Earning Money From a Woodworking Hobby
Earning Money From a Woodworking Hobby
Making money from you hobby always sounds good, but you have to know how to do it. Showing that you can make money from your hobby is also a good way to show if you have the potential of making enough to turn it into a full-time or part-time business.
As a hobbyist you may be thinking (or dreaming) of one day making woodworking your career, or retiring to your woodshop and bringing in some income while still enjoying your hobby and retirement. When researching this I was mostly thinking of the hobbyist who does it for the enjoyment, makes things for his own use, and might give things away to friends and family as a gift. After a while, you end up with pieces cluttering your garage, and it might be nice to turn some of those forgot pieces into cash, for new wood or new tools. Being a hobbyist you can make what you want and spend as little or much time on it as you want, professionals, in general, have to make what the customer wants, and spend as little time on it as possible to make a profit. You can’t expect to make as much money on a piece as someone making a living at it, but then you don’t have to. “Breaking even” is disastrous for a business in the long run, but for the hobbyist, it’s a great way to make your hobby pay for itself.
Making a profit from woodworking is more complicated than most other hobbies. The woodworker needs a diverse set of skills and able to do every job from worker to salesman to manager. To become successful, start as a hobby then turn it into a source of income. To truly flourish it must be turned into a full-fledged business.
It is possible to make money from the hobby, concentrate on an area of your strength and specialize. Don't try and take on any project just because you can do it, find your specialty and stick to it. The is no secret if you can building cabinetry, focus on building cabinets, if your strength is hand carving, then specialize in carving. Begin by looking at how things work out in your shop, then consider woodworking a profit-making option.
When you’re just starting out in woodworking, it can be intimidating trying to figure out how you’re going to bring in steady cash. The current economic scare these days doesn’t seem to help much. Not to mention the fact that in the beginning, most of us start quite always off from our ideal vision of a woodworking business. Here are five ways that myself and others have found to fill the money gap in between bigger furniture jobs.
The creative aspects of glass master Robert Held’s work may be what drives his art, but he is never far removed from the bottom-line realities of running a business. He suggests other aspiring artisans remain equally engaged. I know some resist that component and don’t feel that you need the business and marketing tools, but you have to be realistic. You have to be able to look at a balance sheet. You need to have a business plan, goals, a vision of how you want your company to grow. If you’re committed to making a living with your art, that’s the only way to go. It’s your map, your guide, even in its simplest form.
The conceptual part of woodworking is great fun. Planning and designing are a very interesting and a challenging aspect that most woodworkers enjoy. Unfortunately, as a new woodworker, you will likely not get to do this part, unless you are self-employed. As an employee at a woodshop, most likely they have someone else doing all the thinking and designing. Your job is to build what they have drawn. What that means is that you will be loading and unloading wood, carrying very heavy 4 x 8 sheets to the panel saw or CNC machine, doing very repetitive tasks like jointing, edgebanding, sanding all day long, assembling cabinetry, doors, and drawers.