How to Build Your Cabinet Shop to Run Without You (And be Profitable!)

Wouldn’t it be great if you could set your cabinet shop up so that it ran without you, but was still profitable? What if you could create processes and procedures that freed you from the shop floor so that you could focus on other aspects of your business like creating a consistent sales process and finding exceptional employees? Does that sound like something you’d be interested in?

If you’re nodding your head yes, or shouting it from the top of your lungs, then read on. In this article, I’ll share a series of videos that explain how I personally built a cabinet shop that can run without me AND be profitable.


Reasons Shop Owners Don’t Have Time

Being busy is the name of the game when you’re an entrepreneur, but being busy just for the sake of it isn’t helping you personally or your business. How would your shop improve and grow if you could pinpoint exactly where you’re spending unnecessary time? If you free yourself from some of the following time-sinks, you’ll finally have time to work ON your business rather than IN it.



  1. The shop floor — It’s easy to get caught up on the floor, but you’re not creating long-term value for your shop when you’re manning a saw. If you want to remove yourself as the bottleneck, then the shop floor cannot be your main focus.
  2. Hiring heartbeats — We’re all guilty of hiring bodies at one time or another, but hiring employees who actually want to be in your shop is one of the keys to building a business that can run without you. 
  3. Chasing checks — If you don’t have a standard process for collecting outstanding payments, you’ll waste time chasing checks each month. If you don’t have any standard operating procedures (SOPs) in place yet, this is a great place to start. 
  4. Lack of SOPs — After you create a SOP for collecting checks, keep going! SOPs are a guideline for how to do things in your shop. They’re good for your team, and they’re good for you. 
  5. Failing to delegate — Meaningful delegation can completely change your business. When you allow yourself and your shop to focus on your strengths and outsource the rest, you’ll flourish. 


Stop Being a Slave to Your Shop

Let’s do a little exercise. What would happen to your shop if you had to be away for a day? Probably, everything would be fine.

What if there was an emergency that pulled you away for a week? Not a planned vacation, but something impromptu. Could you do it? Are you sweating yet?

If you can’t step away without your whole operation crumbling, then you’re a slave to your shop! You have to get yourself out of the mindset that you always have to be physically present in your shop for it to run well. That mindset is bad for you, bad for your family, and bad for your staff.


Develop a Business Owner Mindset


I would bet that the vast majority of us began our shops as craftsmen, rather than as businessmen and women who later developed our skills in woodworking. However, having great woodworking skills doesn’t necessarily mean that you’ll have a smooth transition into being a business owner.

The rules of woodworking are more defined than the rules of business, but with some grit and a willingness to push through, you’ll do fine!


5 Things Every Valuable Cabinet Shop Owner Takes Seriously

Prioritization is essential to building a cabinet shop that can run without you AND be profitable. The top five things that cabinet shop owners take seriously are:


1. Margins— Know them, and keep them at or above industry standards.



2. Employees — You need a stable group of employees and management-level staff.


3. System for money collection — You need a system in place to consistently collected money for completed jobs, regardless of who’s in the office.



4. Growth strategy — You need a realistic growth strategy so that you don’t grow quicker than you can handle, but one that also keeps you growing so that you don’t stagnate.


5. Diversified customer base — Allowing any single customer to account for over 20% of your revenue creates a situation in which losing them could sink your entire ship. Diversify!


BONUS — Start grooming your second in command now so that you’ll be ready whenever you need him or her. You won’t regret it!


Build a Thriving Cabinet Shop

What is a thriving cabinet shop anyway? To me, it’s one that can run without your daily input and still turn a profit. That doesn’t mean that you can or should be lazy and stop working on your business. What it means is that your business should still be able to produce products and profits without you micromanaging everything.

How do you achieve that? 


First, you should always be growing because if you’re not growing, you're dying. Stay dangerous by knowing how to do every job in your shop, but provide employees with opportunities to learn, grow, and take ownership of their areas of the shop. In the words of Beau Lewis, “your business is only as valuable as what it does when you’re not in it.”


You NEED to Delegate!

Without meaningful delegation, your shop will never grow past your personal capacity. 

Let that sink in. Without meaningful delegation, your shop will never grow past your personal capacity


Delegation is so important, but it’s much more than just assigning someone an activity.

Build this. Mill that.

Meaningful delegation converts you from a boss, someone who just dictates tasks, into a coach. A coach’s purpose is to guide and motivate. 


Become Profitable with Ultimate Cabinet Components

When you focus on your strengths as an owner and as a shop and then delegate the things that are not your strengths, you’re very likely to find that you become more profitable with less effort. Outsourcing with Ultimate Cabinet Components can help you create consistent cash in your business. How? 


  1. Convert fixed costs to variable — Outsourcing saves money on overhead, labor, leases, equipment, and much more. Instead of spending a set amount of money each month, you can spend money only when you make a sale. 
  2. Frees up time to create a consistent sales process — If you’re ready to finally get yourself out of the vicious sales cycle, then outsourcing is the way to go. When you outsource, you free up time to finally create a consistent sales process.
  3. Gain capacity —When you outsource, you instantly gain capacity to help you take on larger jobs (with confidence!) than you could without outsourcing. 
  4. Decrease capital investment — When you outsource with Ultimate Cabinet Components, you spend fewer dollars on capital improvements, leases, inventory, and equipment.
  5. Work ON your business — As the owner, you owe it to your business to work on it, not just to operate inside it. Outsourcing helps free you from the shop floor so that you can improve your company and add value to it.


Create Consistent Cash

When you outsource your manufacturing capacity, you gain the time to bid jobs consistently. If you can keep your sales funnel full, you never have to scramble for more work or face a cash flow crisis.


If a consistent sales process is part of your everyday efforts, you’ll be able to grow year after year without the violent swings up and down. Your business will be healthier, and so will you.


Are You Ready to Try Ultimate Cabinet Components?

Are you ready to try outsourcing so that you can finally focus on consistent sales and end the up and down of your current sales cycle? Then sign up for a FREE sample kit. Get in touch with any questions that you still have.