I just wanted to hop on my soap box for just a minute, and say it is just plain hard to make a buck! I do not care what industry you work in it is just hard to make money as a business. Now, first let me say I am not in the wood working industry I am in the electrical industry and it is flat out stupid! I do wood working as a hobby and like everyone romantised about how great it would be to do this for a living and so on, but the truth of the matter is that once you start to do ANYTHING for money or compensation it takes it to a different level.
If you take a commission you can not work on it on and off for a year. Your client, well they will not be your client for long, will not have it. What happens is it does become a job and like any job it has to be done and requires extra effort and energy that goes above and beyond the hobby level. Even if you are building something for a friend and they are paying for any portion of the project, they have just become your client, customer, or what have you and you now have a reputation to uphold like it or not. You have just brought your wood working to a new level, that being said this is the best way to find out if this is something that you would want to pursue further or decide it is not worth the headache.
Please do not misunderstand I am not trying to rip anyone’s dreams to pieces and I will never say not to take the leap of starting a business, but most business owners I have talked always say do notnget in to this business do x,y, or z, the truth is there is no bullet proof business model out there and anyone who promises you that there is, is lying, so walk away slowly and keep your hand over your wallet!
I have done some wood working for money and have enjoyed it a lot, however it is a headache to have deal with people, and I deal with people at my day job, contractors beating me up on price, deadlines, staying compliant with permits etc. It is a real pain in the rear. Wood working for profit is no different, and has problems just like any other business has, I believe that is just the business world.
Again I am not trying to discourage anyone from selling their wares, I just want people to realize it is DAMN hard, and please ask for advice, but sometimes it seems like people just ask the same questions over and over again and the poor folks that do this for a living would have to getting tired of answering the same questions over and over.
I am not a professional woodworker I am in the electric business, but there are a lot of simularties that I believe are universal in running a business. I just want folks to really think about it before taking it to the next level. I hope I did not turn anyone off by this but please understand it is hard, but not impossible and it takes a lot of work to sell stuff, sometimes more work than building what you are trying to sell. I welcome any comments as I hope I made my point and if anyone has any further insight to contribute to what I have tried ot say.
-- Nothing is hard once you know how to do it.