How to Start a Woodworking Business – The Best Guide on the Internet

Woodworking is a great idea for a start-up. Whether it’s your long-time hobby or a profitable idea you’re passionate about, it’s a splendid business choice. According to IBIS, woodworking is a $8bn industry in the USA that is growing at 2.5% CAGR. Which means you have a good opportunity in the future.

Starting a new business can be challenging. You need a detailed plan and a perfect strategy to execute the same. However, we will try to explain and simplify the process for you. Let’s figure out a strategic plan in the most simplistic way possible. Make sure to follow through and you can start a woodworking business in no time.

In this massive 5500 words post, we tried to cover every aspect possible. Hope you’re going to enjoy it.

Starting a Woodworking Business

We’ve divided the whole section into three major parts.

  1. Setting up a Woodworking business
  2. Launching a woodworking business
  3. Growing a woodworking business

But, before that let’s dive into market insights,


The woodworking business is a diverse field. It has a vast market and there are plenty of woodworking types to go with. From cabinetry, residential and official furniture to flooring and engineered wood products manufacturing. You can explore and find your area of expertise.

Woodworkers earn $15.72 per hour on an average!

However, you have to understand its market first. What are the scopes in the woodworking business? Who are the leading brands and what exactly they do? What will you require to get a head start? Don’t worry, we’ve got you covered.


Every business has market leaders. These brands are the sole reason why the particular industry stays in demand. As for the woodworking industry, there is no best woodworking business to be precise.

There are thousands of woodworkers who provide excellent pieces of work yet remain unknown to the world. Nevertheless, there are plenty who made a name for themselves in this industry.

Here are some of the renowned names you might be familiar with.

  • Masterbrand Cabinets: Specializes in Cabinet making.
  • Ashley Homestore Inc: Best known for passionate style residential furniture.
  • Herman Miller: The Goliath in the industry of manufacturing office furniture.

There are also brands like Haworth Inc & Imperial Woodworking Company who can meet all of the woodworking requirements.

You’ll get a lot of idea following these industry leaders. Because, these brands are in this industry for a decade. To know other leaders in this industry, check this list from woodworkingnetwork.


You will need a particular amount of skills and knowledge to become a woodworker. No qualification is required, however. Experience is the key in this field. Additionally, you can obtain a certificate from The Woodwork Career Alliance of North America.

Some of the basic skills you’ll require are,

  • Knowledge of various woods and how they behave.
  • Usage of Hand Plane and Hand Tools.
  • Must know how to cut Tenon and Dovetail joints.
  • Understanding of blueprints.
  • A keen eye for measurements.
  • Computer skills for object manufacturing.
  • Good knowledge in algebra, geometry, arithmetic etc.

These are the initial stage requirements for a woodworker. Over time you will develop specialized skills exclusively for your business. All you need to have is a strong urge to learn and an innovative mindset. Things will fall in places eventually.


You can easily keep the profit margin between the range of 20-50% when you’re done with the cost-cutting. Include the shipping charges for online distribution. Even if you start solo, you can easily earn up to $1K-1.5K/month. It’s a decent return for a low budget investment and sole owner.

A good investment in online promotion can provide you with at least $6K-7K in revenue per month. You just need to have digital marketing expertise by your side. However, if you have efficient team members (3-4 individuals), you can generate at least $20K in revenue per month.

These figures are for the initial stage only. Once you kickstart your business through promotion and accepting bigger projects, the cash flow will increase exponentially. You have to improve your statistical analysis of your woodworking business. Focus more on online marketing, improve your woodworking skills and success won’t be far.


A business requires a perfect plan. A perfect plan has various stages. You need to clear the basics first. Once you do that, you are all set to execute your plan. Check out the valuable tips provided by the SBA for a genric idea.

The initial stage is to set up your business first. It requires you to checklist the essentials. After that, you can do marketing properly. We will discuss all the necessary steps to set up your woodworking business in a proper manner. Follow through and you can get yourself started in no time.


Tools and machines are the heart of woodworking. Even the master craftsmen require their specialized tool kit for quality woodworking. If you’re just starting out, you will at least need the basic tools to begin with.

Here’s the list of all the necessary machinery and equipment to get started.

  • WOODS: It’s an obvious investment. Make sure to get the in-demand wood types for your workshop. It will cost you something around $1000-$2000 depending on your purchase requirement.
  • HAND SAW: Hand saw is an essential tool for the start-ups. It’s cost-efficient and gets the job done quite precisely if you have good skills. It will only cost you around $20.
  • POWER SAWS: There are several types of power saws available in the market. However, these 3 are most recommended. A table saw will cost you around $400. Approx $250 for a miter saw and a jigsaw for $50.
  • POWER DRILL: Power drills are handy woodworking tools. Make sure you have one. It won’t cost you more than $100.
  • THICKNESS PLANER: If you can spare a bit more, a thickness planer can save you a lot of hassle. It will cost you around $400.
  • HAMMER & SCREWDRIVER: These two are inexpensive yet very important and handy tools. You’ll get a screwdriver set and two hammers (Regular and mallet) for just 60 bucks.

Apart from that, you will require other small essential tools. For example, measurement tape, block plane, combination square, woodworking chisels, clamps, rasps, and a random-orbit sander. All of these will not cost you more than $300.

If you have a higher budget, you can also look for Woodworking Vice ($150), Jointer ($350), and Router ($200).


Yes, you can surely start your woodworking business in your basement. It doesn’t require a huge workspace, to begin with. You can also start setting up things in your backyard space or home or garage. The point is, you just need a wide enough area to fit your equipment and keep an open space for your work. Marc from the woodwhisperer written a nice article about wood shop layout tips.

However, you must keep a few things in mind before setting up your workspace.

  • Make sure your workshop has working electricity.
  • Always clean the workspace to avoid any unnecessary incidents.
  • Set up the workbench in an easy to access area.
  • Keep all the necessary safety equipment in a reserved place.
  • Ensure a proper ventilation system.
  • Install bright lights.

Your workshop is the base of all operations. Make sure to do your best to make it sufficient for woodworking. You can even start with a 12X15 workspace. Don’t forget to check these workshop plans from pinterest.


Once you have aligned all the necessary goods, you’ll need to set up a budget. Include every expense while making a list and do the cost-cutting accordingly. You have to record all the expenses and incomes to properly understand your financial performance. Your accounting will include,

  • Workspace Expenses
  • Equipment and Tools expense
  • License and Insurance
  • Registration Costs
  • Advertising & Marketing
  • Website
  • Miscellaneous Expenses

Keeping track of your finances will help you to set your plans in motion. It will help you to simplify your annual tax filings. The initial cost for setting up a standard woodworking business will cost approximately $15-20K. Some good accounting softwares for woodworkers are Quickbooks, PeachTree and Accountedge.


You need to decide on a business name. Make sure it’s catchy and easy to spell. The name must reflect the type of work you represent. It adds authenticity to the business. However, if you’re planning to go big, make sure to register your name legally.

Your name must be visible online as well. For that, you need to register a domain name for the same. Let’s be clear. Online presence is a must nowadays. You’ll need a website to run things smoothly. A website with the name of your business sounds professional indeed.

Note: Always check the domain availability before registering your business name. 


One of the most important things is to register your business legally. Consider a suitable business structure and register accordingly.

Trademark registration is a crucial step for a business. Your business name and logo (if you have one) will be registered legally. Woodworking comes under trademark class 8. Tingen Williams is a legal firm who explained what are covered under trademark class 8. Click here for all the details. Register the business depending on its structure. You can opt for Pvt Ltd registration or LLC. If you have a partner, you can opt for a Partnership Registration as well.

You have to file necessary documents and forms for other legal requirements. This will protect your business from any infringement issues. You can also hire a legal advisor to deal with all the legalities of your business. It will be a convenient decision for the business you can spare a few more bucks.


While setting up your business, you must consider business liability insurance. Get the necessary insurance for your woodworking business just to be on the safe side. Insurance can protect you, your workspace, and your expenses in case of an uninvited accident. Here are a few of the insurance policies you can opt for.

  • Property Coverage Insurance
  • General Liability Insurance (CGL)
  • Commercial Auto Insurance

You must also register for state and federal taxes. Make sure to apply for a free EIN to get started. Tax registration is an important part if you’re planning to go big. We always advise the start-ups to deal with the necessary legal matters AMAP.


It’s always recommended to create a separate business bank account. Choose a reliable and business-loan friendly bank. It will prove beneficial for your business. You can easily differentiate between your personal assets and the company’s. It’s essential for asset protection. Also, a separate bank account makes accounting and tax filing a lot easier.

If possible, apply for a credit card as well. Try to make small expenses with your business credit card. It will help to increase your credit score. Eventually, it will come in handy if you require a bigger investment in the future. Also you can try cardless banking. Click here to know more!


A proper business requires legal documents and licenses. The primary license you’ll require is a Trade License. Check-in with your city or town clerk’s office for the basic requirements. There are certain criteria to meet for the type of business you want to run. You can also apply for a Shop & Establishment registration.

There are no special permits required for starting a woodworking business. However, in most states woodworking qualifies as light industrial activity. Hence, you might require some specific documentation accordingly. Also, licenses create brand trust.


According to verisign, 77% believe that a website can make a business appear more credible.

Having an official website for your business is a sign of professionalism. People often tend to find businesses with a website more reliable in comparison. In recent times, online visibility is the key to the success of your business. A website is the first initial step toward success.

Register your domain name and choose a hosting plan to get started. It will cost you less than $100. You can try Hostinger or Namecheap for a reasonable price quote.

The introduction of WordPress has made making a website very easy. There are thousands of free themes to choose from. Find a suitable e-commerce theme for yourself and get started. You don’t need any coding experience at all. Make sure it’s mobile-friendly, responsive, and suitable for SEO.

If you don’t have any idea about these particular terms, make sure to hire a full-stack designer. They can do customizations to your website according to your need. You can hire a recurring web designer on Fiverr or Upwork at affordable rates.


You have to find a reliable timber supplier for regular business. Renowned timber suppliers mostly prefer clients with large orders. It’s unlikely that will entertain you if you turn up looking for one specific piece of wood once in a while.

You have to find the one that suits your requirement and budget. You can ask locals or conduct an internet search for a good supplier. Make sure to check the reviews for reliability. Apart from that, talk to at least 4-5 suppliers before opting for one. Consider the below-mentioned factors as well.

  • Consider the timber quality by finding out how the supplier harvests and stores their lumber.
  • Discuss your specific timber requirements with the supplier. Determine their ability to maintain consistency in supply.
  • Consider the pricing rates of 4-5 timber suppliers at least. Keep a note of the quality as a deciding factor.
  • Check the availability of their collection. A good timber supplier will have a variety of stock and can provide depending on your need.

Woodfinder is a nice search engine to find local lumber supplier in your area.


Finally, you need to choose a shipping service provider. It’s an important factor to consider when you want to expand your business. Your e-commerce website will receive orders from various parts of the world. It’s only natural to opt for a reliable shipping partner who can deliver your products to your global consumers.

However, shipping furniture and cabinets are one of the hardest aspects of e-commerce. You have to consider a hefty number of factors before you can make your decision. The cost of the shipment depends on a lot of things like the size, width, weight, distance of shipment, etc.

Here are the 3 leading courier service providers you can opt for.

  1. FedEx Furniture Shipping
  2. DHL Express
  3. UPS Furniture Shipping

There are other small companies as well who might charge less for shipment. However, it is always recommended to prefer a reliable brand for shipping.


Accidents often come uninvited. A woodshop accident can be a disaster and prove fatal for the business itself. You must take precautions to avoid such a mishap to happen. Do not rush things while working with sharp objects. Always try to keep yourself calm and head clear.

Here are some of the safety measures for woodworking you should consider.

  • Keep a personal safety gear kit that includes gloves, helmet, vest, face cover, and a breathing mask.
  • Buy tools with built-in safeguards. Especially for your router and miter saw.
  • Do not work if you’re not sober. Keeping a clear head and mindset is important for this job.
  • Keep the workspace neat by cleaning up clutters like cables, pipes, or wires.
  • Make sure to keep tools back in their places after work is done.
  • Keep the entire workshop bright with proper lighting to avoid casualties.


It’s time for you to take the leap. Once your workshop is set and your plans are in motion, launch your business. All your plans and strategies will show results only after you implement them.

A business launch requires certain considerations. Read the following and tick the checklist one by one.


The woodworking market is a multi-billion dollar industry that continues to expand. The top brands are in command of 30% only. It means, there’s more than enough opportunities for you to leave your mark.

You have to know the market before you leap. There are some factors you must consider.

  • Market Demand: Find out the most in-demand wood products. Do a market analysis of the same and select your niche accordingly. It helps greatly in increasing profitability.
  • Competitor Analysis: Learn about your competitors and who they are. How do they initiate and run their business? Who are their suppliers? Gather as much information as you can. It will help you to revise and even upgrade your current strategy. This tool helps to filter top selling etsy stores on woodworking. Then you can analyze what they are selling.
  • The Rules of the Market: You have to gather knowledge of the market itself. Learn its rules and regulations. Find out if there are any specific restrictions or guidelines to follow. This will ensure a smooth run of your business.


There are thousands of start-ups popping up daily. How will you make yourself stand out in the crowd? How exactly can you “Disrupt” the market? Well, sure. A good promotional campaign will kick start things. But you can only stand out when you do something completely different or innovative. Your online promotion also requires an innovative solution to disrupt the market.


Are you ready to decide your niche? Identifying the specific woodwork that suits you is the first step towards success. First, you have to find your area of expertise. If you’re turning your hobby into a profession, you might have already decided. However, if not, we are here to help.

Try to find out which items sell the best. Try different things. Be a little creative and bring some variety in the market. Woodwork is an art. The more creative you can be, the chances of success grow higher. Find the particular types of products where customers are willing to pay a handsome amount.

Here are some of the most popular woodwork niches you can try on.

  • Cabinets
  • Office and Commercial Furniture
  • Wooden Interiors
  • Home Decors
  • Baby Changing Table and Nursery Accessories

You can also have an in-depth look at the most profitable woodworking projects to take on in 2020.


You have to decide on a reasonable price for your products. Your pricing will heavily depend on the material cost and there are some other things to consider as well. A detailed by rockler shows how to price your woodworking projects.

Include misc expenses, hourly wages, and shipping charges along with the material cost. Decide on your profit margin and chalk an estimated price for your woodwork. Keep in mind, customers might like to negotiate the price. You can provide limited period offers and discounts as a solution. A basic formula is,

Make an excel spreadsheet to include the expenses of each product. It will make it easier for you to decide on a price. It is advisable to keep the profit margin low for the initial period to attract customers and brand awareness.


The first stop to sell your woodworking goods is local. If you have a big workshop, it’s an ideal place to stock your project. You can sell to local customers through your offline store.

If you want to sell your goods online, there are several options to choose from. It is the most effective way to go big. Online sales can boost your business in a significant way. Here are some of the options for you.


Your website will be the central source of your products. You can list all your products on your e-commerce website and customers can place orders there. Make sure it’s responsive and mobile-friendly.

Shopify is a great option as well. If you don’t have a website, there’s nothing to worry about. Shopify is the largest platform for e-commerce. They have awesome customer support. Clean and mobile-friendly web design to showcase your projects. You can easily manage sales and get good customers on Shopify. Also, for much effective results, you can hire a shopify expert. Know more about shopify experts.

The basic Shopify plan starts with $29/month.


You can run paid-ads over Etsy. It’s a good place to increase your sales. You will get an in-built marketplace to explore and sell your woodwork. The Etsy reviews and testimonials can greatly help your sales over there. The best thing, they provide free shipping, and the listing fee is next to nothing. Great, right?


Unique and creative woodworks sell best on eBay. If you have creative goods and products to sell, eBay is an excellent choice. They are reliable and easy to get started. Open an eBay account and create your first listing. They charge a particular amount as their fees for the bidding.


There are nearly 180 million monthly users of Pinterest. It’s a great place to reach female audiences. If you sell wooden ornaments and decor items, it’s the ideal place for you. You can promote your products with a stunning picture and attract customers. The best part? The promoted pins can easily blend in with the regular ones. It’s a handy one.


After you have initially started your woodworking business, it’s time for promotion. You have to write down a marketing strategy and execute it accordingly. Marketing and promotion help the business to grow further.

If you are just planning to keep it small and target local customers, offline promotions like delivering leaflets and putting up ad banners will do the trick. But if you’re planning to go big, you’ll need more online visibility. You also have to interact more with the customers and get to know the needs and requirements. It helps greatly to validate your future plans and helps you consider depending upon the expansion of your business.


Before you deal with customers, you have to identify your target audience. You must find the ideal customers who can give you a possible sale. Potential customers will generally contact you via email or call. So, make sure your website has all the information about your business.

Communication is the key. You have to communicate with your customers. Be polite and patient with your prospects. Don’t try to be sarcastic in any way. Customers appreciate humble behavior. Listen to what your customer has to say. What are his/her requirements or if the individual has some queries? Try to address them one by one in a proper manner. It’s always good to under-promise, so that you can over-deliver.

If your customer communicates with you via online, answer to him/her as soon as possible. Schedule a meeting and go over the woodworking plan carefully together. Try giving a discount or offer. It will ensure the closing of the deal. Make sure to stay in touch with the client throughout the entire process. Keep the person updated on the work progress. These gestures can turn that client into a recurring customer.

Try keeping in touch with your past clients. Send them emails or give a call to inform them about new products and deals. Or you can just touch-base on the experience they had with your woodwork. Never forget to build lists (phone, email and name at-least )

You can also ask for testimonials which would be a great help for the business to drive more customers. It’s all about communication. Take Google/ Facebook reviews as mush as possible. Social proofs are one of the best method for inbound marketing.


According to Assemble & Earn, “Branding increases the perceived value of your handicraft. The same handicraft can sell at 3 to 5 times the price if you put just a little effort into creating a brand image first.” You have to earn a brand presence since branding can make you earn much more.

What can be a better way to grow your market value than doing full-on marketing? The competition is high and you have to do your best to stay in the game. In recent times, offline marketing strategies like handing out leaflets and ad banners seem kind of back-dated. Yes, they do work for local businesses but with limitations.

However, if you want to get recognition widely and effectively, online marketing is your queue. The entire world is on the internet right now. It’s the best place to grab the attention of your customers.

There are several efficient ways to do online marketing without spending a fortune.

SEO or Search Engine Optimization:

Your website should be SEO friendly. It’s not just about generating traffic. It’s mostly focused on how to drive the particular set of traffic then can convert into a sale. Do proper keyword research, publish engaging content, and maintain consistency.

You can try Google Ads Keyword Planner or paid tools like SEMRush. The better your website’s SEO, the more chances of online success.

Email Marketing:

Try to widen your email list. Engage more with customers online and grow your email list by providing discounts and offers while asking for an email. Make a potential list from the data you collected and start email campaigns.

Set up a promotional email campaign and offer deals and coupons for your valuable customers. Provide newsletters to make your customers aware of the new editions. Send product launch emails and give them a reason to visit your store.

Social Media Marketing:

It is the best way to promote your woodworking business. There are over 2 billion monthly users on Facebook and 500 million on Instagram. List your products, do ad marketing, and generate leads for your business. You can connect other businesses over LinkedIn.

You can also try Pinterest and twitter to spread brand awareness. These two are great for organic engagement.

(Note: For online marketing, most of the leading woodworkers of the industry recommend Facebook and Instagram marketing. As explained by Ivy Decker, these fields have the most success rate for the woodworking business.)

Other Marketing Channels:

You can also try blogging for boosting your business sales. Write blogs on your work and the business, describe your products and services, share knowledge of woodworking. In this way, you can engage with more customers online. Make sure to put unique content and strictly avoid copying.

Contact influencers and ask bloggers for backlinks to your website. Try making short videos of your work and upload on YouTube. Share the same on social media. This can greatly help your business to get a boost it needs. Who knows, your creative woodworking may go viral. What are the odds?

It is advisable to hire a digital marketing specialist to handle your online marketing campaign. It will save you time and you can focus on managing your business more efficiently. You can get professional SEO experts on freelancers and virtual assistant websites at very affordable rates. Try Fiverr or Upwork, to begin with.


You need to understand the expenditure requirements of your business. Plan a budget accordingly. Managing the finance department is an important job. You have to make sure your business is running in profit and try to increase the same.

Once you start the business, do proper accounting. Maintain a balance sheet and profit & loss account for operating your budget efficiently. You can raise money for your woodworking business through fundraisers, loan applications, or by finding an angel investor.

If you require professional help, you can also consult a financial advisor to discuss your plans. This is not recommended for start-ups since it would be an excess expenditure.


Woodworking projects require professional skills and a hefty amount of time. A good business must increase its product value and profit margin. There are few things a woodworker should keep in mind to make his/her business more profitable.

  • Try Various Markets: Do not stick to one particular market. Explore new customers on various marketing platforms and provide similar products to each. Tally the rates of each market and deliver more to the one who is paying the most.
  • Add Value: Improve the quality of your work as much as you can. Find ways to upgrade and add value to your woodworking. Do not compromise on the quality.

Give value to your customers as well. Fit into the customers’ needs and try to provide a guarantee on your product regarding any quality issue. This way, you won’t have to compromise on the price. As a matter of fact, the customer will be more than willing to pay for it.

  • Make New Products: Do market research and see what’s trending now. Make new products accordingly. Check which market has a high demand for that particular product yet a lower supply chain. Lower competition means a good profit for the business itself.
  • Increase Marketing: When you are confident about your quality, you can do as much promotion you want. Focus more on online marketing and visual charm. Make an attractive logo and a beautiful website. These things tend to attract more customers.
  • Provide Classes: You can offer paid classes. Share your knowledge with people and help interested people to perfect their woodworking skills. You can earn a good amount. They may even decide to buy the products they made in the class. You can sell it elsewhere as well. Either way, it’s a win-win situation for you.

When you want to earn more profit, do not focus on the money. You don’t even have to try a lot of things. Stick to the basics. According to a survey conducted by Cabinet Makers Assn. and FDMC, most MSME woodworkers prefer turnings, cabinet doors, and drawer boxes as the top 3 products for outsourcing. Just concentrate on the quality of your product and it’s marketing. Profit margin won’t be an issue anymore.


It’s a natural thing that you’ll make mistakes while running a business. But each mistake is a lesson for the future. You will have the experience to deal with hard situations.

The same goes for the woodworking business. There are several initial blunders that newbie woodworkers often make. It’s quite normal. However, if you know what those mistakes are in advance, you can easily avoid them. It will help you to save an untold amount of money in the process.

Here are some of the mistakes you must avoid while running a woodworking business.

  • Never miss a deadline. Always try to deliver your work before the time you asked for it. Commitment is the key to goodwill for a business. Make sure to let the customer know if you need a little more time. Although, we recommend you ask for an efficient period at the very beginning. Remember, a missed deadline could mean a lost opportunity. It may cost you a valuable client.
  • Don’t take on projects you’re not sure about. It’s good if you want to try something new, but never try that on the customers. Use your own free time and spares for your experiment. Always avoid the project if you have any doubts about it.
  • Take one step at a time. Never take on too many projects at once. Yes, more projects mean good profit for the business. But taking all of them at once can significantly affect your deadline commitment and quality of the work. Take your time, schedule work carefully, and provide delivery dates accordingly.
  • Never miss out on any details. This can cost you unnecessary expenditure and leave you with an unsatisfied customer. Make sure to note down all the details of the project, especially for large-scale projects. Ask relevant questions to the customer and clear any doubts you have about the task.
  • Do not sit idle for the business to come. Try to do active marketing instead of just waiting at your workshop for a gig. Connect with possible customers through online advertising and strategic marketing. Try to reach as many prospects as possible. Take the initiative to approach.

Make sure to keep these above-mentioned matters in mind. It will greatly help you to run your business efficiently. If you are interested in boosting your work efficiency, here are some tips for you.


Make sure to divide the work and responsibilities according to your team’s skill set. Try taking one step at a time in the beginning if you plan to go solo. Remember, the legalities are very crucial for the business. File all the necessary documentation and register your business legally. Also, focus on your marketing strategies as much as you can. It’s the key to your success.

It is recommended to take on some unique woodworks once in a while. You will get the chance to showcase and season your skills with new challenges. You have to be incredibly creative to stay in the competition. Keep your skills in check and this industry can be heavily rewarding.

Hope this article helps you to have a clear idea about taking the initial steps to start a woodworking business soon. Wish you all the very best for your new creative endeavor!

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