TedsWoodworking Plans and Projects

How to Start a Woodworking Supply Business

Woodworkers use a wide variety of tools, chemicals, wood and other supplies in the course of their work. These supplies can be obtained through any number of suppliers. A business that can offer a wide variety of specialized woodworking tools and supplies in one spot has the potential to grab a share of their local market as long as they can compete with the prices of the large “box” stores. Personalized service and a dedicated internet presence can increase your sales and bring repeat business.

    • Step 1

Obtain a business license from your county clerk’s office or regional licensing authority. Lease or purchase a store front along with shelving and other display items. Purchase liability and worker’s compensation insurance policies from your insurance agent.

    • Step 2

Apply for federal and state tax identification numbers. Talk to your local business tax collector and get the paperwork necessary to fill out your quarterly returns. Keep these files secure and be sure to turn them in on time every three months while keeping up with current regulations.

    • Step 3

Write a company handbook that outlines the rules of conduct you expect each of your employees to follow. Remember to include policies regulating dress code, sexual harassment and violence as well as a detailed drug and alcohol policy.

    • Step 4

Hire qualified employees by doing thorough background checks and offering competitive salaries. Review your employee handbook with each employee so that each of them knows the rules of your company. Consider each applicant’s woodworking background and knowledge giving preference to those who have the most expertise in this area.

    • Step 5

Purchase equipment, supplies and lumber from reputable suppliers. Check each shipment when it arrives to be sure you have not received damaged merchandise. Keep your inventory in a secure storage space and be sure to track each piece’s arrival date and current location along with the date and price of each sale.

    • Step 6

Track employee reviews, sales stats, payroll and attendance. Track the daily, weekly, monthly, quarterly and yearly sales of each employee as well as those of the store as a whole. Keep detailed and accurate records on every aspect of your business.

  • Step 7

Set up a virtual store front online. Offer specials and feature hard to sell items to increase your sales. Advertise online via your own website, social media and other websites that receive high traffic.


Employee records contain private information that is protected by law. Only release employee files to the employee they pertain to and a court who orders the release of the records with a subpoena.

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