Getting here a little late, help with new startups in a professional specialty for decades.
7 years is a long time dead, the corpse is thoroughly dried up, customers all gone, no reputation left to salvage at this point.
I'd start anew, with a new name. You should also learn more about marketing via social media and email marketing. Don't know what products you're making, which would be a factor. Our services start at about $5K and run up to more than $30K. Almost all our business comes in from having built an email list by giving information away on social media and gradually building up an email list.
The facebook posts produce the leads and adds constantly to our email subscriber list.
We post articles on how to market professional services and invite people to sign up for the newsletter. On the newsletter we provide articles on all kinds of things, ideas, pracices and the occasional goodie.
I would not advertise much unless you can find publications or other media that are read by your probable customers. I would find some young un who knows how to shoot and edit video (even some high school kids learn to do that, and I'd post videos on social media, youtube and in groups that cater to your potential customers. The house beautiful crowd might be one audience, but if you're really skilled, you might wind up with groups about antique and classic houses. High end builders, etc. I don't know your potential customer base, which is a necessity. That would likely be tied to the kinds of craftsman work you do, especially what you like to do.
My videos would be of me making something spectacular, collectable, first rate, classic, and showing some of the techniques the viewer should examine before buying something like that. This will give you samples to photograph and put on social media posts. You might be using a lot of power tools, but the background for the videos and pictures should show mostly hand tools, the mark of a craftsman.
I most certainly would charge absolute premium prices, "you get what you pay for," applies. In a sense, you're coming out of retirement from building top of the line goods, but you don't have to tell your story UNLESS you want to give people a heads up about what they get from cut rate outfits...but make that a very gentle message and don't put down any company. Just make sure the message gets across about what constitutes premium goods.
Many companies buy scholck furniture for the worker bees, but hire designers to build custom offices for top executives. Those premium designers are primary targets for you to identify and reach. There are publications and groups and websites just for that class of designer. It may take some time to ferret those out, but worth the effort. Do picture stories on the difference between premium and just OK work on the kinds of things the publications and groups focus on. eg: why a hand planed and scraper finished top surface is always nicer looking than a sanded one. Show a sanding machine surface compared to a planed surface. Why is it more glossy and baby butt smooth? This places you as THE guy they want to work with if they have a premium patron to satisfy. Give them the words and understanding required to sell their customer on your premium work.
There is a great little book that's for book authors, but applies to everyone in business, called "Your First 1000 Copies," about $10 on Amazon. Get it and study it. Then do what it says about using email. I use Constant Contact for my email list, because it has a good reputation for filtering out spam. About 700 have signed up for it and we are in the top 10 percent of open rates because we use what I suggested above.
You could use a similar name, but modify it a little: The Great Texas Woodworks, for example. But nanmes are not nearly as important as personal contact.
I would definitely explore the world of top notch designers, decorators and premium restoration and top of the line, custom home builders and architects in your region, then state. You will need some photographs of your very best custom work to show off, and you can tell them you're coming out of retirement because there are just not that many people with the deep skills thier designs and projects require.
Prices: I would rather be on the top end of the rate. No discounts without multiple units sold, then not very much.
Consider getting tied in with the best CNC person you can find within driving range.
I've attached a pdf of an article on making money with a CNC, although if focuses on CNC, many of the marketing and management ideas and principles will apply to your business.
BTW, I've spent 38 years teaching practical marketing for professional offices, and the methods described are not much different no matter what kind of business you're building. Best of luck to you, I haven't had a boss (other than the Mrs.) for almost 40 years. Working for yourself is the best.
Last edited by DesertRatTom; 11-04-2019 at 03:20 PM.
Reason: fix typos and spacing