Well, our furniture business has officially been open for about a month now. So how'd it go?? What'd we do? How much money did we make?! All fantastic questions. Let's take a deep dive into our first 30 days of builds, accomplishments, and sales.
The first thing we did this month was take you guys on a shop tour. We hadn't done on in kind of a while, so we figured we'd show all of our big changes - we had a few pretty significant ones. If you didn't get a chance to see that video, check it out down below:
The one big change we made after publishing this tour was that we got rid of our Harbor Freight 2HP dust collector. We found out that all of the super fine dust created by our drum sander was getting all caked up inside the dust collector....and not all of it was getting filtered out of the air. Not good. Especially when we use the drum sander for long periods of time. We replaced it with a Laguna P-Flux 1.5HP dust collector and we couldn't be happier! It works so much better. We're consistently making little tweaks to our shop to support building at scale.
We also used the remainder or our board blanks to make finished cutting and charcuterie boards. After that, we had plenty of boards ready for orders.
Shortly after that, we got our first organic order! A family friend wanted a wooden stove-top cover (also called a noodle board, apparently!!). They gave us exact dimensions, but they said they wanted it to look identical to our lighter-colored cutting boards! The build actually went way faster than expected, since we essentially followed the same procedure as a cutting board...just with 3x the amount of wood!
It turned out so well and it was so easy to produce alongside all of our other products that we decided to add it to our list of products offered on our website!
Annnnnnnd after that sale, things kind of slowed to a grinding halt...
We knew it was time to get out into the community to talk with people to start building relationships! You may have seen our video where we talked about going to open houses and giving a cutting board to Realtors. If not, check it out below! Basically, we were giving them a free board with their information engraved on it so that they could feel the emotions their homeowners would feel if they got the board as a closing gift.
When we spoke to the Realtor we were looking for at the open house, this method worked AMAZING! They responded so well. They were shocked that somebody was simply "giving" them such a nice gift - because that's typically not what happens to them at an open house. The emotional ride we took them on really made an impact.
HOWEVER, sometimes we would go to an open house and the listing agent we 'thought' would be there....wasn't. Those interactions didn't go quite as well. It was still a positive interaction...just not as good as the ones where the board was given to the correct person.
So we had to pivot a little bit and try a few other methods of getting in contact with Realtors!
- We went to 15 open houses
- We made 10 cold calls to separate agencies
- We DM'd 21 Realtors on Instagram using local hashtags
Cold calls resulted in a couple answers and emails...but most people screen their calls and either didn't answer or let it go to voicemail. Instagram DMs worked pretty well and got our name out there, but a lot of people just ghosted us.
So we have an idea for an EVEN BETTER method. It's still in the works, so we'll keep you posted on how it turns out.
BUT! Our work wasn't all in vain. Out of the 13 boards we gave away, we had 7 GREAT responses! Some of the Realtors shared their boards on social media, some of them presented the boards to their teams at meetings, and some of them forwarded our information to their bosses!
After going through this whole sales process, we noticed a few sticking points in our marketing and checkout page. We noticed that some Realtors weren't going to the sales page....probably because they didn't feel like typing in the entire web address. To solve this problem, we just put a QR code on the flyers we were giving them! Now all they have to do is scan it with their phone and it takes them right to the checkout page.
Okay. We've talked shop enough. How much money did we actually make this month?? After selling 2 boards and a stove top cover, we made (drumroll please.....)
which is about $412 in profit....
Yup, that's it. This shows we had a nice 67% profit margin...but we were pretty disappointed in the numbers. This isn't our first rodeo. We've had a woodworking business before so we expected a bit more. Honestly, there are a lot of things we can blame this on...
- COVID making it harder to meet people
- All of our time spent creating Jennie and Davis content
- Not knowing anybody here in Houston (all we had when we moved here was an email address for a friend of a friend...)
The list goes on and on, but IF YOU'VE EVER MET US OR WATCHED A SINGLE VIDEO, you'll know that we believe in taking full responsibility for our circumstances and not blaming other people and other situations!! It's all on us.
And actually....we're okay with the results of our first 30 days! We're okay with our measly 3 sales, $412 profit, and giving away 13 of our boards. Our business model is intended to be a slow build.
Relationships are what will bring us money. This means we can't point our efforts SOLELY and DIRECTLY at money. We have to point our efforts toward what brings the money in. Right now, that's relationships with the correct people in the community. If that's truly our goal, then our first 30 days were actually pretty successful for us. It takes more than 30 days to establish relationships in a big city like Houston.
After all, starting a business and making sales is a numbers game. Even a poor salesman will make a living if he/she talks to enough people. Meet more people. Build better systems. Orders will come.
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This post may contain affiliate links for products we used to create this project! If you’d like to check them out, we do get a small percentage of the sale and they are of no extra cost to you! It all goes towards supporting the content creation of Jennie and Davis. BUT – we do not take tool sponsorships and there were no tool endorsements. Just our honest opinions!