I am a software architect for an international company and a woodworking dummy.
My boys whom we home school want to setup a woodworking business. To be clear the goal here is NOT to create a new multi-billion dollar company but instead a real world lesson on running a business, profit, liabilities, material, customer service etc.
What I was hoping to get from this group was some direction on what to study up on, learn, consider etc. I'm not asking anyone to do their homework just point our noses in the right direction so to that end I have laid our thought process to this point.
- Simple projects are what we will sell. Customized coasters, cutting boards, picture frames, fresh milk carriers, etc.
- Material...where would we get our supply from? It seems Lowes or Home Depot etc. wouldn't really be the right choice. I found these guys online but figured others here would have valuable input as well. I was thinking...perhaps incorrectly...that we would be able to source our material shaped and just customize, finish and ship. For example we would be able to source 20 different wood cutting boards in the raw. Custom engrave (see tools below) then finish and ship...? Also we live in Alaska so shipping material in then back out is a concern for cost.
- Equipment...I was thinking something like this for the major shop component but again figured you would know of other great tool options as well.
Perhaps somethings for burning or branding wood as well as engraving...???
- Online shop...I got that one covered...1 out of 4 (25%) isn't bad...is it? My thought process was to allow a customization shop. Let the person pick the "raw" cutting board, choose canned text or enter custom text to be burned or engraved, choose a decorative pattern, choose a finish, give them a finished product preview, and then checkout. I was also thinking to personalize it by having the boys include a note and or a picture of them with the customer's product as it is being worked.
The pictures are of the kids (most of them) and their projects. I included a few from our "backyard" (not literally) as we live in Alaska. Luke is the oldest boy and he is camera shy but he has built the milk crates and does a great job. He is very meticulous.
...again the idea here is to learn business, customer service, customer loyalty etc. I realize that in a large scale some of this may not be very feasible.
THANK YOU so very much for sharing your expertise with us.