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self-employed woodworkers, how's business at the moment?

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johnelliott

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I do kitchen stuff, some complete kitchens and some revamps. Business is just about OK for me at the moment. The phone hasn't rung much over the last couple of weeks but I did have quite a queue to work through so I should be alright for a little while yet.
Even with a full order book it's still quite difficult to make money, due to having to be competitive in my pricing, and the inevitable stuff going wrong (like my Festool TS55 :( )
I'm having a rethink about my local advertising (the only kind I do) and I'm going to redo my advert to make it a bit more exciting, special offers that sort of thing. Think I will specialise in the revamps too, as they are quick and easy, and full kitchens seem to take forever to finish (talk about the devil being in the details)
Anyway, as we now have quite a few full time woodworkers, thought I would ask how things are around the rest of the country?

John
 

Nailer

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Wirral.....Cheshire
Busy atm......but saying that the phone has been a bit quiet of late.We're doing alot of new build as apposed to domestic work...i.e extentions,kitchens ,etc.
Our current project being six flats or should i say "apartments" which seem to be all the rage around here and there's the possibility of another six after that.
The thing is we've got liverpool on the doorstep and with it being "City of Culture" for 2008 there's alot of money being pumped into the city and the surrounding area.....which is long overdue to be honest.
So if all else fails we can always go back on the sites as there's plenty of large developements in and around the city centre.

After saying all that your still mindful of where the next jobs going to be :D

Kev
 
A

Anonymous

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Hi John

Im busy atm, seems to have picked up the last month or so. Mainly recommendations but plenty coming through. Im in South Yorkshire


Jase
Coggy
 

Woodythepecker

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The order book is ok at the moment, but no matter how full it is i have got to think of the future and how i am going to attract more clients.
As i have said before i was pretty lucky when i started my business because not only did i have private clients from when i used to work for someone else, but my ex boss has also put a lot of work my way, and on top of this there has been word of mouth clients.

The only trouble is, these sort of commissions will not last for ever and one day if i do not spread my wings the customers will become few and far between. So how do i attract more clients? Well one way would be to set up a website to let the world know i exist, but the only trouble with this is, what do i do with the clients that live outside the area i am prepared to work in? I mean who wants to turn away customers? Thats when i came up with the idea of setting up a site, which has a email address, where prospective clients could send their details, such area where they live and what they want to commission. Then these details would be passed onto any woodworker, such as John, Kev, Coggy, myself, or anyone else who has registered with the website and who was willing to take on work in the customers area. This maybe a complete failure, but it could also open the doors to many more clients in your area.

To be honest i did not think of this myself. I have got a recollection that i came across something like it on the web in the past.

What do you think? Could it work or is it rubbish?

Regards

Woody
 

DomValente

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I also have an idea for improving my business.
At present all work is done on recommendation, but my desire is to produce and sell furniture which I have designed.Unfortunately my experience is that shops want between 30%, if you are lucky, and even up to 60%.
My workshop is situated on a farm complex where there are already several shops, including Aga cookers and Fired Earth Interiors.
It is in a good area( wealthy clients).
A shop has become available to rent and whilst I would love to take,it in no way could I fill it with furniture on my own. But, I suspect there are hundreds of woodworkers out there producing beautifully crafted furniture, turnings , boxes and more.
What I wonder would the response be to offering a place to sell there goods in a high profile area(North London)for a minimal percentage say 10/15% to offset running costs e.g. rent a member of staff etc. thus giving me an outlet for my own furniture that I could afford.

Dom
 

Woodythepecker

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Dom, welcome to the forum. As Neil says i am sure your post will generate some interest.

As for mine :eek: , well as i am not all that clued up on the web, can anyone point me in the direction of a website builder, or at least the information i need to build one for myself? Only time will tell if this sort of advertising will work, but if i can find other like minded woodworkers on other sites, i still think it is worth a try.

Woody
 

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