Barb, Some time ago I wrote out a plan for marketing signs, can't recall the post, but the gist of it was to locate inns, rustic hotels, bed and breakfasts, and other sites that might need and appreciate wood signs. Reach them, visit them, stay in tough with them and after you visit, suggest signs that you think might make be useful and helpful to their guests. I'd avoid chains.
On your visits, pick up any cards or papers that have their logos on it, and suggest signs that include it in wood. Multiple signs on a theme with a logo would be an appealing item for some small businesses. You can often find logos on facebook or websites. I don't think you'll make much selling in shops because they need a hefty markup. Don't forget mom and pop restaurants. Research on the internet by including cities and regions along with other search criteria.
I'm a business consultant, do it for a living in a narrow specialty, but rifle shot marketing is the key to any small business. It will be about the personal relationships you develop over time. Repeat customers are what you want.
Having suffered through some pretty hard times as my business got rolling, I know that you will be putting in a lot of effort on marketing with only modest rewards, so plan on it. Do as much as you can while still employed - don't quit your day job right off the bat. Use your weekends for marketing excursions, build in the evening. Meet all your deadlines and deliver a little ahead of your promised times. Have a great local reputation for delivering the goods. Until you can do CNC signs, forget about corporate customers, they will squeeze the nickles out of your deals.
Our website is really a brochure, very elaborate, filled with information, but I don't think internet sales will be a significant part of your business. But having a site is important. I don't think you need to have an e commerce site, which is not cheap to setup or maintain. Accepting credit cards is now pretty easy, but will bleed of about 3 percent of your billing plus a monthly fee.
Passive marketing, shows, local craft fairs and waiting for business to show up just won't get you anywhere. You have to go for premium business. I also think you will have to find other items to make and sell, sign holders, I don't know, maybe everyone here could suggest other items you could produce. But make no mistake, your life becomes about marketing your services! And if you get good at that, you might find that representing sign makers who can't handle marketing will be a better opportunity.
I hope you can manage to do this thing. I've been self employed for 3 decades, and I don't think I could ever stand working for someone else. It took me several tries to make a business work. A friend of mine once commented that he'd never met anyone as persistent as me. I wish for you the persistence needed to make your business vision come to pass. I'm happy to offer information if it will help. You are one of the people on this Forum that everyone loves and respects, and I know we're all pulling for you to have the life you love.