It really is great to see that many people that are members here are self employed and do woodworking or allied work for their livelyhood.
We all see posts of the websites and as woodworkers enjoy the work and comment on the work.
What frustrates me and what i would like to get across to everyone that has a small business is the need to alert the customer as to why they should choose you.
Why you, why not the next guy with the same shop.
What is the your difference.
What is in technical terms your "Unique Selling Proposition" or better still "Customer Value Proposition"
I visited a gear manufacturer the other day. The guy inherited the business from Dad many years ago. They make gears of all types. They having a tough time.
Work normally just came to them. Now its drying up.
I asked if i were to tell someone about you what would i say was the reason they should use you.
"Well er we make gears."
So i said, so does a ton of other businesses and if thats all there is to your business then you had better consider closing the doors cause there are many others in this world that make gears and have cheaper labor and cost structure than you.
" We cant do that we have been in business all these years"
Well then lets get serious about what it is you are prepared to say about what you do.
So think about this when you put up a site with pictures of your work. Yeah your work is a great statement but at the end its just another picture of a wooden object made by someone.
Now if you say you design to order it changes things, if you say you aid in the idea to solve your clients needs well it changes things, if you say you only work in exotic wood, it changes things.
I think you will get the idea. There has to be specific deliverables. The shotgun look at me i am a woodworker approach leaves people uncertain as to whether you can do what they want when they are searching.
You need to be specific and commit to that specialization and then show items that demonstrate it. Dont confuse the picture that you create with a one fits all solution just incase someone drops through the crack.
Its not good enough to show you can do it and hope they trust you with their new design.
Think about what you are prepared to offer that is unique, to you, your business, your area or target customer.
Then say so on your website and get rid of the rest.
Dont throw up pens, bottle stoppers and breadboards and expect to get commissioned to do renaissance master pieces.
Even in the craft area be specific why yours are different.
If you dont do it you bring everything down to price and thats not any good for any business.