Contractual woodworking often work promises long term work and large profits. One can pick up contracts from individuals or for larger projects. While these jobs come with the advantage of more work and a larger income, there are pitfalls that should be aware of, specially if you are getting into this line of work for the first time.
Most of it is common sense and you well wishing friends and family will probably apprise you of it beforehand. The risks of contractual work are not so much from fro homeowners and individuals. However, you might be interested in picking up larger woodworking jobs than ones afforded by homeowners and individual customers.
The three common sources of large woodworking jobs are contractors, corporates and government agencies. Should you pick up these jobs? Let's see.
Doing woodworking jobs for contractors
Contractors can give you a lot of woodworking work but the overall experience of dealing with them can be problematic.
Reasons for this are many and not all of them are the contractor's fault. The first problem with picking up a woodworking job from a contractor will be the 50% advance payment policy. Almost no contractor will agree to this no matter how large the job.
In fact this problem exists with corporate and government contract jobs as well. This puts your money at risk. Payments with contractors can get seriously delayed. Many times a contractor cannot help delaying payments. On other occasions he might deliberately delay, and at the time you agree to accept less out of desperation to get your money released.
A contractor often faces issues with his own payments. He is not likely to pay anyone till he gets paid himself. A contractor's payments are usually subject to bank draws and inspection of the finished work. If he has problems with getting his payments released, so will all the other people who are dependent on him for their payments.
Contractors can also run into payment problems with large builders who refuse to pay them.
This post is not meant to imply that all experiences with contractors are bad but dealing with them is risky. Many of them will try to have to pay you as less as possible for your work and will use delay tactics to facilitate this end.
Contracting Woodworking Jobs for Corporate and Government Agencies
When picking up woodworking contracts for corporates and government agencies, the first problem you are likely to face is one we have already mentioned i.e. inability to get a 50% payment in advance. While some corporates might relent on this if you stay your ground, you might have to forgo the advance payment with a government agency.
The second problem is with delayed payment. Government agencies may take a longer to clear your payment even when the job is completely done. This is not so much a delay as the normal time that it usually takes to process these matters and getting the payment released.
The lack of advance and delayed payments can put a lot of pressure on a one man woodworking business. It is advisable that if you have plenty of work coming from individuals, do not pick up large projects that do not pay you a 50% advance fee. Pick up corporate and government contracts only if you really need to.