How to Nail the Transition From Hobby to Business Workshop

When the saw is buzzing and the dust is flying, life is good for the tool man in his workshop. The adrenaline is high and there’s a great sense of satisfaction. But things change, and your perspective is different when you make the decision to move from casual hobby to the deliverable of a quality business product.

In our workshop, I watched the progression first hand, as my “rugged” half, Kevin, began to notice the need to alter his work space. He moved from streamlining the process, to ergonomic safety, to improved organization. Once he started making hand-crafted gift boxes on a weekly basis, it became clear how important it is to have an efficient workflow. At one point, he had set up the tools and process on one side of the work space, only to realize the layout really lent itself to increased efficiency on the other side. So, guess what? He had to unplug and move all the tools to the other side, and set everything back up again to make it work.

Seasonal changes also brought shifts in workspace lighting. As winter approached, darkness came earlier and we lost the natural daylight effect which meant more lights had to be added. Then heating the work space also became a priority.

Next, ergonomics entered the scene. Standing for hours meant the need for floor pads to help cushion the impact on the lower back and knees. Off we went to the internet to place another order!

Finally, once the tools and processes were in place, then organization of parts was necessary to stay on top of inventory and remain efficient.

Remember, all this planning and organizing is time away from making a product, an important lesson to hammer home. Careful thought to the layout of your workshop, and a little extra planning upfront on your punch list, will go a long way in saving your business time and money, and improving the health of those building it. 

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