Woodworking Business Idea
If you like working with wood and are good with your hands, there are several woodworking business opportunities out there.
Your business will produce fine artwork and collectible household items in wood using a variety of woodturning tools and techniques. Using a lathe and carving tools, woodturning is the process of cutting and shaping wood into ornate artwork designs.
You can sell your items locally through fairs or retail outlets and can also easily advertise and sell your items over the internet. You could even teach woodworking classes as a business expansion idea.
Whether you’re the guy who builds birdhouses, or the gal who makes fine turned vessels, there are many woodworking business opportunities and ways to find buyers for your wares. Here are a few:
- Farmers’ Markets. Find out if any in your area allow booths with artisans selling their products. Take a photo album along of your larger pieces so that you do not have to lug them with you.
- Gift Shops. Call ahead and make an appointment with the owner or buyer, and explain what types of items you produce. Having the shop purchase directly from you is best, so make sure you give them more of a wholesale price. Otherwise, be sure you have a consignment agreement in writing, and a signed acknowledgment of the inventory you have dropped off.
- Craft Shows. Identify ones that would be suitable for your type of woodworking. For example, if you make homespun ornaments and humorous signs, it may not be appropriate for a fine art fair; look for the type of show that serves as a fund-raiser for a local school or charity.
- Galleries. If you make folk art carvings, furniture, turned vessels, bird or animal carvings, decoys, or sculptures, your work may sell very well in galleries. Most likely it will be on a consignment basis, and the gallery’s percentage can be substantial, so be sure to present your work to the owner priced according to what you would like to net from the sale of each piece, and get a signed inventory acknowledgment.
- Garden Centers. Birdhouses, whimsical signs on stakes, whirligigs, obelisks, planter boxes, bent-wood furniture, benches, and Adirondack chairs will sell well, especially when the owner tells the clientele that they are made locally. The best woodworking business opportunities are often found within your community.
- Your front yard. If you make larger items that would be difficult to steal, and live on a busy street, take advantage of the free advertising by placing a for sale sign on your products, with your cell phone number on it. Be sure your local zoning rules will allow you to sell from your yard, first.
Getting Serious With Woodworking Business Opportunities
Before you even have a sales outlet for your work, be sure you are thinking like a business owner. Be prepared to take advantage of all woodworking business opportunities that come your way.
Make sure to have the equipment you need to be a professional. Stock your workshop with the proper woodworking tools and woodworking supplies. But don’t go overboard! Only buy the items you absolutely need.
Talk to an accountant about whether or not you need to have a business entity set up, and discuss whether or not you can take your existing tools, equipment, and supplies and make them assets of your business, as there may be tax advantages to doing so.
Keep track of your sales, no matter where they take place. If you are selling your products yourself, you will likely need to have a seller’s permit from your state, and be required to have it with you at the point of sale. You may have to collect sales tax according to the county rate where the sale is made, and turn it in to the state at regular intervals.
Check the web site of your state’s Department of Revenue for information on how to apply for a seller’s permit.
Your seller’s permit number may also be the number you will need to provide suppliers in order to obtain wholesale pricing and/or purchase materials without paying sales tax on them. Carry a copy of your permit with you at all times; if you happen upon a great deal on something, it will be even better if you do not have to pay sales tax on it.
Be sure to keep receipts for the purchase of wood, tools, and supplies. Calculate the cost of each piece, and be sure to mark it up enough to not simply make a profit, but to pay yourself something for the time you put into it, as well.
Remember, the person who is buying or receiving your work as a gift is getting something that has been made with care, by you – the woodworking artisan.