Are you thinking about taking up woodworking full time? You might have carved out project after project as a hobby, perhaps filling your home with your own creations. But in the modern world, it’s easy to have doubts over the viability of such a traditional skill.
That’s not to say you should give up on your dream, however. The number of UK workers planning career changes has risen in recent years, with many of us taking time to reflect and reprioritise during the pandemic. Sure, starting your own woodworking might come with new challenges like finding customers – but that goes for any business.
Having the right tools and equipment is key too. While your shopping list will vary depending on what you want to make, you’ll likely need a jigsaw, circular saw, sander, nails and screws, a power drill and matching drill bits. This will require some initial investment if you’re not already kitted out.
Research the other pros and cons of woodworking below, plus tips for getting started and making money, to get an idea of whether it’s right for you.
Pros of running a woodworking business
The key advantage of setting up your own woodworking business is, of course, the opportunity to do something you love each day. You can hone your craft with each project and build a name for yourself. Other benefits include:
- The ability to work from home to begin with, with just a few basic tools and other bits of equipment
- The freedom of being your own boss and dictating your working patterns and creative output
- The opportunity to grow your income and scale your business as you progress and become more skilled
Cons of running a woodworking business
As with any business venture, there are some potential challenges and drawbacks to weigh up too. For starters, setting up on your own always brings a degree of risk and worry compared to joining an established company. Other downsides include:
- Significant overheads for equipment and materials – especially given the recent surge in the cost of wood
- Potential for fluctuating demand throughout the year depending on your customers’ levels of disposable income
- The need to get to grips with financial management, marketing and other areas of business you may be unfamiliar with
Profitable woodworking business ideas
There are a few strategies and tactics that could help you make your woodworking business viable. You’ve got plenty of different options for making money, such as:
- Building custom pieces to sell in local exhibitions, markets and online
- Repairing or upgrading existing pieces, either on commission or by hunting out second-hand items with potential
- Teaching other people about woodworking in paid workshops, individual tutoring sessions, and even colleges
- Creating woodworking content such as blogs and videos to educate a wider audience online
Do you think you could cut it in the world of professional woodworking?