If woodworking is your hobby and you have already done a few projects, you might be wondering if there is any way to make money from it. You may also want to see if there is a way to turn your hobby into a full-time job.
On the one hand, if you're just getting into woodworking, it can be an expensive hobby when you consider the high-quality tools and the price you have to pay for wood.
If you manage to get enough revenue from selling your crafts to be positive, you can turn your woodworking hobby into a real business.
The good thing is that there are many reasons why people consider buying stuff made of wood. First of all, wood is beautiful and can be used in many ways to create unique items. There is almost no material that can provide both the look and the feel that wood can if done well.
Also, wood is timeless. Although it is one of the oldest crafting materials, it is still used to create high-quality items, like furniture.
Besides, products made of high-quality wood can last for a lifetime and are very resilient. In the end, quality products made of wood will always be admired and valued more than products made from plastic or fiberboard, for example.
How to Start Your Woodworking Business
When starting with your woodworking business, like as with almost every other business, it is essential to start small. Don’t invest too much, and allow yourself to slowly take the first step into the woodworking business world. You should choose a couple of inexpensive and straightforward projects and build them well.
Choose something simple, but do your best to build and polish it to look fantastic. It doesn’t matter if you can’t sell it for the same price as more complex items. It’s more important that it has a high-quality build.
It is also important to say to yourself that the business has started and that you have some sales behind you, even small ones. Something like wooden guitar stands, key hangers, or cutting boards might be a great way to start.
However, no matter how unique and high-quality your project is, you will need people to hear about it. Without people knowing about your crafts, you won’t make any sales.
Besides friends and family, you should also share your projects on social media and sometimes even give a project for free, as a gift, to build trust among potential customers.
Also, don’t forget to determine the actual profitability. No matter what you plan to build, there are a few things that you should consider.
First, calculate the time needed to create an item (or restore it). Then, the material cost and equipment cost are two crucial things to consider. Also, no matter how good your product is, an essential factor is product demand.
If people all around the world are interested in a particular product, it means that you will have a lot of potential customers and that the market is big. However, that also means more competition. So you have to stand out from the crowd with the quality of work that you provide.
The last but vital thing to consider is a possible return. No matter how many products and how good the products are that you sell, there will always be someone who will not be satisfied and who will return the product.
Then, it is in your best interest to return the money, because if you have a single unsatisfied customer, the rumors of your “bad” work will spread quickly.
When you calculate everything, you should be able to create products in a decent amount of time, sell them for a reasonable price, and maximize the returns. So, when you calculate all the statistics from the past month, including the difference between profit and loss, your earnings should be above zero.
You should also pay a lot of attention to minimizing the potential loss and streamlining your production.
After you sell a certain number of products, you will notice that some products will sell much better and quicker than others. Then, you should focus on these projects and start constantly making and selling similar units all the time.
If all of those items sell well, you should find a way to streamline the production and make it simple. That way, you will be able to produce a much higher number of products in a shorter amount of time, leading to much higher revenue.
For example, if you incorporate standard lumber sizes for a particular product, you will limit the need for resawing and therefore save lots of time.
Projects to Consider
You should consider auctions and pawnshops, which can be a great way to earn some easy, quick cash. For example, you can find various damaged items on auctions, which can easily be repaired and restored, if you have the right skills.
People usually don’t buy these items since they are damaged, so you won’t have much competition when bidding for them. However, you should always ask yourself if someone would buy this project if it were new and untouched. If you think there would be customers, go ahead, buy it, and repair it.
Rustic articles are also an excellent way to go. If you are not sure what rustic is, it includes items and products that have been made plainly and simply.
It has become a trend for people to take something new and make it look old. It gives a unique, sometimes nostalgic feel to the item. It is also easier to do since rustic furniture, for example, doesn’t require any complicated work or hours of sanding for the perfect look.
Even if you mess up, sometimes those flaws can become a part of its look and even make it look better. Also, rustic is cheaper since it's usually made of salvaged wood, so right from the start, the wood cost is much lower.
Unique custom products are a great thing to include in your business if you have the right tools and skills to use them effectively. Sometimes, people want to have something unique, something that can’t be found on the market.
That’s where you come in with your beautiful, handcrafted, unique products. Since the products are one-of-a-king, they can have an even higher price because those products can’t be bought anywhere.
Tools Needed to Get Started
Now that you know the basics of starting a woodworking business let's get into a checklist of what you will need to get started. First, the tools.
Woodworking can cost a little or more, depending on how far you want to get into your woodworking business. You want to start with the basic setup to get started on your woodworking projects. For this, you will want to have:
- Circular Saw: this is how you can make straight cuts when working with lumber and plywood
- Jig Saw: allows you to make curved cuts and interior shapes
- Power Drill: useful when you need to drill holes and drive screws into your woodworking project
- Orbital Sander: for sanding the piece to achieve the final finished and polished look
These tools are also budget-friendly, and you can have them all for under $300 in most cases. Once you have the power tools, grab some sandpaper, drill bits, and stain or other finish to build up your cabinet.
You can also get started with a cheaper miter saw, circular saw, drill, jigsaw, and sander. The power tools you purchase depend on your workspace and how much room you have, along with power limitations.
Buying Wood for Your Projects
The next most expensive expense when starting a woodworking business is lumber. When just getting started, find wood that is ready to be finished.
Rough lumber can be purchased at a specialty store, but the edges will not be straight, and there will be a rough finish, making more work for you.
Big box stores have a good selection of different wood types to choose from, along with several sizes at affordable prices.
Selling Your Woodworking Projects
Once you get started, you will have to have a place to sell your woodworking projects to make your business profitable, as we discussed above.
The best thing to do when starting is start selling locally. Posting your woodworking projects on social media like Facebook or Craigslist is a great way to get your work noticed and advertise where you will be selling your wooden items.
Picnic tables and rustic signs are some of the least expensive build projects but can yield you a higher price tag when finished.
You can even sell them at flea markets, craft festivals, garage sales, or other outdoor venues locally, where you will see a lot of foot traffic.
You can also build your woodworking business by selling strictly online. Etsy shops are a popular choice among crafters and woodworkers because it is easy to list your products, advertise, collect a payment, and manage shipping.
Once you get a few sales under your belt, you can work even more on advertising to attract even more customers to your shop.
Tips for Selling
When selling your projects online, make sure you have high-quality photographs to accompany each listing. The photos should make your projects stand out. If not, your online shop won't prove to be very successful.
Consider investing in a lightbox and different photo backdrops if you have larger items to sell for better photos. Don't forget to touch up the photos before posting them.
How to Promote Your Woodworking Business
Now that you know where and how to sell your woodworking projects, let's see how you can promote your woodworking business to attract more customers.
Find platforms online where you feel that your target audience may be hanging out. Facebook groups, Reddit, and other forums are ideal. Follow your niche and join those groups.
Easy Projects to Make and Sell
You may be wondering what wooden projects will be the easiest to make and sell, which is important if you are just starting.
While not as easy as some of the smaller woodworking projects we have already mentioned, furniture pieces can prove to be the most profitable.
A wine rack and outdoor furniture, for example, are good pieces you can make out of scrap wood and pallet wood. You can also customize these furniture pieces for your customer. Custom pieces also warrant a higher price tag.
A planter box or garden bed are huge sellers during the spring months and summer as more people are looking to get their gardens started.
These are easy to make and can be advertised effectively in Facebook groups and local gardening groups. For this project, you will need a miter saw, pocket hole jig, and a drill. Easy!
Spring is also the time for spring cleaning and organizing and may be when more people go online to hunt down shelving.
Floating shelves are easy to build and can be easily customized depending on your customer's needs and wants. Purchase plywood from the big box store in your area. You can purchase larger and smaller pieces to account for different size requirements.
Another easy and simple woodworking project to sell when starting out with your woodworking business is a step stool.
You can use pocket hole screws or modify the project to not use them at all. You will need to have a basic jig woodworking tool for this project. This is a power tool you can find online for an affordable price.
Rustic Signs or Picture Frame
Rustic signs are popular woodworking creations you can find at flea markets and craft fairs. They are also incredibly easy and affordable to make.
If you don't have it in your budget to buy the wood, check local groups for free pallets, scrap wood, and reclaimed lumber. You can then really turn a profit on your projects.
A picture frame is another great idea. You can use the smaller pieces of wood you have laying around. Make sure you also have wood glue to ensure a quality piece that stays together.
As you can see, woodworking can be a pretty good business. However, you will need some good skills, since your primary goal is to be better and offer better products than the competition.
However, if you are as good as your competition, instead of having better products, you might want to have a better offer.
This might include a lower price, but you can also give one product for free if two products are ordered, and so on. There are various tips and tricks that businessmen around the world use, in various fields of business.
Also, be sure that you start small and don’t have big expectations right from the start. Never provide a lower quality product to make more units at the same time. And be sure to build a great “fanbase” of people who trust you and want to buy your products.