How to Be a Better Woodworker and Start a Business

Woodworker
Photo by Sarah Pflug from Burst

Thinking of starting your own woodworking business? Great idea! Just like many other small businesses, a woodworking business is also considered to be a profitable business, as the demand for wooden products is not decreasing. Any kind of entrepreneurship means to plunge into a totally new world. However, the success lies in positivity, intention of learning new things and perseverance.

Woodworking is a comparatively easier business idea to start as a small capital business. But the output can be pretty good if you can nourish the entire process systematically with exact calculations. If you want to invest small at first, you can try it from your home initially. Later on, think bigger once your business flourishes.

At the preliminary stage, you’ll just need some handy woodworking tools, raw materials for crafting and manufacturing and some decorations to make your workplace attractive. Proper marketing is really important to make any business popular and successful. Anyone can start a woodworking business on both a part-time and full-time basis.

Before starting your own woodworking business, you must have proper knowledge of working with wood; this includes making furniture, home decorations, jewellery, utility items, etc. It may be a good idea to read woodworking books to gain a strong understanding of the trade. Furthermore, you must know the process of targeting markets to sell your products. You can sell your products through online marketplaces and also through an online store or an offline store. Contacting your local wood retailer shops and furniture resellers may help you establish your brand.

In this article, we will cover some tips on how to get skilled in woodworking followed by the procedures of starting your own business. Make your passion a career! Take in the following steps to ensure success in a woodworking business.

Basic knowledge of woodworking

A good woodworker is not only a professional who manufactures wooden products like furniture, home decor, cooking utensils, jewellery, etc. Woodworkers are artists who can turn an ordinary piece of wood into an extraordinary piece of art. To tackle woodworking projects with proficiency, one needs to have creative ideas and make innovative products. They will often combine other materials with wood and make long-lasting products that will grab the customers’ attention.

Top woodworkers can jazz up a wooden product by decorating it with ceramic tiles, glass, metals, other soft and hard materials, etc. Moreover, many musical instruments are made of wood. On that note, making musical instruments is also included in the woodworking field.

Along with crafting techniques, a proficient woodworker knows how to use woodworking tools like wood-cutting saws, drill presses, sanders, routers, shapers, milling machines, planers, and so on. Woodworkers must have knowledge about measuring, verifying dimensions of wooden items by using templates and also cutting and shaping them according to the specific requirements. They also need to know about the use of sealers and topcoats like lacquer, vanish, etc, to make wooden products long-lasting and save them from wood mites.

Important qualifications, skills and training for woodworkers

Ancient woodworkers were efficient in practical work. They required proper education and training on woodworking in order to have successful careers. Modern woodworking requires training on highly mechanical machinery like computerised numerical control machines and others. They have to know how to handle woodworking tools safely, and must be able to prepare and set machines for particular production activities.

Woodworkers must have coordination of both hands and eyes and possess adequate math aptitude and computer skills. This is essential especially for those who directly deal with manufacturing. They must be good at understanding manual drawings, schematics, blueprints, architectural drawings, etc., as well as computer presentation, and must possess related technical knowledge. They should be well-studied about the different types of wood, their hardness, colors, wrappings, knots, cracks, and grain patterns. Furthermore, they should know the various cuts, curves, cutting mortises, tenon and dovetail joints.

Though a formal education is important for any kind of profession, this is really not compulsory in woodworking. Most woodworkers train on woodworking projects under the supervision of experienced workers. But when starting a business individually, it’s better to achieve a higher level diploma and proper training in a training school or a woodworking engineering school. You can also join woodworking workshops.

Just like other businesses, one must be licensed. The Woodwork Career Alliance of North America offers interested woodworkers a national certification program, so that the woodworkers can become accomplished in the trade. Additionally, the Architectural Woodwork Institute provides training to woodworkers that helps elevate their management skills.

You can also read books and guides on various woodworking projects and business development. This way, you’ll have a well-rounded foundation to build upon.

Types of woodworking

As technologies are developing, the arena for woodworkers has expanded. There are basically four types of woodworkers:

Cabinet maker

Cabinet makers mainly make parts of different sizes of cabinets including other wooden products. They also make customized items and assemble custom-designed wooden cabinet ties.

Furniture finisher

Furniture finishers work with antiques as well as other general wooden products and engage in reshaping, repairing old wooden products, and applying finishing coats. They preserve old wooden products by using seals, top coats, etc.

Wood machine operator

Wood machine operators specialize in operating different woodworking machinery and tools.

Woodworking tender

Woodworking tenders deal with machines used in woodworking, including routers, drill presses, sanders, planers, etc.

Steps for starting a woodworking business

After obtaining the proper knowledge, it’s time to dive in. Check out these steps to starting a woodworking business.

1. Set up your workshop

A well-designed workshop is really important if you want to establish a successful crafting business. You must have good taste when decorating your workplace and shop. If you are planning to make your workshop in a garden area, be very careful about the size of the work shed you build. You should have enough space to work in there. Your workshop should be well equipped according to the specialization of your craft.

Invest in tools in the preliminary stage like clamps, affordable table saws, budget-friendly chainsaws, carpenter squares, jigsaws, hammers, middles, etc. You may need a wood laser engraver like Trotec Laser. You’ll certainly need exterior wood sealers to design the wood products and preserve them.

Maintain good professionalism while working on custom pieces and adhere to the customers’ requests. Win over the customer’s confidence with an impressive workshop and amazing products.

2. Proper business planning

Before getting into the business, you must create a detailed business plan that will help you assess the competition in the market and manage workloads. There are pros and cons and profits and losses in every business — be prepared for every single situation. Your business plan must have business goals, estimated revenue and financial projections. Try to make your products cost-effective and unique to gain a competitive edge.

3. Marketing

Tap into word-of-mouth. Tell your friends and families about your business and ask them to spread the news about your new venture. Consider making little sample crafts from wood and pass them out to relatives. Request them to share your work with others. This is a way to gradually increase your customer base.

Contact your local gift shops and furniture retail stores about selling your products. Try selling your crafts via online marketplaces. Create your own website and broadcast videos of you in action as a woodworker. Build up your online presence by sharing these videos on social media pages.

4. Legalization

An important step when starting any business is ensuring it’s legal. Business insurance will ensure your family’s, home’s and financial safety if an accident and loss happens. It’s better to be safe rather than pay for large-scale damages.

Hopefully, the above discussion will be helpful to you when entering a new world of entrepreneurship.

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