Many people want a home based company because they have been laid off their job, or simply because they have a hobby that produces a product and they find other people want the product. Woodworking is one such hobby that can turn into a great money making business. Most people don’t just wake up one morning and decide they are going to start a woodworking business, generally they figure it out gradually because they have made some pieces that their friends like and are encouraged to make similar pieces to sell. They start making them and selling them, and find out that this is turning into a nice little side business. It’s a terrific start because it is a hobby that begins to pay for itself over a period of time; however, people need to know how to start your own home-based woodworking company and not just wake up some morning with a great idea.
Most experts recommend that the business plan be put into place first, and generally that’s a great idea. However, before doing the business plan, make some of the products and see how they sell, and just how popular the product is because it may be a great fad for five minutes before the next hot product comes along, and the creator is stuck with hundreds of pieces that can’t be sold. The products have to be easy enough to make, durable, and affordable (at least enough to cover the expenses of the materials needed).
Once it’s discovered that these woodworking products are popular, then start setting up the business plan. Many cities require licenses or permits in order to operate a business out of the home, so call the local business development office to determine if the area is zoned for a home business. Then if the state charges sales tax, then get a sales tax certificate allowing the collection of taxes on the products, and set up an account with the state to remit the taxes collected.
Many people would rather create an LLC than a sole proprietorship because of liability issues, but that takes money to prepare the articles of incorporation. Payment options need to be considered, a bookkeeping system has to be in place, and this all takes additional money that takes away from the funding necessary to purchase the materials to make the products.
Another step is to write a marketing plan. Figure out who the target market is and determine how much they will be willing to pay for the product. Consider the magazines they purchases as well as newspapers and on-line markets along with social media. Get a Facebook page and get friends to “Like” and “Share” the page. Determine the very best way to market the products, and find multiple ways, don’t just market the product in one format.
Consider the local Small Business Administration because there is oftentimes funding available for budding entrepreneurs to start up a new business but can’t afford all the red tape that it takes to start one. There are many grants and loans available across the country that helps new businesses start up. Never avoid starting because of the fear of insufficient funds to run the business. Go for it and start looking for funding!
Acquiring right tools is one of the most significant aspects of your business. If you’ve already been into this business, you must be knowing what tools you can handle easily, even if they are complicated to use – for example circular saws, band saws and sanders. However, if you are a beginner, you should not spend so much money on fancy tools. Try buying used tools, which are in good condition. You can see lots of relevant ads on Craigslist or Woodworking Forums. Always discuss how the tool is with the community on forums as so many ideas and perceptions float over there that you would eventually gain good knowledge, and make an informed decision. You can read more about Woodworkers Hardware.
There are plenty of woodworking products that are very popular with many people across the country, such as:
- Wooden toys – especially those magnificent wooden rocking horses
- Picture and mirror frames
- TV stands
- Book cases
- Night stands
- Plant stands
- Rocking chairs
- Bird houses
The list just goes on and on, and when the quality is exceptional, these pieces eventually command better prices. One of the best ways to having the products in high demand is to create a specific “character” or look to the product – something that makes it a unique and beautiful keepsake. Having that unique look separates the product from the thousands that are manufactured, and are much cheaper products that won’t stand the test of time.
Showing and Selling the Products
Once enough products are made (and sold) to create a following, the next step is to start producing enough of the pieces to be sold at arts and crafts fairs, flea markets, and other area gatherings where people are looking for that great piece for their home or gift for someone (and with the holidays coming up, it’s the perfect time). Start a web site. Even if the creator of these beautiful wood pieces is not a network guru, there are a number of websites that have wizards which easily walk the novice through creating a website that easy to navigate and shows off the products. Make sure to have great digital pictures to put on the website.
Advertising the Products
Now that the products are gaining some popularity, start advertising the products on the internet, local trade magazines, bulletin boards in the local stores, and join the Chamber of Commerce. Create some flyers to hang on the neighbors doors (just don’t put them in the mailbox – only the postal service can do that, and there are stiff fines and penalties for doing this). Get some business cards made that helps identify the products being produced and hand them out everywhere – there are always opportunities to advertise a product – lines at the grocery store, Chamber of Commerce functions, friends at church, political gatherings, where ever there are people, it’s an opportunity to advertise the products.
Launch the Business
It takes a lot of thought to put a home woodworking business together and ensure that there are enough pieces made to sell, how to market it, where to sell it, and how much of the product that needs to be maintained in the inventory for seasonal purchasing. It takes a lot of planning to discover zoning laws, tax laws, and ensuring everything is handled legally for the business. This sounds like a lot of headaches, but once these steps are done, and the creator can get down to the business of designing and building the products, the headaches cease and the joy of building the woodworking pieces brings to mind the reason to start the home-based woodworking business in the first place.