Woodworking for profit: Diversify?
My dad recently got into woodworking, and through a heavy budget and a lot of willingness to learn, his woodworking has improved quite a bit. As he has progressed, if he thinks a new tool will give him better results, he just goes out and buys it, and being a workaholic, he spends alot of time out in his shop too. All this has helped him become a decent woodworker fairly quick.
Now he has some crazy ideas sometimes (I think I got that trait from him)but with Dad, once he is locked onto an idea, no will convince him it won't work. He is convinced that there is profit to be made making and selling wooden caskets for pets. So he has bought the stuff, purchased a bunch of special tooling and supplies from a local 100 year old casket factory here in Maine, and has been making pet caskets.
But nothing is selling. Several stores he approached won't let him put caskets in their store because its "creepy" and word of mouth just isn't doing much either. Plus we live in Maine. In the winter the ground tends to get VERY hard from the frost so at best he has a 8 month season he can lock in on.
Now his employer has cut his hours back to 32 hours a week, and at 61 years old, he has another year till retirement. My mom would like him to get into making wooden toys or something else that sells, but my Dad is convinced that there is money to be made in pet caskets. I admire his resolve, but kind of wonder, if things aren't selling, should he diversify some? Its kind of sad to see him pound out casket after casket to a non-existing market, but as he says "you can't sell something that isn't made". I like his conviction, but I wonder if his niche market is too creepy and special to make any money at it?
I have no intention of traveling from birth to the grave in a manicured and well preserved body; but rather I will skid in sideways, totally beat up, completely worn out, utterly exhausted and jump off my tractor and loudly yell, "Wow, this is what it took to feed a nation!"