Woodworkers, it's time for an intervention. And Will Sampson is just the one to do it.

After decades in the woodshop and as a business entrepreneur, Sampson has accumulated a quiver full of advisory arrows, and now has an unprecedented opportunity to let them fly under the spotlight at Wood Pro Expo Lancaster. Sampson will deliver the keynote there on October 19 at 8:00 a.m. Admission to his presentation is free with a show registration.

Sampson originally titled his talk, "Don't Be That Kind of Woodworker." Then switched to "Seven Ways Woodworkers Fail at Business: Do You Really Want to be a Woodworker Today?" Woodworking Network's marketing department thought that might scare people away. (We think not.) 
Sampson has strong opinions about how easily woodworkers can go astray running a business.
"It’s hard for any business to move ahead if it just focuses on staying afloat in a sea of sharks," says Sampson. "If you are just fighting to survive, you are typically less interested in investing for the future." But that can mean a very limited future for a business, Sampson says.
Woodworkers also tend to be craftsmen first and business operators second. Another recipe for disaster.
"It is too easy to overlook business fundamentals while scrambling to get work out the door. But just as no amount of finish will cover up bad preparation on woodwork, there can’t be any profit if your system isn’t in place to build that into the price."
Which leads to another area the raises Sampson's hackles: Pricing. His legendary FDMC Pricing Survey for years has shown wildly varying bids for identical jobs, with no explanation.
"Can the same custom kitchen really cost three times as much from one shop as another? The answer is a resounding yes," he has noted. "This is akin to a customer taking the same bidding specifications to three different shops and getting bids ranging from under $12,000 to nearly $40,000 for a frameless job and from nearly $25,000 to almost $70,000 for the face-frame project."
At Wood Pro Expo he will put his mouth where your money is, and Sampson will be at turns wry and ascerbic in the opening keynote at Wood Pro Expo Lancaster. We expect fireworks. 

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