A firewood business might be a great option if you're interested in working from home and making a few extra dollars.
Starting a profitable firewood business is not easy.
As with all small businesses or at home business adventures, having a detailed plan with realistic goals is important.
To start a profitable business you need to make sure you have access to a lot of firewood.
Most firewood is sold by logging companies that handle large amounts of wood, or by hazardous tree removal companies who take down various trees for homeowners.
Not everyone burns firewood so it's not uncommon for a homeowner to ask a tree removal company to remove the tree and all of the wood, which is perfect for firewood.
For logging companies, tree tops not taken to the sawmill are often turned into firewood.
There's not a lot of valuable lumber in the top portion of the tree.
Typically, only the bottom base of the tree is utilized to make lumber, leaving behind the large canopy of the tree.
This leftover wood is processed into firewood or simply sold as pulp wood which is delivered in 8 foot lengths and cut up by the buyer.
If you don't own your own logging company you can still run a profitable business selling firewood.
You also need to select an entity type to register your business legally.
As someone who's new to the business world, you should consider forming a limited liability company (LLC) that offers flexibility and requires minimum compliance.
Most LLCs are taxed as a sole proprietorship which works out great if you're the single owner and operator of your small business.
An LLC is a legal business structure that's designed to protect your personal assets in the event your company is ever sued.
For example, if a customer filed a lawsuit against your company, an LLC would protect your personal car, home and bank accounts not used for the business.
As mentioned earlier, you must have access to firewood in order to sell it.
There are a few different ways to obtain quality firewood that people will want to buy.
I knew a high school student who bought hardwood from a local logging company by the semi load delivered in 8 foot lengths.
He then cut, split and delivered the firewood based on the customers specifications.
The processed firewood was sold for more money than the purchased logs.
The results.......hard work turned into profit.
This is a good example of someone who did not have access to a lot of trees but was still able to sell firewood.
You don't always have to sell large amounts of firewood to make a few extra dollars.
Do you live near a campground or near a tourist area?
Try selling small bundles of firewood to people visiting the area. This is a great firewood business opportunity!
Most people do not like to pack firewood because it's messy and takes up space.
Also, it's recommended you buy firewood locally to prevent the spread of disease and insects.
When firewood is moved from one location to another, there's an opportunity for unwanted pests to move off of the firewood and into nearby trees.
Studies have shown that the Emerald Ash Borer, oak wilt, Dutch elm disease and possibly beech bark disease have all spread more rapidly due to moving firewood.
Do you own a lot of property?
Cut up blow downs and dying trees and sell those as firewood.
A properly managed forest can supply a lot of firewood if you don't over harvest it.
Also, if you only cut trees that are not suitable for lumber you still have the option of selling your best quality trees to a logging company or sawmill.
Did you just have your property logged?
Cut up the left over tree tops and sell those as firewood.
Tree tops can supply a lot of great firewood because the wood it already on the ground and it help clean up the woods in the process.
I love cutting tops because it doesn't require felling a tree which can sometimes be dangerous.
The wood is easy to cut since it's laying on the ground and you can cut a lot of wood in a short amount of time.
Processing firewood requires specific equipment that needs to be purchased if you don't already own it.
Equipment like chainsaws, hydraulic wood splitters and even firewood processors can be expensive.
Consider the start up cost of your small business if you don't already own the equipment.
Will you need to obtain a financial loan to pay for the equipment?
Also consider the dangers of running sharp, powerful tools.
These factors may help you decide whether or not you want to pursue the business idea.
Cutting, splitting and moving firewood is a lot of work. It's also great exercise.
Think of your daily exercise routine of cutting firewood as a way to stay in shape and get paid in the process!
Business expenses can be considered a tax write off.
Don't forget to document your expenses to use later during tax preparations.
Also, as mentioned earlier you'll need to legally register your business.
You can do this by choosing several different options, such as an LLC. This is essential to get authorized to conduct business legally.
Starting a firewood business is not easy work but it could supply you with a supplemental income.
If you're unsure about starting the business try cutting a small amount of wood and placing a sign out in front of your house or run an add in your local classifieds.
Use this as a gauge to consider whether or not it's a viable business opportunity.