Do you want to start a wood door manufacturing company? If YES, here is a 20-step guide on how to start a wood door manufacturing business with no money or experience.
If you are a carpenter or you aspire to start a wood related business, one of the money spinning wood related businesses that you can start is the manufacturing of wood doors and perhaps other related wood products especially if you are good with wood fabrication or carving.
Wood doors are basically doors made from wood and of course they are the doors that are predominantly used in homes, offices and in most facilities; not because it is affordable, but because it can be shaped into any design that you so desire and it can easily be found.
Steps to Starting a Wood Door Manufacturing Company
1. Understand the Industry
Those that are into the manufacturing of wood doors are classified under the Millwork industry and operators in this industry manufacture hardwood and softwood cut stock and dimension stock (lumber and worked wood products cut or shaped into specific sizes); wood windows and wood doors; and other millwork including wood flooring.
The reshaped wood products are sold mainly to housing and other building construction industries and their contractors, in addition to other wood product distributors.
Interesting Statistics About the Industry
Research conducted by IBISWORLD shows that prior to 2017, the demand for the Millwork industry has rebounded strongly from its prior slump as consumers, armed with thicker wallets, have sought quality wooden products for their homes.
The industry’s main manufactured products are wooden windows, doors, flooring and other cut or shaped dimension stock.
These products are used throughout the construction sector, primarily in residential construction; nearly 90.0 percent of millwork products are used for residential construction, while commercial and industrial construction account for the remainder of industry sales.
Therefore, industry performance relies heavily on the level of housing works, remodeling activity and commercial and industrial construction activity. If you take note of the Millwood Industry especially in the United States, you will notice that the industry prior to 2017 has experienced growth as new construction has boosted demand for building products.
So also, the trends in interior design industry have favored the comfortable, polished look that quality millwork can bring to a space, convincing retailers to continue to purchase and market woodwork products and designs from industry operators.
Please note that the Millwood industry has been challenged by rising competition from wood substitute products. For example, windows and door frames made of fiberglass, aluminum, steel and vinyl have become increasingly popular because they are durable and of course they come with lower price tags when compared with wood doors.
The Millwork manufacturing industry that wood doors manufacturing company is a part of is indeed a major sector of the economy of most countries in the world.
Statistics has it that in the United States of America alone, the Millwork manufacturing industry generates over billion annually from more than 3,499 registered and licensed wood doors manufacturing companies scattered all around the United States of America.
The industry is responsible for the employment of over 115,497 people. Experts project the wood door manufacturing industry to grow at a 5.2 percent annual rate between 2012 and 2017. JELD-WEN is the company with the lion share of the available market in the United States of America.
Some of the factors that encourage entrepreneurs to start their own wood doors manufacturing company could be that the business is a thriving business and the products can be sold not just in your country but all across the globe because there is a large market for wood doors manufactured in the United States of America.
Good enough, the construction cum real estate industry is experiencing a rebound in the United States of America and this in effect means that there will be increasing demand for wood doors and similar products hence a new comer into this line of business still has the opportunity to get a fair share of the available market especially within his or her immediate community.
The bottom line is that with the latest trend when it comes to the construction industry and real estate industry, a wood door and related products manufacturing company is a business that has come to stay and it is a business that requires moderate startup capital.
2. Conduct Market Research and Feasibility Studies
- Demographics and Psychographics
The demographic and psychographic composition of those who make use of wood doors is far reaching; homes, offices, schools, industries, banks, and all facilities make use of wood doors if they so wish hence the demographic composition for a wood door manufacturing business is far reaching.
The bottom line is that accelerating construction in the residential and nonresidential sectors will continue to boost the demand for wood doors and related products.
If you are thinking of starting your own wood door manufacturing business, then you should look beyond producing and marketing your wood doors and related products to just people and businesses in your city, but also people across the United States of America and other parts of the world especially if you have a product that can favorably compete with wood doors manufactured in other parts of the world.
3. Decide What Niche to Concentrate On
When it comes to a wood door manufacturing business, it is important to state that some of the leading brands in this industry are those that are into the general millwork production business and wood doors manufacturing is just part of their product offerings.
As a matter of fact, a good number of the millwork production companies in the United States of America are into the production of a wide range of wood windows and doors, cut stock, re – sawed lumber and planed lumber amongst other products they manufacture.
The Level of Competition in the Industry
The competition that exists in the wood door manufacturing line of business goes beyond competitions in your city or country.
This is because the major wood door brands manufactured in China, Germany, France, Argentina, Italy, United Kingdom and in any part of the world can be found in building material stores all across the United States of America. So, it will be right to say the competition in the wood door manufacturing business is tough.
But come to think of it, if there is no competition in an industry, it means the industry is not profitable or a major player is monopolizing the market. The fact that there are 3,499 registered and licensed wood doors manufacturing companies scattered all around the United States of America shows that the industry is profitable hence the competition.
4. Know the Major Competitors in the Industry
No matter the line of business you are in, it is the norm that in every industry, there are always brands that perform better or are better regarded by customers and general public than others.
Some of these brands are those that have been in the industry for a long time, while others are best known for the quality of their products, how they conduct their businesses and the results they have achieved over the years. These are some of the leading wood door manufacturing companies in the United States of America and in the globe;
- Creative Custom Components LLC
- JELD – WEN Company
- Cohen Architectural Woodworking
- Woodtronics Inc.
- Cabinet Crafters Corp.
- B. Custom Woodworking Inc.
- Jakes Creative Woodworks Inc.
- Eyewood Design Inc.
- Gilbert Veneers Inc.
- Doopoco Enterprises
- Walker Woodworking Inc.
- SMI Architectural Millwork Inc.
- Brownco Construction Co. LLC
- Ferguson Design Inc.
- South Texas Woodmill Inc.
- Select Veneer Company Plywood
- AXNT Wood Products
- DAC Products Inc.
- Impressions in Wood Inc.
- Red Star Cabinet Co. Inc.
When starting a wood door manufacturing business, you just have to get your economic analysis right if your intention of building the business is to generate profits, grow the business, sell franchise and perhaps expand the business beyond one location to other locations within and outside of the United States.
When conducting economic analysis for your wood door manufacturing business, you just have to critically examine these key factors; place, product, pricing, and promotion.
As a matter of fact, you would have to continue to review these key factors at regular intervals while running your wood door manufacturing business. As a wood door manufacturing business owner, you just have to have a proper grasp of your competitive landscape.
Wood doors manufacturing business owners should also know that running their own wood door manufacturing business is different from managing or operating a standard millwork manufacturing company that has the potential to manufacture hardwood and softwood cut stock and dimension stock (lumber and worked wood products cut or shaped into specific sizes); wood windows and wood doors; and other millwork including wood flooring and reshaped wood products and distribute them all across the United States of America and other countries of the world.
Managing or operating a standard millwork manufacturing company that is into exporting and perhaps importing attracts additional impediments like incentive alliance, bureaucracies, growth strategy, and operational guidelines.
It is important to note that payment of utility bills, rent, packaging and promotion and of course the purchase of raw woods, locks and other supplies is one of the most important factors contributing to the overall cost of a wood door manufacturing business and should be considered as a major factor when carrying out your economic analysis.
5. Decide Whether to Buy a Franchise or Start from Scratch
Unfortunately, you can hardly find a franchise of a wood door manufacturing company to purchase meaning that if you want to own a wood door manufacturing business, then you must be ready to start from the scratch. This is because the business is open and still pretty much thriving and there are loads of opportunities available to aspiring entrepreneurs that are interested in the industry.
The truth is that it will pay you to start your wood door manufacturing company from the scratch. Starting from the scratch will afford you the opportunity to conduct thorough market survey and feasibility studies before choosing a location to launch the business.
Beside, most of the successful wood door manufacturing cum millwork companies around started from the scratch and they were able to build a solid business brand. It takes dedication, hard work and determination to achieve business success.
6. Know the Possible Threats and Challenges You Will Face
Amongst the obvious threats and challenges you will face when you decide to start a wood door manufacturing business is the fact that the industry has been challenged by rising competition from wood substitute products, the rising imports are expected to add more competition and the rising use of substitute products has hurt industry demand.
For example, windows and door frames made of fiberglass, aluminum, steel and vinyl have become increasingly popular because of the fact that they are durable and of course they come with lower price tags when compared with wood doors.
So also, just like any other business, one of the major threats that you are likely going to face is economic downturn and unfavorable government policies; policies that discourage the felling of trees.
Another threat that may likely face also is the arrival of new wood door manufacturing companies or even international merchants that also deal in wood doors manufactured outside of the United States of America in same locations where your target market exists.
7. Choose the Most Suitable Legal Entity (LLC, C Corp, S Corp)
As regards starting a wood door manufacturing company, the legal entity you choose will go a long way to determine how big the business can grow; some wood door manufacturing companies design their business and products for regional market, some for national market, while others for international market.
You have the option of choosing a general partnership, or a limited liability company, for your wood door manufacturing company.
But if your intention is to grow the business and have your wood doors and other millwork products distributed across the United States of America and other countries of the world, then choosing sole proprietor is not an option for you. Limited Liability Company, LLC or even general partnership will cut it for you.
Setting up an LLC protects you from personal liability. If anything goes wrong in the business, it is only the money that you invested into the limited liability company that will be at risk. It is not so for sole proprietorships and general partnerships.
Limited liability companies are simpler and more flexible to operate and you don’t need a board of directors, shareholder meetings and other managerial formalities.
These are some of the factors you should consider before choosing a legal entity for your wood door manufacturing business; limitation of personal liability, ease of transferability, admission of new owners and investors’ expectation and of course taxes.
If you take your time to study the various legal entities to use for your wood door manufacturing business, you will agree that Limited Liability Company is most suitable. You can start this type of business as limited liability company (LLC) and in future convert it to a ‘C’ corporation or an ‘S’ corporation especially when you have the plans of going public.
Upgrading to a ‘C’ corporation or ‘S’ corporation will give you the opportunity to grow your wood door manufacturing business so as to compete with major players in the industry; you will be able to generate capital from venture capital firms, you will enjoy separate tax structure, and you can easily transfer ownership of the company.
8. Choose a Catchy Business Name from the ideas Below
You will agree that when it comes to choosing a name for your business, you should be creative because whatever name you choose for your business will go a long way to create a perception of what the business represents. If you are considering starting your own wood door manufacturing company, here are some catchy names that you can choose from;
- Woodcroft Designs® Wood Doors Company, Inc.
- Craft Mason® Wood Doors Fabricator, Inc.
- Bob Sancho® Millwork Production Company, Inc.
- Inglewood City® Wood Doors Manufacturing Company
- Rowland Barros® Wood Doors Brand, Inc.
- Michael Culberson® Wood Door Manufacturing Co, Inc.
- Handmade® Wood Doors Production Company
- Treviso Kinston ® Millwork Manufacturing Co, LLC
- Perfect Edge® Wood Doors Production Company, Inc.
- Red Culture® Wood Doors Production Company, Inc.
9. Discuss With an Agent to Know the Best Insurance Policies for You
In the United States and in most countries of the world, you can’t operate a business without having some of the basic insurance policy covers that are required by the industry you want to operate from. So, it is important to create a budget for insurance and perhaps consult an insurance broker to guide you in choosing the best and most appropriate insurance policies for your wood door manufacturing business.
Here are some of the basic insurance covers that you should consider purchasing if you want to start your own wood door manufacturing business in the United States of America;
- General insurance
- Health insurance
- Liability insurance
- Workers compensation
- Overhead expense disability insurance
- Business owner’s policy group insurance
- Payment protection insurance
- Facility/Building insurance
10. Protect your Intellectual Property With Trademark, Copyrights, Patents
If at all there is any business that requires intellectual property protection, then wood door manufacturing line business should be one of them. The truth is that your design and your style need to be protected or else anybody can successfully fake or create similar products and make money off your brand name.
So, if you want to protect your unique design, your company’s logo and other documents or software that are unique to you or even jingles and media production concepts, then you can go ahead to file for intellectual property protection. If you want to register your trademark, you are expected to begin the process by filing an application with the USPTO.
11. Get the Necessary Professional Certification
Although you do not need any special professional certification before you can successfully start your own wood door manufacturing company, but you will do yourself a whole lot of favor if you study arts and crafts (woodwork), carpentry or related course before starting this this type of business. It will afford you the opportunity to truly maximize the business.
12. Get the Necessary Legal Documents You Need to Operate
The major aim of having the necessary documentation in place before launching a business in the United States of America cannot be overemphasized. It is a fact that you cannot successfully run any business legally in the United States without the proper documentations. If you do, it won’t be too long before the long hand of the law catches up with you.
These are some of the basic legal documents that you are expected to have in place if you want to legally run your own wood door manufacturing company in the United States of America;
- Certificate of Incorporation
- Business License
- Business Plan
- Employee Handbook
- Employment Agreement (offer letters)
- Operating Agreement for LLCs
- Insurance Policy
- Consulting contract documents
- Apostille (for those who intend operating beyond the United States of America)
- Franchise or Trademark License (optional)
13. Raise the Needed Startup Capital
Please note that starting a wood door manufacturing business can be capital intensive. Securing a standard production facility/workshop is part of what will consume a large chunk of your startup capital, but if you choose to start the business on a large scale, you would need to source for fund to finance the business because it is expensive to start a standard large scale wood door manufacturing company.
The truth is that when it comes to financing a business, one of the first things you should consider is to write a good business plan.
If you have a good and workable business plan document in place, you may not have to labor yourself before convincing your bank, investors and your friends to invest in your business. Here are some of the options you can explore when sourcing for startup capital for your wood door manufacturing business;
- Raising money from personal savings and sale of personal stocks and properties
- Raising money from investors and business partners
- Sell shares to interested investors
- Applying for loan from your bank
- Pitching your business idea and applying for business grants and seed funding from donor organizations and angel investors
- Source for soft loans from your family members and your friends.
14. Choose a Suitable Location for your Business
When it comes to choosing a location for your wood door manufacturing business, the rule of thumb is that you should be guided by the demand for such product and easy access to labor and raw materials in the location you desire to start the business.
Of course, if you are able to secure a central location for your wood door manufacturing business, it will enable you cut the cost of transporting your raw materials and finished products to and from your production facility and warehouse.
It cannot be overemphasized that the location you chose to open your wood door manufacturing business is key to the success of the business; hence entrepreneurs are willing to rent or lease a facility in a visible location.
If you make the mistake of renting or leasing a facility for your wood door manufacturing business in a not too visible or hidden location simply because it is cheap, then you must be prepared to spend more in promoting the business and perhaps giving direction to potential clients.
The crux of the matter is that before choosing a location for your wood door manufacturing company, ensure that you first conduct a thorough feasibility studies and market survey. The possibility of you coming across similar business that just closed shop in the location you want to open yours can’t be ruled out.
These are some of the key factors that you should consider before choosing a location for your wood door manufacturing company;
- The demography of the location as it relates to construction activities
- The demand for wood door manufacturing in the location
- The purchasing power of the residence of the location
- Accessibility of the location
- The number of wood door manufacturing companies, wood door manufacturing companies and related production companies in the location that also produce wood doors and other forms of doors
- The local laws and regulations in the community as it relates to felling wood
- Traffic, parking and security
15. Hire Employees for your Technical and Manpower Needs
If you are considering setting up a wood door manufacturing company, it means that you should be prepared to purchase equipment and machines such as power saw, industrial drilling, cutting and paint spraying machines and tool box.
If you don’t have enough cash, you can start with fairly used equipment/machines but if you are financially buoyant, then you should go for brand new ones since they usually have a long life span.
As regards leasing or outright purchase of a production facility or warehouse facility, the choice is dependent on your financial standings, but the truth is that to be on the safe side, it is advisable to start off with a short – term rent/lease while test running the business in the location.
If things work out as planned, then you go on a long – term lease or outright purchase of the property but if not, then move on and source for other ideal location / facility for such business.
When it comes to hiring employees for a standard wood door manufacturing company, you should make plans to hire a competent Chief Executive Officer (you can occupy this role), Admin and Human Resources Manager, Sales and Marketing Manager, Production Manager, Quality Control Officer, Millwork Fabricator/ Professional Carpenters, Accountant, Distribution / Delivery Van Drivers and Client Services Executive.
On the average, you will need a minimum of 5 to 20 key staff members to run a small – scale but standard wood door manufacturing company.
The Service Delivery Process of the Business
When it comes to the manufacturing of wood doors, the first step to take is to come up with a design and then have the design approved by the board or committee. The next step is to determine the quantity, type, designs and sizes of wood doors to be produced.
Other steps involved is producing and fitting the component parts together, spraying and polishing, testing the locks and putting finishing touches. The next step is to pass them through quality control department before properly packaging, labeling and branding the products for sale.
Please note that the process stated above is restricted to a company that is only into the manufacturing of wood doors and a company that does not own their own sawmill or millwork as the case maybe. They get their raw materials which are already polished and shaped woods from sawmills/millwork production companies.
16. Write a Marketing Plan Packed With ideas & Strategies
Running a business requires that you should be proactive when it comes to marketing your goods or services. If you choose to launch a wood door manufacturing company, then you must go all out to employ strategies that will help you attract customers or else you will likely struggle with the business because there are well – known brands that determine the market direction for the wood door manufacturing industry.
Customers will purchase and make use of your wood doors if they know that they are going to get the best in terms of quality.
Your marketing strategy should center on quality and pricing, and above all excellent customer service. The truth is that if you are able to put the above stated in place, you won’t struggle to retain your old customers and at the same time win over new customers.
These are some of the marketing ideas and strategies that you can adopt for your wood door manufacturing business;
- Introduce your products by sending introductory letters alongside your brochure to construction companies, businesses in real estate industries, building materials stores and key stake holders throughout the United States and Canada.
- Advertise on the internet on blogs and forums, and also on social media like Twitter, Facebook, LinkedIn to get your message across, so that those on the social media or those who read blogs can know where to go when they need to purchase your wood doors
- Creating a basic website for your business, so as to give your business an online presence
- Directly market your products.
- Advertise our business in community based newspapers, local TV and radio stations
- List your business on yellow pages ads (local directories)
- Encourage the use of word of mouth marketing (referrals)
17. Work Out a Reasonable Pricing for your Services & Products
One key factor that will help you produce and retail your wood doors at rock bottom prices is to own your sawmill or at least purchase your raw materials and supplies directly from wholesalers in pretty large quantities. The truth is the higher the quantity of items that you purchase directly from wholesalers, the cheaper you tend to get them.
Another strategy that will help you retail your wood doors at the right price is to ensure that you cut operational cost to the barest minimum and channel your efforts towards marketing and promoting your brand name. Aside from the fact that this strategy will help you save cost, it will also help you get the right pricing for your products.
You can also try as much as possible to work with independent contractors and marketers; it will help you save cost for paying sales and marketing executives.
18. Develop an Iron-clad Competitive Strategies to Help You Win
The quality and uniqueness of your wood door designs, your business process and of course your pricing model are part of what you need to stay competitive in the industry. If wholesale distributors are making profits from selling your products, they will be more than willing to go the extra mile to help you push your products to cities they distribute products.
Another possible competitive strategy for winning your competitors in this particular industry is to build a robust distribution cum business network. Over and above, ensure that your organization is well positioned, key members of your team are highly qualified and your wood door favorably competes with the some of the best in the industry.
19. Brainstorm Possible Ways to Retain Clients & Customers
When it comes to business, no matter the industry that you choose to pitch your tent in, one of the easiest ways to increase customer retention and perhaps to attract new customers is to produce results and satisfy your customers always.
If your customers are satisfied with your services delivery, they can hardly source for alternative service provider or products. If you can continue to improve on the quality of your wood doors and your customer service delivery, then you won’t struggle to maintain loyal customers.
Part of what you need to do to achieve this is to track progress, results or outputs with the aim of improving on them quickly as the case demands. When it comes to managing your customers, and building loyal clientele base, you should purchase a customized CRM software.
With a customized CRM system, you can easily stay in touch with your clients (you can carry out quick surveys, you can introduce new products and prices to them without any hitch, you can felicitate with them on their birthdays and other anniversaries, you can keep track of their progress, you can send bulk sms and customized e – mails and above all, you can easily receive complaints and feedback from them).
20. Develop Strategies to Boost Brand Awareness and Create a Corporate Identity
If you are in business and you are not deliberate about boosting you brand awareness and communicating your corporate identity, then you should be ready to take on whatever the society portrays your business to be. One of the secrets of larger corporations is that they are willing to spend fortunes to boost their brand and to continue to communicate their corporate identity the way they want people to perceive them to be.
If your intention of starting a wood door manufacturing company is to grow the business beyond the city where you are going to be operating from to become a national and international brand, then you must be ready to spend money on promotion and advertisement of your brand.
No matter the industry you belong to, the truth is that the market is dynamic and it requires consistent brand awareness and brand boosting cum promotion to continue to appeal to your target market. Here are the platforms you can leverage on to boost your brand awareness and create corporate identity for your wood door manufacturing company;
- Place adverts on both print (newspapers and related building materials magazines) and electronic media platforms
- Sponsor relevant community based events
- Leverage on the internet and social media platforms like; Instagram, Facebook, Twitter, YouTube, Google + et al to promote your business
- Install your Bill Boards on strategic locations all around your city or state
- Engage in roadshow from time to time in targeted neighborhoods to create awareness of your wood doors
- Distribute your fliers and handbills in target areas
- List your wood door production company in local directories
- Advertise your wood door manufacturing company in your official website and employ strategies that will help you pull traffic to the site.
- Ensure that all your staff members wear your branded shirts and all your vehicles and distribution trucks are well branded with your company logo