How to Turn Your Woodworking Hobby to Business

Is woodworking your favorite hobby? What if we told you that you can turn your woodworking hobby into your profession?

Yes, we are not kidding! It is not impossible to turn your passion for woodworking into a profitable business and work on something which you love, all day long.

A lot of people like working on woodworking projects as they are fun and help in relieving stress. But most of them seem dubious about the idea of turning their fun hobby into something more meaningful and profitable. Most of the beginners or DIY hobbyists don’t even have a clear idea or guidelines on how can they earn a few extra bucks on the side by using their hobby.

And people who do have the necessary resources and strategy at hand are usually scared to start their business and find the idea particularly cumbersome. They often worry about questions like who will even hire them. Will anyone even buy the products built by them? Is there really any profit in this work? And so on.

Luckily for you, we have actually put together a comprehensive guide on how you can bank the most out of your woodworking hobby and make some extra bucks. In fact, you can use this guide not only for a side hustle but can also turn your woodworking hobby into a full-fledged business.

In this guide, we have covered all the steps, from finding a niche to getting offline business, that you would need to follow to earn some profits from your woodworking projects. We have also suggested a few woodworking craft ideas for you to consider and some essential tips for selling your crafts successfully.

So, let us not waste time anymore. Get ready to become professional woodworker now!

Are You Ready to Turn Your Woodworking Passion into Something Profitable?

Now, before we actually start with this, you need to ask yourself if you are really ready to sell your woodworking crafts.

What do we mean by being ready?

Well, this means that you cannot suddenly decide to become a professional woodworker if you don’t have proper experience in this field. Do you have any skills or are you a total amateur?

If you wish to sell any basic craft, you need to have some basic woodworking skills which will help you in these projects. But if you are a total beginner in woodworking, then you need to be a few woodworking courses to gather some essential skills.

Don’t worry, this won’t be a huge hurdle in opening your own woodworking business. You can start by taking the woodworking course at a local college or university or you can take the job of an apprentice at a local shop. Being an apprentice is a great way to learn and hone your skills and you get paid a little at the same time too.

Enrolling in a college is also a good idea as you meet other people there who are interested in the same crafts as you. So, you can end up helping each other and learning a lot which will be tremendously helpful in starting your business.

One thing which you should definitely not do is to try to learn woodworking on your own. It is not impossible to learn but it is extremely dangerous to work with the woodworking tools without proper training or guidance.

On the other hand, if you are a DIY hobbyist who has already worked on a few small projects, you have the initial skills to turn your hobby into a business. And the best part is that you are aware of your interests and what kind of crafts do you prefer to make.

This is really helpful because you can choose a niche for your business and work on those crafts in the beginning. And then slowly, with time and practice, you can expand your woodworking skills to take up different types of projects.

One thing to remember is that you should always choose crafts depending on your interest. This will help you in making better projects while enjoying the woodworking tasks.

And once you are experienced at the basic crafts, you can move on to a few complex projects. Start with the easy crafts in the initial days though because they are simpler, easier and quicker to make and can easily be sold off in the market as well.

Steps for Turning Your Woodworking Hobby into a Profitable Business

Once you know you are ready and have the necessary skills to start, you can follow the below steps to start earning from your woodworking skills.

Step 1: Design a Business Plan

In order to start your own woodworking business, you need to have a strategy in place. A good plan can act as the solid base for your business strategy and can help in things to really get going.

This plan can help you decide on your targets, keep a track of them, determine your strengths and weaknesses, keep track of your expenses, and becomes a blueprint of your successful venture.

Make sure that you prepare a plan for yourself as well once you are done reading this guide. It will help you in getting started and tracking your progress quite efficiently.

Below we have mentioned a few aspects of the business plan that you need to focus on for the best result.

Identify Your Strengths

The first thing that you need to note down is the woodworking skills that you are the most certain of. There are a lot of skills like planing, cutting, trimming, sanding, etc. in the woodworking projects. So, you need to select the ones which you are best at and write them down.

This identification will further help you in choosing the right projects which match your skillset. Plus, you would know which skills you need to improve in the future to expand your woodworking skill set.

Prepare a Budget and Schedule for Your Business

Next, you need to identify how much time and money are you willing to spend on your woodworking business. If you are just a beginner or a hobbyist, you will definitely have some money and time constraints.

After all, making a finished product takes a lot of time if you really wish to sell it in the market. So, you need to be real with yourself and decide on how much time you can manage to give your woodworking projects. This way, you won’t stress or burn yourself out and will enjoy the work at the same time.

Another important thing is to invest some money if you truly want to earn from your woodworking skills. Mostly, this money will be used in buying woodworking tools, raw materials, machines, etc. A little of it will be used in the operation and marketing. Plus if you are already a hobbyist then it is likely that you have a lot of equipment and tools already for the woodworking projects.

However, you still might need to purchase a couple of machines to expand your business. And you will need to invest some money in marketing as well if you want to earn by selling your crafts. So, keep a note of all of this as this will be crucial in your business strategy.

Decide on the Projects That You Will Undertake

Another thing which you will need to include in your business plan is the products which are will be working on in the starting to bring some money. You can choose to make simple crafts like wooden spoons, toys, etc. or you can take more complex projects like baby crib, tables, chairs, and so on.

If you stick to a particular set of projects, you will be more productive as you will have a definite set of resources required for these projects. Later, you can add more products as you improve your skills and expand your woodworking business.

Make an Advertising Plan

One of the most important steps in selling your woodworking crafts is to properly market and advertising it. For this, you need to shortlist a few advertising plans for your business.

And do put aside some money for advertising, it doesn’t need to be a lot but should be sufficient for small marketing campaigns.

Determine how much Profit You Wish to Make

Finally, you need to reflect and decide your monetary goal from this business. Do you wish to earn just some extra money on the side? Or do you want to earn enough so that you can leave your job and take up woodworking full time?

Once you know what you want, you can manage your work and time accordingly. If you want to really start your business and then expand it, you would need to spend a lot of time and effort.

And if you have a decided goal, then it will become easier for you to select the projects that will be perfect for your goal. Also, deciding a number will make sure that you work hard to achieve it and even put in more efforts on a couple of days.

Step 2: Get the Raw Material Ready

After you have prepared an initial business plan, you need to focus on getting the raw materials and resources for your woodworking projects. One of the resources which you will need the most is wood. If you are a hobbyist, then you might already be getting the wood from a trustworthy resource.

But for people who are new, it is important that you identify a source for getting the raw materials for your projects.

One of the simplest ways to get wood and other raw materials is from a lumberyard or a local vendor. This way, you can choose the type of wood you require and a lot of times the vendors can actually help you pick the right supplier for your project. Plus, if you build a rapport with your vendors, you can also score some discounts in the long run.

If you find a local source is too tiresome or confusing for you, then you can always order your wood from online websites. There are several online websites with a huge variety of wood collections so, you can easily choose the best and most attractive one for your project. You can also just purchase the wood according to your project design and it barely takes 10 minutes to place an order. Plus, you will know when the wood is arriving so you can schedule your work accordingly.

If you are stumped about the online websites then do check out woodworkerssource.com and onlinelumberstore.com for some amazing wood collection and discounts.

On the other hand, if you wish to reduce the production cost then you can always get rough wood for your projects. Rough lumber is cheap and you can easily get the desired thickness by using the thickness planer on it. This can be a bit of work but you do save some extra bucks on it.

Apart from the wood, you can easily order the woodworking tools from an online website too. Amazon actually offers a variety of woodworking tools in both new and refurbished state.

Make sure that you order your raw materials beforehand and never run out of it when you are working on a project. So, keep your woodworking shed stocked up.

Step 3: Find the Right Equipment for the Projects

Once you have the raw materials sorted, you need to focus on getting the woodworking equipment and machines for your project.

Here is a list of the essential woodworking tools that you would need for most projects. We have described the use of each of these tools and how much are they likely to cost.

But if you are hobbyist, then chances are that you already know and own a few of them.

Router – An important and versatile woodworking tool which has several applications, a router can be used for making accurate cuts and trims on wood stock. You can make a lot of adjustments with the help of a router so this tool is a must if you plan to start your woodworking business.

You can purchase a router with 1.5 HP in the start which is likely to cost around 150-200 USD.

Planer – This is one of the most important tools for woodworkers who will be working with rough lumber. You will be using a thickness planer to get the desired thickness of the wood which is crucial for selling finished wood products. It can easily cost you between 300 to 500 USD but you will have the power to transform any piece of wood stock.

Although you can skip this tool, if you want to reduce the raw materials cost then getting a planer is a must.

Workbench – Let’s face it, for most woodworking tasks, you need a flat and smooth surface area to work on. This is why you need to invest in a good and stable workbench. You can choose to use a simple table built out of plywood that you made yourself or you can get it ordered from an online website. Ideally, if you decide to make it yourself then it will cost you 150-200 USD.

Jointer – Another important tool to consider is a jointer which can help in complex projects and works well with rough lumber. However, only invest in this tool if you are planning to take big projects because this is an expensive tool at 500 USD.

Table saw – A major tool to purchase is the table saw which is used in different cutting applications of wood. With this tool, you can make precise cuts for your woodworking project and you can easily get it for 300 USD when just starting out.

Table Measurer – For making the measurements on the wood, you will need a tape measure. You can easily purchase a metal one for just 10 USD.

Random Orbit Sander – If you are going to be sanding your wood pieces for the projects then do invest in a good orbit sander. It won’t cost you more than 100 USD for a decent model.

Jigsaw – One of the most budget tools for woodworking, the jigsaw is the master of cutting and you should definitely buy it for your business.

Hand Drill – One of the most important tools that you definitely need to own is a ½-inch hand drill. You can also invest in a more advanced hand drill which offers you more customization options. However, if you are just starting then a basic model will work too. A good Makita hand drill will cost you around 50 – 75 USD.

Hammer – Of course, if you will be chiseling then you would need a good hammer to help you with the task. So, make sure you get both the metal and the wooden hammer for woodworking. It won’t cost you more than 50 USD for a good hammer.

Circular Saw – If you are going to be working a lot on MDF, plywood, etc. then you need to invest in a good circular saw. It has numerous cutting uses and it is likely to cost around 120 – 200 USD.

Backsaw – One of the most used tool, backsaw helps in making accurate cuts and costs between 30 USD and 50 USD.

Framing Square – You would definitely need this item for making joints and cabinets so make sure you buy this tool. It is quite cheap as well and doesn’t cost more than 20 USD.

Clamps – Another item which you will need frequently in your projects is a clamp which comes in different sizes. This is used in assembling the parts together and costs around 100 USD.

Chisels –  Another toll which you will use a lot is a good use of chisel for cleaning up the joins. You can easily a good set for just 50 USD.

Vacuum – It is no surprise that you will cause a lot of mess and dust when working on a woodworking project. So, it is important that you buy a vacuum to keep the area clean. If you can’t afford a dust collector then simply purchase a dry/wet vac to keep the area free of dust so you can work smoothly.

In total, all these woodworking tools and machines will cost you around 3000 USD which is a lot. But it will greatly help in your projects and you will easily get the cost of it after selling a few of your crafts.

You can also start by investing in the important tools first and then gradually get more equipment as your business expands. But you would need all the tools that we have mentioned above.

Step 4: Streamline Your Projects to a Few Niches

As mentioned above, it is essential that you select a couple of niches for yourself and then take up projects for the same niches. This will ensure that you aren’t distracted by different projects and you are able to produce more items quickly and efficiently.

If you focus on just a few projects, then you would always have the raw materials at the ready and you would have the entire process memorized. As a result, you will be able to make the finished product quickly and can actually focus on selling it rather than the operations process.

Importantly, make sure that you choose a niche which you actually love. If you choose a niche which you don’t have any interest in, the project might seem like a burden to you and you will lose your love for woodworking.

So, choose a craft which you actually like to make. That’s not enough though. You also need to find what products sell better in your area. For this, ask your friends and family opinion and observe the buying trend in your area.

For example, if people in your locality buy plywood furniture then focus on making them. This way, you have a community to sell your finished goods to. Apart from your locality, you can also join woodworking groups on Facebook and other social media websites. This will give you a lot of ideas on what all you can build which is popular among the consumers.

So, basically, you should select a niche for yourself and then find products to build in that niche itself.

Step 5: Few Woodworking Project Ideas to Consider

Are you confused about which product to choose for your business?

Don’t worry, we understand how difficult it can be to choose the right product when you are just starting out. So, we have listed down a few highly profitable crafts to consider.

If you make them properly and advertise your crafts smartly, you can end up making a lot in the long run.

Wooden Toys

One of the most popular items among parents is wooden toys. And you will find more plastic toys in the market than wooden ones so they are always high. While this might sound like a cliche but it is definitely a great way to make some profits with your woodworking skills.

A lot of parents opt for wooden toys because plastic toys have a chemical coating which can usually be harmful to the kids. If you sell safe holistic wooden toys and market it to the parents, it can definitely help you get a high price for it.

One thing to remember is to always use high-quality wood for this craft. Don’t worry, you will be paid sufficiently because parents don’t want to compromise their kids’ health for just a few extra bucks.

Baby Cradles

A classic item which never goes out of woodworking business is a baby cradle. Parents always look for the best cradle for their baby and make no compromises on this one.

So, if you know how to build a cradle which is supportive, sturdy, and stable, then you can make a lot. Just use high-quality wood and add a premium finish and can easily make a high profit from it.

Birdhouses

Another item which is quite popular in the woodworking community is a birdhouse. Since it is not easy to find a birdhouse, they tend to be a little on the expensive end. But you need to find your audience first before you start making these as not everyone owns a bird or is interested in having a birdhouse near their house.

However, if you do find the right audience, you can make a lot of profit. And the best part is that you have scope for a lot of customizations and modifications depending on the clients’ needs.

Designer Clocks

Another item which has a low production cost but gives high returns is a designer clock. You can make interesting patterns on your wooden clock and sell it for a high price.

Picture Frames

One of the easiest and simplest items to make is a wooden picture frame. It can be a great option for beginners, especially if you don’t have a lot of time to invest in the start. They are quite easy to sell as well and you can just advertise them among your friends and family.

You can also collaborate with some shops and sell your wooden picture frames there as well.

Bookcases

A bookcase is yet another item which is always in demand so you will get a lot of buyers for it. And you can make a lot of customizations or style it differently so that it looks unique and sells more easily.

You can do the basic design or you can come up with designs for different customers. Honestly, you will make a lot of you have the creativity to make a different style of bookcases.

Beard Combs

Men have become quite self-aware recently and are now indulging in grooming products as well. And one such product which is a novelty is the beard comb.

The best thing about this product is that it has a low production cost and if you add a pleasant smell to it, you can actually sell it for a high price. Some beard combs in the market are sold for as much as 60 USD as well.

Wooden Spoons and Bowls

Finally, wooden crockery is becoming quite popular among households. So, if you can make wooden utensils, then you can easily sell them to the interested customers. In fact, you can put them up online as well and they are quite easy to ship to different cities too.

You can also add engravings on it for branding purpose and the cost of producing such items is actually quite low.

So, these are few of the products which are perfect for beginners as they are easy to make, have a low production cost, and sell tremendously well.

Step 6: Make Your Business Offline

Once you know what you are making and have your production area set up, it is time to make the sells. After all, all the hard work will go to waste if you are not able to sell your products.

Many people find it difficult to sell their products or market them which is a huge bummer. So, for beginners and hobbyists, it is better to sell products offline so that they can network and get known for their work.

Selling offline gives them a chance to connect with more people and talk to the customers to understand their requirements. Here are a few ways in which you can sell your products offline:

Talk to Your Friends and Family

Now, you might not make a lot of profit by this method but it is a great way to advertise your business. You can sell the products to your friends and family at a discounted rate and get them to spread the news about your products.

You can also ask them to leave reviews and testimonials for your work so that potential buyers contact you. This word of mouth advertising is a great way to establish yourself.

Promote the Products in the Local Community

Another method would be to promote your products through your local community. So, if there is a community hall, church, or event, you can distribute a few of your products around to get some exposure.

This way, you might end up finding a lot of customers as well.

Showcase your Work in Galleries and Shops

You can get more exposure and sales by contacting a gallery owner near you. Most galleries have a lot of audiences so you will find a lot of buyers and will make a lot of quick sales.

Sure, you would need to share the profit with the galleries and the furniture shops but you get steady orders as well. And if you have a good relation with them then you can easily get more orders and sales.

Join the Woodworking Fairs

You can also participate in the woodworking fairs which will give a lot of exposure to your business. Also, you meet other woodworkers here from whom you can end up learning a lot

Such fairs usually have a lot of gathering also so you can get a lot of customers. You can easily set up a stall here to sell your products as well. Also, you can participate in the competitions here which a lot of people will be seeing so you get a lot of brand recognition here as well.

You can find information about such fairs online or in the woodworking magazines.

Indulge in Traditional Advertising

Finally, if you wish to sell more products then you can try traditional advertising. Just post some flyers or newspaper advertisements and check how other people are advertising in the woodworker’s magazine.

But if you are a beginner, don’t start with this advertisement method. Instead, try out the other methods first and keep this as a last resort.

Step 7: Make a Business Website

Once your business starts picking up, you need to make an online website for your business as well. In today’s world, having a digital presence is crucial for a business. And there are two ways to make your website to promote your work.

First, you can buy a domain name and build a website listing all the products that you make along with the pricing. For the domain name, you can either choose a unique name for your business or you can use your own name and build the website.

For building the website, you can easily get a web designer to build your website. However, since you would be just starting out, you can simply make a WordPress website and improve it as your products increase.

Apart from the website, you should also create a page on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, and other social media websites for your business. This way, you get a lot of exposure to your business brand and you can use these social media sites for advertising as well.

To sum it, you need to have an online presence of your business to attract more customers.

Step 8: Start Selling Online as Well

After establishing yourself offline, you can start selling your products online as well. Here are a few best ways to sell your products online:

Facebook Advertisements

One of the easiest and simplest ways to advertise is by using the Facebook ads option. You can make targeted ads, based on demography and age. But for this, you need to have a personal website.

How you can use this?

Well, for example. You are trying to sell wooden toys. In that case, you will target females in the age range of 25-40 as they are likely to be with a baby. This method can bring a lot of sales if you have your website is working properly.

Using E-commerce platforms

You can also promote your crafts on e-commerce websites like Etsy, eBay, etc. You end up selling a lot of products and have an online presence due to these platforms.

EBay.com

A trusted platform, eBay sells an assortment of items including wooden items. You can easily generate sales through Google Ads and Facebook.

Custommade.Advertisements

A website more suited to furniture woodworkers, you can also post your products here to make quick sales. Currently, they have thousands of products on their website so you don’t have to worry about the website being a fraud.

Etsy.com

Etsy is the top website for selling and buying handmade crafts. So, you can easily list your products here and make a lot of sales. It has a customer base of 54 million people and it handles the logistics completely. You just need to take care of the shipping.

Also, you can promote your products on Etsy in two ways:

  • Etsy Seller Advertisements

They offer an advertising platform to their users which can help in getting a lot of sales. You just need to set up an Ad campaign for your desired product.

For example, if you set up a campaign for selling baby cradles then every time a user searches for baby cradles, your product will be shown at the too. Plus, your ads will also come up on the search engines.

  • Facebook Advertisement

You can also set up ads on Facebook where you will list your Etsy product page. This way, people will go on Etsy product page to buy the product.

Selling Through Your Own Website

Finally, the best way to sell your products is directly through your website. But for this, your website should be up and running and should also have the option of adding the products to the cart and making payment online. If this is done, you are ready to sell your products and ship the products without any 3rd party seller.

You can also use the Facebook advertisement method to get more sales as described above.

Another option is to make your website search engine optimized. This way, your website will rank on the first page and show up at the top if anyone is searching on Google where to buy the wooden products.

This entire process can be slightly overwhelming to do on your own. But if you have the budget then you can hire a digital marketing expert who will take care of all this website stuff for you.

Step 9: Upgrade to Complex Woodworking Projects

As soon as you start making some profits from your initial set of products, you can upgrade to complex projects. But this entirely depends on you. If you are happy with a small side business then stick to your products. But if you wish to grow and expand your business then start working on some complex projects.

You can opt for complex projects which have a higher return as well. But for hobbyists, it might feel a little daunting which is where the woodworking plans come into use. You can find woodworking plans which include detailed instructions on how to make a product which you can follow and replicate in your workspace.

You can also contact professional woodworkers to learn. Get a part-time job with them or just shadow them on a few projects and you will end up learning how to make new products.

And finally, you do have many woodworking courses which are absolutely free and can help you tackle complex projects with great ease.

Step 10: Focus on Scaling Your Business

Finally, if you wish to go full-time in woodworking business then you need more resources to help you out. So, you need to hire a couple of people and expand your working space.

You would also need to spend more money on advertising and marketing. And remember, once you start scaling up your business, you would be spending more time in the managerial role than the constructor role. So, if you don’t wish to do that, you will need to hire a manager for your business as well. This way, you can spend more time doing what you love.

Scaling is also a slow process and might take a long time if you are just a hobbyist now. But once you start taking complex projects, you will feel your business expanding.

Final Words

In this guide, we have tried to give as much detail as possible for beginner woodworkers to start their own business.

But this guide is useless unless you actively decide to turn woodworking into a profitable venture. There is a lot of information which can be confusing at first. But if you are determined and motivated, you will easily be able to follow the steps and make your dream come true.

Start by making a plan and deciding your niche. After all, whether you choose to start with picture frames or designer clocks, the important thing is that you have taken the first step towards earning from doing something that you love.

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