There is a wonderful way to create popular woodworking projects that you will find easy to sell. You can do this by following a very successful business principle known as “working in a niche”.
What is a niche?
If you look up the meaning of niche it means “speciality”. The next time you go and build a wood project that you intend to sell, you should think about what’s going to be your speciality. Think of a project that is different from others in some interesting and wonderful way.
Sometimes you don’t have to reinvent the wheel as they say but get creative with existing project ideas and change them just enough to give them that niche factor.
Advantages of selling niche wood projects
Niche marketing is use to help stand out in an otherwise competitive market. Instead of selling to everyone you choose a small and exclusive segment to sell to. Yes, the buyers are fewer in number but also convert better to sales. This is because your product resonates better with this select group of people.
Rather than making something for everyone, like most other woodworkers, you will make something uniquely targeted to a small interested segment of buyers.
When ever you create something unique, you automatically increase the perceived value of your wood craft as well. What this means is that not only will you find it easier to sell to this select group of people, you will also be selling at a higher price, thereby increasing your profit margin.
It is easier to connect with a specific group of people with a specific product. You might find it strange but more people are liable to contact you if you advertise yourself as a “table maker”, rather than a “woodworker”. In marketing, specifics sell.
So what does this have to do with creating best selling wood projects? Let’s give an example.
Example of niche woodworking project – Wooden bow ties
A wooden bow tie is a unique woodcraft, correct? So unique that you might not have even heard of it. But it not only exists, it also sells fabulously. There is no substitute for it and there is not much competition for this product either. So if you are the manufacturer of this craft and if someone wants it, the odds of that person buying it from you are very high.
Yes, as compared to regular bowtie, fewer people will be interested in a wooden bow tie, let’s say only 10%. But it will be easier to sell to this 10% because they are highly focused buyers who are interested in that wooden bow tie. There is also the absence of 100 or so other brands selling the same thing.
I know what you are thinking at this juncture. You are thinking that you will sell less because only 10% people are interested in this wood craft. The answer is, no. You will probably sell more, and this is why.
If you were targeting the other 90% with a random woodcraft, you will be lucky if even 1% of them actually buy. Why? Firstly, because there is no method to the madness. You have not identified their likes and interests and are counting on the mere fact that you can make them by something by brute force. Second, you will probably not be able to reach all of those 90% people. They are a lot of people and to reach them you will have to creates some very costly marketing campaigns.
So with a niche woodcraft you have to sell to less number of people but sell more wood crafts. Doesn’t that sound right?
The secret sauce to making best selling wood projects? Build niche wood projects.
How to discover niche wood projects to make
Like I said, you don’t have to reinvent the wheel and come up with something completely new each and every time you want to make a niche craft. Usually you want to ask yourself the following things:
- Can I improve this craft to make it more useful?
- Can I make it more attractive?
- Can I enhance or change the design to make the craft stand out?
- Is there a demand for what I am making?
The last point is an important part. The craft you make should have enough demand an appeal so that you can sell it many times over and for a long time to come.
Finding a popular woodcraft that is in demand
Ideally you want to think of something that can be launched as a business model on its own. Like the example of wooden bow ties. That wood project is unique and big enough to base an entire business around it. Imagine an online store that sells all kinds and designs of wooden bow ties. If you can think of something like that it would be great.
But in the absence of a completely novel idea you can also practice becoming a specialist that targets a smaller segment of a larger field.
Woodworking is a huge category and thousands of projects are possible. If you promote yourself as a woodworker you have hundreds of others to compete with not to mention some very large retail chains.
But if you become the best….
- frame maker
- chair maker
- birdhouse maker
- wooden jewellery maker
- toy maker
- wooden cutlery maker
- baby furniture maker
- clock maker
- phone and computer accessories maker
- wooden planter maker and so on and so forth, you establish yourself as an expert who people will approach for specific needs.
These are all smaller and more focused segments of the larger field of woodworking. You can choose one niche or several based on your research and experience that you expect to sell well.
The idea behind targeting a niche is too narrow it down as much as possible. So even within a niche there can be sub-niches. For example, ‘furniture’ is a niche, ‘garden furniture’ is a sub-niche and ‘chairs’ is an even narrower niche.
Added benefit of making a niche woodcraft
One of the greatest pleasures of working in a niche comes from the ability to focus. I find it so much better to know what I’m going to make and think of ways of making it better or come up with new design ideas. Imagine if you concentrate on just building chairs. There is so much you can do in just that category. So many amazing designs to be made for different purpose like office, bedroom, dining, study, leisure et cetera.
And what’s more, you stand a much better chance of becoming known as the expert chair maker. Whenever people want custom chairs they will think of you.
So without further ado let’s mention of you hot selling niche is in good working nieces in woodworking.
Best selling niche wood projects
Chairs is a targeted sub-niche in the larger furniture niche. There are others also like tables, cabinets et cetera. You probably know that camera making is a skill on its own and highly in demand. But I mention chairs because of the potential for advertising and marketing. “Chair Maker” draws attention and most people realise the importance of well-made comfortable chairs at some point in their life.
In the kitchen.
I am not talking about kitchen cabinets but serving dishes, spoons and ladles. What else? A pair of tongs, wooden platters, wooden bottles and containers et cetera. Basically you establish yourself as a kitchenware brand in woodworking. As with any popular small project, you have the advantage of selling online to reach remote and far away buyers as well. A narrower niche in this category will be if you just make plates and spoons. And expansion of this niche would be making bath accessories.
In the office.
This is one classy woodworking niche. You have the liberty to build small and expensive items for suave offices. Just make sure the product is worth the cost. For example, solid and shiny mahogany paperweights engraved or not, Pen stands, stationery holders, table and drawer organisers and even stuff like charging stations.
There is something you need to understand about Luxury segment. It is not is the stuff that people usually need. You are not selling the product to them but the idea of luxury. So if you ever find yourself getting into that segment, make sure that your branding and your promotion reflect that indulgence.
For example, a very basic thing to remember is that the packaging of such an item has to be top-notch. Personally, I believe in minimal use of packaging materials. But I have seen brands strike a great balance between design elegance and minimalism. For all the niche woodworking categories we are going to mention do some research on your own and get creative to come up with more project ideas.
I would like to list grooming accessories such as hairbrushes but this would probably be beyond the scope of a local woodworking shop. Making hairbrushes is a highly mechanised process. If you can come up with some ideas for wood projects in the men’s and women’s grooming category do share it in the comments section below.
A Gentlemen’s toys
A man’s toys are things like his watches, pens , glasses, cigars et cetera. How about making exclusive cases for these things so that the men can pamper and protect these expensive items while enjoying a touch of class at the same time. Cases are some thing that never go out of need or style, and can be pretty basic to make at the same time. Features like hidden compartments, lock and key, soft padding, secure storage will make your woodcraft a niche item.
This is a good category of wood crafts to make. But you need to do it right. The key is making a high quality item and doing the right branding to go along with it. If you haven’t read up on branding till now, catch up with it here.
If you really want to make money in this category, you have to make a good clock, in workmanship and reliability. With the right branding people will pay top dollar for this woodcraft. Clocks are also very brandable items which should make it easier to market
People remember brands of certain things like watches and sunglasses. They pay attention to it. How many bother with the brand of the chair. That’s why branding is important if you are making high selling woodworking crafts like clocks.
Tips for finding more niche wood project ideas
I can go on about niche woodworking project ideas and there would really be no end to them. And while they are all great ideas they may or may not be for you. You need to find something that works for you and for that I will leave you with a few tips to do this.
Innovation is key. And so is your unique perspective and ideas. Don’t be afraid to go where you want to go, do things the way you want to, sell to the kind of people that you want to. Your idea should be supported with some market research so that comes next.
Research the idea. Sure, look at the competition and see what’s selling well. When you come up with a way to do things differently and in a better way it is not a very difficult job to test the waters first.
Post a few pictures online, take opinions of trusted people, try out a small batch for sale et cetera to get a feedback from your potential buyers. Let’s not forget that the idea Is behind getting into a niche is to really tap into some need of the people. People have different taste. We know that. So test your projects out with the audience that you want to connect with. This will really help you in the future when you want to increase the reach of your complaints and campaigns.
Get mechanised or exclusively. There are two ways that you are going to make money with the wood working in a niche. Either you make and sell a lot of wood crafts… or you make less but make it exclusive and expensive.
Both work and actually making less and exclusive items has its advantages. The problem with low-priced products is that there is always someone who is ready to cut your profits, short the prices and compete with you, forcing you to cut your prices and reduce your profit margins.
There is usually more competition in the lower priced market. Unless you create and patient a new design or idea, you should be looking to build exclusivity in your work projects.
The most money that people are willing to spend is for luxury. The most expensive products and services in the world recognise this and sell the idea of luxury to people. Think about this for a minute and you will know that this statement is true. Take the example of all kinds of luxury items right from pens, electronics to food and cars.
So whether you are making wooden paperweights or tables, find a way to build luxury into you items. Using high-quality material and workmanship is one way to do it but without the right branding it might not work just as well.
Branding is the single most important steps to increase the perceived value of your craft. 7 easy steps to good branding….
One last word of advice. Remember that like any other marketing campaign, niche marketing will also need you to explore and experiment. If things don’t work out right off the bat, it may only take a little bit of adjustment to make things successful. Niche marketing is about connecting to small but loyal group of people. So find out what they want and deliver that to them. All the best.
Along with branding, getting ‘exclusive’ is a proven technique to make more money with less work. Read 3 Methods To Dramatically Increase Your Woodworking Income.