Woodworking and furniture building is a skill that can take years to perfect. And even then, there is always more to learn. But is it profitable?
To make a living building furniture, you should hone your skills and seek new styles and methods. By working like any other business, creating advertisements, and creating popular items, you can build a solid client base and earn a decent living.
This article will look at the best ways to ensure a successful business, such as a solid workplace and tools, taking professional pictures of your work, and keeping to deadlines. We will also look at what goes into flipping furniture and if that can be profitable.
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Furniture Building as a Career
From understanding the industry to working on your customer service skills, a lot goes into becoming a professional furniture builder.
Researching products, styles, new marketing techniques, and having a realistic expectation of the business’s ups and downs will all play key roles in your eventual success.
Look at Your Work Shop
If you are looking at furniture building as a career move, it is important to have a dedicated workspace. This will help with productivity, but it will help you look more professional should a client need to visit.
Similarly, having the right selection of tools and machines can mean the difference between hours of work. As a cordless track saw, investing in certain tools will help with productivity and cut down manufacturing time.
The video below gives some advice on tools to help with productivity:
By increasing workflow with an organized workshop and time-saving tools, you can increase your output and potentially make more money.
Either by taking classes, watching videos online, or looking at fellow woodworkers, you can always learn a new skill or trick that you can incorporate into your day-to-day.
Furniture building is not always a solid business, and you will likely experience slower periods. However, by continuing to learn on the job, you should have the potential to teach a class. This will help in the slower months and can be considered extra practice for your own skillset.
Remember You Are a Business
There are plenty of reasons to become a furniture maker, but chances are, you have a passion for it. To get to the point you want to turn it into a career, you will have been working and learning for years.
Still, it is vital to remember that what may be your passion is a business. This means looking beyond the workshop and taking a deep dive into client-based industries.
Create an Online Presence
Social media can be exhausting at times, but you can’t argue with its reach. With more than 3 billion worldwide users, it is a resource that can be beneficial even without paid ads.
Having a Facebook page as a business is essential in today’s climate. It not only brings your products to the market but offers clients information and the chance to get in touch. Though Instagram might not be as successful in generating sales, having a solid profile with your work images will increase your reach.
To make a living as a furniture builder, you need to market yourself and your work. This can mean taking out ads in the local paper or using connections to spread the word.
Online marketing is an invaluable tool that can get your work in front of thousands, if not millions, of potential clients and can’t be ignored. Certain viral campaigns might be difficult to replicate, but any publicity you can create will help with potential clients.
Facebook and Instagram offer an easy to follow ad program if you decide to use their marketing service. By creating an eye-catching ad and using targeted marketing, you can increase your brand awareness with as little as $2 per day.
Present Yourself Professionally
In addition to having a solid workspace, presenting yourself professionally is just as important. It may not mean wearing a suit to a seller’s market, taking off the work clothes in favor of something more business-casual will work in your favor.
Give the People What They Want
As a furniture builder, you have to stay up to date on trends and top sellers to make a living. Though you may prefer making bespoke coffee tables, finding out what the market wants can increase profits significantly.
For example, current 2020 furniture trends suggest that consumers are looking for natural and eco-friendly pieces. This could mean incorporating organic materials or using reclaimed wood as the basis of your work.
Take Professional Pictures
Product pictures can make or break a business. You may have the best-made chair in the world, but bad lighting or the wrong setting won’t show that to your customers.
If you are new to the business and don’t have the budget, you can do a few things to up your photography skill set. From incorporating props to finding the right lighting, you can start to take professional-looking photographs yourself.
Stick to Deadlines
One bad review can undo years of hard work. So when it comes to setting deadlines, make them reasonable, and make them hard. If you give the client a date, do everything you can to make it.
By being reliable and professional, you might find yourself with a repeat client. Happy clients are also more likely to recommend your work to friends and family. That means free publicity and organic marketing through word of mouth.
Is Flipping Furniture Profitable?
If you are looking into furniture building but don’t have the woodworking skills, furniture flipping can be an excellent alternative that can be quite profitable.
Using the following tips, you can start up a furniture flipping business that could soon become your top income earner:
- Create a Facebook business page. As mentioned above, using social media to create an online presence is an easy and free way to get your name out to clients.
- Be active with your audience. Creating a Facebook/Instagram profile is not enough these days. It is important to engage with your potential clients by liking and commenting on various posts. This will encourage a relationship with customers, making them feel more comfortable and confident in your shop.
- Start with quality furniture. Always ensure the piece you are buying is real wood and plan to update it in a way that will sell. Anybody can paint a box set of drawers. Instead, seek out something a little different to really wow your customers.
- Only use top of the line paints and finished. Client feedback is so important. Having a bad review because a piece you sold is chipping, rusting, or a handle is broken can seriously affect future sales.
- Offer delivery options. Furniture is often bulky, and many people don’t have the means to pick up certain pieces. By offering delivery options, you may lose out on a little money in the long run. Still, clients will be more inclined to shop again and recommend your business.
- Take perfectly staged photographs. Hiring a professional photographer can be costly. Luckily, there are various photo editing apps and online tutorials to help with staging and finishing your product photos. In the video below, you can see how to properly stage a room, which you can incorporate into furniture shots. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=S1fJdJqP3v8
It is possible to make a living as a furniture builder. By utilizing online marketing tools, creating a professional and reliable brand, and staying in tune with current trends, you can slowly build a business that will become profitable.
If your technical skills aren’t quite up to building from scratch, flipping furniture is a viable alternative. By upcycling older, quality pieces with fresh and unique new looks, you might soon find yourself doing it full time.
- Amazon: Makita Track Saw
- YouTube: Walkers Woodworks
- Westfarthing Woodworks: 50 Awesome Reasons to be a Woodworker
- Oberlo: Social Media Stats
- Inc.com: How Dollar Shave Club Rode a Viral Video to Sales Success
- Elle Decor: 2020 Furniture Trends
- Make From Wood: Complete Guide to Woodworking as a career
- Fix The Photo: Furniture Photography
- Millenial Money Man: How To Make a Full-Time Income Flipping Furniture From Home
- Eric Floberg: 5 Tips for Photographing Interiors