The economy is tough and it is up to everyone to find work that they can do if they become victim of a lay off at work, or if their business or service is no longer needed. To operate a firewood supply business is a great opportunity to meet the needs of consumers and make money. Even if you do not have the land to cut the firewood on, you can operate a firewood supply business.
You will need to find your firewood supply. To do that, go directly to the sources; saw mills and loggers. Search online or in the yellow pages to find all the local mills in your area, and then travel to them to find out the names and numbers of loggers that haul to that mill.
You will also want to inquire about scraps of wood that the mill might have that just get thrown away. Make them an offer of $35- $50 per truck load for those ends that get sawed off the wood when they measure the logs. You will need to make arrangements to pick those ends up every day or every other day so you can help them keep the yard clean. Meanwhile, you will be getting the freshly cut wood at a great price.
Of course, you will need a place to set all the firewood that you accumulate so you can conduct your business. This will be your designated firewood supply yard, where you will prepare to sell your wood for kindling or small fires. You can find a way to bundle them up with rope or paper sacks that will burn so that all the consumer needs to do once they purchase the wood, is to throw packaged wood into the fire. You can charge per bundle. Pricing your firewood loads is tricky. You need to price it so that you make money but your customers feel that they are getting a deal.
Preparing Your Firewood
Because people have different size stoves, you will also need to offer different sized wood. You can offer wood cut in small, medium, and large lengths. You will need a different price for each size. You will also need to offer a wood splitting service. This takes a lot of effort on your part, so make sure that you get compensated for this work. You may want to hire someone to do the splitting because it takes so long. You want to be free to talk with customers and to deliver when an order comes in.
Advertising Your Firewood Business
Advertising is the best way to get more customers. You can advertise in your local newspapers, place signs up on bulletin boards, create and pass out business cards, and build a website. You will want to purchase a cell phone that you can carry around as your main business phone. This will allow you to answer a business call wherever you are. Place this number on all the cards and advertisements so everyone who is in search of firewood will know how to reach you.
Building Your Business
Contact all the loggers in the area that cut wood. Most of the loggers have a way of cleaning up the site as they clear it. You may be able to go on the site once a day and gather all the firewood that was cut before loading their trucks. Be prepared to go into some deep woods where only a four wheel drive can get in and out. These loggers will usually let you have the firewood, or they will sell it to you for a small amount because they want to get rid of it. What you clean up will be less work that they have to do. You will have a steady business if you can follow the loggers around to each job site they have to go on. You can gather the wood all year around.
Firewood is Always in Demand
Some people heat with wood throughout the year. The demand for firewood may decrease during the summer months, but it will pick back up in the fall, winter, and spring. You may have regular customers that will need firewood delivered to their homes or you may have customers who want to pick up their own firewood.