There's loads of carpentry work out there if you know where to look, advertise and how to sell yourself.
If you are looking for a job, the first thing you need to do is write a really good carpentry resume. that will land you a job interview. If you want to start a carpentry business, first think of a suitable name preferably that starts with a letter close to the beginning of the alphabet (will come up earlier in the phone book and other directories), or use your own name/initials if you are really struggling for ideas.
Apart from doing a carpentry great job which is automatically building your reputation, the most important thing in the beginning is to get your name out there in as many places as possible. Luckily, there are hundreds of ways to promote your business and let people know what you do and how they can contact you. Here are some of the things you should start with;
One of the first things to start building up when starting a carpentry business or looking for a job is a carpentry portfolio.
This is a great selling tool to show clients or potential employers with details of your past qualifications and to show case your work. Laminate all the pages or have them each in clear plastic sleeves and have tabs so you can easily flip to a certain section quickly. Click above for more details of what to include when building a great portfolio.
Click here for a list of recommended tradesmen services. They all have hundreds of jobs submitted to them every week, all waiting for a quote from good quality tradesmen like you. And because people can rate your work, you soon build up a good reputation meaning repeat work is far easier to come by - even if you are not the cheapest quote! You can pick and choose the type of leads you're interested in and even put the service on hold when you are busy enough and don't want to be hassled.
Another way to get carpentry work is to have some business cards drawn up with your contact details and information about your services. These are something inexpensive you can keep on your person and hand out at every opportunity. There are lots of places you can leave business cards so people know who you are and can get in touch with you, such as builders merchants, DIY stores, take-away restaurant notice boards, local shops etc. I use Vistaprint because they not only do business cards but other stationary like letter headed paper and pens etc. too. The more ways you can think of to get your new temporarily unknown company name out there the better!
Get your company name, logo and contact details written on your van. If you leave lots of tools in the van overnight get them insured and consider having an alarm/immobiliser fitted. Beef up the locks too. Wherever you are working park so the sign writing is on view as often as possible.
Another great way of drumming up business is by having a website built for you. a website is essentially an online portfolio of all your work and services. More and more people these days when looking for services start with the internet and so having a presence there could significantly increase business. Consider using pay per click schemes to get more targeted traffic too.
Estimating jobs and pricing up work is one of the hardest things in the beginning. You don't want to quote too much and not get the job, plus you want to earn enough! Click above for help working out a daily rate that covers all your expenses so you know how much you need to earn before you start making the best bit - profit.
Make sure you have the correct level of public liability insurance for the carpentry work projects you do, and material insurance. Carrying a copy of what you're covered for in your portfolio reassures potential customers that you are organised and a professional tradesman.