- In this video,
I'm gonna to share with you some tips and information
that helped my wife and I
build a successful woodworking business.
I started with three borrowed tools
to get to where I am today.
I went through the trial and errors.
I want to share with you the information that I've learned
that has helped me sell products, both online and in person,
and to hopefully help you make some money woodworking.
How are you doing?
I'm Matt with 731woodworks.com.
Today, we're going to sell some woodwork.
If you're new here, please consider subscribing.
We make awesome woodworking projects with basic tools.
I also give out advice as best I can
on how to grow your woodworking business,
how to sell your woodworking projects,
and how to make money woodworking.
There's enough success going around
that we can all share in this.
I want to share with you what's worked for me,
so hopefully it'll work for you too.
You can build your woodworking business up.
Maybe you can take it full time,
or just keep it part time like me.
Stick around if you want to learn how to grow your business
and make some money woodworking, let's get started.
Stick around, at the end of the video
I'm gonna give you a power tip on
how to grow your woodworking business,
it is the most important thing you can do to make sales.
With this woodworking business
over the last three and a half years,
I've been able to take my wife on small trips.
I've been able to buy her some gifts
that I would never have been able to buy her.
I've been able to buy my son a used car.
So I've even been able to splurge a little bit on myself
and to get a home gym set up that I,
without this business would have never been possible.
And that doesn't even include the tools
that I've been able to buy
because of the profits I've made woodworking.
So this can be a fun and enjoyable hobby,
but it can also be a fun and enjoyable business
that you can make a little bit of money on.
Let me show you what I've done.
Ask yourself these three questions.
Who is my customer?
What do they want and why am I in this?
Am I doing it for a hobby or a business?
Answer those three questions.
You'll set yourself on the right track.
So you'll want to start out
and set some goals for your business.
Create a small plan, have a plan of action
that you're going to use for your business.
So just a small plan is something like
you're going to build this piece of furniture
and you're going to sell it for this much money,
that's a plan,
Or you know you're going to need this tool
to make this project.
Or once you sell that product,
you're going to buy this tool
to help you with the next product.
So for instance,
if you're building those outdoor chair and table sets,
you can take the money from that,
reinvest in say a pocket hole jig
so you can start making other projects.
Just plan ahead.
Think about what you're going to need in the future.
Just make a short term plan and that'll help you out.
With that being said,
you want to keep your business as lean as possible
So you don't want to overspend
on unnecessary tools, supplies, or just frivolous things
that you're not going to need when you first start out.
So be very frugal with your money when you first start out.
That's what I did.
Very deliberate on what I was buying.
I knew what tool I needed.
Pretty much estimated some of the material.
I even had to go back to the store
to buy a board or two here and there
'cause I didn't want to overspend.
It's okay to be the guy
who still has his lunch money from the third grade.
You're making this a business, you need to promote yourself.
That was very difficult for me to do.
Still to this day, I kind of have a hard time doing that.
It feels like, it's not a brag,
but it feels like you're
trying to push your stuff on people.
if you look through your social media feed right now,
you'll see tons of people posting pictures of their coffee
from their favorite coffee place,
or their food, or their favorite tools, things like that,
so they're actually promoting other businesses.
So why not promote yourself?
Take pictures of your product,
take pictures of you working.
Post those up, let people know what you're doing.
That's a good way to get yourself out there.
My first few projects that I posted online,
I was scared to death that when I posted those,
that somebody was going to see them,
what they were going to think about them.
Was anybody going to buy it?
It's natural, just put it out there, see what happens.
Some people's going to love it, some people's not.
It's just the way of the world.
So if you're serious about your woodworking business,
you need to label yourself
as something other than a hobbyist.
From the very first sale you make,
you're building your brand
and you're building what people think about your brand.
You're the face of that brand.
When you make a delivery,
or when people show up to your house or shop
to pick up their item, dress appropriately.
Don't be dressed in your work clothes
with sawdust all over you and wood glue all in your hair.
I ain't got that problem, but make sure you dress the part.
You don't have to dress in your Sunday best.
You don't have to be in a suit and tie
but be dressed nice and represent yourself well,
that's very important.
One thing I heard recently,
which has ring really true with me,
people will do business with people they know.
Does that mean they have to know you personally?
No, but have you ever met a person when you walked away,
you're like, "I like that guy."
Be that guy.
Don't be fake, but just be genuine,
honest with your customer, they'll respect that,
they'll keep coming back.
So you want to make sure your customer
gets a premium product.
Even if you're making out a construction grade lumber,
you're putting your time, your effort,
and you make sure that
that is just right when it leaves your shop.
Those people are coming to you
for a premium, handmade product.
They're not going to Walmart.
They're not going to Ikea or wherever else and buying it
press forward, off the shelf,
thousands of them made piece of furniture.
They're coming to you for a handmade item
that's made by you.
Realize how special that is,
that they want a handmade product from you
and you're providing them with a nice service
that they may not get somewhere else.
When I get a commission sale
where I'm building something for a customer
that they've requested, that they've ordered from me,
I always send them progress pictures.
When I buy the lumber, send them a picture of the lumber
and say, "Hey, I got your material,
fixing to start tomorrow, we're fixing to start today."
That lets them know you're working on the product.
When you get the frame of your say, table built,
once you get the frame built,
send a picture of that frame and say,
"Hey, I got your frame together, fixing to paint that."
That gives him updates on the progress as you go along,
it lets them know A, that they're a part of the process,
it makes them feel like they're a part of the process,
it gives them a stronger bond to that piece of furniture
and you as a maker, and it just shows good faith
that you're actually working on the product.
Taking custom orders, I will give you a tip.
So if you don't know the customer at all,
what I do is I require a 50% nonrefundable deposit upfront
before I ever start the project,
they can send that through PayPal,
they can bring cash to me.
I don't take checks.
So you let them pay you the 50%,
that's going to cover your cost of materials,
some of your labor time, once you get started in supplies.
If they back out on you, then you're not out any money.
That's a good tip, do that.
Now I have a few customers that are very loyal.
They keep coming back, they keep buying things.
I never require a deposit from them
because I know they're going to pay me
at the end of the day.
So there needs to be a demand for your product also.
So keep up with current trends,
whether that be farmhouse, shabby chic, mid century modern,
whatever's coming next,
just keep an eye on your local marketplaces,
keep an eye when you go to stores, furniture stores,
and see what is actually there.
That'll give you an idea of what's selling.
Are other people in your area making items to sell
and having success with it?
It's not a bad idea to reach out to your local craftsman,
or your local woodworkers in your area
and see what's working for them.
I don't have a problem sharing it.
Some people might.
If they do, just move on.
There's one in my area,
when I can't take the job, or when he can't take the job,
we actually send it to the other one and say,
or send the customer to that person and say,
"Call this guy, he might can help you out."
That way you're sharing work.
When I'm overloaded
and I can't get to the project within a good timeframe,
I'll send it to that guy.
If he can get to it, then he gains a customer
and we can build a friendship like that.
So don't be afraid to reach out
and work with your fellow craftsmen.
So starting out,
you're probably not going to have a customer base.
What I recommend is you either build items,
or you can store them, post them for sale,
or build items for yourself, which I've done a lot of.
We've built TV stand, we've built side tables,
we've built a dining room table,
we've built a blanket ladders.
We built tons of stuff that we would actually use
and we actually like in our home
and then I take pictures of that and post it for sale
saying, "Hey, I can make this."
And then when they order,
you just give them a timeframe, say a week, two weeks,
whatever it's going to take you to make that item,
tell them the price, work back and forth on that.
Have you ever heard of the term content marketing?
All that is is basically you're marketing your content.
So you're making tables, you're making cutting boards,
you're making whatever you're making.
You need to market that to the public.
Get yourself a Facebook page, Instagram,
even YouTube, if you want to start one of those.
Make videos of you making the items,
so the finished products.
Let people know what you're doing
so you can market your own content,
you're marketing your own product.
Do some market research.
Do some business research,
look at other businesses,
even if it's not a woodworking business
and see how they started, what worked for them,
what didn't work for them.
So if you're really serious about building a business,
get business-minded and start looking at other products.
There's tons and tons of videos on YouTube
that you can start off with,
just trying to figure out how to run a business
and it'll help you a lot.
Now we've got all that out of the way.
Let's talk about where you actually sell the products.
In person, if your going to sale in person or locally,
I started out posting all my products
on my personal Facebook page,
or click that marketplace button on the bottom
or wherever it's at, go to the Facebook marketplace,
post it there.
In the search bar,
search your town's name and yard sale,
or town's name and classified,
the word "yard sale" or "classified"
you'll see you a bunch of groups in that area
and search the towns around you as well.
Use the other town's name "yard sale"
the other town's name "classified"
and start joining those groups
and then post your items for sale in there.
Even if you don't make a sale,
I've gotten tons of commission work off of that
because people will contact me say,
"Hey, I see you made this table.
Can you make this style?
I see you made a dining table.
Can you make end table or a coffee table?"
So you can gain customers that way.
Locally, we have a place called The Marketplace.
It's basically, it's like a flea market,
but it's not a flea market,
I guess it really is a flea market,
but you can rent booths in there
for like 90 dollars a month.
I've personally never done it
because I was getting plenty of work without that.
But I've seen a bunch of other woodworkers, or craftsman,
or even building arts and crafts,
put those things in the booths.
They rent the booth by the month,
it's a certain sized booth.
They put their items in there
and then that actual building that all these stores,
or all these booths are in,
will get a commission off of your sales.
You can figure that into the price.
That's a good way to get your work out there
and have a actual storefront for your product.
If you use Facebook to sell stuff,
be sure to check Facebook messenger.
If you're not friends with people,
it actually won't alert you that you've got a message.
You'll have to actually go into the messenger app
and find those messages from other people
that are not your friends.
Selling online, all right?
A lot of people want to sell online.
I personally don't ship big items,
so tables, end tables, dining room tables,
anything that's extremely large, I don't ship
because I don't want to get into freight shipping.
I've ordered some gym equipment.
It's about 150, 160 dollars
when that heavy stuff comes in on a freight truck.
So I would assume if you were selling a table,
hey, you're going to have to package it up
in a crate or something to get it,
keep it protected while you ship it
and you're going to have to pay for the freight shipping,
so you're gonna have to include that in your price.
I'm no expert on that, probably want to look somewhere else.
Cause I don't, I don't ship large items.
However, yesterday I hit 250 sales on Etsy.
I've been on there about two years.
So that doesn't sound like a lot of sales,
but when you work a full time job and do this part time,
building products for Etsy has taken up most of my time.
I can do a full video on Etsy selling if you're interested,
just drop a comment below and let me know
and I'll look into doing a full video
just for selling woodwork on Etsy.
So my experience with Etsy is,
you ever heard the term, "It takes money to make money"
well, that's my experience with Etsy.
So I started on Etsy, posted some products.
I think the first month I got one sale.
The second month I may have got one or two,
so it starts very, very slow.
So I let my store just kind of sit there.
I added products here and there.
I started doing research online on how to sell on Etsy.
I would watch tons of videos,
figuring out how to do my descriptions, my tags,
the pictures, the whole nine yard,
and was able to figure out
how to get found in some of their searches,
which is what you're looking for.
You got to build for the search on Etsy
and then I realized that the more videos I watched,
that I was going to need to buy ads on Etsy to make money.
And I'll show you some of my stats real quick
and kind of open the curtain per se
and show you how much money I made on Etsy
and how much money I've spent trying to make money on Etsy.
All right, so this is the last 12 months on Etsy.
As you can see on the left from July 2019 to July 2020,
my sales in credits is 20 thousand 152 dollars.
You're thinking, "Holy crap, that's a lot of money."
It is, it's good money, however, if you look on the right,
you see fees and taxes.
So I've been charged a thousand 28 dollars
in transaction fees.
I spent 45 hundred dollars on shipping.
I spent 14 hundred dollars on ads
and then 41 dollars on listing fees.
So you take that out,
that leaves about 13 thousand dollars give or take.
And then you can see here month to month
starting July 2020
and going all the way down back to August of 2019,
what my sales were for the month,
what my fees and taxes were for the, on the right,
that doesn't show you the ad money coming out every month.
So as you can see, I've had a little bit of success on Etsy.
I could probably have more success if I had more time,
but right now with the work schedule,
full time work schedule, family time, et cetera,
it's hard to find enough time to continuously build product.
So it just depends on what you're building on
is how well you're going to do on Etsy.
Like I said, I'd be happy to do a full Etsy video
talking about different things.
If you want me to do that,
just hit me up in the comments below and let me know.
Etsy is a great way to make money.
You just gotta be willing to be patient
and start posting products.
I'll give you some quick tips on Etsy.
You need four or five products ready to go
when you open your store,
you need to add products regularly to your store
because every time you add a product,
it gets a little boost
and then make sure you just do some research
on the search, descriptions, titles, tags, things like that
to optimize them to sell.
I've given you a lot of information
in a short amount of time
on how to sell your woodworking,
or how to make money woodworking.
If you enjoyed this information,
or if you have ideas for other videos, drop a comment below.
I always look in the comments.
I try to respond to everybody and I'll take the best ideas
and try to make videos out of them.
Here's that power tip I promised you.
Do not underestimate the power of the picture.
When you take pictures of your product, make them good,
that will sell the product.
If you just take a picture of the plain old table,
or the plain old end table without anything else on it,
it may or may not sell.
If you take it in a dim room, it's going to look like crap.
Take good quality pictures.
If you have a modern cell phone,
it's got an excellent camera on there.
Just light your item up with some good lighting,
wait for it to be daylight on a good sunny day.
Make sure it's not too washed out with too much light.
Warshed, that's a Southern term, warshed.
Make sure you don't overexpose the image.
You don't have to be a photographer to take good images.
You're going to make sure that you want to stage the item.
What that means is you put other items on your product.
So if it's a kitchen table, put a centerpiece on it,
make it look nice.
If it's an end table, put some decorations on there,
a lamp, something like that.
So you're staging that item.
People can picture their stuff on there
and it's not just a plain item.
So it doesn't matter if I'm building a commission piece,
or I've built it for myself.
I always take that piece inside my own home.
I'll put a bunch of stuff on it and make it look nice.
I don't, my wife does that.
She's the creative one and decorative one.
She has a very good talent for that stuff.
So she puts all these decorations on there.
She makes it look extremely nice,
and then I take pictures of it.
That will sell your product
faster than anything else you can do.
Good quality pictures.
Think about it,
when you're scrolling through somebody else's feed,
or if you're on a website that's selling items,
good quality pictures will sell you that item.
You look at that piece and you're like,
"Man, that has a nice look."
If you take good pictures, it will sell.
That's a power tip.
So you want good lighting, you want good staging,
and then you'd frame them right.
Take good pictures.
If the room is too small for the item,
it's going to look weird.
If the room is too big for the item.
So make sure that the staging is right, the room is right,
the lighting is right.
Take multiple pictures of it, not just one or two.
Take several angles of it.
Get close up on the finish, get close up on that wood grain.
That'll sell your item.
I'm telling you, pictures will sell it.
You can talk about it all day long.
You can have a good fancy description of it,
but if you don't have a good quality picture,
you're not going to sell it.
It's going to look cheap,
or it's going to look unprofessional
and nobody's going to want to do business with that,
or not the type of customers you're trying to seek anyway.
Obviously I can't guarantee
any of this is going to work for you,
but I did want to share with you what has worked for me.
What I have discovered has worked,
and it's not going to work on every platform,
whether that be Etsy or your online marketplaces,
or even locally.
Give some of these try and maybe they'll work for you.
My hope is that I can help you make more sales,
make more money, and build a business out of this.
I think a lot people,
a lot of people underestimate how much money
you can actually make selling woodworking items.
It's enjoyable to build these things.
I like building woodworking.
It's a good stress reliever.
I can make a little bit of side money.
It's just a good side business for me.
If you found this video helpful
and you want to support this channel,
you can do so by becoming a Patron,
link in the description below.
If you don't want to do that,
there's some merch down below as well.
Also, if you share this on your social media,
or just give a comment below,
I'll give you a virtual fist bump.
So I wanna help you grow your business,
you can check out my top five products that sell video
right there, or if you're a beginner you can see
my top woodworking projects for beginners playlist
is right there.