As I write this, I am still in the process of establishing my knife sharpening business, but it appears to be working.
My goal is to sharpen 10 knives a week, and for the past two months, I’ve been hitting my mark. With recent exposure at the local Farmer’s Market, and a new Facebook Page, I’m optimistic that in the coming months I’ll be able to continue meeting my goal.
If you, too, are interested in starting a business, either for cash money or for experience, I’d like to make a 10 point case for why knife sharpening might worthy of exploration.
- Scratch your own itch.
As an engineer, I hate absolutes, but chances are, you have knives. Even if you go through all the effort to learn how to sharpen knives, market it, and turn it into a business that fails, you’ll still know how to sharpen your own knives.
- Low capital investment.
In my humble opinion, the Edge Pro is the way to go, and you’re talking a few hundred bucks to get an adequate setup, so this is all relative, but in the big scheme of things…well, how about this…I paid mine off in less than a year.
- The skills are easily learned.
It will help having some hand’s on skills to start, but the required information is on YouTube and with a little practice on your own knives you’ll be able to get the hang of it. After that, you can sharpen knives for friends and family to practice and spread the word. And by then, you’ll know what a sharp knife is.
- Near limitless opportunity.
Again, I hate absolutes, but every house where food is served has a set of knives. That doesn’t even cover the tools in all the sheds around you, or the knives in pockets. There are knives everywhere, and they are probably dull, or otherwise poorly maintained.
- Subscription opportunity.
Even a meticulously maintained knife will get dull. It’s not inconceivable to suggest that once a good relationship is established, the clientele will return for years.
- Existing service sucks.
I am never in the game of bashing someone behind their back, but, many existing knife sharpeners use fast tools that provide mediocre results. In Fact! One of my biggest challenges is convincing people I am not one of them. I use the term precision sharpening to try to convey that.
- Set your own hours.
The thing about the side hustle is that it has to be done outside of your normal work hours. Once you establish a good drop off and pick up method, the physical act of sharpening can occur any time of day.
- Use it to build an email list.
Maybe you, like me, do not aspire to sharpen knives for 40 hours a week, every week. Well, in addition to building savvy business skills, you can keep in touch with your customers offering deals and information to one day transition them into customers in any other venture. Many of the people I listen to and follow who are successful have stressed the importance of an email list.
- Scale as much or as little as you want.
If your market really demands it, this is a service you could turn into one with employees, travel vans, and dedicated brick and mortar infrastructure. Or, it can stay in the basement and after hours.
- Competition is valuable.
Miles may vary with this, but in my opinion, more knife sharpeners the better. Because, the biggest issue we face is that people don’t even know that their knives should be sharpened. So, since educating the customer is a big hurdle, the more people out there getting after it, the more people will come to respect sharp knives.
There are more reasons, but I think that is enough to make a case. I welcome your thoughts on the matter in the comments section below.