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Economy is clearly better9/17/14
I can tell the economy has fully recovered by the number of questions on this forum being asked by woodworkers who have recently become first time shop owners. Judging by the nature of the questions, woodworking clearly is one of the lowest barrier to entry careers, 2nd only to yard maintenance.
Don't count on it staying that way.
Seems to me that there are many trades with a lower barrier to entry?
It does not mean the economy is better. It could mean more out of work and looking for income. There is a ton of garage shops springing up everywhere and more contractors doing there own cabinets.
I had a GC yesterday try to tell me I would wait on full payment until after job completion, Federal work six months fabrication, 3 week install. he refused a stored materials order payment (25k, tried to tell me the fed would not pay) I told him I was rethinking the job and my book is full. hung up the phone and had a call in 10 minutes (previous client) knew the budget for a medical office (far more $$ than the fed job) had a P/O emailed in 30 minutes and a Notice to proceed in one hour,
Other GC called back with a check in hand 5 minutes later..
look if it means less at this point in time after surviving the 08 -12 recession I'd rather be fishing
It was a Crazy day
Some of it may be people who are getting laid off from a regular job after 20 years and have no idea what to do. They will look for a relatively low cost investment opportunity to buy themselves a job. May or may not succeed. I still read about plenty of long time jobs being eliminated.
The lowest entry threshold career is internet forum poster. Anyone can do it, but the pay is terrible.
But the economy.... seems to be finding it's level. We saw lots of shops and contractors close up, then all the buyers were shopping for bargains. This is the time that I heard callers ask me if I was glad to hear the phone ring (!?). Not a good thing at all.
Now it is like there is room for the professionals again, and buyers are expecting to pay what it costs. There is still the cultural drive to ever make it cheaper - at any cost. While symptomatic of the end of the better parts of our cultural heritage, I'll be gone before it has all disappeared.
You got it, james. I'm convinced that the only way that I survived the recession was through saying repeatedly that I'd rather go out of business not working than by working too much.
if you ask me i don't think it is good idea to start woodworking business again, i did my time, I am serving automation now, business is slow as always but production is super fast, I can have some time now to scrach my head, but no! you never gonna know these kids are learning parametric cad in class.
So far it has been a very good year. Lots of work but can't find enough employees. Wage rates are up. Yes, I see startup shops with a Sears table saw and wildly varying prices. They will always be there, good times or bad. Don't spend my time thinking about things I have no control over.
I have to ask though, why would anyone thing that an electrician or a plumber or code writer would have a higher barrier to entry than a cabinetmaker?
They have no cost for shop space, comparatively cost of machinery.
When was the last time you saw an electrical contractor go out of business? Compare that to cabinet contractors.
Pat , and besides sparky has every tool he owns in his bucket and van , where we have a shop full of equipment and then some .
I think that may be the entry barrier of no requirements other than local rules.
Sactly, kind of funny, what is the average wage/profit in those business's compared to woodwork.
I can tell you this , here in Southern Oregon
D Brown, Out of 2 or 3 competitors in my niche one is down in S.Oregon. In spite of the pick up in business he bad mouths me, my product, and lies about the hardware I use. He still needs more business and he will travel all over the state to deliver a $2000 product. I don't buy that the Economy is all that much better, it's a little better but one screw up or the next election could sent us back into food stamps. I'm near Eugene , and it seems to be slowing down, hardwood dealer says the same thing, and our friendly Cabinet Hardware supplier says the same thing.
John , our work should speak for itself .
The prices shops charge down here is all over the chart , several high end designer connected that charge a good high profitable price and many that sell by price even though they can prolly get more money they are afraid of losing the bid .
But still some will shop for the best price no matter what and there will always be a lower bidder so I bid the correct price to do the job not high and not low .