Starting your own small woodworking business can be exciting. However, starting any business does come with a list of pros and cons. A woodworking business is no different.
But if you find yourself in this situation of wanting to start your own woodworking business, then don’t worry, as I’m going to help guide you through a few potential problems. You see, knowing what to expect from a pros and cons perspective makes sense. It allows you to plan your business better, and you will reduce the odds of effectively making a mess of things.
Now, I do admit that some of these points are general business pros and cons. However, they certainly apply to this type of business as well.
So, let’s kick things off by looking at the pros. After all, you want to know all of the exciting reasons why this could prove to be such a good idea, don’t you?
What Type of Business Can You Have?
But just before I dive into discussing the pros and cons, what type of woodworking business could you start up? Well, I have several ideas you may want to consider if you find yourself struggling with ideas.
If you are more of a crafter when it comes to wood, such as creating bowls, spoons, or other items via woodturning, then a website such as Etsy is a great place to check out. You can sell your items online and even advertise in advance so you can make a sale and then go and produce the piece.
It’s a great option, and people sell all sorts of things on there, so you should check it out if you have not already done so.
If you have the skills, space, and tools, then building custom furniture may be more in line with your idea of fun. For this, it’s best if you have had prior experience building furniture, so you know the key steps, and it also helps if you can follow a brief.
I admit this is a slightly harder business to start, but I believe you can turn it into a nice little earner with some work and dedication.
For this, I would make sure I appeared on places such as the Facebook marketplace. Once again, it allows you to show your talents, and you can also join local groups in order to seek to drum up interest.
So this woodworking business is slightly different in that most people would not even think about it even though it makes so much sense.
Remember that not everyone has experience or skills. But then, you didn’t have either of those when you started off with your woodworking hobby. Instead, you had to learn how to do different things, often involving making mistakes.
Well, people do not appear to have the same eagerness to make mistakes as they did before. Instead, they prefer learning and seeking to change that learning curve to prevent it from being so steep.
That is where you can come into the equation and make a difference. You can easily tutor someone in person and work on projects together. It helps people come to terms with what they could also achieve with their own workshop, and it’s certainly an interesting way of earning money via your woodworking skills.
But overall, your primary focus will almost always be on manufacturing something, whether it be large or small. It’s up to you to understand what it is you enjoy doing to see how you can monetize it.
Trust me, there will be a way in which you can do this.
Perhaps you hate the idea of starting off a piece of furniture from fresh and putting everything together. Look, I get how that can sound like a lot of work and time-consuming. Many people don’t want to be as invested as that in their business, and that’s where something like restoring furniture can work well.
I love restoring furniture. It allows me to put new life into something that had perhaps seen better days. You get the opportunity to restore it to something amazing, and where it suddenly becomes highly functional once more.
I think restoring furniture is a wonderful hobby to have. If you find the correct pieces or network your business to allow people to bring things to you, becoming a restorer will undoubtedly become a real possibility.
How to Get Started
I would never recommend someone to just come up with the idea of launching their own woodworking business and launch it immediately. Instead, it does take some thought to really come out with a business concept that will work.
Yet, putting the business parts to one side, let me take you through the things you need to do to launch your own woodworking business.
Materials and Tools
Clearly, it would help if you had the materials and tools to allow you to produce things. I don’t see this as much of an issue as there’s a chance you would never even have thought about a woodworking business if you didn’t already have them.
But that’s not to say you should simply look at your existing collection and think it’s good enough to start. Instead, it fits in more closely with the type of woodworking business you plan on running.
You also need the space, and how much will depend on what you plan on making in your business. Look at your available space, and work your business idea around that limitation. Get honest about what you can handle in your workshop, and it will mean you remove a significant barrier that would have otherwise stopped you from actually getting your woodworking business off the ground.
Perfect Your Skills
I also suggest you take your time and perfect your woodworking skills. As soon as you turn into a business, it means it’s no longer just for your own use or your own eyes. So, you don’t want people to view you as someone who does inferior work, do you?
That is why I suggest you work on developing your skills until they appear as good as possible. That’s the point where you should begin to feel more confident. In this line of business, the quality of the work counts for everything. It’s way more important than the price you charge, so please ensure your work is as good as you would get from anywhere else.
Get a Mentor
I would seek out a woodworking mentor who could also advise you on the business side of things. Talking to someone who has already gone through this process of establishing a business makes such a huge difference.
It allows you to learn from the mistakes they made and not repeat them yourself.
A mentor is there to answer questions and even veer you off by going down a path they know will not prove fruitful. I would go as far as to join forums online and spend time reading as much as possible about running a woodworking business.
Pay attention to what people say. You will be surprised at how much you can learn just by opening your eyes and ears to advice that is all around you.
The Pros of Starting a Woodworking Business
As you would expect, there are several real pros to check out. Also, I get that some of them are linked directly to starting your own business. However, it still all applies as the same business principles apply whether you are involved in woodworking or anything else.
You Get to Earn From Your Hobby
Experts always say it’s easier to run a business if it involves something you love. So, the fact you can start a woodworking business connected to your hobby is a clear bonus.
Let’s face it, you enjoy working with wood, so the idea of earning money while doing something you love makes so much sense.
The earning potential here could prove to be substantial. But even if it’s not making money that’s your main driving force; even having some extra cash every month is not something you want to go ahead and ignore.
I do feel that the fun aspect is enormous. There is something perfect about loving a hobby and you getting a double reward. First, you love what you are doing and all the positive vibes that it bring, but then you have someone else paying you to do something you would do on its own anyway.
It’s a complete win-win situation.
You Probably Already Have So Many Tools
Another advantage is that you probably already have the tools you need to launch your woodworking business. Also, you probably have your own workshop, and there’s no need to go ahead and have a store or anything else. Just working out of your workshop and producing products your market wants is all that’s required. The fact you have this pretty much lined up already is just a cool thing.
I would actually spend time checking out your different tools and see if you need to upgrade them before starting. You need to take the concept of your business seriously, and your tools are an integral part.
Check them out, get new ones, or change the aims and intentions of your woodworking business.
Running your own business provides you with a certain sense of flexibility. How flexible it is does depend on how much you want to get out of your business. Honestly, if you only want to view this as a part-time venture, then you have the freedom to do that.
Even having this business in your spare time can make such a difference. I love that you can set your own hours and then stick to them. You can work on this as much as you want or as little as you want. It really is up to you.
Yet, I would stress one thing. There’s a good chance you will need to spend a lot of time and long hours when starting out. It depends on what you would like to get out of it, but the more work you put into your business at the start often changes the potential success.
Work from Home
You will be working from your own workshop, so you are effectively working from home, and it’s great to have a business that allows you to do exactly that. There’s no need to commute to work, and there’s also the fact you can still work on your business even when you have a family.
After all, you are practically right beside them.
But there’s another huge advantage. You can have lunch at home and stop for coffee whenever you want. There’s no need to go and get coffee from Starbucks when your own version is right beside you.
The Cons of Starting a Woodworking Business
I will be honest with you though; it’s not all plain sailing and full of positives when you start any business. Also, I don’t want you diving into starting things up without being fully aware of the potential issues that may arise.
So, here are some of the cons that I feel are linked to starting your own woodworking business.
You Need to Plan
This applies to starting any business, but I feel it’s even more important with a woodworking business than most people expect. To start, you need to have planned almost everything you can imagine.
First, you must think about what you will offer through your business. This directly relates to the type of tools you will need, the quantity of wood you require, and even the space to house everything and then deliver the end results.
CTO as a service might be a great solution that will help you to start a new business.
Your Income Can Be Erratic
In general, the problem with running your own business is that your income can be highly erratic. So, your woodworking business will not prove any different.
This can make it difficult to plan certain aspects of your life when you are unsure what is coming in. That is why I would suggest you start off trying to monetize your woodworking skills on the side rather than your primary job. By doing so, you will have a better understanding of what’s possible, and you then have a better chance of succeeding.
A Potential for High Startup Costs
I’ve mentioned on several occasions the importance of knowing what you want to do before you start, and it’s often related to the potential for high startup costs.
After all, let’s say you love doing woodturning and producing small items. You will hardly want to go ahead and start designing or building furniture pieces. There’s a good chance you don’t quite have all the equipment or materials that allow you to do that, so you would need to buy them.
But that brings several problems into the equation. You need your tools to be reliable, so those budget models not designed for heavy use cannot be an option.
Instead, you need to ensure you have quality tools more aligned with what professionals would use. The last thing you want is to attempt to cut costs by purchasing inferior tools only for them to give up on you when a client is waiting for a finished product.
It would not be a good idea to let people know you are behind schedule because you only use poorer-quality tools.
Honestly, I do not see many cons to starting up your own woodworking business. Anything I’ve mentioned above will prove easy to overcome. You just need to take your time and consider everything carefully to ensure you give your business the best possible chance of being a success.
Starting a woodworking business in 2023 remains a relatively straightforward thing to do. However, you are advised to consider the pros and cons before diving straight in.
I have no doubt this can be a rewarding business to have. The pleasure you can experience by working with your favorite material and providing products or services to others is evident.
But please do take your time thinking things over. There is nothing worse than starting a business, doing it wrong, and then seeing it fail before your eyes. It cripples you, and I don’t want that to happen to you.
So, understand what you want to do, and make sure you have everything you need before you start. Test the water before diving straight in, and just know it will be a rough road at the start.
I hope you do go ahead and launch your own woodworking business. It’s such a great thing to do, and the rewards undoubtedly heavily outweigh the potential problems.