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  • David Swallow

Working hard to keep my business small

Updated: Aug 8, 2020

Personal service takes longer, but is more rewarding for you

Craftsman woodworker designing custom wooden furniture
Personal service takes time, but creates unique results

If you read my previous blog post about pivoting my business you will remember how I described the exhaustion of working for yourself, doing everything to keep down the costs of building a custom wooden furniture business. In a related blog I talked about not chasing the algorithms and staying true to your purpose.


Since then I’ve ignored my own advice and (a) spent a lot on Facebook Ads with what seemed to be, at first glance, a poor return, and (b) fallen in and out of love with my own plan to pursue a career in making wooden boards and unique furniture.


So no point wasting your time reading any more of my guff, right? If so, just jump to my shameless 20% off deal here.


Except, if you are still with me, for this. I’ve sold only a handful of things in the last couple of weeks. But every single customer has loved what I made.


So am I annoyed that I am earning so little, or delighted that I did something good? Both, to be honest. But on a good day, like today, I can see that making some signs to help a young couple start a business, creating a unique charcuterie board for a wedding present, or a beautiful and unique desk for somebody now working largely at home, is really satisfying.


Charcuterie board for wedding present
How about a unique board as a wedding gift?

It would be great to sell tonnes of stuff on Facebook and Etsy, and I’ll keep trying. But I far prefer meeting clients, finding out not just what they want, but why, and bouncing around some ideas.


In the case of the charcuterie board, for example, I spent half a day driving round my wood suppliers looking for special pieces that would fit the brief. The clients loved it.


For the desk, I sent video updates at every stage to check with the client that they liked the way I was interpreting the brief. They loved it.


For the signs, we spent hours discussing the best material to use to balance longevity with portability. The clients loved it.


All of this means that growth will come steadily, and maybe the Porsche will have to wait a bit. But if it creates a few smiles and keeps me occupied, maybe that’s all a really solid start in these difficult times.


Stay safe everyone, and if you’re enjoying time with loved ones they will love you even more if you serve them dinner on a charcuterie board, which are 20% off before Saturday 8th August.


Stay safe, and if you’d like to commission something special, or just hear more musings, contact me here.

David

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