Ever since shop class in 7th grade, have you found yourself making tables, birdhouses, and other assorted wooden items? Maybe you give them to friends and family on holidays or have made every piece of furniture in your home by hand. There’s no doubt it’s been an excellent hobby for you for many years. However, you may not realize that you can make money from that hobby by turning it into a business.
People become experts by doing something a lot. If you’ve been working with wood for many years, then there is a good chance that you are an expert. That means that you are more than qualified to sell your services and products to the public. However, just because you are good with woodworking, it does not mean you know anything about starting a business. To help, here is a guide on how to turn your carpentry hobby into a business.
Determine Your Goals
As with any startup, you need to decide early on what you want to get out of it. Do you want it to be your full-time job, or is it something you would do on the side? How much time you devote to your business will determine how much you can expect to bring in overtime. The more sellable items you produce, the more money you will make. If you are already making things in your spare time, then having a business won’t take up any more of your time than carpentry already does. But, if you want to do it full-time, you may have to plan to build up to it.
Decide What You Want to Make
It is usually a good idea to start with a niche. To start with, choose something you are good at and enjoy doing. If you are going to start doing something for 8 hours straight every day, you might as well enjoy it. However, it has to be something you can sell. There are many options when it comes to carpentry. You can offer custom furniture, which can command high prices depending on what you make. You can also build structures, such as sheds or patios. Some carpenters like to make knick-knacks. Choose something that is a specialty of yours to start, and then as your business grows, you can begin to branch out.
Figure Out Price Points
The tricky thing with having a carpentry business is figuring out what to charge. Building large custom pieces takes a lot of time, effort, and possibly monetary investments. Therefore, you should set a high price for them. However, smaller items might not take you as much time and should not be as expensive. It would be best if you balance your need to make a profit with your need to be affordable to customers, with the need to be compensated for your time. Plus, if you charge too little, even if you have more customers than you ever imagined, you will still be behind because you are not covering your costs.
Get Your Insurance
Carpentry comes with some unique risks. For example, if you are working on someone else’s property, you could cause damage or even an injury. If you don’t build a chair right, it could break and cause someone to fall. If you miss deadlines, then a client could suffer a financial loss as a result. Therefore, you need insurance that will cover your needs as a carpenter. Your carpenter insurance cost will depend on several factors, but you can search online to find a policy that works for you.
Start With People You Know
Before you start telling the world about your products, start with people you know. Announce on your social media that you can make specific products for payment. You could even offer a discount if you are uncomfortable charging friends and family full price. The great thing is that carpentry was already your hobby, so no matter what you charge, it will still be more than before. By starting with friends and family, you can have examples to show on your website and social media feeds to market your craft. You can also get honest feedback, so you know what to improve.
The best thing about starting a business in 2022 is how accessible it is to everyone. All you need are some free social media channels, and you can find success. Plus, unlike a few decades ago, you can have images of your work so that consumers can see your skill in living color.
Carpentry tends to be a local business. Therefore, you can run social media ads that target people close to you geographically. Ensure that your website is optimized for search since many of your customers will come from organic website visits. Finally, your brand’s personality must shine through in everything you do, which will help build a connection with your clients and potential customers.
Make Your Operations More Efficient
When you are working on a hobby in the garage, or the workshop, how fast you complete a project isn’t always the priority. You may even want to take longer while enjoying what you are doing. However, if you are running a business, production time is everything. You can’t fiddle around when time is money. So take a look at everything you do, and try to spot places where you can be more efficient and streamlined. The faster you can complete projects and sell them, the more money you make.
While you should have a web presence no matter what, selling online is a whole different ball game. If you make smaller items or ones you can ship, you can move to an online sales model. You can put your work on local buy and sell social media pages, but you can also have a purchase platform installed on your website. You can post before and after pics of your project and make it simple for customers to purchase and set up shipping. It’s easy for you, and it’s easy for them.
If you spend a lot of time working on carpentry as a hobby, then it might be time to make a little money off of it. Of course, you won’t have to add extra hours to your work other than setting up invoicing and branding, but you can bring in revenue to make things a little easier.
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