How to Make Money Building Outdoor Furniture
Outdoor furniture is traditionally more rustic than indoor furniture, making its rough hewn edges more easily reproducible by a variety of woodworkers---both skilled and unskilled. Once you've figured out how to make attractive, functional outdoor furniture pieces, making money on these crafts is not extremely difficult. If you have a knack for building outdoor furniture, you can get your products exposed to potential clients, and from your hobby.
Diagram your prototypes for quicker production and assembly. Though you may occasionally make a custom piece for a higher profit, it is very beneficial to also prepare standard templates for easy reproduction. Your outdoor furniture, though handmade, does not need to be entirely original every time you produce it---disassemble your best furniture, tracing the various pieces and keeping track of the hardware needed for the final product. With these blueprints in hand, you'll be able to produce your product much faster, thereby decreasing your labor costs and increasing your profits.
Advertise your products locally. Community bulletin boards and free online classifieds sites allow you to spread the word about your handcrafted outdoor furniture.
Consider online audiences as potential buyers. When diagramming your favorite pieces of furniture, you may also want to weigh each piece for shipping concerns and also keep track of assembly directions if it's easier to ship the product unassembled. Consider selling your product on Internet websites featuring homemade furniture; this drastically increases your potential customer base.
Sell at local flea markets. You can reach a large number of people with a professional-looking flea market booth, purchased at a much cheaper rate than traditional store-space. Make sure you project professionalism by having business cards and contact information available.
Research consignment shops in your area. Many communities have furniture or crafts stores that sell products on consignment, meaning that they can be displayed in the shop at little or no cost to the builder. When a piece of furniture is sold on consignment, the final sale price is divided between the builder and storefront.
Richard Kalinowski began writing professionally in 2006. He also works as a website programmer and graphic designer for several clients. Kalinowski holds a Master of Fine Arts from Goddard College and a Bachelor of Science in education from the University of Wisconsin-Whitewater.