Growing Your Woodworking Business
Growing Your Woodworking Business
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Growing your woodworking business is important to keep it from dying. Generally gaining customers is the most important factor in the long-term success of a business.Influence Customers and Grow Sales Do you know why your customers are buying from you? Is it your products—the style and quality of your handmade work? Look deeper and you will find that there are many other factors in making a sale that you can use in building your sales volume. It’s no secret that emotions are powerful factors that move people into action and cause them to make a purchase. To increase your sales, you must understand and appeal to them emotionally. There are many other artists and craftspeople out there with wonderful offerings.
No matter how well you make your product, unless you can sell it and make a profit, you are wasting time, money, and energy. The first step is to let people know that you have a product to sell. Marketing is a tool to bring customers to you who will buy your product. Now, let’s take a look at how to develop some marketing ideas to help sell your service or product. Depending on what product you have decided to make, and who your customers are, the approach you take to launch an effective marketing campaign will vary. Marketing to your niche is the best way to get started.
Once you’ve gotten a hang of your estimating, and you are placing your bids for contracts and winning jobs, do you ever go back and see why you didn’t win a certain contract? It is a good idea that you do. Wouldn’t you like to know if you over bid by 1% or 10%? Maybe your price was lower, but someone else offered better terms, or or a better gaurantee. Make sure you find out the reason why you didn’t get a particular job. Maybe someone else won the bid because they underbid by too much and won’t be able to complete it. Your follow up call to the client might be that extra reminder for them to call you back if something goes wrong with the initial winner. Remember, you are not only a woodworker, you are a business person, and business is about good contacts.
Since the financial collapse of October 2008, artists no doubt have been more challenged to sell their work than any time since the Great Depression. The recent financial collapse was a low blow to all businesses, but was particularly damaging to the business of selling art. Unfortunately, this happened in combination with the first wave of aging boomers deciding to downsize. Many are moving into smaller dwellings, while others are ridding themselves of acquired possessions. These factors alone would bring the sales of art objects to an all-time low, but add to it the annihilation of the middle class.
What does 'too expensive for his experience' mean, and what does too slow mean as well? Needing too much supervision, or something else? There's no doubt that finding and keeping good employees at rates that are economic is probably the second most difficult thing in this business (the first most difficult being getting the sales you need). Sounds to me, though, that if your brother is unsuitable, and this new employee is unsuitable, then you either need to set things up so you don't need an employee, or you need to go out into the labor market again and have another look to find what you need.
Cabinetmakers discuss typical cost ratios. One number that just jumps off the screen is the 44% material of sales. One manufacturing statistic to keep in the back of your mind is as follows: across all industries of manufacturing on a typical product (i.e. basic kitchen cabinet), 2/3 labor, 1/3 material. On a custom complicated product (i.e. high-end inset beaded face frame kitchen cabinet), this ratio becomes 3/4 labor, 1/4 material. You can find these numbers in any decent business/manufacturing text. As I mentioned before, this applies to all industries… from building submarines to building Home Depot knockoff cabinets. You will be amazed if you pay attention to these numbers as you bid projects.
Since the financial collapse, woodworkers have been more challenged to sell their work than any time since the Great Depression. The recent financial collapse was a low blow to all businesses, but was particularly damaging to the business of selling art. Unfortunately, this happened in combination with the first wave of aging boomers deciding to downsize.