by Stephen Bradshaw
If I wanted to cut and split firewood as a business, how do you think I could best obtain logs
to make my firewood? How do you think I could best market my firewood?
E. S. Bradshaw
Great question Stephen,
For most entrepreneurs who are looking to start their own firewood business, obtaining a consistent supply of logs to process into firewood can be a challenge.
In the beginning it might not be such a big deal. If you have trees available on your property you could use those, but as the business grows this supply will quickly diminish.
For a successful business you need to come up with a long term solution to obtain your wood. A majority of firewood suppliers own their own logging company. The leftover wood is either sold by the semi load or processed into finished firewood. However, this option obviously does not apply to everyone.
Here's a couple options or suggestions for obtaining wood to process into firewood:
Wholesale From Nearby Loggers Or Tree Removal Companies - Call several logging companies and obtain a price for a semi load of pulpwood. Also called a loggers cord, the wood generally comes in 8 foot lengths and it can easily be processed into finished firewood.
Although this is an easy option to quickly process firewood and have a reliable supply, it will cut down on your profit because you have to buy the wood. Buying large quantities from one company or paying cash could lower the price. The benefit of this option is that the wood is brought directly to you. This eliminates any hauling on your part cutting down on fuel expenses and labor.
Try calling local tree trimming or tree removal companies and ask what they do with their trees when they're done. Some will gladly give them away or sell them for a low cost.
Look For Properties That Have Been Logged - Look for nearby properties in your area that have just been logged or post a wanted add on Craigslist or in the newspaper. Many property owners who have their property logged don't burn firewood. They would be happy to let you clean up all the leftover tops or sell them for a great price.
Offer Free Cleanup - Again, post an add offering free cleanup of dead or down trees. In return you can keep the wood. If a storm blows down a lot of trees, many homeowners would be happy to have someone clean them up for free.
Local Sawmill - If you live near a sawmill you can ask them for slab wood which is the outer edges of the tree left over after processing. Most sawmills sell this wood at a great price. Working out an agreement with a local sawmill could land you an endless supply of cheep wood.
Pick Up Free Wood - Look for "free firewood" adds and respond to them. A guy I know used this method this year and picked up a two years supply of firewood. In fact, he found so much free wood he ran out of room to store it!
Advertising a firewood business can be done in several ways. Here are some great ideas:
Word Of Mouth - I know....it sounds obvious but it's often overlooked. Let everyone know about your business. Tell the local party store owner or your local bar or restaurant about your business. The word will spread quickly and best of all....it's free advertisement.
Social Media - Facebook, Twitter and Craigslist are all great ways to promote your business.
Free Directories - Some websites (like this one!) offer free directories where you can list your business. We dedicate an entire page for you to promote your business. Again....free advertisement is great so use every opportunity you can get.
Flyers And Business Cards - Flyers and business cards are cheep to produce. Place flyers at the library, gas station and anywhere else that will allow it.
These are just a few ideas to help get you started. If you get creative there are a lot of other ways to promote a business. As always, I would love to have someone leave a comment to share what ideas they have used to obtain firewood and how they market their business!
Hope this helps,
Firewood For Life