Do you stay in a rural area or small town where there is an abundance of firewood? If YES, then you can start a firewood delivery business and make lots of money especially during the winter. Well, this article will teach you everything you need to know.
The days of cooking with fires made by burning heaps of firewood may be gone in most parts of the world, but firewood is still being used for recreational and aesthetic purposes.
While some people would burn firewood to sit by a crackling fireplace during cold weather, others acquire firewood due to the charm and character that a real wood-burning fireplace brings to their home. And yes, there are still many places today – especially the rural areas and country sides; where wood is still used for heating purposes.
Though the eventual use may differ, the truth about firewood is that, there is huge demand for it. So, if you have been looking to start a profitable business of your own that requires little technical know-how, then starting a firewood delivery business may be way to go.
This article explains the basics you need to know about the firewood delivery business and what you need to do to get started. Generally, there are two ways to tap into the firewood delivery business:
Two Types of Firewood Delivery Business Models You Can Start
Model 1: Reselling
This simply involves buying seasoned firewood that is ready to burn, and selling them to consumers. This model completely cuts out the need for processing the firewood yourself. And the only requirements you need to start the business is a piece of land on which you can store the firewood before selling it.
One of the most important aspects of the reselling model is to have a very reliable supplier. You need to have the commodity delivered when you need it, as you cannot afford to disappoint your customers. If you have little storage space, you will need a supplier that can supply the commodity on short notice. This will allow you to operate with minimal inventory while still filling your orders.
To be on the safe side, you should have at least 2 or 3 reliable suppliers, since you never know when one of them will run out of stock, which can deal a big blow on your business. If you have little capital or space, the reselling is the suitable model for your firewood delivery business.
Model 2: Processing
If you have access to a large expanse of land at a significant distance away from residential areas and can afford the huge cost of equipment, then you can adopt the processing model of the firewood delivery business.
You can have logs of wood trucked in for a fraction of the price you will pay as a reseller to buy seasoned wood that has already been split. You will have to cut the logs into specific sizes (depending on what obtains in your location) and allow them to season for about one year.
In this model, you will be operating chainsaws and other equipment, such as stacker elevators and splitters. This explains why you will need to be away from residential areas.
By processing your own firewood, you will keep a larger inventory and make more money, since you will sell to both resellers and consumers. But with these advantages come large startup capital, tighter regulations, and higher operation costs.
Starting a Firewood Delivery Company – Sample Business Plan Template
Finding the ideal location is one of the biggest challenges you can face as a processor of firewood. Your piece of land must be considerably distant from residential areas, yet it must be close to a major city because the price is higher in cities than rural areas.
If you are too far from the city, you will spend lots of money on transportation to city-based consumers. And though you can choose to concentrate on consumers in the rural countryside, you won’t make as much profit as you would by selling to consumers in the city.
2. Get the Needed Equipment
If you are adopting the reselling model, you won’t need much in terms of equipment. All you will need is a truck that will help you convey firewood to consumers. If you don’t have yours, you can get one on lease or agree to a per-trip rate with a truck owner.
On the other hand, if you will be processing your own firewood, you will need to invest in a woodlot, fencing, chainsaws, splitters, stacking elevators. In addition to that, you will need a large truck with a dumping feature as well as additional heavy duty pickup trucks and trailers.
3. Marketing your Business
Regardless of which model you choose for your firewood delivery business, you will need to market your product directly to consumers. Traditional marketing methods, such as word of mouth, newspaper advertising, and display advertising will work very well in the firewood trade.
If you are processing your own firewood, you can be a supplier to gas stations and landscape centers. You can also become a wholesaler to smaller companies. In short, there are many possibilities.
On a final note, you must bear in mind that firewood delivery business, especially when it involves processing, is subject to strict regulatory and licensing bylaws. You will need to find out more about these as they apply in your state or country.