A Passion for Woodworking Turns into a Custom, Thriving Business
Dylan has 15 years of experience in woodworking and a passion for the craft. He works with his wife Ashley, an interior design specialist, to create customized, crafted woodworking pieces with exceptional quality and precise attention to detail. North Country Woodworks offers a variety of services, such as custom furniture (including farm tables, trestle tables, coffee tables and customized pieces made from uniquely sized or shaped wood), custom cabinetry, installation, restoration and repair.
North Country Woodworks sources many local species of lumber that are native to the New England region, and they also get exotic species of lumber via special order, depending on the customer’s wishes and requirements.
Dylan formed an LLC for North Country Woodworks in January 2019. He and his wife Ashley have been working together on the business and creating beautiful woodwork concepts ever since. Entrepreneurs can learn some key insights from the story of Dylan’s first year and a half of being in business.
With Woodworking, It’s All About Creativity, Variety and Freedom
Dylan had several years of woodworking experience before starting his business, but he decided to venture into full-time entrepreneurship because he wanted the freedom and flexibility of being his own boss.
“I had enough of trying to fit into the corporate company mold and doing things to a T to fit the mold,” Dylan said. “I wanted to be my own boss and be responsible for my own actions and decisions.”
As an entrepreneur in the custom woodworking field, Dylan has adapted his skills and talents to multiple types of challenges. Every project is unique, every customer has particular needs and they all need Dylan and Ashley to bring their creative talents to the project.
“Being in the custom woodworking industry is fantastic because, by definition, no two jobs are the same,” Dylan said. “Every job poses new obstacles to overcome. The joy of finishing an installation and seeing the customer’s face is priceless.”
Prioritizing Marketing Is Key for Service-Based Businesses
One challenge for any solo entrepreneur, consultant, freelancer or anyone whose business involves selling a professional service is making time for marketing your business. This is especially true when you’re busy doing work for your current clients.
“One of the challenges of running this business has been maintaining a steady flow of incoming jobs,” Dylan said. “It's tough being a one-man show and making the time to do marketing along with everything else I do every day with design and fabrication of custom cabinets, vanities and furniture, and delivering and installing.”
Fortunately, North Country Woodworks has a robust and well-designed online presence to share the results of their work. Dylan is a talented craftsman and you can see the quality of work that he delivers in every photo on the North Country Woodworks website. The business Instagram page has more than 7,500 followers.
No matter what kind of business you have or how busy you are, make time to market and reach out to prospective customers. Sometimes for a business like custom woodworking, the best advertising is photographic evidence of your skills and a website full of completed projects and customer testimonials.
Design the Lifestyle You Want When Starting a Business
Many entrepreneurs decide to start a business because, although they love to work hard, they also want a higher level of flexibility to create their own lifestyle and work-life balance around the business. Dylan has found this to be true for him as well. Even though he is busy with woodworking projects and all of the client service that goes along with that, he loves having the ability to live life in a more flexible and time-shifted way.
“One of the most rewarding aspects of being my own boss is being able to set my own schedule, especially after the birth of my first child,” Dylan said. “I’m able to make it to appointments in the middle of the normal workday. I just have to set deadlines for myself and work toward them at my own pace.”
Attaining greater flexibility while in business can be done by working with a trusted service like Incfile to form and manage your business, just like Dylan did. With so much paperwork, form filing and due dates to keep track of, getting help with the details can be invaluable. Working with Incfile to form your business means this work can be done for you, freeing you up to focus on other aspects of your business and achieve some work-life balance.
Dylan is in the business of creating furniture and custom woodworking designs that will be part of his customers’ homes and families for years. That same spirit of creating a legacy is at the heart of his business. Most entrepreneurs share this feeling of wanting to build something that will last while creating a stronger financial foundation for themselves and their families’ futures.
Ben Gran is a freelance writer from Des Moines, Iowa. Ben has written for Fortune 500 companies, the Governor of Iowa (who now serves as U.S. Secretary of Agriculture), the U.S. Secretary of the Navy, and many corporate clients. He writes about entrepreneurship, technology, food and other areas of great personal interest.