Biz Class

One of our strengths is the huge scope of experience between us. This means that we can give really good advice and feedback, not only for when you are on one of our furniture building courses but to help guide you 2, 3 or 5 years down the line.

Jonathan Walter and Lakshmi Bhaskaran from Bark Furniture came and completed our twelve-month furniture design course over ten years ago. Jonathan had formerly worked as an accountant for one of the great international banks and Lakshmi was a writer specialising in design and designers. They are a great example of how our students use the skills they learn at Rowden to create a successful brand and furniture business in the form of Bark Furniture.

Jonathan now comes in every Wednesday and gives priceless business tutorials and management tutoring to our students which covers everything from building your brand to practical business management.

biz class

Biz class with Jonathan Walter.

Jonathan has created a great “survival” course covering a lot of content that will become valuable after your training.  If you’re wondering how to become a furniture maker, this is the perfect opportunity to learn from someone who has been in your shoes and made a success of it.

Some of the topics Jonathan is likely to cover in our woodworking business classes include:

  1. How to develop a brand

a. What do you want?

i. Week 1 – Self-employed or employee – Benefits and Pitfalls

ii. Week 2 – How do you want to work and what do you want from your work?

iii. Week 3 – Personal and professional goals – Deciding on what defines “success”

iv. Week 4 – One to One sessions

b. Week 5 – The message

i. Who is your target audience?

ii. How do you want to be perceived?

c. Week 6 – The benefits of a common design aesthetic

d. Multiple product launches

  • Ways to approach trade shows

a. Week 7 – Target Market

b. Budget allocation

c. Week 8 & 9 – One to One sessions

  • Basic Pricing Rules

Week 10

  • Cashflow management

Week 11

  • Trade Shows

a. Week 12 – Logistics

b. Week 13 – Marketing material

c. Week 14 – Presentation skills

d. Week 15 & 16 – One to One sessions

  • Practical Business Management

a. Week 17 – Setting targets and goals

b. Week 18 – Money matters

c. Week 19 – Accountants

d. Admin admin admin

e. VAT registration

f. Week 20 and 21 – One to One sessions

  • Financing

a. Week 22 – Budgeting

b. Funding

c. Week 23 – Subcontracting

d. Week 24 and 25 – One to One sessions

  • Product pricing and discounting

a. Week 26 – Basic pricing rules reminder

b. Spreadsheets

c. Discounting

d. Haggling

e. Trade show enquiries versus private enquiries

f. Get 50% deposit and 50% a week prior to delivery, that’s it, never less

  • Project Management

a. Week 27 – Critical path analysis

b. Week 28 – Time management

c. Week 29 – One to One sessions

d. Week 30 – Project resourcing

e. Outsourcing and sub contracting

f. Week 31 & 32 – One to One sessions

  • Client Management

a. Week 33 – Pricing and project funding

b. The dialogue

c. Dealing with challenges

d. Delivery

  • Workshops

Week 34

  • Workshops Sharing

a. Week 35 – Bench renting – Pros and Cons

b. Cost sharing

c. Co-Operatives

d. Contracts

  • Suppliers

a. Week 36 & 37 – The good, the bad and the ugly

b. One to One sessions

  • Marketing – How to Sell Yourself

a. Week 38 – Through the press

b. Week 39 – Through social media

c. Week 40 – Through your website – Google

  • PR

a. Week 41 – An overall structure and strategy for Marketing and PR

b. How to avoid the duds

c. Week 42 & 43 – One to One sessions

d. Week 44 – Photography

  • Online Presence – Websites

a. Week 45 – Websites design and style

b. Week 46 – Website management

c. Week 47 & 48 – One to One sessions

As I have said before. Jonathan has been in your shoes. He has experienced what it is like to move into the middle of Devon and build a thriving furniture making business from scratch, earning a living out of what he loves doing. It’s great to have him come back and teach you the best way to run a successful business.

If you’re looking for something more crafty, you can always checkout our woodworking courses! Click the button below to find out more:

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