6 Ways to Grow Woodworking Business in 2023
So you have your woodworking business and want to grow it, and who could blame you? After all, you are in this game in order to make money. However, perhaps you are facing a problem in that you want to make more but are unsure how to expand or get new clients.
Well, even though I’m aware it’s stressful running a business, there are a number of methods you can use that may very well help you grow your woodworking business over the next year. I’m not saying one way is vastly superior to others. Instead, I feel you need to employ a number of different approaches to ultimately see a difference.
However, I know people are sitting there wondering what these approaches or methods are, so let me take you through them. Of course, this is not simply something that will only work in 2023, so don’t think the methods expire in 12 months. Yet, I feel confident you should notice a difference in your business that will push you on to achieve even more success with your woodworking business.
Clearly, I cannot state that all of these six different ways will result in your woodworking business growing beyond all recognition. Yet, they are tried and tested methods employed by various businesses around the world.
So, let me take you through these six different ways and allow you to determine which approach may work best for your woodworking business.
Method 1: Networking
Networking is key to any business, and yet not enough people do it. One problem is that people often don’t associate networking with certain types of businesses, and it’s usually a business that deals with a hands-on approach to products. Instead, people get this image of networking as something consultants do, which is wrong.
Here is the thing you must remember.
You have a skill and a talent. You have the materials and tools that can produce very specific results, whether it’s by repairing things, refurbishing furniture, or even making brand new furniture.
People want that because they do not have the ability or time to do it themselves. Also, people love having something unique and not mass-produced, like Ikea. However, they need to know you are out there and have something that they want, and networking is at the absolute core of that.
But there’s something else that falls into this networking idea that people think is an old way of doing things: word of mouth.
I hate that people have largely dropped an approach that was one of the main ways a business promoted itself for centuries. It’s the method that worked best of all, as humans have this ability to trust what their friends or family members tell them. If they hear that a certain woodworker or woodworking business produces an amazing finished product, or offers a stunning service, then they will be more likely to approach you.
It’s all a matter of trust, so you need to create an environment where people feel they can trust what you do. That is what will then power this entire movement of word of mouth.
So, tell as many people as you can, who trust you as an individual, that you have a woodworking business. Show them what you can do. If you provide a top-notch service to a handful of people, then those few individuals will tell a crazy number of people and just wait to see how your woodworking business can grow.
But as I said, you need to have the end result for this to work.
Method 2: Invest in New Tools
Another way in which you can grow your woodworking business is to increase the number of services or products you can offer to your customers. This may involve you going ahead and purchasing some new tools, and that’s certainly something I would look at.
For this, you have several options.
First, you may find your current tools slow you down, and it takes you longer to complete a project than you would like. So, investing in tools that allow you to get the same result but in less time means you can produce more items and grow your business as a result.
You can dedicate only so many hours in a day to this, so you need to improve production levels without allowing other aspects of your business to drop. If you can do this by investing in new tools, then your business will pay you back in terms of growth in next to no time.
Now, I’m not going to tell you which tools to get. It all depends on the services or products you offer. However, I would certainly pay close attention to those areas where you feel you can improve. Do you need a table saw to rip through those larger boards? Do you think a better sander would get the job done faster?
It’s up to you to work this out, but I know new tools with better capabilities can make a huge difference.
I’m not saying you need to go crazy and get the most elaborate or expensive tools on the market. That in itself would prove to be a potentially costly mistake. However, it’s certainly an area I would feel I had to look into.
What I’m talking about here is looking at tools that make your life easier or allow you to produce something different. Anything with the ability to increase productivity without negatively affecting the quality is something any business should be willing to look into.
A woodworking business is no different, and without your tools, you have absolutely nothing. So, it makes so much sense to look at ways to improve that area to then help grow your business throughout the year.
Method 3: Social Media
You really need to make full use of social media and become heavily involved in it. To do this, you need to take several different approaches for it to be a success.
First, you need to ensure your personal profile on different social media showcases what you do. Next, you need a page where it’s all about your woodworking business, including images of what you do and providing information that allows people to understand what you can offer.
I also recommend you participate in local groups. Most woodworking businesses should focus on their local area or within an area you feel you could deliver items to and join as many pages or groups as possible.
But I also give you a word of warning when it comes to using social media. When you join local groups or pages, don’t simply bombard them with information about your woodworking business. Instead, participate and seek to provide value to the group, and don’t make it all about what you do.
People have so many choices via social media that it’s very easy for them to feel sickened by a business that promotes itself repeatedly without doing anything else. It can make people feel as if they don’t want anything to do with that business as they are swamped.
Don’t allow that to happen to you. Make comments, get your name known, and only promote yourself every once in a while on each page or group. It’s all about the quality of the promotion here and not about the quantity.
Of course, there’s also advertising via marketplaces on social media, and that’s also something I would suggest. Yet, it would be best if you were stern in what you want from a monetary perspective. You will always find people wanting to get the best deal possible, and social media is often viewed as something of a place for bargains.
While it does mean you may be given some poor offers for your services or products, there is very much a need to have yourself on there in order to become visible. It’s now the most significant place for advertising, and the fact you can hone in on specific areas and groups does mean it’s worth investing time and effort into this to grow your business.
Method 4: Learn New Techniques
This does fit in alongside investing in new tools, but I would also suggest you go ahead and learn new techniques that could help your woodworking business. Now, if you purchase new tools and not just an upgrade on an old tool, then you are sort of forced into this already.
However, even if you have not gone ahead and purchased a new tool, I would spend time trying to discover new ways you could use your existing workshop.
Again, this is all connected to increasing what you can offer to your customers. Say you are currently offering a service whereby you refurbish old furniture. Is there a way you could perhaps start to provide clients with the ability to have those items completely changed rather than bringing them back to how they used to be?
Take a hall bench as an example. In the past, you maybe stripped it down, repaired any cracks or chips in the wood, and repainted it. Maybe your new technique or service could involve you incorporating storage under the bench part by adding framing and a couple of doors. It’s still a bench, but you have used new techniques to give people more of what they often want, and that’s storage.
There are a multitude of other things you could do with this sort of thing. It’s simply a case of looking at what you currently offer and seeing what you could learn to then add an extra thing onto areas that already work for you.
Think of your services or products as being similar to a menu. People love to go to a restaurant and to have a choice, but at the same time, they like to know what to expect from that place.
The same theory applies to you with your woodworking business. People want to know they will receive the same quality service or product, but they also appreciate having more things to choose from.
Expanding the base of what you offer, thanks to bringing in these new techniques or approaches, will make a significant difference to your business. However, you do have one thing to think about when you expand your base.
With this, you need to get the word out about something new. That’s where this all fits into your social media and networking, as those two areas will become your main vehicle. That is why I included them earlier, as I believe they hold the key to you successfully growing your business throughout the next 12 months.
Method 5: Know What is Trending
If you wish to grow your woodworking business, then knowing what is trending at the moment can prove a real advantage. If you don’t do this, you run the real risk of being left behind, and that’s hardly going to help you grow your business.
By knowing the types of services or products people are looking for, it means you can ensure you are in the perfect place to provide them with their needs. You want it to get to a point where they find you, see you can help them, and then they have no reason or desire to look elsewhere.
This is something any business should do for their industry, and a woodworking business is no different. But I know some people may be slightly unsure about how to do this, so I have a few ideas.
First, look at what’s selling well in stores, and see how it fits in with what you can offer? For example, if people are looking for more rustic looking items, then you know you should adapt, if required, and provide more rustic looking items. It’s as simple as that.
But knowing what is trending also comes from your networking, as I mentioned right at the outset. It makes such a huge difference when you have your ear to the ground and know what’s going on. Get in touch with interior designers, and just pay attention to the media. You can pick up so many valuable hints and tips on how you should model at least part of your woodworking business just from those sources.
Method 6: Get Out to Local Shows
After an understandable lull thanks to Covid-19, local shows where you can showcase your services and products are back with a bang, and you need to take time out to get to them.
This should form part of your networking approach, but it’s also the perfect opportunity to get some sales by having some of your items there and ready to purchase.
Keep in mind that people that turn up to local shows have the potential to be prime customers. All it takes is for you to be able to show off what you do to the best of your ability and to not be afraid of talking to people.
Get a stall, check out what everyone else is doing or searching for, and seek to align yourself with those needs. If you have something that you know people are looking for, then they will come to you and will be willing to pay more than you expect.
And those are the different ways I suggest you seek to grow your woodworking business throughout 2023. As I said at the outset, I would advise you to go ahead and use more than one of the methods to get the best results. Just employing one may result in a slight improvement, but your chances of achieving the success you want will be reduced.
I know running a woodworking business may be something of a hobby for some people, but there’s still a need to take everything very seriously indeed. At the end of the day, you are going to be competing against who knows how many other people, and it’s a tough industry.
If you have any plans on making any sort of money from this type of business, then you need to have the willingness to find ways to grow. If not, then you will sink without a trace, and then woodworking develops a rather nasty taste in your mouth because of this, and I don’t want that to happen to you.
Try out the different methods, and see if they also inspire you to come up with your own twist on things. You just never know the difference it may make to the future success of your woodworking business.