Economy Is Clearly Better


From original questioner:

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.

From contributor Pa

Don't count on it staying that way.

Seems to me that there are many trades with a lower barrier to entry?

From contributor sa

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.

From contributor ja

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

From contributor Gl

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.

From contributor Yo

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.

From contributor ma

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.
I'm ambivalent about the "barrier to entry" situation. If you want to fight a regulatory battle, I think you'd do better creating barriers to trade with "developing countries". Or, better yet: incentivise the preservation of heritage trades and traditional skills.
Nevertheless, I'm pretty sure that the number of all kinds of questions around here is still significantly down, even the newbie ones.

From contributor oz

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.

From contributor La

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.

From contributor Pa

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.

From contributor D

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 .
The electricians and plumbers lic is harder to get in some states and requires actual hours in the field with a professional and such , they actually have a test to take about the trade they do ,not like cabinetmakers who basically hang an open sign .

I think that may be the entry barrier of no requirements other than local rules.

From contributor Pa

Sactly, kind of funny, what is the average wage/profit in those business's compared to woodwork.

From contributor D

I can tell you this , here in Southern Oregon
residential plumbers and electricians charge about $65 an hour give or take where cabinetmakers cut each others throats for half as much or much less .
How profitable they are depends on how they run the business regardless of how much they make an hour .

From contributor Jo

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.

From contributor D

John , our work should speak for itself .
Who does he bad mouth you to , your customers or other shops ?

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 .
Over the years I was taught that when I got every bid I should raise my prices a bit and slowly so I don't get all of them but my share.
Honestly after more than 30 years the potential clients that have been given our name or seen our work are already sold before they talk to me usually a certain amount of trust and credibility are already instilled.

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 .
Just lost a small job to build a set of doors for a kitchen redo , it was about a 45 days or so ago , they are still waiting on the lower priced doors to show up.

From contributor Jo

D Brown,
He bad mouths our product, he repeats lies about the hardware. And customers believe him, then he goes on and on how there's is the best. What he says is a lie , but it works. I'm not that worried about it as my wife and I have a excellent retirement income, so I really need to only build 2 or 3 units a month.