Last Updated on 2022-03-24 by Harry Masterton
The ultimate guide to starting a woodworking business from home with a full in-depth 24 step success business guide and massive mistakes to avoid at all costs.
I recall the first time I thought about starting a woodworking business from home. The thought was intimidating because I had no idea how to start a woodworking business in the first place. It was also easy to second guess my woodworking skills were good enough to build something people would want.
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- 1 How To Start A Woodworking Business From Home
- 1.1 How to Start a Small Woodworking Business to Pay For Projects and Tools
- 1.2 Starting a Woodworking Business From Home as a Second Job
- 1.3 Learning Valuable Skills by Starting a Woodworking Business From Home
- 1.4 Are There Any Disadvantages to Starting a Woodworking Business?
- 1.5 How to Make Money Woodworking From Home
- 1.6 Starting a Woodworking Business From Home in a Small Shop
- 1.7 How to Make Money Woodworking at Home: What Sells?
- 1.8 Slow and Steady Wins the Race When Learning How to Make Money Woodworking at Home
- 1.9 How to Start a Woodworking Side Business
- 1.10 How to Start a Woodworking Side Business: Extras
- 1.11 How Much Does It Cost to Start a Woodworking Business
- 1.11.1 Starting a Woodworking Business From Home: Hand Tools
- 1.11.2 Starting a Woodworking Business From Home: Power Tools
- 1.11.3 Starting a Woodworking Business From Home: Accessories
- 1.11.4 Starting a Woodworking Business From Home: Wood
- 1.11.5 What Are Some Tricks to Saving Money With My New Woodworking Business?
How To Start A Woodworking Business From Home
Experience has taught me that it was not as hard as I first thought. There are also advantages to learning how to start a small woodworking business in your shop, including:
- You can learn how to start a profitable woodworking business to pay for shop upgrades;
- Starting a woodworking business from home provides you with wood profits for paying the bills;
- Learning how to start a woodworking business teaches you valuable skills that you can apply elsewhere;
- Business owners running a home based woodworking business even a small business making in demand wood products can enjoy substantial tax benefits.
How to Start a Small Woodworking Business to Pay For Projects and Tools
For many hobbyists, selling an in demand woodworking project starts as a way to pay for things. Equipment is not cheap and wood is expensive once you move past using framing lumber. When you learn how to start a small woodworking business, it allows you to clear finished projects and make some cash.
Starting a Woodworking Business From Home as a Second Job
Learning how to start a profitable woodworking business can help you pay the bills. It might be the only way some can practice their woodworking skills or justify it to their spouse. I learned how to start a profitable woodworking business, and it has helped me cover expenses outside of the shop more than once.
Its vital however as a serious woodworker who wants to be a business owner that you have a business plan and have things planed out even down to details like your logo, business cards and even thinking about your business Facebook Business Page which will help you advertise your home woodworking business and your woodworking skill to your local community.
Whether you're making simple wood crafts or wooden toys to sell at flea markets and craft fairs or made to order custom furniture you will need a variety of good quality woodworking tools and as you progress some fairly expensive machinery.
Don't let that put you off though because you can get started on a budget which we outline further on in this article.
The most important thing to have as a wood shop sole proprietorship is having a good woodworking business plan
Learning Valuable Skills by Starting a Woodworking Business From Home
Learning how to start a woodworking business will expand your skills with wood, but it can also teach you many other things. You will develop or become with advertising, budgeting, planning, and selling skills. Learning how to start a small business has increased my confidence and forced me to meet project deadlines that casual building would never have done.
Are There Any Disadvantages to Starting a Woodworking Business?
Learning how to start a profitable business sounds fine, but I know it is not for everyone. You have to be accountable to yourself and customers, which might take the fun out of the woodworking hobby for some. It also takes up time, which some of you may not have to spare.
I recommend against committing to starting a business from your shop without making sure you are ready. Ask yourself these questions before starting a woodworking business from home:
- Are my woodworking skills enough? If they are not, you might want to build a few more projects first;
- Do I have the storage space? You will likely start with smaller projects. These tend to be easier to sell but require room to store;
- Am I patient enough? It took me a while to get my first few sales and it felt a bit frustrating at times.
How to Make Money Woodworking From Home
One of the first things to check in your local area is whether you need a business license. One thing you should certainly check out is business insurance. You local insurance agent will be able to give you some figures for this. It's not usually expensive but can be invaluable in the case of a claim against you.
Displaying your business insurance certificate in your woodworking shop will make you look like a professional woodworker and give your potential customer confidence you're going to do a good job.
Starting a woodworking business from home is not difficult. Learning how to make money woodworking is a challenge. Some of the things I had to get a grasp on from the beginning included:
- Learning what sells;
- Starting small;
- Customized projects;
- Expanding abilities.
Starting a Woodworking Business From Home in a Small Shop
A small woodworking shop presents it's own particular set of challenges and needs careful thought and planning. Take a look at our FREE Ultimate Small Shop guide for an in-depth look at
How to Make Money Woodworking at Home: What Sells?
The first step to starting a woodworking business from home is learning what sells. You might have a personal idea of what you would buy, but do those currently purchasing woodworking projects agree? I would suggest looking for customers in several places, including local ads, forums, Etsy, and Facebook Marketplace, to see what is in demand.
How to Make Money Woodworking From Home: Start Small
I remember thinking how much money I could make building find furniture, shelving, and kitchen tables. Starting a woodworking business from home requires lowering your sights at first. Think about functional items that are easy to build and, just as important, easy to deliver (in person or by shipping).
How to Make Money Woodworking: Customized Projects
To be successful when starting a woodworking business at home, you need to consider building a specific piece for clients. I was able to use family and friends for the first custom projects before my first repeat customer inquired about a table for a unique space in their home. If you are wondering how to make money woodworking at home, this is something that can bring in a lot of cash for a project (and potential work in the future).
How to Make Money Woodworking From Home: Better Woodworking
Starting a woodworking business from home can keep you busy, which is a great way to improve your woodworking skills and to learn new tricks in the shop to increase efficiency. I learned about wood by handling it, and anyone with experience can tell you that is something only experience brings to the table. Learning how to make money woodworking also lets you get tools that you do not own or upgrade to a higher-performance power tool.
Slow and Steady Wins the Race When Learning How to Make Money Woodworking at Home
Starting a woodworking business from home will test your ability to adapt. Some of the things that I learned the hard way are:
- Avoid overcommitting: As someone new to the woodworking business, you want to make sure that you can handle the workload before agreeing to several jobs at one time. If you feel overwhelmed, your build quality will suffer, you will miss deadlines, and you will struggle to build a rapport with repeat clients;
- Watch trends: I made the mistake of finding hot sellers and building those alone. Your clients will eventually dry up as the market is saturated. Watch for popular new projects that can replace items that become slow to move.
How to Start a Woodworking Side Business
If you are thinking about starting a woodworking business from home, you might be wondering where to begin. I felt overwhelmed when I first learned how to start a successful woodworking business, and it cost me time and money to overcome some things. Here are some things to practice so when you are ready to learn how to start and run a successful woodworking business from home, you can avoid them:
- Have extra materials on hand;
- Spend on what you need, not want;
- Keep extra easy and small projects in stock;
- Start by selling to family, friends, and coworkers.
How to Start a Woodworking Side Business: Extras
One of the first lessons I learned starting a woodworking business from home was to have enough wood, abrasives, and finishing products stocked. If you do not, you will constantly stop to grab stuff from the store or wait while it is shipped. Even worse, something might be on backorder, and you get stuck waiting for that shipment of cherry wood to arrive.
How to Start a Successful Woodworking Business: Spending
Learning how to start and run a successful woodworking business from home involves curtailing your spending on shop tools and accessories. I recall buying a cordless circular saw to upgrade my corded version, and it was not a necessity. That put me behind on my shop budget, so avoid doing what I did and hold off on tool purchases or upgrades until they are necessary.
Starting a Woodworking Business From Home: Stock
Learning how to start a successful woodworking business begins by treating your woodworking as a business and not as a hobby. I would build by order when I first started, which became unproductive quickly. If you want to learn how to start and run a successful woodworking business from home, I recommend keeping at least one of the small items you sell on hand, more if they are quick sellers.
How to Start a Woodworking Side Business: First Clients
I was surprised to find my family and friends were willing to pay me to build something, and they were my first customers. A difficulty starting a woodworking business from home is finding clients, and that is where family, friends, and coworkers can help. They will often buy things from you, and they will act as free advertising by telling others about your woodworking business.
What Should You Avoid as You Start Your Woodworking Business?
I can not stress this enough; have patience. So many people try to turn their hobby into a business, only to quit before it gets going. It takes time to build your customer base and reputation.
One thing that worked for me was to build stuff for fun and sell them after. Meanwhile, I focused on building inexpensive holiday gifts. People spend around the holidays, especially holidays like Christmas.
How Much Does It Cost to Start a Woodworking Business
Starting a woodworking business from home costs some money, but not as much as you think. Some initial purchases will include:
- Hand tools;
- Power tools;
Starting a Woodworking Business From Home: Hand Tools
A cheap way to get your shop ready for business is to get the woodworking hand tools you always seem to need. A general-purpose hand saw, a miter box, T-square, tape measure, woodworking mallet, and a couple of chisels will cover most quick projects. Your hand tool collection is often easier to build on than power tools, so you can grab items if you need them before the builds.
Cost: Approximately $60.00
Starting a Woodworking Business From Home: Power Tools
How much does it cost to start a woodworking business if you have no power tools? The three woodworking power tools I suggest you have as you start your business is a circular saw, drill, and sander at minimum. If you want anything cordless, begin your collection with a cordless drill and hold off on buying the others until later.
Cost: Approximately $80.00 (corded)/$160.00 (with a cordless drill)
Starting a Woodworking Business From Home: Accessories
Your tools can get you into the ballpark, as they say, but your accessories will get you home. Clamps, drill bits, sandpaper, and cleanup supplies are a must. Unlike the hobby days where you could stroll down to grab something you ran out of, time is money in a business, so keep things stocked.
Cost: Approximately $50.00 (re-occurring costs)
Starting a Woodworking Business From Home: Wood
Early woodworking projects that you sell will consist of building materials like framing lumber and sheet goods. These are common woods that are cheap and will suffice for decorations, boxes, and other functional items you will start selling right away. Save the fancy hardwoods for custom projects and higher-end pieces of furniture.
Cost: Approximately $150.00 (re-occurring costs)
What Are Some Tricks to Saving Money With My New Woodworking Business?
Keep extra materials and cash around to cover unexpected accidents or rush jobs. If a job calls for three 2x4x8 pieces of framing lumber, buy extra to cover mishaps;
Keep additional money in your shop budget to cover the cost of a project when you first start. These are often cheaper projects, but you don't want to miss a deadline because you need to replace the picture frame lost during shipping;
Focus on local markets. Familiar people were my first customers, and they spread the word to others. I also focused on Facebook Marketplace because I could find local customers that saved money by avoiding shipping costs;
Treat your first customers like gold! Go above and beyond with communication, craftsmanship, and early delivery. You might not make as much money this way, but you will stand out.