North America’s Largest Woodworking Event | Tuesday–Friday | August 6–9, 2024

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IWF Woodworking Today

Built to Sell: How to Keep Revenue Streams Flowing and Growing

Growing your wood manufacturing business depends on many factors—with three key drivers fundamental to success: Revenue goals scaled to your business model; target markets matched to your product mix; and sustainable capital resources secured. 

Let’s flash forward to this future state—or revisit your current reality: You’ve fully automated your business. High-level production is a constant. The product your customers need now is in good supply. With business fundamentals set and production output running on plan, it’s time to implement and optimize these product sales channels:

Wholesale: If you have a product that can be sold in larger quantities, partnering with wholesalers can help you reach a broader customer base. Wholesaling involves selling your products to other businesses at a discounted price, thus allowing them to resell at retail with pricing baked in to deliver target margins.

Direct Supply: By becoming a direct supplier, you can establish direct relationships with retailers or businesses. This approach eliminates the need for intermediaries, potentially increasing your profit margins and enabling you to focus more on manufacturing. 

Retail Direct: If you have a unique product or want to create a brand experience for customers, you can sell directly to consumers through your own retail channels. This may involve setting up physical stores or an online e-commerce platform. On-line sales platforms such as Etsy and Amazon offer significant opportunities to increase sales due to their large customer bases and established infrastructure. However, it’s important to consider the trade-offs. While these channels provide exposure, they also come with certain limitations, such as fees and algorithm-controlled visibility.

In the Etsy platform, you’re tapping a marketplace looking for handmade, vintage, and craft items. Etsy attracts a specific niche audience seeking unique and personalized products. If your product aligns with Etsy’s marketplace, it can be a great platform to reach a targeted customer base. And who doesn’t know what Amazon’s all about? Here, you jump into a massive online marketplace with a wide range of products. Amazon delivers significant reach and visibility to a global customer base. If you have a product with broad appeal, Amazon can be a valuable platform to consider.

Building Your Own E-commerce Platform: Creating your own website or online store gives you more control over your brand, customer experience, and pricing. While it requires more effort and resources to set up and drive traffic, a custom E-commerce platform allows you to have a direct relationship with your customers. I am currently utilizing GoDaddy and recommend building it with WordPress. It is very simple to navigate.

Having a unique product can be a significant advantage in the market. It differentiates you from the thousands of other woodworking competitors and can attract customers looking for something distinct. So here’s the plan: Optimize your product differentiation and consider the platforms that best align with your target market. Then get busy selling.

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International Woodworking Fair
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