New Joinery Business - Advice Please

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will1983
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New Joinery Business - Advice Please

Postby will1983 » Thu Dec 06, 2018 10:04 am

Hi, I've been a member here for some time and an avid thread reader but not really been much of a contributor.
As a hobbyist woodworker/diyer I was a bit daunted by the number of professionals here but I think this place is the right forum to ask for some advice.

After over 15 years working as a professional Civil Engineer I have decided I am ready for a change and to do something for a living that I really enjoy. I want to set myself up as a Commercial Joiner doing domestic cabinet making and joinery work in the Cheshire area.

Presently my intention is to specialise in alcove units, floating shelves, kitchen islands/renovations, installation of fitted furniture and the usual sort of bread and butter work of fitting doors, skirtings and architraves.

I have a 300sq' workshop (converted garage) with the usual stationary tools, table saw, mitre saw, bandsaw, morticer, drill press etc and the usual host of cordless portable stuff. I have plans to buy myself a TS55 and domino with the accompanying extractor. The actual woodworking side of things doesn't concern me to much, I think I'm more than competent to be able to do a decent job.

However I am at a bit of a loss with the actual running of a small business, advertising, work winning, invoicing and record keeping. What advice do the Pros have for a new starter on these?

Hopefully someone will be willing to share some of their knowledge, if so thank you in advance.

P.S. I have set up a website (another first for me), https://www.cheshirecatsworkshop.com/ What are your thoughts? Criticism welcomed!
Mods, if this is in violation to the rules I apologise, please remove if so.

davidpidge
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Re: New Joinery Business - Advice Please

Postby davidpidge » Sat Dec 08, 2018 1:41 pm

Hi Will. I love the cat. Nice angle that will appeal to people who want to use a small local business that has heart. Honestly I don't think a website is much use for bringing in new work but that's just personal experience.
I used to use myBuilder.com which will give you an endless source of door hanging/2nd fix work. You just need to find a way to let local people know you exist.
And when you work out your price. Add another 20%, then you'll still be under! But not by so much!

davidpidge
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Re: New Joinery Business - Advice Please

Postby davidpidge » Sat Dec 08, 2018 1:42 pm

Oh. And buy a pocket hole jig.

will1983
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Re: New Joinery Business - Advice Please

Postby will1983 » Sat Dec 08, 2018 1:55 pm

Thanks for taking the time to reply David!
I've gone for something a bit quirky with the business as I think it will make it more memorable.

I've got myself registered with Google my business and I'll be getting myself an advert in the next edition of our local A5 trade directory booklet.

Will

will1983
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Re: New Joinery Business - Advice Please

Postby will1983 » Sat Dec 08, 2018 1:55 pm

:D Oh and I've already got one! :D

davidpidge
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Re: New Joinery Business - Advice Please

Postby davidpidge » Sat Dec 08, 2018 2:00 pm

Nice one. Good luck with it!

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Re: New Joinery Business - Advice Please

Postby Meccarroll » Sat Dec 08, 2018 8:26 pm

Hi Will, nice to hear about your new career and business.

I took a look at your website and a couple of things took me, first the site is missing your photo and as you are trying to be personal I'd say that is important to a customer seeing who they may be dealing with. Second you don't show what you are fully capable of in so far as cabinetry. Apart from that it looks quite professional.

I'm not sure about advertising but you could try approaching some local architects to offer your services to their clients also local builders (House builders) may be interested in your services. I'm not saying builders are the best approach but I do know some use contracting joinery companies for built ins, custom kitchens etc so could be worth considering.

promhandicam
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Re: New Joinery Business - Advice Please

Postby promhandicam » Sun Dec 09, 2018 7:35 am

Welcome. I've had quite a few jobs from adverts in parish magazines over the years. Some get delivered to all houses in the parish and they give are the best leads. I think I pay around £140 a year in one of them. Best of luck.

mark270981
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Re: New Joinery Business - Advice Please

Postby mark270981 » Mon Dec 10, 2018 9:57 pm

I can’t talk too much for domestic as we very rarely do it unless through a designer and even then it’s a PITA

First of all you will need to work out your overhead.

Electricity
Your Wages
Van
Insurances
Rates
Accountancy fees
Work clothes per year
Etc etc etc.

Work out how many hours production you are likely carry out
Per year, I look to work on 1520 hours per year for each of the 12 people I employ.

However you being on your own, you either need to say you won’t do any house calls, quoting paper work between 8am and 4:30pm so you can get 1500 hours in a year (so overhead divided by 1500hours gives you your labour rate) or you say you are only going to be productive for 750 hours per year (or whatever you think) and do the relevant sums this way.

I would expect your charge out rate needs to be at least 33 quid an hour plus profit.

Never ever charge less than your charge out rate, even if you work something out and you deem it expensive!

Always remember we are a sort after trade!
--------------------------------------------------------------
ALOTBSOL

Mark - Sutton Coldfield

will1983
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Re: New Joinery Business - Advice Please

Postby will1983 » Mon Dec 10, 2018 10:57 pm

Cheers Mark.. That's pretty much exactly how I was going to work out my hourly /day rate.


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