Woodworking is a popular hobby, and many people enjoy making small items like cutting boards to sell. However, it can be a grind, and it can feel like you’re doing an awful lot of work for the amount of money you’re making. In this article, we’ll go over everything you need to know about making and selling cutting boards, including design, workflow, pricing, and more. But, we’ll also explain how none of that matters unless you’re doing this one thing right.
Where to Sell Your Work
One of the easiest ways to start selling your work is to do it locally at events like craft fairs and farmers markets. This type of selling can be tough going for a few reasons. First, your pool of potential customers is relatively small. Second, there are typically multiple booths selling the same kind of product, which puts your competition directly in the same room with you, competing for those customer dollars. Third, these events are typically geared towards very transactional impulse buying customers who don’t really know you or your brand and are looking to get something that they don’t really need and do it for the least amount of money possible.
Taking Your Business Online
To reach a larger pool of potential customers, you need to take your business online. One of the first places to start is with Etsy. While Etsy does have the ability to expose your product to a wider customer base, it has too many similarities to selling at a local event, such as competition and difficulty standing out in a crowded marketplace. A better option is to get off Etsy as soon as you can and set up your online shop. You can use platforms like Squarespace or WordPress to build your own website, or you can use selling platforms like Shopify. Either way, you’re going to have complete control over branding and the look of your store, and most importantly, your customer is only going to see your product.
Creating Recognizable Designs
To stand out in a crowded marketplace, you need to create recognizable designs or something that can be identified with your brand. One way is to play around with unique and contrasting colors. Another thing you can do is play around with design elements. This not only creates an interesting visual look but also adds functional elements to the board. These can add extra value for the customer and set yourself apart from the competition.
Consider How Labor-Intensive a Design Will Be
While there are some ultra-intense and awesome cutting board designs out there, they all tend to take a lot more steps to create. More steps mean more labor and time involved, and you need to bake that into the price of your work. You can also create efficient workflows to minimize those costs.
Give Your Customers Plenty of Options
One thing you should never do is assume you know what your customer wants. Make sure you offer your boards in different sizes and price points that fit their budget. Offering different size options increases your chance of making a sale.
Add Value by Offering Extras
There are some great ways to make your product stand out and make some additional profit as well. You can offer features such as finger holds, juice grooves, and even little rubber feet as add-ons to your boards. Another thing you can offer is complementary products like wood conditioner made from beeswax and mineral oil, which you can make cheaper than you can buy it and make a pretty good margin on it.
Sell Yourself and Your Brand
The key to increasing the price for your boards is to increase the demand for your brand. You need to leverage your brand power and get good at selling yourself and your brand. Create a brand that you can attach to your work so people can remember it. Put yourself where people are hanging out, and change your approach to social media. Create brand accounts on apps like Instagram and TikTok, and keep these separate from your personal accounts.
Test Your Pricing
As your brand grows, the demand for your product will grow, and this is where you can start really testing your brand power. If you find that you have a high level of demand for your product at your current price, raise your prices. Keep doing this until you find a good balance between the amount of work you’re doing and the amount of profit you’re making in your business.
Making and selling cutting boards can be a tough business, but with the right approach, it can also be very lucrative. By taking your business online, creating recognizable designs, giving your customers plenty of options, adding value by offering extras, and selling yourself and your brand, you can increase the demand for your product and command higher prices.