? Marketing a SMALL (one man) fine/custom furniture making/woodworking business ?

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Forum topic by steve posted 02-02-2013 01:11 AM 5999 views 0 times favorited 25 replies Add to Favorites Watch
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363 posts in 1990 days

02-02-2013 01:11 AM

Getting noticed…
making $
I am on the web.
Website is submitted to ALL search engines and local submits.
I am NOT in the Yellow Pages, yet
I am NOT in the local paper…
I have a sign at my place of business, which is my home.
Not interested in advise pertaining to my odds at success, or why I am bothering, or etc, etc….

-- steve/USA

25 replies so far

View Loren's profile (online now)


10385 posts in 3645 days

#1 posted 02-02-2013 02:26 AM

Direct marketing to architects, interior designers and contractors.

SEO is almost a waste of time for a small woodworking business.
It will not bring the right kind of traffic.

To get the right kind of traffic, you’ll need to drive it in
other ways. Postcards and cold calling the “gatekeepers”
I mentioned above work well. They have access to clients
who are actively spending money on furniture.

View BBrown626's profile


37 posts in 1958 days

#2 posted 02-02-2013 02:38 AM

Customers are your best advertising. To get started try a classified ad in the services section. I started with penny saver. If things slow down a bit, send out a letter to past customers.

View Loren's profile (online now)


10385 posts in 3645 days

#3 posted 02-02-2013 02:50 AM

Read Jim Tolpin’s book on professional cabinetmaking too.

View RonInOhio's profile


721 posts in 2861 days

#4 posted 02-02-2013 02:59 AM

Concentrate your efforts more locally. Websites can end up being time consuming and likely won’t get
you on the radar locally.

Some ways to advertise your business .

Always have some business cards in your pocket to hand out.


Donate some of your time and talent to benefits,charity,and churches.
It could bring unforeseen customers to you from word of mouth.

View MNgary's profile


298 posts in 2414 days

#5 posted 02-02-2013 03:07 AM

Loren, what is SEO?

Also, Loren, I’m not seeing the “I mentioned above”. Would you mind re-enterring ‘the above’?


-- I dream of a world where a duck can cross the road and no one asks why.

View Loren's profile (online now)


10385 posts in 3645 days

#6 posted 02-02-2013 03:07 AM

SEO: search engine optimization and submission

above: ” architects, interior designers and contractors”

View RonInOhio's profile


721 posts in 2861 days

#7 posted 02-02-2013 03:09 AM

SEO is Search Engine Optimization. Its used for getting your site indexed higher up within search engine results, so your page isn’t buried 20 pages back or more.

Typically and quite simply the keywords (tags) or meta info in your page is compared by the search engine for a particular relevance or match to a search term.

There are whole books and many so-called experts that specialize in optimizing a web site for better rankings on search engine results.

View a1Jim's profile


117091 posts in 3574 days

#8 posted 02-02-2013 03:16 AM

Be careful about signs on your home it can void or get your home insurance canceled,unless you have a commercial endorsement.

-- wood crafting & woodworking classes

View steve's profile


363 posts in 1990 days

#9 posted 02-02-2013 03:39 AM

Thanks, but I have no issues like that in my City, or with my insurance.
I have a small (resembles an old type Doctors Home Office) sign, and it’s been there for a while.

Regardless, I am seeking advice on better ways to get my message to people who desire woodworking services.

-- steve/USA

View huff's profile


2828 posts in 3282 days

#10 posted 02-02-2013 03:40 AM


Tell us a little more about your business and what you build.

The more ways you can get your name and your company name in front of people the better chance to make a sale.
1. Never rely on only one or two sources for marketing.

2. Your Company name/logo should look the same in all marketing you do. Signs, flyers, brochures, business cards, web-site, face book, paper ads, etc. The more continuity you have the easier it will be for a prospective customer to recognize you each time.

3. Business Cards This can be one of the least expensive, but most effective marketing tools you can have…...........But make sure you have them printed professionally. You can use an on-line printer like Vista Print and have 250 – 500 cards made. (order premium card stock). I would recommend NOT making your own cards. Home made business cards unfortunately look like home made business cards and that should not be the impression you want the customer to have of you or your business. The more professional you look the better. Hand your business cards out like candy. I can find more excuses to get one of my business cards in someone’s hand. I’ll write a note on the back of one of my cards, write directions, give a phone number, a favorite restaurant, my mechanic, my barber, my doctor, my vet, etc. You’ll be surprised on many will keep your card and end up referring to it later on…......Don’t be bashful! It may not be an immediate sale, but you’re laying the ground work and that’s what marketing is all about.

4. Marketing is a full time effort. You can’t do it just once and expect endless results. You’ll be doing marketing the rest of your life, or at least the rest of your business life if you want a successful business.

5. Think of places you may be able to put some of your work on display. Galleries, Consignment shops, etc. They get a strong commission for selling your stuff, but you don’t have to have a retail store yourself or man it.

6. Like Loren said earlier; Designers, Architects, and Contractors. They can be some tough characters to work for, but they can help you generate business.

7. Craft shows, home shows, exhibits or any other venue you can set up a display and sell your products.

8. Word of mouth advertising will always be one of your best sources for marketing, but will also take time to build and develop.

9. I would be leery of Yellow pages in a phone book, very expensive advertising and usually most calls will be for a price only.

10. Your web-site, face book, a blog can also be an effective way of getting your name out there.

11. You can also sell on Custom made, Etsy, Craigs list, E bay and some of the other sites on the internet. These will all have a fee for selling, but another avenue to consider.

12. Any free publicity you can get is good….........if it’s good publicity! See if you can get your local paper to do a write-up about you and your company. Sometimes donating to a local event can be helpful, but that’s more for good PR and getting to be known in the community.

13. If you are in a town or city, get involved with community projects and other business people. Local Chamber of Commerce, Town events, etc.

14. Friends, neighbors and relatives; Not as customers, but promoter’s ! When I first started my business, my neighbor was one of my best promoter’s. She worked at a large Hospital and once she told some of her fellow workers, I had steady work from one to another for most the first year I was in business and got referrals for years.

Good luck!

-- John @

View steve's profile


363 posts in 1990 days

#11 posted 02-02-2013 03:41 AM

seems like there are the same 6 people that comment on any/all threads on this site…

-- steve/USA

View steve's profile


363 posts in 1990 days

#12 posted 02-02-2013 03:43 AM

good stuff huff, thanks

-- steve/USA

View jap's profile


1251 posts in 2051 days

#13 posted 02-02-2013 04:21 AM

word of mouth…

-- Joel

View Puzzleman's profile


417 posts in 2941 days

#14 posted 02-02-2013 05:42 PM

In my opinion, the marketing and sales of your products is more work than actually making the products.
Huff put up alot of ways for you to market yourself. Not all of them will be appropriate nor work for you. But you never know which will or will not work until you do them.

Another thing to think about is who is your customer. You didn’t list your products so it is hard for someone to give you the best idea. For example, I make puzzles and someone else makes cabinets. We are both woodworkers but looking at totally different markets, ways of advertising and customer.

I presume that you are making some sales. Determine why they are your ideal customers. Then using those traits find other people similar. Once you do that, market to where those types of people are. One of my tricks is to market to stores that are near luxury car dealers. I sell high price/quality items for my category, so my ideal customer has a fairly high income. Luxury car dealers put themselves where these people are located.
I also look at home prices in communities. Same reasoning applies. I know what is the minimum value house that the people who buy my products usually have. So I look for stores and art/craft shows in those areas.

If this sounds like a lot of work, it is. However, once you get it up and running it gets easier. You don’t waste time talking to someone that probably is not your ideal customer. I want to talk to people/stores that will have the best chance for me.

-- Jim Beachler, Chief Puzzler,

View Richforever's profile


757 posts in 3717 days

#15 posted 02-02-2013 06:32 PM

One suggestion: zero in on as few markets as possible. This increases sales and word of mouth advertising and reduces your costs.

Know what the folks in each market buy. It is one of three feelings that are associated with the product or service (in that particular market). Set the prices to be at the level that those in the market are used to spending in order to get that particular feeling. Those customers will be yours for life.

If the marketing is done, sales is easy and fun. If marketing is not done, sales usually does not sustain the business.

-- Rich, Seattle, WA

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