money.
Bonus! Tips When Starting Your Own Woodworking Business from Home
- Learning Negotiation Skills: Learning how to negotiate with clients and set a price is very important. Most of the time, the clients are out there to save their money and underpay you if possible. So you need to learn how to sell your work better so you can get the proper money that needs to be charged for their projects.
- Being Patient: Nothing happens overnight, there will be times when you will not get work for weeks before landing a project. However, a business does not launch and start earning overnight, it takes a lot of time and patience before you start earning properly. Initially, you might not get work at all unless you market properly.
- Budget Projects Before Quoting Charges: Before you quote any price to your clients, make sure to know how much the whole project will cost. You need to be well accustomed to the price of wood, fasteners, and other things. After setting that aside, don’t forget your own profit and wage for the time and skills that you will use on the project.
- Measure Twice, Cut Once: In the woodworking world, the saying measure twice and cut once is used a lot. This means that you should always double-check your measurements before cutting wood. Wood is not cheap and neither is your time. Spending more time on double-checking helps you tackle any errors you might end up making if you hadn’t checked twice.
Many people picked up woodworking as a hobby during the quarantine days. It became a passion for them and they ended up acquiring skill sets to go professional. Woodworking is a very profitable business and starting from home is the first step for you to step into the professional world. We hope that this article gives you enough confidence so that you don’t hesitate to turn your hobby into a profession.