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Am thinking about starting a woodworking company. Any tips company name project ideas and ways to advertise
 

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I am not a pro but I have thought about building a small side business. I think the trick is finding what you can do best that no one else in your area already does. I have been told I should go into cabinet making but I know of three major shops and six smaller shops already in my area. On the other hand I can swing a stick and never hit anybody that does furniture. I enjoy build furniture so that would probably be my thing. As far as marketing look for the best way to reach people who will be ready to pay top dollar for you work. You might try teaming up with local architects and interior design professionals. Many times these people are looking for the craftsmanship and uniqueness that you can't buy off the shelf. My last bit of advice is that you have a business plan together. Working in the food industry I have seen many talented cooks strike out on their own. The ones that are still in business know how to manage the business side of their operation and serve their customers but most importantly they can bring money to the bottom line.
 

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Find out what people want. Not what you think they want.

Most of my wood carving is very self-indulgent, so far from 9" to 30". I decided to make kitchen sticks, preparation tools if you will. Made some, passed them around as market research. Market said that one design in particular, at a price that I had already pretty much settled on, was the only design of interest. If I began with a presawn blank and worked like Hello, I could be pulling it out of the oven (baked in olive oil finish) in about 80 minutes. I want $12.00 for less than $0.25 birch. Been the tourist trade this summer, I make enough money that the project carries itself (shop space rental.) So far, I have finished 60 of them. Prep forks are next.

I want a really fancy wooden cutlery insert for a kitchen drawer. I want a fancy kitchen knife rack that almost hides my $100 prep knives under the edge of the upper cupboards. Let's face it, I'll enjoy seeing both of those several times a day. I want a 4 or 5 bottle wine rack that's under the cupboards as well.
I need a coat rack with sliding hooks = 4 or 5 jackets in summer, 2 big coats and big hats for winter.
Just bought the last of the parts, sorry 'bout that!
 

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Start small. Being able to do the work is one thing. Being able to keep a consistant flow of work coming in is something completely different.

Just starting out, you'll be not only the guy doing the work..but the sales, marketing, design, and accounting...among other things.
 

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i don't know if you're into online stuff, but etsy.com is a really neat place for selling your home made stuff.

ideas i've had for marketing and possibly selling would be to make a bunch of chairs or tables and going to local coffee shops to ask if you can put your art on display. ie: let people see your work, sit in your work, put their stuff on your work. it would let people know you exist, know the quality, etc...only thing is that it would perhaps damage the work slightly. if it's slightly rustic, people may not mind.

anyways. it could also be a single chair, or a single table with some kind of a small sign on the wall or the table that says who the table is made by.

restaurants and cafes would be a lot of work to do a whole place, but at artsy places, they may let a few chairs be there for a few weeks. (cafes in chicago will change their art for local artists. this typically means painting and photography, but this takes the idea in a new direction)
 

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I used to love working on cars. After I got out of the Marines, I got a job at the local Chevy Dealer turning wrenches. That almost lasted 2 years before I went crazy. Today, I pay someone else to fix my car. I can't even bring myself to do a simple brake job and save $200. I'd rather do without the $200, it bothers me that badly to turn wrenches anymore.

I was at a lumber yard today that rents the back shop to a guy who does barnwood furniture. I walked by as they were pulling a really cool looking table top out and putting it on a pallet. I admired it and when they stacked an identical one on top of the first, I thought it might be a neat job. Then they brought out the third, fourth, and fifth identical table tops and stacked them on that same pallet. By that time, my back started to hurt from watching them carry all of those boring, identical table tops. I thanked them and walked away. I learned a lot.
 

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This was discussed elsewhere. I'll say it here too.

Whatever name you decide upon needs to define what your business does. When a potential client sees the name you want them to think, "I think that they could "some woodworking thing".

Also I would avoid putting my name on the business name. At some point you'll be selling the business and you don't want to sell your name too.
 

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building lot's of chairs ???

some one said build lot's of chair's, i don't know how good you are but building chair's isn't all that good, build a couple and figure how much time you have in them , wood ect, and than figure the price and that go look at some of the chair's from china that people are buying because the are cheeper ?? i have built a couple for my self and that would be far from what i would build, and also table's , that is lot's of work, now if you get special order for cherry table and say 6 chair's than you can give a big price on that ?? probly not get the job, that is lot's of work , building lot's of 1 item should't take lot's of time, if you are to make money now day's , so much junk on the market, i do craft's show's and just look at all the junk that out their, all the hand crafted item's in the show's most of the time sell slow because of the low quality of some item's , hand made or import's, this is a hard market to get into now day's good luck been this stuff sence 1950's , not my only job, retired now that's better
 

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maple man said:
Am thinking about starting a woodworking company. Any tips company name project ideas and ways to advertise
I just started my own little wood working business. Pick a name then go the the county courthouse and register it with your state. I can't afford the over head of a show room or the start up cost to do furniture and lack the experience to do that. I am doing small stuff. Jewelry boxes candle holders, solid wood picture frames etc. I'm making stuff that isn't too large to ship and will keep my overhead down. Remember the saying keep it simple stupid. I am offering my stuff in 3 domestic woods and also an exotic line. Each design for each product will he offered in one of 3 domestic woods and also have exotic wood options as I have the money to use exotic wood. The things like candle holders and business card holders are only offered in domestic wood to keep cost down and profit margin up. The jewelry boxes will be offered in exotics when I find good prices on exotics. Check the current market for pricing. Some jewelry boxes made of exotics with nice hinges etc may run you 50-150 to make but other companies sell theirs made of the same materials for 150-1500 bucks. The domestic boxes may cost you 15-30 bucks to make and can sell in today's market anywhere from 50-150. Remember to factor in your sand paper, screws etc when pricing. Do online sells to reach more people and not be limited to your local market. Make a website with online store and paypal, make a Facebook page showcasing your products get all of your friends to like it and their friends will see it, make a penterist page with a link to your online store. Almost every women in America uses penterist. Come up with designs that you haven't seen before. Take designs you see online and add or take away from those to create your own designs. Also you will need to get a tax permit from your state to do business. In my state of Texas these are free. When you make your website find a build it yourself site to use and pay the extra few bucks to get the search engine optimizer and pick good key words. This ways when people google wooden jewelry box your site will be one of the first to pop up. For me i not only want to build a company but also a brand, it takes time but if you make a good enough product and advertise through social media your brand will start to get around until people just have to have your brand of whatever it is you make. You can also get advertising by setting up booths at trade shows an flea market type of venues. Usually cost 75 bucks for the weekend and you can take some products to sell and make a little something but also don't forget to take business cards to pass out to those who may be interested in your product at a later time. Hope all this helps
 

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Would suggest starting small and testing the waters...I have a friend that loved woodworking and decided to open a cabinet shop. The shop was an instant success. He will build anything the customer wants. He is very talented. He told me one day that he changed the hobby he loved into a "job" and now the only hobby he has is "drinking".
 

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You need a niche or you'll go belly up in no time. Define "anything people want". I've never met a woodworker that could build "anything people want", and build it all well enough to call it professional work. There's a lot of different aspects to woodworking and you'll want to narrow that down or it'll be too confusing to someone looking for whatever work it is you're offering. Custom cabinets, furniture maker, furniture repair, wood turning, wood carving, custom moldings, boats; somewhere there must be one thing you specialize in.

Also, by starting your own company, do you mean quit whatever it is you have going now and just dive into a woodworking company (whatever that is?)?
 

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mattk8715 said:
You need a niche or you'll go belly up in no time. Define "anything people want". I've never met a woodworker that could build "anything people want", and build it all well enough to call it professional work. There's a lot of different aspects to woodworking and you'll want to narrow that down or it'll be too confusing to someone looking for whatever work it is you're offering. Custom cabinets, furniture maker, furniture repair, wood turning, wood carving, custom moldings, boats; somewhere there must be one thing you specialize in. Also, by starting your own company, do you mean quit whatever it is you have going now and just dive into a woodworking company (whatever that is?)?
Very good question. Is he quitting his job to do this? Best thing to do is keep the full time job and put extra cash into the business so he doesn't go into debt right off the bat and if it doesn't work out he always has his day job.
 

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I would pick a name as generic as possible, you don't want to be called "The ABC Chair Company" when you have discovered there is more profit in making lamp shades.

You should already have at least one product that is your bread and butter, something you can fall back on to produce when times are slow and believe me there will be slow times. Preferably this is an item sold to a distributor, not the general public, sales take away shop time, better to sell multiple items once than waste time on individual items unless they offer a substantial profit.

Your best advertising will be the product and service you offer, a standing joke with a friend of mine that has had a very successful plumbing company for the last ten years is that he wishes business would slow down so he would have some time to order business cards and have a website designed.
 
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