Whatever you plan to build in your wood shop, you can more than likely find ready-made plans online. In most cases, you can download these directly to your computer or tablet.
Plans are the place to get started. All great accomplishments in life and in woodworking begin with a plan. But a plan or blueprint is only the first step. There are changes you'll likely want to make. Changes in the design to make it your own.
The real secret to making more money in a small woodworking business is to take the plans for products you want to build for your customers and turn them into a miniature production system.
Production systems can work for large runs of the same product – and for one-of-a-kind pieces too. The advantage is that every step, every element, every process is thought through in advance. This allows you to have all the tools, equipment, jigs, templates, and everything else in place, to facilitate efficient production and maximize your profits.
Working from a given set of plans allows you to produce a prototype quickly. If it works for you – great. If not, you can make further changes as you see fit. Having the physical product right before your eyes makes it that much easier to change.
What a good set of plans do is force you to think in advance – instead of only on the shop floor. You anticipate all the challenges and twists and turns and you plan your project to overcome those challenges in advance. You'll be happier with your results and in the time you saved by thinking things through in advance.
If you're unsure of where to begin, start with the ready-made downloadable plans and build the project as described. Some projects will turn out exactly as you want, while the others can be upgraded or cast aside. When you have a large selection of woodworking plans to choose from, it's much easier to find projects that match your shop capabilities and your desires – or those of your customers.