As the great resignation takes place, many people are looking to start a new business as a side hustle to one day replace their full-time income. If you’re in this position and interested in the trades, or better yet, have experience as a carpenter, you may want to look at starting your own carpentry business.
The carpentry industry is a flourishing category of the construction sector, and services are always in demand, making a carpentry business a worthwhile shot. Better yet, fewer people are choosing to go into trades every year, making this a market gap worth capitalizing on.
Carpentry businesses provide services, including the building, maintenance, renovation, and repair of residential and commercial buildings.
If you’re interested and wondering how to start a carpentry business, read on!
When it comes to starting a service-based business, it can be overwhelming, particularly if you don’t have experience performing the service yourself. It’s important that you feel confident and knowledgeable on all of the main steps it takes to start a carpentry business. Key aspects of starting a carpentry business include doing the required paperwork, choosing your services, buying equipment, setting your rates, and developing a marketing plan!
The first step in the paperwork process is choosing a business structure to register your carpentry business. When forming a new business, you may choose to register as a sole proprietorship, limited liability company (LLC), or a corporation. Most service-based businesses register as an LLC or a corporation to protect themselves from legal liability.
Depending on your country, there is usually a threshold of revenue where you are required to register for taxes. If you are located in the USA, you would need to apply for an EIN, which is a simple and costless process after you’ve registered your business!
When operating a carpentry business, you may need certain permits and licenses. Since this varies based on your state, look at SBA’s reference to state licenses and permits to ensure you’re compliant. To legally operate as a carpenter, you must pass the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) safety courses if located in the USA.
The final key part of the paperwork process would be to get business insurance. Business insurance covers your bases in the worst case that your business causes damage or injury to an employee, giving you peace of mind.
After completing the paperwork, it’s time for the fun part: choosing your service offerings!
When starting a service-based business, you may choose to start off performing the work yourself and branch off into hiring later, or if you have a larger budget, you can immediately start hiring contractors!
Within carpentry, there is structural carpentry, which focuses on framework building to ensure structural safety and finish carpentry, which focuses on restoration and the aesthetic component of buildings.
Options to choose from include furniture assembly, partition making, installation of door handles, furniture repair, stairs, flooring, deck building, and more.
If you want to open a carpentry business, the next step is to take in preparing yourself for success. This includes creating an actionable business plan that serves as a roadmap for your business. Without a business plan, you risk wasting time and resources since there would be no way to measure your progress.
When preparing yourself to start offering your carpentry services, you need to ensure that you have the proper equipment to deliver the highest caliber work. After you’ve decided what services to offer, you will need to develop a list of equipment needed for those services. As a general rule of thumb for carpentry, these are the most important tools that will be the foundation of your business:
In the future, once you’ve grown and outsourced your services to contractors, it is worth looking into building partnerships with local hardware shops to save costs in the long term.
It’s important to plan your finances, to give yourself the highest chance at success. Accounting for the startup and ongoing expenses is the best way to ensure sufficient funds.
Luckily, you can start a carpentry business with as little as a few hundred dollars if you have the basic tools or are willing to borrow from a fellow friend. If you don’t have any carpentry tools, the startup costs will be the price for equipment purchased or rental equipment.
Ongoing expenses include insurance fees, vehicle maintenance for supply transportation, equipment maintenance costs, and employee salaries if you decide to hire.
The average carpenter charges anywhere from $13 to $31 an hour, depending on the performed service and location. A general guideline is to look at competitors in your area and charge slightly less than them. After building up testimonials and gaining referrals, you can raise your prices to reflect your business growth.
Revenue is the lifeline of your carpentry business, and to earn revenue, a well-thought-out marketing plan is needed. If you’ve worked in the carpentry industry and have connections, start by sending emails to all of your contacts and letting them know of your service offerings. If you have the budget, you can hire someone to build a website for you and direct any potential clients to a sales funnel. From there, you can grow with word-of-mouth referrals and offer commissions to those who successfully lead new clients your way.
As a long-term strategy, you can invest in an SEO specialist to rank your website on the first page of Google so that when someone in your local area searches for any of your services, your business name pops up!
You now know the key steps required to launch and maintain a successful carpentry business. With perseverance in the face of challenges and the willingness to try new approaches to marketing, you’ll be sure to grow your carpentry business and build a name for yourself.
The process of becoming a successful business owner is a roller coaster but oh-so rewarding. Best of luck!