With a 3.8 billion pound market in the UK, woodworking businesses offer a variety of beautiful wooden products for homes and businesses. So, if you’re thinking about starting a woodworking business, there are plenty of people who could benefit from your products. But there are a few things you may want to know before you get started. 

This guide will explain how to set up a small woodworking shop, including: 

  • How to register your woodworking business
  • What you’ll need to get your business started 
  • How to market your woodworking business and find customers 

You can find a general guide on starting a small business here

How to register your woodworking business 

So, you’re wondering how to set up a small woodworking shop. First, you’ll want to put together a business plan. This will outline your short term and long term goals. 

Then you’ll need to register your business as either a sole trader or limited company. Registering as a sole trader means you’re personally liable for your business, while a limited company is a separate legal entity from you. 

You may want to think of a unique company name for your woodworking business and register that name. Since you’ll be self-employed, you’ll also need to manage your taxes. You can learn more about how to do that here

You’ll also want to think about getting insurance for your woodworking business. Though it’s not legally required, public liability insurance will protect you if someone gets injured in your woodworking shop. You may also want tools insurance or woodworking insurance. 

What you’ll need to get your business started 

Knowing how to set up a small woodworking shop also means knowing what you’ll need to succeed.  

Knowledge and skills in woodworking 

The UK requires woodworkers to receive training so they can work safely. You’ll also need to understand woodworking for your business. It’ll be important to have a broad understanding of woods and how to use tools to create things out of wood. 

You may want to pursue further education, such as certifications in woodworking, to appear credible to potential clients. You can find courses with organisations like the British Woodworking Federation. To gain more experience in the industry, you may want to apprentice with a skilled woodworker. 

Aside from woodworking skills, you’ll also need strong attention to detail, physical strength, and math skills. These abilities will help you create quality products for your business. 

Woodworking tools and equipment 

To start your woodworking business, you’ll need some equipment and tools. You’ll also need a steady supply of wood from a reliable vendor. Some examples are Timbersouce and Woodshop Direct, but you can also try to find a local vendor. 

Woodworking business will also likely need: 

  • Workbench
  • Wood saw
  • Hand saw 
  • Drill 
  • Screw gun
  • Hammer
  • Mallet 
  • Sanders
  • Tape measure 

You can factor this equipment into your startup costs

Services and price list 

Before you get your first clients, you’ll need to decide what you will offer with your woodworking business. What products will you focus on? For example, maybe you’ll choose to make furniture.

Next, you can set up a price list based on the services you plan to offer. When deciding how much you’ll charge clients, factor in your business expenses. This will help you determine how much you’ll earn from a sale. You research businesses similar to yours to see how much they charge. 

Business organisation 

You’ll also want to organise and manage your business operations. You can use platforms like Google Workspace or Microsoft 365 to keep your contacts, calendars, and documents all in one place. 

How to market your woodworking business and find customers 

Once you know how to set up a small woodworking shop, you’ll need to market yourself to find customers. 

Brand yourself 

Creating a brand will help market your woodworking business. This means a consistent design and tone to build a reputation for your business. You may want to design a logo and choose some colours for your brand. When building a brand, consider your target audience and how you can best reach them. 

You could also design a website for your business using your brand elements. On your website, include an introduction about your business, your price list, and contact information. 

Social media marketing 

Social media channels are also great ways to market your business. For a woodworking business, platforms like Facebook, Instagram, and Pinterest might be good places to promote your products and find interested groups. You can post pictures of your woodworking goods and add tips about the trade. 

You could also create a YouTube channel to upload instructional videos on woodworking. 

Try to post to social media channels regularly. You can set yourself goals to post a few times a week, respond to comments, and engage with other users. This will help you grow an audience. 

Use freelance sites 

To find clients for your woodworking business, you can also create profiles on freelance sites or shops. If you’ll be selling specific wood products, you could sell on sites like Etsy. If you plan to make special orders, you can use sites like Freelancer or Guru

By using the established audiences of these platforms, you can find your first clients and start to grow your business.  

Save time managing finances with Countingup 

Once your woodworking business starts to grow, you’ll need to manage your finances. When you’re starting your own business, it’s important to keep your personal and business finances separate from day one – to save yourself from time-consuming admin headaches further down the line. 

When you sign up for a Countingup business current account, you’ll receive free accounting software with a range of time-saving tools.  Simply log into the app to create and send invoices, get financial insights, and confidently manage your new business finances Find out more here.