Figuring a business plan.

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Forum topic by Resurrected posted 02-24-2011 05:59 AM 1765 views 0 times favorited 8 replies Add to Favorites Watch
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671 posts in 3175 days

02-24-2011 05:59 AM

Topic tags/keywords: question

OK here it is.

While my wife and I are working on this I thought what the heck lets include you all. Instead of saying what I have thought about, I’ll leave this blank and hope you all come up with things I did not think of.

What items should I be thinking about with a business plan.
OK just to say Building and store front. (Paid in full)

Maybe I can publish a fianl copy later for those who are getting ready to do the same. to assist in you venture.

-- Who can I block now???????????????????????

8 replies so far

View Loren's profile


10477 posts in 4131 days

#1 posted 02-24-2011 09:04 AM

The marketing. The getting of clients. The selling of jobs profitably.

What’s your system for getting a steady stream of new customers
and what’s it cost to implement? Can you make money on the first
sale? If not, how do you make money on the second? The questions
go on an on until you confront the realty of the business.

Compared to knowing this, tools and rent are secondary. Without
the buyers the tools will be on the auction block and the store
will be empty sooner or later.

That craftsmanship part of a woodworking business is not the major
hurdle. It’s the efficiencies and profitable work-getting that will
give you nightmares. These are solve-able problems – but Festool
and Powermatic won’t solve them for you.

View Servelan's profile


39 posts in 3264 days

#2 posted 02-24-2011 09:27 AM

I recently completed a small business training class and had to think about this very topic, and since my small business is craft related, I can tell you from my experience trying to take a generic business plan template and make it work for my business was a pain; I would recommend Googling ‘craft business plan template’ and look at how other folks put together their ideas. I found that the generic business templates don’t include some distinct things that craft-related businesses need to address. A template gives you the structure to address some things you might not have considered as necessary or pertinent.

One thing to remember is that a business plan is not just a set of goals. It is intended to include your goals, of course, but also your business mission and vision, how you plan on marketing your goods, how you plan to finance the business, how you plan on operating (full time, part time, sole proprietorship, LLC, etc., etc.) plus have enough information that someone wanting to buy a lot of your work or lend you money could see that you have your ducks in a row and the wherewithal to make the business work.

View KnotWright's profile


258 posts in 3971 days

#3 posted 02-24-2011 11:25 AM

I too seem to be on the “business plan writing” band wagon these days. The one thing I can add to this thread is tell them how your business is going to stand out against the rest. What is going to make people pick YOU to be the business to buy from. What’s going to make YOU the business that your customers are going to be telling all their friends about.

In this day and age of high speed communications you have to include technology in your marketing plan. We can all see how just blogging about a product can either launch it into the next level, or it can shoot it down faster than a rock from the 50th floor.

Are your products going to be handcrafted by you and your employees in your storefront, or will you be outsourcing for your stock? Will you have enough time to keep up with demand if you intend to build in house. Do you have supplier already lined up that can keep up with demand?

And lastly, is your physical business location in a place with a lot of “foot traffic”? If not what’s going to get people to make the effort to come see you?

-- James

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4 posts in 3142 days

#4 posted 02-24-2011 12:53 PM

Business Plans are generally comprised of three parts:

1. Product and Service (and overall need for that product and service.)
2. Developing a client base… Marketing… Networking…
3. Sustainability and Growth…

Please note that I have met some of the most talented wood-workers… absolute artists!!! However, many of these craftsmen were too heavy into the craft, and not heavy enough into the art of marketing their craft. As a result, many were starving artists ready to give their product away for a few bucks… or a bowl of soup. I have read that the key to a business is having a niche, and marketing the niche to the right people.

Hope this helps!!!

View Resurrected's profile


671 posts in 3175 days

#5 posted 02-25-2011 03:03 AM

OK I’M taking it some of you have marketing degree’s? :) Just Off what you each said I have more work cut out, the biggest and hardest is marketing it. How to promote myself. My Idea. My work. Any other templates out there to look at.

I have the tools yea not production level but that comes with time. No cost No auction, Building in a heavily travel main route with plenty of easy access parking. No cost. I’m not going to need much for a start up money I hope.

Guys great advice.

-- Who can I block now???????????????????????

View Pop's profile


432 posts in 4430 days

#6 posted 02-25-2011 04:32 PM

Been there, done that & biught the “T”- shirt. Yea is a pain, but it’s some thing you can do. The idea about the “craft” template is a good one.


-- One who works with his hands is a laborer, his hands & head A craftsman, his hands, head & heart a artist

View Jeff_m's profile


1 post in 3099 days

#7 posted 03-30-2011 03:43 AM

Starting a business can be pretty daunting, and I do think it’s best to get advice from as many people as possible on the topic. What works for one, may not work for others.

One of the things that you have to do, is identify your customer base. If you are selling cutting boards, this base will be much broader than it would be if you’re selling high end furniture. Knowing that up front will save you a ton of money in marketing costs.

Know your competition. If there are 50 people doing the same thing you are, you’ll have a much harder time setting yourself apart. If the competition is using all hardwoods, and you’re using exotics, that’s a fairly good separation, and you can capitalize on that..if there’s a market for it.

Know what sells, and what doesn’t. There is often a divide in making what you love, and making what people want. It sounds silly, but it’s a fact of life. People will drool over fine craftsmanship, but walk away if they don’t have some practical use for it.

If you’re going to do a website for your business, keep it clean and professional. People can and will decide in the first 10 seconds if they want to do business with you. A bad website, bad grammar, bad pictures, Etc will send people packing regardless if you do go work, so have people look things over before you launch it.

Best of luck to you.

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3 posts in 3176 days

#8 posted 03-30-2011 03:59 AM

There is a “small business incubator” in my town, financed by the state, to encourage small business. They provide all sorts of professional help. I realize you probably aren’t in Oklahoma, but this link has some useful info:

I also can’t imagine Oklahoma came up with the idea, so check around and see what resources are available to you courtesy of your tax dollars.

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