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Forum topic by ginaandgary posted 02-18-2015 07:22 PM 1275 views 0 times favorited 11 replies Add to Favorites Watch
View ginaandgary's profile


1 post in 1434 days

02-18-2015 07:22 PM

Topic tags/keywords: business locations woodwork craft

Hi! my husband and I are looking to start a woodworking/restoration/crafts business and having a hard time finding a location. We wanted to open a shop in a downtown area, where there is a lot of foot traffic, but having problems due to zoning laws…..our hopes was to have a workshop in the back of a building and then the store out front.

does anyone have any experience or suggestions??

11 replies so far

View mahdee's profile


4045 posts in 2007 days

#1 posted 02-18-2015 07:44 PM

Not sure where you are located and what you plan to make or sell.


View Patch2020's profile


97 posts in 1481 days

#2 posted 02-18-2015 10:00 PM

Your best bet to have it all in one location is to stay on the edge of town right outside the city limits. Zoning and taxes are easier to work with there. Inside the city limits there are so many rules having to do with finishing and dust in the air that it is not cost effective to be there. Also there are more sales and use taxes in the city.

-- Patch2020, Tennessee

View JAAune's profile


1854 posts in 2557 days

#3 posted 02-19-2015 03:12 AM

I was able to get a location smack in the middle of downtown. It’s a tiny village though and half of downtown consists of fab shops of various types anyhow. It’s great to have a post office and grocery next door. Traffic is pretty good but I’m not expecting sales from random walk-ins. We’re too high dollar for most local pocketbooks.

As far as suggestions go, spread out your dragnet and search far and wide for something within your means. Investigate less than ideal locations before writing them off as impossible. My business partner and I visited three buildings through a realtor before I stumbled across our current location which was for sale by the owner.

The first two buildings were affordable but would have cost tens of thousands to get ready for use. Both were in poor locations but one was in a high crime area where we’d have to operate behind locked doors. When I found our current building, it was twice the cost but required minimal upgrades and no repairs. It took six weeks to dismantle, move and setup operations. That’s fast.

Make sure you have plenty of cashflow to handle downtime. Contractors and inspectors can be slow and utility companies can take forever to get anything done. Obtaining 3-phase for example, will probably take about three months time. We’re able to conduct business without it but not at full efficiency.

-- See my work at and

View daddywoofdawg's profile


1028 posts in 1815 days

#4 posted 02-19-2015 04:53 AM

Walk in for the most part isn’t going to happen or enough to pay for the location.look in a easy to find place in maybe a industrial area.most people will be going to your place as a destination not a happen by.

View HowardInToronto's profile


77 posts in 1942 days

#5 posted 02-19-2015 12:56 PM

Walkin traffic isn’t anything for you to count on.

You didn’t mention your city. But in general terms, find a spot that’s affordable – maybe in an industrial area. With PARKING.

Next to your technical knowledge, marketing your business is the most important skill you’ll master. Learn how to draw your best clients to you. Counting on foot traffic to buy something from you isn’t predictable or consistent.

So, market your business to your best type of client. Have them come to you with purpose. Make their lives easy – offer parking so they put their purchases into their vehicle. Then keep marketing to them.

View helluvawreck's profile


32086 posts in 3106 days

#6 posted 02-19-2015 07:04 PM

You’ll probably do better finding one on the outskirts of the town. It’s hard to control your dust and noise good enough to where you will not be bothering your close neighbors. Also, the fire and safety codes may prevent you from doing any finishing work. You can usually find a suitable building in the outskirts of most towns. The rent will also be lower. I hope that you will be successful and welcome to Lumberjocks.

helluvawreck aka Charles

-- helluvawreck aka Charles,

View canadianchips's profile


2616 posts in 3237 days

#7 posted 02-19-2015 07:09 PM

The above comments all talk about walkin traffic not supporting your business. That may be so, but the walkins are good advertising for the people that are looking for your type of work. Location is more important than some think. Who is going to drive to boony no-where ?

-- "My mission in life - make everyone smile !"

View helluvawreck's profile


32086 posts in 3106 days

#8 posted 02-19-2015 07:31 PM

In most of the towns near me the outskirts of the towns have a lot of great buildings and the roads are the ones that connect to other nearby towns. In the town where I live there are six highways coming into town from the surrounding towns. There is a reasonable amount of traffic on these roads and you can get more room for your money. There are more people that live in subdivisions out in the county than in the city in our county and a lot of people are going to go by your shop into town and back by your shop on the way out. A decent sign should bring in a lot of those folks. Parking is usually ample in these buildings.

helluvawreck aka Charles

-- helluvawreck aka Charles,

View Puzzleman's profile


417 posts in 3184 days

#9 posted 02-19-2015 09:13 PM

Questions for you to answer:

Who is your ideal customer?
How will you market to this ideal customer? Website? Shows? Newspaper ads? word of mouth?
If website, does it really matter where your shop is located?
If shows, does it really matter where your shop is located?
If newspaper ads, how easily can someone access your location?
If work of mouth, see above.
Does the ideal customer live close to you downtown?
What percentage of the foot traffic would be your ideal customer?
Is there enough of the ideal customers walking by to be worth the extra cost of being downtown?
What is the ideal location? Think in terms of size, layout, closeness to ideal customer, utilities.

Look around, the ideal location may not be where you are currently thinking. Analyze your answers to the questions and see where it leads you.

-- Jim Beachler, Chief Puzzler,

View Dark_Lightning's profile


3367 posts in 3349 days

#10 posted 02-20-2015 01:50 AM

Another pointer- your handle here, “ginaandgary” has two “a”s in a row, and if you are going to use that as your shop name, it doesn’t roll as easily off the tongue as does “garyandgina”. Maybe G&G? Nah, that one is taken. Not knocking it, just an observation.

-- Random Orbital Nailer

View Logan Windram's profile

Logan Windram

347 posts in 2702 days

#11 posted 02-20-2015 02:39 AM

People I know who have leased storefront or premium location to sell their spec work have gotten wiped out. Even the studio furniture model is fizzling because of the access to so much content via the Internet. Your outline is vague, so I’m not sure this is what your talking about, but I’d be very careful and research thoroughly.

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