What You Should Know Before Starting a Firewood Business

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Starting a Firewood Business Business Overview:

Attention all outdoorsmen: Starting a firewood business can keep you physically and financially fit and can be a great way to test your entrepreneurial skills. The basics of how to start a firewood business are straightforward enough. If you don’t own acreage covered with trees, you locate downed trees in your neighborhood or team up with an existing tree-cutting company and offer to haul away the wood at no cost. Once yours, you split the wood into usable, burnable logs and sell them to home and business owners who have fireplaces, fire pits, or wood-burning stoves. The business idea is simple and can prove highly lucrative, but the work itself can be very difficult. For starters, unless you’re prepared to hire wood splitters and haulers right away, you’ll be doing a fair amount of manual labor yourself, and you’ll need the right tools to make it feasible. First, a truck or van that can carry large amounts of wood is necessary. Clearly it will get lots of wear-and-tear so you’ll want to be prepared for that and for keeping your vehicle in good repair. Next you’ll want the tools of the trade that make the job easier and less time-consuming. Though the equipment—log splitters, chainsaws, axes, mauls, and hatchets—can be expensive at the start, having them from the beginning will likely increase your production and make the investment well worth it. Unlike some other business ideas and entrepreneurial ventures, the firewood business can be dangerous. After all, you’re dealing with felling and fallen trees, heavy-duty cutting machinery, and lifting heavy objects. So safety should be your paramount concern, both for yourself and for your employees and customers. Hardhats, boots, gloves, eyewear, and back supporters will serve you well, as will business insurance. Don’t be tempted to scrimp on any of these and your business will benefit. You will also need a place to properly store your freshly cut firewood. To get the best prices for your wood, you will want to ensure it’s well-seasoned and in good shape for burning. Finally, operating as a licensed and insured firewood business will draw customers in (no one wants an accident on their property, no matter how inexpensive the prices are); combine your good business sense with competitive prices and you’re sure to have a successful business.

A Day in the Life of a Firewood Business Owner:

This article brought to you by Business Ideas! If you enjoyed this article, make sure to subscribe to the Business Ideas Newsletter to get ideas sent straight to your email inbox.There are many variables to consider when determining a typical day for a firewood business owner. For starters, how big will you start your business—will you operate at night and on weekends only at the beginning? Or will you jump into a full-time enterprise and employ workers? Either way, you’ll likely get your initial work by advertising free tree removal from properties. In this transaction, you get free firewood to cut and sell, and the homeowner gets the annoying fallen tree removed from their property at no cost. The advertising part can be easy—some local flyers or even a decal on your truck can get you a few customers right off the bat. After you’ve scoured your area for these opportunities, you might consider teaming up with a tree-cutting company. They cut down the trees for their customers and you haul off the wood (again for free, or for a small price paid to the tree cutters for their partnership). As the business owner, you will want to make sure your firewood prices are competitive so people buy your wood, but high enough that you cover maintenance of your equipment, payroll if you have employees, and profit for your company. At the end of a long day splitting and hauling firewood, you will want to check in with your existing and potential customers and review your finances.

About Your Customers:

Your paying customers will be in search of well-seasoned, quality firewood at competitive prices and with solid customer service (delivered when promised and brought to the agreed-upon drop-off location). Your “silent” customers will call on your services when they have a downed tree or a tree in need of removal. They will want you to haul off the tree and you want them to call you first because you stand to make 100 percent profit from the firewood if you don’t have to pay to acquire it.

What You Need to Start:

  • Business license, permit, and insurance
  • A firewood business plan, including time and money investment details
  • A vehicle for transporting large tree parts and split firewood
  • Log-splitting equipment
  • Safety equipment
  • Storage for your split wood
  • Employees, if desired
  • A pricing schedule for your firewood
  • Financial-tracking software

The Good:

  • This is a business that you can start on the simplest scale, with just a truck and some hand tools, but that can grow to include heavy-duty log splitters and employees.
  • You decide if you want to operate full- or part-time.
  • You get to work outdoors a great deal.
  • It’s a cash business.

The Bad:

  • The initial investment can be a bit steep if you’re starting from scratch.
  • The work is labor-intensive, especially if you’re working alone.

Resources:

Start This Business Today:

To start a firewood business today, we recommend you purchase The Business Plan for Your Firewood Business. This comprehensive guide includes a business plan and marketing tips for ensuring success in the enterprise. For more information, or to purchase this HIGHLY RECOMMENDED book, click here.




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