How we get the good jobs and sustain a business as furniture makers
How we get the good jobs and sustain a business as furniture makers
All we are trying to do is have a sustainable career doing what we love. Our work takes a lot of time because most of what we make is custom. There is a ton of problem solving / cad work / and trial & errors that go into the craft and its difficult to express a value to the consumer for those things. Here is a specific story of how we got a job making a $25k couch. I hope this helps anyone out there struggling to land the jobs that fit your skills and build quality!
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So how did you originally start finding designers that needed furniture builders?
Thanks for your transparency bro!
Bro your awesome lol I feel like I owe you something lmao
I love the comedy aspect. Don’t stop. I have some ideas of my own for comedy woodworking, when I get to building and filming.
Bait and switch on pricing doesn’t sound like a good business practice at all. At least, not in the order you did it. If that was the plan, have the conversation about an example piece at discount pricing before anything gets made, not after, if you have any intention of retaining the customer. You got lucky once. Doesn’t mean it’ll happen again.
Man, your level of craftsmanship is unreal. Amazing work.
How much do your custom plans cost?
it’s hard to find advice when it comes to this type of work.
I’ve been making trophy’s for people and other things for a few years but I’m at a point where I am planing out the next 10 years so that I can get into woodworking full time. So cheers for the advice much appreciated my bro 👌🏾
Great advice, bro. Thank you for sharing.
Man i wish we lived closer so i can learn more. I built a dining table and im having so much trouble selling it. No one want to pay the price and I even dropped it from what ibwas asking.
Great video! How many people are a part of your team?
Love the sound effects!!!
There will never be a shortage of rich people who will spend big and not think twice about it, the challenge is getting hooked up with high end designers who know all the rich people, looks like you now have high end contacts and will get bigger.
I’m totally into the under bidding and showing someone what I can do philosophy. I always do this and about 80% of the time get those people returning for my “normal” rates. Honest, hardworking, upfront always works for me. I wish you the best!
Will—love your content and am so impressed by your design & quality; I’m a newbie (2.5 years in) and want to be able to make beautiful stuff like you do. Was it just practice, practice, practice that got you there?
I found your channel because of your backyard shop design (I was looking to see if anyone had done what I was doing) and have followed you ever since. Your work is truly remarkable and your platform is inspirational.
Also, I like this line of video concepts.
There are many great woodworkers out there that don’t know how to do great business. I love learning from a great woodwork business.
My wife stresses all of the time when I don’t get a job for overbidding. I don’t. My sheds are on my property and my overhead is very low. Haha.
This does help a great deal! Thank you for sharing your insight! I have one question, it may be a little personal if it is please excuse it. I’m just curious on how you pay your team? I’m a woodworker darkforestfurniture, I follow you on Instagram. I work alone and I’m thinking about hiring a helper.
Assuming I had that patio and assuming I was in the market for a giant couch, and assuming I had the budget, then I would totally buy that! It looks amazing!
very useful info will! also that intro is fire!!
Love this content. I took my hobby full-time when I was laid off did to COVID. I’ve been successful and sustainable thus far. It’s great to be able to see how other small custom woodworking & furniture businesses deal with the business side. Don’t get me wrong, build videos are nice to watch, but ultimately, if you lack the business sense your sunk…no matter how beautiful your pieces are.
William, this is incredibly helpful. Thanks for sharing all this business advice and your story! Some really great insights here. 👏
From a tax perspective you might be allowed to write off the discount as marketing dollars spent against your corporate taxes. Check with your accountant(s). Turn some of that “loss” back into your bottom line.
Great stuff. Drop your price for a business strategy purpose other than just to make the sale. You’re in business to make a living.
I’m really grateful for your honesty on sometimes being a little late. 😅 I am, too, but it’s always fine with consistent communication, because the result is solid!
Love hearing wisdom from other furniture makers. Keep up with the great content!
i often do work like you mentioned. I am doing 2 end tables and 1 coffee table at next to cost. The customer wants 2 bedroom sets and a tv stand as well. So i bit the bullet on the first round in hopes of scoring on the next one. Not raping anyone, but will charge what i value my time at.
Damn, that couch is super nice! 👌 Great video and I shall heed those words of wisdom 😁
Keep the sound effects! Great video.
Agin William Douglas Co. much appreciated for the Pearls of wisdom that we can all apply to what ever craft were serving 🙂
This is solid advice. Also, a beautiful sofa!
Awesome video and great looking couch, the only thing that bothers me is the metal frame, I know nobody will see it but it’s just not up to standard. Keep up the good work! I just subscribed!
Thanks for sharing these very useful tips. A customer once told me she couldn’t believe I would build her a table for that cheap, after I gave her a quote. She said she would have been willing to pay way more. She was very pleased with the results and have proven to be a good source of very good quality commissions.
Gotta be careful and have the conversation up front or be willing to hold your ground once you raise the price. When I worked for someone else I had a home builder try and take his initial “relationship building discount” and pass it on to other clients and projects. Even though we were upfront about the price cut he tried to play dumb (multiple times) and guilt us into saving his ass/helping his friend. Unfortunately, the person I worked for valued the relationship over profits and we made pennies on the dollar.
I really appreciate this type of content you put out: honest business conversations and best practice recommendations. It’s really helpful for people with smaller woodworking businesses like me that are trying to grow.
Great video! I just finished a piece for a designer and gave her a bit of a deal on it. Let’s see if any more business comes from that….
Good content thanks for sharing you have a blessed day in Jesus name
Love it! Truth bombs! that is all
I appreciate the work y’all do. Keep it goin✨
I like how you almost always said “we” and “our” rather than “I” and “my.”
Very interesting insight mate. Let me share my recommendation: Get your shop very well implemented, organized and very well illuminated before accepting even the smallest of the jobs, or you won’t be able to deliver anything good.
Don’t argue with me. If you haven’t followed this advice, you already know what I mean.
Awesome tips, setting and managing expectations go a long way in any career!
Thanks for being honest about the “on time” part. I was starting to get depressed over here with myself 😂
Just what I needed to hear today. Awesome advice. Just subscribed to channel!
Reading the comments of everyone saying they loved this video and it’s better then comedy ones..
First great video loved almost all of your videos so far.
Second please keep making comedy videos as well 🙂
Again, sweet video mate 👍👏
I really liked the comment about being able to design the piece in CAD first. And having a budget that allows for that type of work. I don’t think people really appreciate how much that time can add to a piece by address issues and even result in better design by being able to visualize it before a wood is actually cut. Plus is adds the ability to potentially create repair pieces if it gets damaged through use down the line, without having to drag the whole piece back to the shop.