Concrete benefits of taking your carpentry business online

August 2020

True craftsmanship can't be automated. But power tools sure make things easier! Similarly, a digital platform can revolutionize your business. Without forcing you to sacrifice your passion and quality.

The trick is realizing that just like you can't solve every carpentry problem with a saw, you shouldn't try to take your whole business online. Instead, you'll benefit most from a fluid online-offline interplay, where you use a web platform to:

  • Let customers share and participate more fully in your process
  • Improve communication and understanding 
  • Transform your product into an experience

To find out how we'd achieve that, read on! 

Bringing your audience into your workshop

The problem with craftsmanship is that the people who end up buying your product often don't get to see the creativity, focus or sweat that you pour into your craft.

So why not bring them into your workshop? At its easiest, you could simply put up cameras around the workshop; allowing you to bring potential customers closer to your art, without endangering them or distracting you.

But why stop there? 

With a little more ingenuity you could have an integrated multi-media portal where customers can access photos, plans, track progress and watch explanatory videos. You could mark out specific moments in time to show them something that's interesting, share something, or even ask them to make a choice related to their commission.

Doing it in this way will take your audience from simply being able to see what you're doing to being able to understand why it's being done. And because your audience ends up more involved and appreciative of your process, it will be easier to impress upon them why things need to be done a certain way. As a result, you'll have more space to do things properly.

Creating an experience 

Even better, setting up a portal like this will let you fundamentally change what you offer. No longer is it just, say, a cupboard that they're buying from you. Instead, they're also purchasing the process and experience. And once you wrap your process into your product, you can appeal to your customers in an entirely new way. 

After all, why should you only showcase your workflow during jobs in progress? It can just as easily be applied to other parts of your business. For example, by taking a few of the jobs you've done this way and turning them into actual catalog entries. 

Suddenly, potential customers aren't just looking at what they'll take home. Instead, they get to see how it will be made, where the materials come from, who will craft it for them and what processes are involved.

You'll no longer just be selling your product. Instead, you'll offer your entire work philosophy.

Sharing who you are and what you do 

And if embracing digital media and online platforms can revolutionize your catalog, why not use it as part of your marketing strategy as well? No longer do you just have to resort to telling people how much passion goes into what you do; you can just show them. 

This has some huge advantages. For example, people are far more likely to be excited by your product if they see how it's made. Similarly, they'll be more likely to share videos that showcase your craftsmanship and your passion for your work. It will also give people a much better sense of who you are than a few pages of text ever could — no matter how well written they might be.

Putting what you do front and center 

Even your homepage could be reimagined to highlight what you do. Wouldn't it be awesome if people came to your website and could immediately share in the feeling of crafting something beautiful?

If you redesign your website into several well-crafted case studies that explain the process and demonstrate your workshop's talent, you're far more likely to achieve that. 

Imagine the power of being able to introduce yourself and workflow as well as engaging your audience before even one email has been sent! Not only will your customers end up more enthusiastic, but the website will also function as a filter where people who appreciate your philosophy will be far more inclined to get in touch.

In this way, you can avoid many of the time sinks and headaches of mismatched expectations.

More time and more respect for what you do 

When used correctly, a digital platform can help you share your passion, communicate more clearly and attract more customers who appreciate your way of doing things. It can become a place where people can sample your worldview, work processes and personality. And it can be a portal where you enhance their understanding and stoke their enthusiasm about what they'll eventually get to take home. 

In this way, it will actually give you more space to enjoy your work and create quality products. That's the power of a digital portal. That's the power of knowing which parts of your business to bring online.

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