SCHAUMBURG, IL – Custom woodworkers should develop written plans to help guide their business’ growth. So said Richard Oedel, fine furniture master and opening keynote presenter of the Custom Woodworking Conference.

“People don’t like to do it, but it is important,” Oedel said. “For a business plan to be good, it has to be realistic and measurable.”

In a similar vein, Oedel suggested that custom woodworking business owners should write down goals that are “specific and measurable.” To get into this habit, Oedel said you should start by creating short goals that have immediate results. Achieving these simpler goals will provide satisfaction upon which you can create more arduous goals.

Oedel, who in a former life bought and sold businesses, said, business planning and goal setting will greatly help increase a business’ odds of surviving. He said that research shows that only 30 to 40 percent of all business startups survive past five years.

Oedel’s presentation was one of three sessions devoted to building equity in a custom woodworking business. Joining Oedel was Dave Grulke, president of Big Dave’s Service who spoke on “The Power of Branding.” Grulke shared his knowledge as both a former advertising and marketing specialist and now a successful woodworking company owner, giving tips on how to create advertising and marketing programs to reach the target market.

Jeff Ebel, president of the Wisconsin chapter of the Architectural Woodwork Institute, spoke about strategies to sell a woodworking business.

The CWC continues through Friday morning with sessions on wood finishing, pricing, working with architects and designers, and using technology to grow a business. The event was held in conjunction with the Closet and Home Organization Conference and Expo at the Schaumburg Convention Center and Renaissance Hotel.

Richard Oedel, the opening keynote speaker of the Custom Woodworking Conference, advises woodworkers to develop written plans.

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