It’s been about three years since I left high school. When I left school, I said that I would take one year off to see where life would lead. That year went by so fast. And the two subsequent years went by just as fast if not faster.
So now I’ve decided to take the next step and start my own business. Now is the best time for me to start a business. I have enough savings to survive for a few years and the room to operate. I have the tools, materials, and knowledge necessary to produce furniture and the time to do so. I have a few repeat clients for whom I have done business and bartered with; they have referred others to me as well. The way I see it, I have nothing to lose and everything to gain.
I’ve done some research on starting up and honestly, it’s a little overwhelming. Okay, quite overwhelming. But one step at a time. First I will have to decide on a name and register that. As soon as I get a name approved, I will have to look at registering a website domain. This one isn’t appropriate for doing business. A logo and slogan are important. I have some ideas but currently, that’s all they are. For the slogan, I want something original – no clichés. Something that says a whole lot about what I stand for and what my business is all about.
What is my business all about? Well, custom woodwork is a very broad term. I will focus on furniture, but realize that I will also have to come up with some smaller ticket items which will promote myself and provide more of a steady income (don’t laugh!).
I am a competent bowl turner and box maker. I have made a few bread boards as well. They’re always popular. On my list of projects is a salt- and pepper-mill set. While I do not enjoy spindle turning as much as other woodworking, it is in demand and not overly time consuming. Pens and mills are two examples of spindle turnings.
When I feel really creative, I sort through my pile of wood chunks and carve something with my angle grinder. Usually my power carvngs are abstract. My carvings which I do by hand, however, are usually not abstract. I try to make them as accurate as possible. I enjoy carving in the round (think duck decoys) but sometimes relief carvings (flat) are fun too.
I have no doubt that as my business goes along, it will evolve. I will gain a greater understanding of what is in demand and what is not. One thing that I simply will not touch is built-ins. Under this category fall cabinets. Cabinets to me are boring. They are simply boxes and involve little creativity. I need something that stimulates the mind. Something that I can get excited about. I cannot get excited by cabinets.
I will have to design and have a business card printed. One idea I have toyed with for a business card is for a design to be printed on a wooden disc, a service which is provided by Jim Smith of http://www.woodencoin.com/. It is a novel idea which works. I was given one of his business coins, if you will, and have showed it to all of my friends. However, they are considerably more expensive than paper business cards. Also, they are thicker than a standard business card which means that they might not be able to be filed away with other cards. Which is good and bad. Hopefully, they holder of the card feels that it is too nice to discard and neat enough to show off.
The other suggestion I have had is to print a brochure with pictures of my work on it. Being much larger than a business card, I could include a brief description of what I do as well as large pictures and contact information. But they would be impractical to carry around.
One step at a time…