Thinking of starting a business

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Blog entry by cdaniels posted 05-11-2014 06:35 AM 2264 reads 0 times favorited 5 comments Add to Favorites Watch

Since I will be discharged soon I have put some thought into starting my own small business doing woodworking projects. Since I’m in a wheelchair I wouldn’t imagine many woodshops would hire me. I would do smaller work like custom furniture and take orders for projects but I’m not sure if I will be successful or not. I want to make enough money to put my kids through college and live a good life. Anybody think it’s a good or bad idea? Any advice is welcome on either side of the question.

-- Jesus was a carpenter... I'm just saying

5 comments so far

View ikillbugs's profile


44 posts in 1989 days

#1 posted 05-11-2014 09:22 AM

Some people succeed at making a living out of this, but I’d say most don’t. I’d say it’s pretty difficult to do. I was considering trying out a few things to make money at woodworking but quickly realized not many people appreciate and will pay for the hand-crafted aspect of it all. Things like picnic tables, a chest of drawers, a writing desk. All these things somebody can buy at a big box store at 1/2 of what it would cost you in materials. Yes it’s solid, hand-made quality vs China-made MDF garbage, but it’s all about economics.

Who knows, though. Give it a try. If I am reading your post right, it sounds like you are in the service, and now bound to a wheelchair. Wounded in action? (Thanks for your service, by the way… wounded in battle or not). If this is the case, why not try to capitalize on it? I see ads from apartment movers, handymen, etc who are off-duty firemen. I am more apt to give them my business just for that reason… The military and our first responders, in my opinion, are well disciplined, have integrity, and are just all around good guys. Of course it would help if you are especially skillful at woodworking and have quality work… that goes without saying.

That’s just my two cents. Nothing ventured nothing gained.

View CFrye's profile


10742 posts in 2325 days

#2 posted 05-11-2014 12:16 PM

Congratulations on your pending ETS, CD! Starting your own business is exciting and scary. May I suggest you connect with a group such as SCORE and take full advantage of their Veteran Fast Launch Initiative.
Never hurts to have an experienced mentor to help you through the bumps of a new enterprise. And it’s free! There is so much more to opening a new business than building and selling. These folks can help you understand and guide you. One thing you may or may not realize, you can make things like the Lightening McQueen cutting board for gifts(looking forward to seeing that, btw). You can not legally sell them. God bless your efforts.

-- God bless, Candy

View cabmaker's profile


1745 posts in 3294 days

#3 posted 05-11-2014 01:35 PM

I think its a great idea ! Will you be successful ? Who knows ?

Do you have the skills required to be successful? Who knows ?

When seeking advise, I would question those giving it. Are they operating a successful business presently or simply offering a few golden rules passed on by some college boy who he himself chose the security of a regular paycheck by going under an employers wing?

If you never take a step your in the same place.
Go for it!

View Buckethead's profile


3195 posts in 2353 days

#4 posted 05-11-2014 01:45 PM

I’m thinking JB works for himself. I do too. It has its ups and downs, (like life tends to do) but for me, the ups far outweigh the downs.

Your situation is different than mine, so I won’t try to advise you. I will say that doing something you like doing is time better spent than doing something merely for money. (Will it provide sustenance?) Big question. I’m not sure I’d advise a beginner to intermediate to venture out on his own, although when I started framing for myself, that’s exactly where I was. My situation landed me into a burgeoning field that was short of labor. It enhanced my chances for success.

Also, I did framing carpentry. A far cry from fine woodworking, with very widespread demand.

I’m thinking JB builds custom cabinets. Another area with widespread demand.

-- Support woodworking hand models. Buy me a sawstop.

View cdaniels's profile


1320 posts in 1986 days

#5 posted 05-12-2014 06:31 AM

cfrye i just signed up for a score account and requested a mentor so thanks for the link! I appreciate the posts. I am gonna keep researching and hopefully learn some things from people on here about it. i havent decided if i should rent a place or just do it from a home based workshop. of course i have to figure out where i’m going to live first! The biggest issue i’m up against now is that i don’t know what i’m going to get for retirement so i’m not sure how well i’ll be able to support my family. only jobs i’ve ever done is hard physical work and been in the air force for the last 8 years. transition is gonna be tough i think…

-- Jesus was a carpenter... I'm just saying

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