Have you ever heard the saying, ‘I wish someone would have told me when I first started?’ Well, that’s exactly why I want to share some tips with you that I’ve learned through my experience selling at craft fairs, market days, and online via Shopify and Etsy.
My passion is to help women feel empowered to be their own boss, work with tools, and ignite their creative superpowers, so whether you are a beginner or you’ve been crafting for a while, these tips will help you turn your hobby into a profitable business.
Use the Tools You Have
The first tip may not be one you want to hear, but use what tools you have now and add as you go. You don’t need to buy everything that you see. Find projects that you can make with just a few tools, and focus on making sales before you build up your woodcraft shop.
I started woodworking before cell phones could take pictures, and boy am I glad I did because I would have felt pressured to have all of the fancy, expensive tools that you now see on YouTube, Tiktok and all of these other platforms. You can make more money building things on your garage floor, and I can show you how.
Basic tools to get started:
- Miter Saw
- Orbital Sander
- Drill (or Brad Nailer or Crown Stapler)
Once you start making money and growing your skills you can start to add things like a bandsaw or a scroll saw to your tool bench. I talk specifically about these tools in another blog post.
While a huge planer, sander, and expensive dust collection system are great, it doesn’t mean you’ll be making more money. Most of the time, these shops that brag about their awesome machinery are being paid by sponsorships to do so. So, don’t fall for the tool shaming and don’t feel inadequate. There’s plenty of simple woodcrafts you can make and sell without fancy and expensive tools.
Start Selling Your Woodcrafts ASAP
The second tip I have for you is to start selling as soon as you can! Just get your feet wet. Don’t even order business cards yet. Just get out there, get in front of some people, and take messy action.
Start by finding a local craft show. You will be able to meet people, and have the chance to take custom orders. It’s not the best place to get business, in my opinion, but it’s at least a starting point.
You may want to continue doing shows, but honestly, I think online is more profitable, more flexible, and easier. But, it doesn’t happen overnight. The online game is a long game, and it takes hard work and dedication.
Take time in these beginning stages to figure out what you enjoy making, but also consider what is actually selling. Don’t put your blood, sweat and tears into something that’s your taste, but no one else wants to buy. Find out what the trends are and use those to build your product line. I provide blueprints, product lists, and tutorials in my monthly membership for trending products, so you don’t have to do the research.
Try not to be a jack of all trades, but niche down your product line. This allows you to hone in on your skills so that you can decrease production time and become more profitable faster. The sooner you start, the faster you will get results!
Silence Your Inner Critic
The third tip, and possibly the most important, to help you start your woodcraft business is to silence the inner critic. Everyone has one, even the people you don’t think would. Billion dollar business owners even have an inner critic.
Your subconscious brain is there to protect you, so it is probably telling you to be cautious and that you probably won’t succeed. But in reality, you are very capable of being successful! Your inner critic is always there to stop you. It’s the safety net that says, “this is scary,” “it may not work,” or “you need to play it safe.”
You may not be aware of your inner critic as you’re jumping into the world of running your own business and entrepreneurship. You may find yourself backing out of something because you don’t think you’re good enough or don’t think you can handle it. That is your inner critic trying to stop you, so don’t let it. That’s when you really need to lean in and push through that barrier.
Putting yourself out there is one of the scariest things a person can do. You’ll never know what could have been by sitting on the sidelines and playing it safe.
You might fail 101 times but it’s the 102nd time that you got it together and it clicks!
Starting your woodcraft business is similar to a funnel. You’re going to start broad, and then slowly narrow down to a more specific audience. You’re going to refine your customers and make products to suit their needs because everybody has different price points and tastes that you’ll learn as you go.
If you want to skip the trial and error and research, then consider joining my membership. I teach women how to build simple woodcrafts that sell. Minimal tools are required, so we can get started ASAP with the tools you already own. You will be a step ahead of that subconscious inner critic because you’ll have the plans and support you need.
Have questions? Comment below. I would love to help!