Anyone here have a profitable woodworking business?
Yes and no.

I am a woodworker, I am self employed, I make a profit. 
But I do not make wood items for sale.

I consult to the industry, contract with woodworking manufacturers and retailers to create their marketing materials, and I host my own TV show on Amazon. 

So I am probably not a good model for this question. But here is what I know: When I was younger, I wanted to build fine furniture and sell it. Fortunately, I learned early on that this was a great way to starve to death slowly. That is why I diversified into the things I do now.
Ralph Bagnall
Watch Woodcademy TV free on our website.
Good enough. I’m in eleven galleries across the state. I’m retired so I’m very careful not to let this turn into another “job”, so I take things slow.
That said, the market is very different from what I saw on the mainland. It’s a good excuse to visit other islands and the trips are all tax deductible.
(04-06-2018, 04:43 PM)Admiral Wrote: Wish him luck.  Other than that, stay silent.

^^^^^^^ well said...and the best idea.
I started with absolutely nothing. Now, thanks to years of hard work, careful planning, and perseverance, I find I still have most of it left.
Answer any questions he might ask you honestly and to the best of your ability.
Try to be supportive.

Please don’t quote the trolls.
Liberty, Freedom and Individual Responsibility
Say what you'll do and do what you say.
As a craft that sees fewer and fewer folks joining it at young ages, be as supportive as you can. Hopefully his kids and their friends like what he is doing. Help teach him to be safe. In your last days, when your tools are too muvh to use, the thought of anyone doing something you wish you could will be a powerful one.

Glad its my shop I am responsible for - I only have to make me happy.

It's easy if you....... find a niche, work 14+ hours a day and make a name for yourself. I wonder why we all don't do it?
"Boy could I have used those pocket screws!" ---Duncan Phyfe
You don’t need to comment on what he’s doing but tell him what you did and what did and didn’t work. Ultimately he’s going to make his own decisions and direction. I would just avoid telling him what to do even if he asks.
Started working for myself 38 years ago. Working for someone else just didn't work. Took a few lean years to figure out business and start making money. Woodwork basis but with other elements. I make stuff for other businesses that prefer to buy than make some elements of their products. Had to keep chasing work and inovating thru the yesrs. Now they knock on my door. You're either an enterpraneure or you're not. Gotta learn to hustle. The kid will figure it out - just encourage him.
(04-06-2018, 06:53 AM)FloridaRetiree Wrote: Reason I ask is that a long time friend just informed me that her 40-some year old son has formed a business. 

Also sent a few photos of what he is making and I am not impressed -- a Kamado grill surround which I can buy anywhere. 

Saying this having owned a large high end shop for 20+ years, and prior to about 15 years ago.

Before giving her my opinion on his new venture I wanted to check with you guys.

The best you can do is be honest with him and tell him what you just told us. 
Yes    If you really like your friend it will help him/her in the end not putting a ton of money into the business trying to save it.
Is this guy willing to spend up to 18 hours a day doing this to get it going for months on end or even years?  Or is he just a 9 to 5 guy who spend most of his time in front of the water cooler thinking big things?
As of this time I am not teaching vets to turn. Also please do not send any items to me without prior notification.  Thank You Everyone.

It is always the right time, to do the right thing.
I guess the question is, what's his financial situation, and what's he risking?

If he owns most of the equipment, and has some backup income (working partner?) then the risk is relatively low. He might work for 12 months and realise he's making $3 an hour. He can pull the plug and go back to his day job with little repercussions

The risk is if he's borrowed big to set up the operation, then he has the bank loans that have to be covered. Now he's in a pickle whether he stays or goes, as the debt is still there. 

I don't rely on my woodworking "business", but I sell stuff, at a profit. OK hourly rate probably sucks, but it's more $$ than I'd make watching TV. I'm a stay at home Dad, but have several sidelines to make a few $$.

Someone mentioned "finding your niche". That's important. You can't compete with Ikea, don't even try. High end furniture is a niche market, but you need some serious wood ninja skills to make it there, so that's not my niche either.  But outdoor kids furniture, made from local naturally durable salvaged trees? That I can do, and I already have the equipment to do it. It sells to the local Kindergartens, that are all into less chemicals / plastics and recycling. "This is Port Orford Cedar, salvaged from an old farm hedgerow. It's not treated with chemicals, but it will last as long as chemically treated pine outside". They look at their "Mission Statement" folder and it all comes together. 

Rely on it for our whole income? Not ready for that just yet, other commitments as well as the time taken up with other endeavours, but there are businesses that do this successfully.

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