When your hobby turns into a business, there are a lot of benefits, but also challenges. Therefore, it is always worth it to reach out for assistance when presented with this opportunity.
Just ask John Murphy. He started his own CNC Woodworking business thirteen years ago when the manufacturing company he was working for closed. He had started as a mechanical draftsman, then processed through becoming an CNC machinist, which is where he learned all the skills for his business today.
However, when it came to doing business, that was another matter altogether. So, Murphy sought training through the Business Centre Guelph-Wellington to prepare a business plan and investigate his market potential.
“I knew the business, had all the skills to do the job, I just didn’t know if I had the business acumen to make it successful,” he said about his involvement with the centre. Murphy saw an ad in the paper and attended a seminar. He prepared a proposal, took courses, consulted with experts and came out with a feasible business plan. “It cleared everything up for me. I wouldn’t have survived without the support I had from the business centre.”
Even though he has changed his business plan, from manufacturing retail items to focussing more on custom orders, Murphy believes the market research, which he learned how to conduct, then apply, never ends.
“I still take the lessons and apply them today,” he said of the training he received, adding he had so many custom requests that it became his main focus. “One thing I learned from the business centre is you have to adjust as you go along. My niche market is kinda in the custom area. I was able to transition fairly quickly and easily.”
In his business, John Murphy CNC Woodworking, he makes everything from signs and trade show displays to customized cuts for furniture makers, construction trades, metal and manufacturing industries. He supports many tradespeople and skilled craftspeople along with the do-it-yourself renovators and interior designers.
“I just want to give customers what they are looking for at a fair cost,” says Murphy, who works with artists and people who just walk in with a sentimental project, like the woman who stopped in one day with an interesting creative idea. “I will treat her just like I would treat my larger clients.”
From building his skills and evolving in the industry to honing his talents for custom application, Murphy is proud of what he has accomplished.
“I have always had an interest in woodworking as a hobby,” he says on his website when looking back at forming his business. “Now I was able to combine my love of wood and my well-established CAD/CAM knowledge. At that point, J. Murphy CNC Woodworkng was born.”
"I wouldn’t have survived without the support I had from the business centre" — John Murphy