Carpentry is a booming business only threatened by the DIY projects of homeowners. Unlike many other businesses, however, the DIY market is not a safe one. Homeowners who attempt to do something themselves have no guarantee of quality or on the finish, so either end up needing to hire a professional before they sell or to fix their poor product. As such, anyone skilled in carpentry has a skill well worth having. You can either join many of your fellows and pursue your talent as a profession and work for a carpentry business, or you can go off on your own and start your own business.
The difference between pursuing carpentry as a profession or as a business varies just like any industry. You could earn anywhere from $25,000 – $72,000 per year as an employee, and anywhere from nothing to millions as a business, with the average being above $200,000.
Carpentry is a popular trade, and there are many subsections that ensure that you can find your niche that best suits your talents. Whether you are a finish carpenter, a cabinetmaker, a framer, or anything in-between, there is work to be found. Starting your own carpentry business, however, requires a lot of preparation. You will face a lot of competition from your fellow businesses, which means you need to offer quality, creativity, and excellent customer service.
The Importance of a Business Plan
When it comes to starting a successful business, there are a few steps everyone should take before they ever get the necessary permits or funding. One of those steps is to create a business plan. A business plan does not mean you have to adhere to this plan throughout your business’ lifespan. In fact, to stay successful and focused it is advised that you update and rewrite your business plan several times as your situation changes, and your old business plan becomes obsolete.
A business plan is necessary for several reasons. To start, it helps you define your business and what makes you unique. Carpentry, unlike some other businesses, has still a certain amount of artistry to it. You can make your selling point your unique designs, for instance, or that you work primarily with reclaimed wood.
While drafting your business plan, you will also want to research your competition. This will either be someone else who works in your niche (for instance, reclaimed wood) or just other carpenters in your area. Knowing the successful ones from the failures can help you find what tactics to use, and which ones to avoid. You should also apply your industry expertise so that you can create a comprehensive overview of your industry.
Once you have that, you can start drafting your business plan. These plans, by nature, should be concise. Whether you use them to help run your business or to help you acquire funding, a concise business plan is your best bet. That way you can add to it as you go to keep it updated with your current situation.
You should state who you are, what your product is, and your plans for starting your business and making money. As you make this business plan do remember to have your audience in mind. Technical jargon is perfect for those in the industry, but layman’s terms will be needed for, say, an investor
Your business plan should provide a quick summary of how you are going to make your business a success, but the real benefit to creating one is the amount of research you will need to conduct, from the industry environment to how you plan on balancing your budget and funding your business.
Starting Your Business
Carpenters will need a lot of tools in order to start out. As an expert in the industry, you might already have many of the tools you already need, or you might need to take out a loan in order to acquire everything you are missing. Either way, when you first set out to start your business, you will have to decide on where your office will be located.
If you plan on creating furniture, your office can be anywhere. Many artisans work out of their garage or build an extension onto their property to act as a workshop. From there, you would then either try to sell your wares online or go to local furniture stores and boutiques and sell to them. If that is the case, then it’s better to kit out your workspace with tools such as the hybrid table saw for when you first start out. The equipment is more affordable, but it offers expert control necessary for you to carry out your projects.
On the other hand, if your carpentry business requires clients before you start work, you will have to work your way up and have tools built for transport. You will need to build up your reputation through online reviews and word of mouth because at the end of the day quality of work and great customer experience are the only things that will help you beat your competition and find steady work.
Hiring and Managing
If you create your own furniture and woodworking art, you can work by yourself for as long as you want. If you want to expand you will have to take on apprentices so that you can create more product to sell. This will be necessary especially if you build up demand.
For carpenters that work on-premise, you will either work as a sub-contractor, or you will be a contractor yourself. This will mean you will either have to hire a team or network to gain the connections that will put you at the top of their list for hires. You will still be your own boss and own your own business as a sub-contractor, but you will be working with a team that isn’t of your own choosing.
Being successful is about how prepared you are. If you go in and face a challenge that you weren’t expecting, like how to market your wares online, this hiccup could mean the end of your business before it even begins. On the other hand, if you prepare, have a clear message, goals, and a professional presence, you will have a better shot at becoming a success. Just remember, quality and customer service will make the world of difference, so push hard on giving the best service you can.