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Starting a Woodworking Business

Starting a Woodworking Business

What is a Woodworking?

Woodworking involves making or carving out creative, decorative and utility items from wood. If you look around you, you would be surprised at the number of things that are made from wood. From indoor woodwork like chairs, tables, bed frames, shelves and kitchen cabinets to outdoor woodwork such as sheds, fences, lawn chairs, and railings. Right from ancient civilization to the modern era, woodwork has always been a major feature in our homes and lives. That is why the demand for woodworking has always been on the high and will remain so for a long time.

Starting a Woodworking Business

Do you have woodworking skills? A lot of people pride themselves on their solid woodworking skills, but most of them never take it beyond a hobby. If that describes you, then here is your chance to convert your skills into a profitable business. There are no formal qualifications required to start a woodworking business, neither is there any need to break the bank to get started. In fact, nothing stops you but the limitation you place on yourself.

If you have been thinking about starting your woodworking business or already have plans in motion, here are some helpful tips to help you along the way.

1. You should have a business plan

Most experts recommend that a business plan should be put into place at the very beginning. However, it is also important to test the market first, making some products and putting them up for sale to see how they sell. This will help you determine the route to go with your business plan and ensure that it is a sustainable business.

2. Create a marketing plan

Once you have made and sold enough of the test products, you can map out your business plan, then start producing enough of your woodwork pieces to be sold at arts and crafts fairs, flea markets, showings and other gatherings where people go in search of great pieces for their home or gifting. You can even start a website with beautiful and digital pictures of your work on display.

3. Advertise your products

As your products start gaining some popularity, you should start advertising in local magazines, on the internet, bulletin boards in the local stores, etc. You can even make flyers and business cards that help identify the products and hand them out everywhere.

    Must Have Tools For Your Woodworking Business

    Woodworkers usually require a variety of tools to carve and create items. Some are large machine tools while others are smaller ones. Acquiring the right tools is one of the most significant aspects of the woodworking business.

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    For people who are already in the woodworking business, they might already know what tools they can handle easily, even if they are complicated to use. However, if you are just starting off in the this business, the tools you should buy would depend mostly on the kind of woodwork you will make, the amount of money you can afford to spend and the space you have in your wood shop.

    You also have the choice to adjust your woodwork according to your tools or buy your tools according to the kind of work you do.

    Here are the most important tools you need for your woodworking business: 

    • Backsaw

    • Bandsaw

    • Chainsaw

    • Clamps

    • Carpenter’s square

    • Reciprocating saw or sawzall

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    • Jigsaw

    • Circular saw

    • Portable hand drill

    • Orbital sander

    • Plunge router

    • Thickness planer

    • Table saw

    • Hammer

    • Set of chisels

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    • Mallet

    • Measuring tape

    • Saw horses

    • Work bench

    • Paint brushes

    • Band saw

    • Belt sander

    • Compound mitre saw

    • Drill press

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    • Cordless drill

    • Corded drill

    • Dust collector

    • Router

    • Air compressor and nailer

    • Bench-top mortiser

    However, if you are a beginner, you should not spend so much money on fancy tools. Try buying used tools that you will commonly use.

    Featured photo credit: Teach First Wiki via teachfirstwiki.org

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    Last Updated on August 14, 2020

    How to Find a Career That Is Right For You

    How to Find a Career That Is Right For You

    There are thousands of careers to choose from. No wonder finding the one that’s right for you can feel like a guessing game.

    Choosing or changing careers can be scary. Even if it’s right for you now, you might wonder, who says it’ll still be a fit in the future?

    The truth is, you have to start somewhere. Whether you’re looking for a first job out of college or need a new career, follow this process to find the right one for you:

    1. List Out Careers You Could Pursue

    It sounds simple, but it’s good advice: Start with what you like. Even before you begin looking for the right career, you probably have an idea of what you’re interested in.

    Next, make a second list, this one including your strengths. If you aren’t sure whether you’re actually good at something, ask someone close to you who’ll give you a truthful answer.

    Once your lists are made, cross-reference them: What do you like to do and do well?

    In a third list, rank these. If you’re skilled at something you don’t particularly like, for instance, that should fall lower on the list.

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    2. Take a Career Assessment

    Standardized tests shouldn’t make decisions for you, but they can get you pointed in the right direction. Career assessment tests gauge your abilities and interests and make recommendations for career paths based on the answers you give.[1]

    Before reviewing your results, take a break. Getting some perspective can help you see whether your answers were guided by your mood. Look at the percentage match and ask yourself whether you could see yourself doing the work of the career or role every day.

    For example, if your responses emphasized helping others, the test might point you to a medical career. However, if you don’t want to work in a hospital or clinical environment, you might cut that option or place it lower on your list.

    3. Sweat the Details

    Every career has gratifying and frustrating things about it. Before you choose one, you need to be clear on those. Reading reviews and job descriptions you find related to each career, make a list of its pros and cons.

    There are a lot of factors to think through. Key questions to ask yourself include:

    • What are the hours required by this type of work? Can they be flexible?
    • What skills are required? Do I possess them, or would I be willing to learn them?
    • What are the education requirements? Can I afford to go back to school?
    • How much do jobs in the field pay? Is the payscale top-heavy or evenly distributed?
    • What does job growth in this sector look like? Are they traditional or contracted roles?
    • Are opportunities in the field available in my area? If not, would I be willing to move?
    • Would I be working solo or on a team?

    In answering these questions, you’ll find yourself crossing a lot of careers off your list. Remember, that’s a good thing: You’d rather find out a career isn’t right for you now than after you’ve put yourself on that path.

    4. Find the Sweet Spot

    The crux of the career question is this: What’s the “sweet spot” between your interests and strengths and the market’s needs? The greater the overlap, the better.

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    Be warned that you’ll have to compromise. Perhaps you enjoy working with animals, but there’s no demand for that line of work in your area. You might be good at math, but you wouldn’t want to crunch numbers in a cubicle for a living. Finding balance is crucial.

    5. Start Networking

    What’s the best way to get the real story about the careers you’re interested in? Talking to professionals in the field.

    Where should you find these people?

    • Reach out to local businesses.
    • Scour your social media networks, particularly LinkedIn.
    • Ask a past employer for recommendations.
    • Sign up for industry events and conferences.

    Schedule a short interview with each of your new connections. Ask them to weigh in on the comments you see online. Every role and company is a bit different, so don’t be surprised if their responses don’t align.

    Regardless of who you find or what they say, write it down. If one interviewee’s responses differ wildly from online responses, chat with someone else in the field. Do your best to find out what’s the rule and what’s the exception.

    6. Shadow and Volunteer

    As valuable as networking can be, you need a firsthand glimpse of the work. If you hit it off with one of your interviewees, ask to do some job shadowing. Sitting beside someone as they work can help you understand not just the pay and the responsibilities but also the culture and work environment associated with each career.

    Job shadowing is a good way to get your feet wet before taking a career plunge. If you felt uninterested or unhappy during your shadowing experience, it’s a good sign that you should ponder a different career path. If your shadowing experience made you want to come back for more, you may have found your calling.

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    Volunteer work is an alternative to job shadowing that can get you the experience you need as you analyze your career options. As a volunteer, you can be more flexible with your time and get opportunities you wouldn’t find elsewhere.

    7. Sign Up for Classes

    Many careers have an academic component that you can’t ignore. If you decide you want to be a lawyer, for instance, you might want to know you can survive law school first.

    Sign up for an introductory class or two related to each career you’re interested in. The earlier you do this, the better. If you’re still in college, the class will count as an elective and may be covered by your scholarship, but if not, look for a community college option to keep costs low.

    Taking a single class is not the same as earning a degree in the field. With that said, it’s a good way to test the waters before you invest thousands of dollars.

    If the content interests you and you look forward to class each week, that’s a good sign. If you start dreading the class or choose to drop it, focus your attention elsewhere.

    8. Enter the Gig Economy

    Contracted work is a great “try it before you buy it” career tactic. Skipping to an entry-level role requires more commitment than you might want to give while you’re still investigating your options. The gig economy offers the best of both worlds: paid work as well as flexibility.[2]

    Gig workers take work from companies or individuals that do not directly employ them. Plumbers and artists are good examples. Rather than receiving a regular paycheck, they sell their services by the task or deliverable.

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    In the gig economy, you aren’t bound by long-term agreements. If you don’t like the experience, you can simply move on.

    You never know if you’ll enjoy something until you try it. And because contractors work with professionals in the field, gig workers naturally get networking and shadowing opportunities.

    9. Market Yourself

    As you zero in on your dream career, there’s one final test you can use to find out whether you’ll be successful: marketing yourself as a candidate for hire. Whether you get bites is a key indicator of how you’ll fare in the field.

    Beware that, as someone without much experience in the field, you’re going to get a lot of rejections. Don’t be discouraged. If you get two interviews out of 50 applications, think of it as two opportunities you didn’t have before to find your ideal career.

    Just as important as outreach is a good inbound strategy. Set up a website, and post your portfolio on it. Describe your dream job on your social media.

    Recruiters are constantly on the lookout for candidates that fit their company. The more exposure you get, the more people will be interested in what you have to offer. Put yourself out there, and you just might find the perfect fit.

    Don’t Give Up!

    Nobody ever said it was easy to find a career that’s right for you. Finding one is tough enough, and even then, you may find yourself looking for a new field ten years into your career.

    Whatever you want from your professional life, you have to be willing to put in the time. Don’t hesitate, and don’t give up. Start your search today.

    More Tips on How to Find a Career

    Featured photo credit: Saulo Mohana via unsplash.com

    Reference

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