How to Launch a Woodworking Business
Have you always wanted to take your woodworking hobby to the next level? If so, you’re not alone. From established artisans to US-based amateurs, there are plenty of people who are working wonders with their wood crafting skills.
But what goes into building a woodworking business? If you’re wondering where to begin, read on to find out how to take your hobby to the next level.
What is woodworking?
Woodworking is a craft that includes the cutting, joining, and shaping of wood in order to create and build items that are either useful or used for decoration. While this is the basic premise for woodwork, there are different types of woodworking.
For instance, wood carving involves the use of a cutting tool to sculpt shapes and figures into the wood to create decorative images and motifs. Wood turning, on the other hand, uses a lathe. As the wood turns, the woodworker uses a tool to cut and shape it. There’s also construction-related woodwork, which includes the creation of functional pieces such as furniture and boxes.
You may specialise in one or more styles of woodworking. If this is the case, it might be worth focussing on one to begin with and build your business offering from there.
The tools you need
There are several hand tools and other types of equipment that you’ll need in order to set up your woodworking business. It’s worth listing these before you do any other type of planning as this will help you work out where you need to invest your finances first.
The specific tools you buy will depend on the style of woodwork you specialise, however there are some that apply to all styles. For instance, you’ll need to invest in a solid workbench that ideally includes a clamp, cutting tools, and a good quality storage box for these. Other items to add to the list include chisels, hand saws, mallets, hand drills, and sharpening tools for more detailed work.
It’s likely that you’ll have a lot of this equipment already, especially if you’ve been a hobbyist for a while. However, launching as a business means that you’ll need to invest in a full collection of appropriate tools.
How to launch your business
As with other businesses, your venture will require a business plan. This will be your guide through every stage of the process, and you’ll refer to this as you go along. It needs to cover long-term goals. How much profit would you need to turnover in order to keep going beyond the first year? Beyond the first five years?
Decide what type of business you’ll run. Will you be an independent contractor where you’ll work on different jobs in a freelance capacity? Are you hoping to set up a woodworking shop where people come to you for your services? Here, you will need to think about how many people will work for you and who your customers will be.
Next, how will you fund your business? Will you need a bank loan? Or do you have your own savings that could cover the setup costs? Have you got any investors who can help you out?
You’ll need to then build budgets into your business plan. Consider the costs involved. As well as paying for the tools you’ve already listed, you’ll need to consider staff salaries if you plan on employing other woodworkers.
You will also need to factor in the legal and insurance side of setting up a business, along with marketing costs so you can promote the work you do.
Think about safety
Once you have your plan in place and you have an idea about what your aims are for the year ahead, think about how to keep yourself safe. The Health and Safety Executive has guidelines that are designed for those working in industrial settings, but a lot of this advice is useful if you’re working on your own initially, and also apply if you employ staff.
Working with saws and scalpels can be dangerous, so take the time to ensure your tools are safe and that you know how to protect yourself from harm.
Now that you have an idea of what’s involved, you can take the steps towards moving from amateur to full-blown woodworking business owner.