How Do I Decide Which Business Ideas to Pursue?

Welcome back to the barn. I’m out here again, trying to finish with the set-up, so I can go back to working on other things.

Like working on the house. For those of you who have been asking about the status of that project, here on this pallet is all of the stock for the face frames, doors, stiles, rails, and drawers for the cabinets. The stove, the range hood, and the flooring is also stored in the barn. So that is why I want to get finished with setting up the barn, so I can get back to working on the house. 

To start with today, I want to get this chair packing area finished. I’m going to set up a taller pallet rack, and I have some more beams to set up some shelves, and then I’ll clean up the rest of the area. Then hopefully this will be a fully functional space. 

Here is what this space looks like now. Somehow I got way more done today than I did in either of the two previous days. 

My hardware station is getting set up, which is cool. It’s starting to look more organized. 

I put the chair seats on some carts, because they are the biggest and bulkiest part of the kit. So the closer they are to the box they will go in, the better. And I think this is the best idea I’ve had for making this area more efficient. 

This corner over here is now mostly set-up. We are getting there!

Next up, I’m going to get the rest of the lights installed. I am using a three row, eight foot fixture. These are 90 watts and about 12,000 lumen. I think this will be an acceptable level of lighting for me right now, although I do like to work in very brightly lit spaces, as that is what I am used to in the shop.

But that is where I am going to leave it in terms of organizing the barn. At least now it feels like I can get back to actual work, which feels good in my heart. 

I figured I would also answer some more questions that I have been getting. (And also some hot takes)

  1. What exactly am I shipping from here?
  • Primarily chair chair kits, workbench kits, slabs, and lumber sales. Any of my physical products are going to be stored here in the barn now. 
  1. Am I going to move my woodworking shop out here from its current location in my garage?
  • I don’t plan to. The garage shop is essentially the home of the digital products and the barn is the home of the physical products. There is a bit of overlap, of course, but for the most part those two umbrellas of the business stay out of each other’s way. Keeping them separate makes things more efficient and easier for me.
  1. How did I decide that chair kits were a business to pursue? 
  • This idea came about because I noticed everyone making tables and not a lot of people were making the chairs that go with them. This includes hobbyists making tables for their own home as well as the semi-professional or professional woodworker making a table on commission. From the perspective of the hobbyist, building a chair can be intimidating because they’re going to have angle joinery and curves, etc. But if you have all of the parts of a chair in front of you, it’s easier to see how it all comes together and it demystifies the process. So for that group, it’s a great way to introduce chair making to someone who may be intimidated by that type of project. Then there is a group of people who know how to make a chair, but have no interest in it. The difference with chairs vs a table, you have to make a lot more of the same thing over and over again. Most people have to make 4-10 chairs, and that requires a lot of work. Looking at the people who are making commissioned pieces, they rarely offer a set of chairs to go with the table. I thought another category of customers for this product would be those type of people. They can assemble the chairs kits and sell them to the customer, thereby increasing the revenue they get from that customer, and being able to offer a complete package.
  1. What piece of equipment is most versatile to begin with? 
  •  It depends, of course, on what you are doing. For me, the most versatile piece of equipment I have is the mini skid steer. That thing can do quite a bit. It is very small and very nimble. It can get into a lot of places that other machines can’t. It does have a lift capacity of about 1000 pounds, which is a disadvantage, and I have to rely on some of my other machines to lift anything heavier than that. It is also limited by its lift height, which is about seven feet. So there are some smaller telehandlers that are more forklift sized, and I think those are a great option if you are looking to combine a forklift and a telehandler. But if I could only have one, it would be the skid steer because I use that thing the most. 
  1. Regarding renting vs owning a space, someone had mentioned that if you’re paying rent for your business space, at the end of your lease, your landlord’s asset has appreciated in value and you’re left with nothing. 
  • I don’t 100% agree with this. If you think about your business as an asset, it has also appreciated at the end of a lease. Of course, this is going to vary depending on the type of business you have and operate, but very likely the return on your business is probably a better return than a real estate holding company. That’s just my fun little different perspective to offer you on this one. I just mentioned this one because I think renting is so frowned upon in society, that I would hate for someone to think that they cannot grow their business because they cannot fathom the idea of renting space. And they’re missing out on a lot of opportunities to start or grow their business, just because they’re so fearful of this idea of paying someone else for space. 
  1. What’s it like working in a building with in-floor radiant heat? 
  • I have the thermostat set to 55 degree, which is borderline chilly for me, but not as cold as I would think. With the radiant heat, I can set the temperature to about 5-10 degrees cooler than a comparable forced air heating system. So being out here with the thermometer at 55 degrees doesn’t feel like 55, it feels more like mid-60s. 
  1. Are you going to do anything with the walls or leave the spray foam exposed? 
  • The internal aesthetic of the barn fell into the category of “things that can be done in the future.” Yes, it would have been easier to do when the building was empty, but I didn’t have the opportunity for that. This way I can also add more insulation if needed, after experiencing this first winter. 

Thank you, as always, for joining. I really appreciate it. If you have any questions or comments on the barn and the setup or what have you, please feel free to leave me a comment. And as always, I’d be happy to answer any questions you might have. And until next time, happy woodworking. 

Home Addition & Renovation

Upper Cabinets and Range Hood Surround

Welcome back to our home renovation.  Today I am going to be working on this wall. It needs some upper cabinets and the surround for

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.