So you think you can go pro ? :) #10: Deep thoughts about a woodworking business

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Blog entry by sawblade1 posted 08-14-2011 04:42 AM 1402 reads 2 times favorited 8 comments Add to Favorites Watch
« Part 9: Hens and Biddies Part 10 of So you think you can go pro ? :) series Part 11: 12.60 per ft Cherry :( But Then again :) »

Good evening, LJ’s I apologize for not posting recently due to going on the sabbatical with woodworking . After posting my fish board project I went to the Heartville flea market expecting to do good taking two Adirondack chairs, a swing, and a few fish boards. Going on two hours of sleep, no help, and my friend having car trouble so she couldn’t come and help out :( So how did I do? It sucked plain and simple weather was rainy/sunny and holding back the crowd in the morning. then this guy shows up in two Large pickups with trailers full of outdoor furniture. Welcome competition I thought, WELL THINK AGAIN he was selling them like McDonald’s sells Big Mac’s finally after watching him for an hour I asked my new found friend next to me (she was selling baby items) to watch my booth and I walked to get some lunch and coffee, As I went I passed his booth the work looked like a high school Freshman did it as I grabbed one of his flyers. Not Until I sat down in one of my chairs eating my lunch and reading one of his flyers did I realize how he was doing it HE WAS UNDERPRICING ME BY A MERE 15.00 on my cedar ones and selling pine chairs for a WHOPPING 125.00 with less than 50.00 in material. So that day crushed me I lost 250.00 and never seemed to want to do woodworking again I gave two of the fish boards away kept a third for a reminder of a bad day, left the shop in a mess and seemed to just walk away ;( After praying and deep thought I decided to order a book called Business By the Book After reading it boy did I realize where I was going wrong, one of the main reasons I was failing was I didn’t try hard enough and I was doing it wrong By God’s way and Listening to the SBDC only got me in more trouble (in the line of failure) Two years I have not made a profit By doing what they said to do. So I went back to my old business plan only 6 pages long, back to the original vision, back to what seemed to work. Last week out at work I struck up a conversation with a manager and mentioned I did woodworking and mentioned about my cutting boards I had HE BOUGHT ONE FOR $25.00 :) As I got paid I mentioned I was getting ready to build a blanket chest, he was also interested in it. I went out this evening and prayed before I started this project and I estimated 5.5 hours to break down and mill lumber I finished tonight with rough milling in 45 Minutes and looking to finish in 2 hours. :) I found out I was headed in the wrong direction I may have a lot to reclaim but not impossible with God’s help I remember a quote by Theodore Roosevelt It says
“It is not the critic who counts: not the man who points out how the strong man stumbles or where the doer of deeds could have done better. The credit belongs to the man who is actually in the arena, whose face is marred by dust and sweat and blood, who strives valiantly, who errs and comes up short again and again, because there is no effort without error or shortcoming, but who knows the great enthusiasms, the great devotions, who spends himself for a worthy cause; who, at the best, knows, in the end, the triumph of high achievement, and who, at the worst, if he fails, at least he fails while daring greatly, so that his place shall never be with those cold and timid souls who knew neither victory nor defeat.”
In closing this is my lesson Two years wasted but not lost, I have a long road ahead but I am at least headed in the right direction :)

-- Proverbs Ch:3 vs 5,6,7 Trust in the lord with all thine heart and lean not unto your own understanding but in all your ways aknowledge him and he shall direct your path

8 comments so far

View Everett1's profile


213 posts in 2532 days

#1 posted 08-14-2011 05:30 AM

I’m glad to hear we aren’t losing you!

I might have to print that Teddy quote and hang it in the shop

-- Ev in Framingham, MA

View lanwater's profile


3111 posts in 2932 days

#2 posted 08-14-2011 07:35 AM

I am pretty sure you will find your way.
Keep a positive attitude and a smile.

people keep going to the same bar because they feel comfortable there. rarely for the price.

wish you the best.

-- Abbas, Castro Valley, CA

View TopamaxSurvivor's profile


18270 posts in 3674 days

#3 posted 08-14-2011 08:30 AM

Glad to hear you are headed up hill agfain! Who is SBDC?

-- Bob in WW ~ "some old things are lovely, warm still with life ... of the forgotten men who made them." - D.H. Lawrence

View Hacksaw007's profile


613 posts in 3187 days

#4 posted 08-14-2011 01:38 PM

Good story. Your friend must be doing a larger productions of his work, which in most cases reduces costs. Maybe you need to take your best sellers and on a small scale mass produce them to help lower your base price. People today are always looking at the best price through the sun glasses of a poor economy, which doesn’t see sometimes who has the best quality. Delighting the customer is more than making the best product, it is making it at a level they will see as something they can afford, and still live with. Not that yours is over priced, I don’t know, but you experenced the power of lower prices head to head. Glad you hear that you are still in the battle, and that you are working toward God’s way. Hang in there my friend.


-- For God so loved the world, that he gave his only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have everlasting life. John 3:16

View sawblade1's profile


754 posts in 3025 days

#5 posted 08-14-2011 06:18 PM

Topamax The SBDC is Small business development center a government run agency supposedly to help small businesses but winds up not helping me at all mainly because I am a non growth industry ( not the hottest thing) and I am too small :)

-- Proverbs Ch:3 vs 5,6,7 Trust in the lord with all thine heart and lean not unto your own understanding but in all your ways aknowledge him and he shall direct your path

View TopamaxSurvivor's profile


18270 posts in 3674 days

#6 posted 08-14-2011 08:32 PM

I thought it was probably similar to what was the Small Business Admin when I started. They never told me anything of value. The advisers were retire business people. It probably worked for them in the 50s, 60s, and 70s. I started in a different world in the Regan/Business Roundtable recession of the 80s. The work volume recovered but the price structure and margins never have.

-- Bob in WW ~ "some old things are lovely, warm still with life ... of the forgotten men who made them." - D.H. Lawrence

View sedcokid's profile


2732 posts in 3596 days

#7 posted 08-15-2011 04:40 PM


Stays focused and watch what happens…. I assure you my friend that as long as you are serving Him, He will see to your need and show you the way….

I learned this a long time ago ;)

Thanks for sharing!!

-- Chuck Emery, Michigan,

View nate22's profile


475 posts in 2873 days

#8 posted 08-17-2011 05:22 PM


I was in your position about 2 years ago. I had my business and nothing was happing for me and I got frustrated and mad sometimes. Then I relized that I wasn’t letting god be in control. When I turned everything over to him things started happening for the business and for the last 2 years I have steadily got more business and I haven’t been without work. So try it hand everything over to him since it is his business anyways, he choose you to run it for him and see what happens. And don’t worry or be concern with the other guys either. And if your business plan isn’t what god wants then it won’t work. Thats just my 2 cents on the conversation.

-- Gracie's wooden signs. Middlebury, In.

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