Here are a few good tips for any business owner to consider, whether it is a woodworking business or something else.
A very important improvement that you can do for your bottom line is to price your work for the market you are in. You might know your costs reasonably well to be able to estimate properly, but this only tells you what your costs are. Without knowing what your market can bear for the product you are selling, you might be loosing out on profits. Simply put, you can produce a cabinet widget for $100, but maybe your buyers are willing to pay $120.
Once you’ve gotten a hang of your estimating, and you are placing your bids for contracts and winning jobs, do you ever go back and see why you didn’t win a certain contract? It is a good idea that you do. Wouldn’t you like to know if you over bid by 1% or 10%? Maybe your price was lower, but someone else offered better terms, or or a better guarantee. Make sure you find out the reason why you didn’t get a particular job.
Maybe someone else won the bid because they underbid by too much and won’t be able to complete it. Your follow up call to the client might be that extra reminder for them to call you back if something goes wrong with the initial winner. Remember, you are not only a woodworker, you are a business person, and business is about good contacts.
Talking to the Competition
Your competition is not the enemy. They are in business just like you, trying to make a living. Sometimes it might be a good idea to call them up and have a conversation. They can learn things from you, just as you can learn things from them. Maybe take a visit to each others shop, talk about common clients, quality of suppliers, etc. You never know what kindd of information you might be able to share that will help the both of you.