Woodcraft is not just a hobby, it’s a viable career. That’s why we have carpenters, furniture makers and wood artisans. You can turn your woodworking hobby into a profession that pays your bills. However, you can only achieve this with excellent skills, excellent products, a great business strategy, hard work, and effective marketing.
If you love creating woodwork products and you want to make a profit off your effort, tag along. In this article, I’ll venture into the world of strategic profitability for woodwork enthusiasts like you.
Table of Contents
- Turn Your Woodworking Hobby Into Money
- 1. Find Your Specialty
- 2. Polish Your Skill
- 3. Get Your Woodworking Tools
- 4. Understand the Market
- 5. Get a Job
- 6. Create a Portfolio
- 7. Set Up an Online Shop and Price for Profit
- 8. Own Your Brand
- 9. Attend Craft Fairs
- 10. Networking and Community: Building Connections in Woodworking
- 11. Offer Custom Works
- 12. Emphasise Customer Satisfaction
- 13. Local Resources: Finding Quality Woodworking Materials and Tools
- 14. Tackle Legalities and Secure Your Business
Turn Your Woodworking Hobby Into Money
1. Find Your Specialty
First, know what type of woodworking you enjoy most – then focus on that. Ask yourself, what’s your favourite wood thing to make? Furniture? Toys? Decorations? Or delicate woodworking? Choose what you love and are really good at. That particular skill is key.
2. Polish Your Skill
After figuring out what woodwork to specialise in, you should now objectively assess your actual skill level, so you know where you may need additional practice or training.
Consider the quality of your finished pieces—do they demonstrate fine attention to detail? Are joints tight surfaces, such as finger joints, smooth? Identify weaker areas like specific joints or finishes to focus your improvement efforts.
You can enroll in a few classes that can quickly advance your technique. Being realistic now will pay off with higher-quality marketable work later.
3. Get Your Woodworking Tools
You must have your tools of trade as a woodworker. This is where you must invest wisely. As a carpenter, you should be as good as your tools. Get yourself durable tools for woodworking projects and build your toolkit. Whether it’s the saw, chisels, hammer drills, you name it, they should be of high quality, a quality that matches your craft.
4. Understand the Market
With the specialization, skills, and tools taken care of, it’s time to do market research to see what wood products are in demand and at what prices.
For instance, simple cutting boards may sell for under $50, while elaborate farmhouse tables command over a grand. Check sites like Etsy, Amazon, etc., to assess pricing for different handmade wood products available. Track trends over time and in other regions—rustic decor may be hot one year, but modern minimalism the next. This information lets you know what to make and how to price them.
5. Get a Job
If you find that you don’t have enough capital to build your own woodworking business, consider applying for a woodworking job opportunity. According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, woodworkers get a median pay of $18.07 per hour. That’s a good and steady source of income in case you can’t strike out on your own first. You can be hired as an independent contractor or full-time employee.
In most cases, you’ll need an excellent resume to showcase your skills to potential employers. Fortunately, technology is at your disposal. You can create an outstanding resume using an online resume builder. Also, make sure to have a portfolio. Talking of portfolios, let’s look at that next.
6. Create a Portfolio
Whether you’re looking for a job or starting your own woodworking business, you must build up a portfolio. It should have your best creations that promote your skills.
Stage photography professionally with good lighting and angles. Showcase pieces demonstrating your distinctive style, like signature joinery or finishing techniques. For example, include a hall table displaying a clean dowel joinery and a warm honey-toned Danish oil finish. Let your unique abilities shine through quality portfolio images you can use across platforms.
7. Set Up an Online Shop and Price for Profit
Now you must showcase your woodwork on the web. The best way to do that is by getting your woodworking projects online. Create a shop on online platforms like:
Using these sites can help you tap into built-in customer bases. To be successful online, target niche products not readily available from mass retailers, like bentwood rocking chairs or hand-turned pens from locally sourced wood.
Other woodworking wonderlands include Instagram and Pinterest. You can also develop your website, providing a sales platform without high startup costs. On a personal site, outline custom furniture-making services with photos and pricing. Promote your site through social media, tagged posts, and search engine optimization.
Do you want to stand out? Price your creations wisely. Consider the cost of materials, your time, and expertise. Don’t undersell your hard work—nail down a price that brings in the chips and doesn’t splinter your profits.
8. Own Your Brand
Woodworking is a competitive market, and you must stand out. Remember, you’re turning your woodworking hobby into a real paying job, and if that is the case, you need to craft a brand that represents what you offer in all its uniqueness.
You must design a company logo and come up with a catchy business name that resonates with your creations. Excellent branding will help you build a more resilient relationship with your client base.
9. Attend Craft Fairs
Hook, line and sinker your clients to your business. Reel them in with outstanding services. You can start with your friends and family and offer them the best of your woodworking projects. Attend local craft fairs and markets to get your work directly in front of customers. Display your best decorative and functional pieces. Chat with visitors to understand what appeals to them and what they’d like to buy that you don’t already offer. Being approachable and educational about your process builds rapport. Collect visitor emails with their permission for future promos.
10. Networking and Community: Building Connections in Woodworking
In the world of woodworking, community matters. Try to connect with fellow enthusiasts through clubs, forums, or social media groups. Engaging with peers not only offers continuous learning and skill refinement but also keeps you updated on industry trends. It opens doors to exciting collaborations, sparking innovation and mutual development. Moreover, being part of woodworking communities can attract potential customers seeking custom creations, serving as a platform to showcase work and gain clientele.
These communities also provide crucial emotional support, particularly in the often solitary world of woodworking. Whether celebrating successes or seeking advice during challenging times, fellow woodworkers offer camaraderie and motivation. Additionally, networking offers access to valuable resources such as tool discounts, workshops, and shared knowledge, enriching one’s craft and enhancing their woodworking journey.
11. Offer Custom Works
Offer made-to-order services to create custom pieces clients want but can’t easily source elsewhere. This distinguishes you from hobbyists selling random creations. Market speciality services like handcrafted cabinetry, live-edge tables, or classic wooden toys to capitalise on high-value custom orders that keep customers coming back.
12. Emphasise Customer Satisfaction
Happy customers are your best advertisements. Ensure you meet deadlines, provide top-notch quality, and maintain excellent communication. A satisfied customer will likely spread the word faster than a freshly sharpened chisel.
13. Local Resources: Finding Quality Woodworking Materials and Tools
Knowing where to source top-notch materials and tools is essential, especially for beginners still discovering the ropes. Local suppliers can be a significant boon in this regard. They can offer a range of high-quality wood types, from hardwoods to softwoods and speciality woods, catering to diverse project needs, whether it’s crafting furniture, toys, or decorative items. you might not always get to pick the wood types you want but you will find great quality hardwoods at reasonable prices.
Local suppliers also provide a unique advantage – personalised guidance. Their knowledgeable staff can offer tailored advice on wood selection, recommend the right tools for specific tasks and even provide insights into project execution. This hands-on support is particularly valuable for beginners, granting them access to expert insights and ensuring they start on the right foot. Plus, local suppliers offer immediacy, enabling woodworkers to dive into their projects without the delays often associated with online sources. By mentioning local suppliers, you not only help readers find quality materials but also contribute to the support of the local economy, fostering a sense of community among woodworkers in the area.
14. Tackle Legalities and Secure Your Business
Lastly, while going about your woodworking business, ensure you’re on the right side of the law. Register your business, sort out taxes, comply with all regulations, and ensure you earn what you deserve. Also, for the safety of yourself and your business, get enrolled in a carpenter insurance plan. Insurance will protect your investment and skills during rainy days.
Turning your woodworking hobby into a paying job is a journey and a process. Each step contributes to the next step. Otherwise, miss one, and your woodworking business won’t run for long. Turning a hobby into a career takes considerable effort and business acumen. But with passion, persistence, and savvy marketing, it may be possible to monetize your woodworking skills successfully.
Always keep learning and growing as an artisan. With dedication, you can build a meaningful livelihood from woodwork. And hey, stay on the good side of the law.