How to Start a Woodcraft Business

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Turn the love of working with your hands into a lucrative business.
Turn the love of working with your hands into a lucrative business. (Image: wood wheel image by Galyna Andrushko from Fotolia.com)

Woodcrafting can be therapeutic. The time spent working with your hands and the wood can take your mind off the stresses in life. You can build things with wood, from furniture to jewelry. Woodcrafting can also be a way to generate income. If you like working with your hands and building things, a woodcraft business may be ideal for you. Start one in your garage.

Things You'll Need

  • Web hosting account
  • Registered domain name
  • Reseller's permit application
  • Digital camera
  • Lumber
  • Woodcraft supplies

Planning

Plan thoroughly. In "How to Start a Home-Based Craft Business," Kenn Oberrecht advises that you write out a business plan and "assess the feasibility of the venture, evaluate your business resources, evaluate your financial resources and identify potential customers." Research the market and find an undeserved niche, such as furniture, toys or decorations.

Choose a name for the business. Avoid generic business names that are taken, such as "Wood Crafts" or "Wood Furniture Plus." Choose a unique name that's memorable and easily transferable to a domain name for your website.

Choose a business entity and apply for a business license. If you plan to keep the business small, register as a sole proprietorship. If you want to reduce your liability, register as a Limited liability company. Register as a corporation if you have multiple owners and want to separate personal liability from business liability. Register as a partnership if you have multiple owners and don't want to incorporate.

Register your fictitious business name with the county you operate in. Apply for a reseller's license. A reseller's license will exempt you from paying tax on your purchases for the business.

Open a business bank account with your bank. The deposit requirement can be as little as $1,500. Print checks with your business name on them.

Workshop

Clear out your garage and set it up as your workshop. You can also rent commercial space away from home, but that will cut into your profits before the business gets off the ground. Apply for a home occupational permit if it's required by your county or state.

Find suppliers. Woodcraft and Rockler are popular suppliers in the woodworking industry. Make a list of the tools that you will need, such as hammer, nails, saws and lumber.

Be respectful of your neighbors and develop a working schedule during the day. Quit working before nightfall.

Sketch a few sample products that best represent your business. Set prices on the basis of the cost of material and the time you put into creating the products. Build your sample products before you invest time and money in a huge inventory of products.

Marketing

Find outlets to sell your woodcrafts. You can choose to open a retail location, in which you will need to find a site, get the permits for building and construction, or negotiate lease rates. Or you can sell solely online.

Build your website. Take photographs of your products. Hire a designer to build a site that allows visitors to make purchases and place orders online.

Take your business on the road to trade fairs. Start attending local craft fairs and selling your woodcrafts in flea markets on the weekends. When business picks up, branch out into different parts of the state and then into other parts of the country.

Send photos of your products to retail stores. Create a professional catalogue right on your desktop with software like Microsoft Publisher. In "How to Start a Home-Based Craft Business", Kenn Oberrecht suggests contacting "gift and souvenir shops, arts-and-crafts galleries, speciality shops, chain stores, craft malls, and mail-order outlets."

Create a marketing strategy. Get the word out about your business directly to the consumers through social networking sites. Pass out some of those catalogues everywhere you go.

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