Thinking about opening a custom woodworking business? We tell you what you need to know to get started.
The Business of Custom Woodworking
Each year, scores of woodworking hobbyists contemplate abandoning their day jobs to become full-time, custom woodworking business owners. For some, it's the right move. But for others, it's a decision that has devastating consequences for their families and their financial well being.
The decision to become an entrepreneur should never be taken lightly. First and foremost, it's essential for customer woodworking entrepreneurs to treat their business like a business rather than as a way to earn a living from something that is essentially a hobby.
In the custom woodworking industry, the startups that survive are the ones that are willing to tackle large architectural woodworking projects. If your woodworking activities have been limited to hobby projects, you'll quickly need to ramp up your woodworking and business skill sets to take on custom cabinetry and other high value projects.
Becoming a Custom Woodworking Business Leader
There is a world of difference between a one-person custom woodworking operation and full-blown customer woodworking business. More often than not, the differentiating factor is the owner's ability to multiply their capacity through hiring, subcontracting and other strategies.
As you multiply your startup's capacity, expect to encounter quality control issues. Since it's important to make sure that everyone who works for your business has the same skill set and commitment to quality work as you do, you may want to consider hiring at least part of your workforce through apprenticeships. Although you'll need to invest time and resources in training your apprentices, the advantage is that apprentices are a "clean slate' that can be trained to perform according to your standards and preferences.
Technology Tips for Woodworking Entrepreneurs
The use of technology in marketing and back office functions is a distinctive characteristic of the most successful custom woodworking businesses. Many woodworkers are intimidated by technology, so by embracing technology with open arms you can give your startup an edge in the marketplace.
Today's technologies can be deployed for a multitude of uses ranging from accounting to inventory management. For startup custom woodworking entrepreneurs, a high quality business website that include a virtual portfolio of your work can be a great launching point for your incorporating technological resources into your business model.
Successful Business Plans for Custom Woodworking Businesses
An effective business plan is your custom woodworking business's stepping stone to profitability and long-term success.
A shoddy business plan is a major misstep for a startup custom woodworking business. Even though it takes time to write a high quality plan, there are a lot of arguments why your company can't succeed without an effective business plan.
As a rule, don't exit the business planning process until you are completely satisfied with the scope and content of your business plan.
Long before you open a custom woodworking business in your area, it's worthwhile to find out how you will fit in the competitive landscape. Use the link below to get a list of local competitors in your city. Simply enter your city, state and zip code to get a list of custom woodworking businesses in your town.
How are you going to successfully complete with existing firms? It's important that you never underestimate the competition.
Find Good Remote Business Advice
If you want to open a custom woodworking business be sure to learn from folks who are already in business. Local competitors are not going to give you the time of day, mind you. Why would they want to educate a future competitor?
But, a person who owns a custom woodworking business in a different city may be willing to share their entrepreneurial wisdom with you, provided that you won't be directly competing with them. In that case, the business owner may be more than happy to discuss the industry with you. Our estimate is that you may have to contact many business owners to find one who is willing to share his wisdom with you.
What's the best way to find an entrepreneur who is running a custom woodworking business outside of your area who is willing to talk?
Simple. Let your fingers do the walking by using the link below.
Business Brokerage for Custom Woodworking Business Entrepreneurs
Startup custom woodworking business and custom woodworking business acquisitions each come with their own benefits and drawbacks. Unless you have specific business objectives that require a startup approach, you're probably better off trying to buy an established custom woodworking business.
Although you could navigate a business acquisition on your own, most prospective custom woodworking business owners enlist the services of a business broker.
By leveraging the skills, expertise and network of a first-rate business broker, you eliminate the hassles commonly associated with the business buying experience.
Franchising May Be a Better Way to Go
Your chances of achieving the entrepreneurial goal of becoming a successful entrepreneur zoom upwards if you go the franchising route in lieu of doing everything yourself.
Prior to starting a custom woodworking business, it's worthwhile to assess whether franchising might simplify your entering the business.
The link below gives you access to our franchise directory so you can see if there's a franchise opportunity for you. You might even find something that points you in a completely different direction.
These additional resources regarding starting a business may be of interest to you.
If you currently own a custom woodworking business, these resources will come in handy:
If you sell to custom woodworking businesses, we've got better information for you elsewhere on our site. These resources are more appropriate for you:
If you are interested in starting a different kind of business, please browse our directory of guides below.