Woodwork Biz/Getting Started

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Blog series by billb updated 03-03-2011 04:51 PM 8 parts 14182 reads 39 comments total

Part 1: My First Steps - The Search For Cash Flow

02-15-2011 03:56 PM by billb | 10 comments »

As a writer on the woodworking business, I am always reading everything I can find about various ways to operate such a business. That’s why I have been avidly reading all of Jim Hamilton’s posts on getting started and Sawblade1’s efforts to get his business going. These posts contain valuable information and reading them has motivated me to address some of the methods I used to get started years ago in hopes they might also be of help. I won’t bore you with the det...

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Part 2: Item One - Shop Space

02-16-2011 04:00 PM by billb | 5 comments »

Let’s start with item number one, what to use for shop space. Obviously, the best thing would be if you owned a shop space such as your garage or some other out building. This would certainly be less costly than renting even a small space. However, it may not be viable in a subdivision with deed restrictions, where you may not be able to conduct any business from your home. Or, it is possible that there are noise restrictions precluding the use of woodworking machines. Check all that ou...

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Part 3: Item Two - Getting the Word Out

02-17-2011 05:19 PM by billb | 4 comments »

Item two involves notifying everyone you know about your new business. Before starting this I would make up some business cards that clearly state the work you do. Make them clean looking and avoid anything that might confuse people about the work you do. I have made some excellent cards on my computer using simple software and biz card stock but you can also purchase them and even get some for the price of shipping from a company called Once you have the cards, start by fa...

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Part 4: Special Item - Business Accounting

02-17-2011 05:29 PM by billb | 14 comments »

I’m going to interrupt this series with an important, unlisted item. Accurate and up-to-date accounting is critical to the success of any business, including woodworking. This can be a problem if you’re like me and dislike the tedium of accounting for your business activities. I’ve always done my own accounting using Quickbooks and now my own taxes using TurboTax Online. While that has worked out fairly well, my lack of accounting knowledge means that I fail to take full adv...

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Part 5: Item Three - Classified Ads

02-22-2011 03:26 PM by billb | 1 comment »

Item 3 on my starting out series is about classified ads. These can bring you business in some communities but it is essential to allow them to run regularly not just once or twice. This can get expensive in a large city even small ads. I found that the small weekly newspapers were less expensive and the ads were visible for an entire week instead of just one day. Naturally, the ads must be brief but you definitely want it to be interesting. If there is a product that seems popular, start ...

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Part 6: Item 4 and 5 - Using Postcards

02-25-2011 01:43 AM by billb | 3 comments »

There are many more ways to create postcards now because of the computer and easy to use graphic software. Most inkjet printers will do a great job with postcards, and you can purchase blank cards inexpensively, the problem is the high cost of ink. I suggest making a few with your printer to get an idea of the per card cost. If it does work out too high, you can create an original and take it to a quick print shop to have a quantity of them made. You may be able to go to one of those self pri...

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Part 7: Item 6 - Using Flyers

03-03-2011 04:41 PM by billb | 0 comments »

The effectiveness of flyers varies among communities but I found it to be a good method of getting the message out about my business. You can create flyers yourself with your computer and a simple inkjet printer but the better way is to create a good original and then take it to one of those instant print places and purchase the quantity you need. It may cost less than the cost of the inkjet cartridges you will use to print them yourself.There are several ways to handle the distribution of fl...

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Part 8: Letters In Addition To Postcards and Flyers

03-03-2011 04:51 PM by billb | 2 comments »

While letters take a lot of time and require letterhead and envelopes that should look professional, they can be used on a limited basis to reach a niche market of potential customers similar to one or more of your existing customers. The similarities among commercial customers or residential customers could present a marketing opportunity. I experienced an example of that with lecterns (podiums) for hotels. One of the large local hotels called me to build a small, table top lectern. I de...

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