A Woodworking Business Is Part Craft and Part Business
Woodworking is a craft or trade that can be turned into a business without too much trouble. The expertise that you have with creating crafts or furniture or other wooden items is the beginning, but adding a woodworking business plan can help you grow into a thriving company. While creating a formal business plan scares many people, the reality is that it gives you a road map for success by helping you to consider things like expansion, location and even planning a budget for acquiring more and better equipment or tools. A woodworking business plan does not need to look like a technology company's plan, so the format is a bit irrelevant; it is the planning that is the important part.
In addition to honing your skills, joining a professional organization might help you to understand the market better, give you some advertising and networking opportunities and also can show your customers that your business is part of a larger world and not just a small shop that has woodworking hand tools hanging on the wall.
One of the organizations to explore is the Association of Woodworking and Furnishings Suppliers or the AWFS. The AWFS is the largest trade associations in the United States. Joining the Association of Woodworking and Furnishings Suppliers comes with many benefits like discounts when attending and exhibiting at an AWFS Trade Show, a quarterly newsletter subscription, discounts on wood and an industry that keeps members up-to-date with trends and news that can be important to business.
Since woodworking has so many different aspects to it, making sure that your business has the type work that you are the most comfortable with, like furniture building or making crafts. If using woodworking hand tools is a favorite way for you to create, then tailoring the types of projects that you create to your strengths makes the quality that much better and of course, the enjoyment of the work itself is fabulous bonus.
An advertising plan is something to consider, even though you may be doing well in your business, because if the marketing is intentional then it can work so much better for you. Tapping into social media can also be an option to engage people who are interested in your crafts or furniture. Advertising through Twitter can give you an edge because you can target former customers as well as new ones or a combination of populations.
Some crafters and woodworkers may dislike fairs and shows that require long hours in a small booth, but choosing the shows and fairs that allow you to have the most exposure to potential clients might be worth the time commitment. Having business cards or flyers that are printed so that participants can take them home can help with contacts after the show. Also, consider asking for people to leave their contact information so that you can e mail them with any exciting new items or upcoming events. Just make sure that you don't inundate them with too much email or you will be spammed in no time. Not selling their information is critical, too.
Growing or maintaining a business can be a challenge in this day and age, but with a wood working company, there may always be work if you continue to understand the market and how your work fits into it. As a talented woodworker, creating beautiful pieces for your customers can be an easy order to fill. Advertising, taking part in trade shows and fairs and maintaining contact with clients and potential clients can keep you carving out a great business doing what you love.
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