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Sawing and Drying Forum

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Don't Know How

Dave Member

need knowlage to sell my specialty wood ( spalted, turning and carving,uniqe,) native to NW. florida.
have mill. I can cut I can build I can make just about anything.
not a lick of business knowlage. Just need a push in the right direction.
Please help.

1/4/16       #3: Don't Know How ...

Where to begin - clearly, school is not your forte, so I can rule out suggesting that you attend a local junior college to study business.

Do you have any friends or family who run businesses? If so, talk to them about how a business should be run.

In general, you have to charge enough for your finished product to cover your expenses and produce a profit. If that is not possible, then you don't have a business.

Who are your customers? What are your costs? How much do you want to earn? If you can answer those questions and plug in real numbers, then you have a shot at it.

1/4/16       #4: Don't Know How ...
Dave Boyt  Member

Website: http://www.norwoodsawmills.com

Pretty broad question, but I'm guessing that you're just wanting to saw in your spare time for fun & profit. Avoid getting overextended financially. Hire an accountant, even if you saw part time. An ad in Craigslist, contact with local woodworking groups might yield some contacts. Look professional... business cards, web site, & FaceBook at a minimum. Get a few books & subscribe to Sawmill & Woodlot Management magazine. Keep good financial/time records. The business end of your business is far more critical than just getting out and making sawdust.

1/4/16       #5: Don't Know How ...

Thanks for the advice fellas.
And Dave thanks for the advice. I'm an old retired fella so I don't really have any spare time but I own my own land and woodlot I don't really have any expenses.
I will take this good advice and run with it again thank you

1/4/16       #6: Don't Know How ...
Eric Steadle

Website: https://www.sba.gov/offices/district/fl/jacksonvil...


You will want to find local woodworkers who want to buy specialty wood like the things you would want to have if you were building something special.

So go find yourself a woodworkers group, or a local "Tech Shop", or carpenter's guild, and either join it or talk to the people there about what they like to buy and where they buy it, and how much they pay for it, and how they get it home, and how they store it, and what they do with it when they finally have time....etc.

This is called "building a customer base" and is the main thing you need to do if you want to sell wood. It can take a while to do it, but be diligent about it, and it will happen.

One place you might be able to get some help is your local Small Business Administration offices. The SBA is a government agency that wants to help small business get going. Here is the SBA website for Northern Florida (Jacksonville / Orlando area):


I know it's fashionable to bash the government for anything and everything these days.... But my experience with these folks is that they really do want to help you, and the cost is almost nothing, so might as well see what they can offer you, if they can put you in touch with local folks like you that can help, find you a local organization that deals with wood, find you a marketing firm that produce brochures, website, etc. It's worth a visit, in my opinion.

Selling wood is a very thin margin business (margin is the amount of money you make, above the price it costs you to produce the board). That is.... you might make 1 dollar per board or less, so you have to sell hundreds of boards to make a mortgage payment. And you have to have the right kinds of boards when people want to buy them -- I.e., the right species, the right color, the right thickness and dimensions, and the right moisture content (green, air dried, or kiln dried). Sometimes it's better to find the buyer first, and then make them the lumber they want to buy (i.e., cut to order). Be flexible and try to say "yes" to those opportunities when they come by so that you can expand your customer base, and your "market" that you sell to.

Best of luck to you,


1/4/16       #7: Don't Know How ...
Dave Member

Thank you Eric.
This is what I'm looking for.

Peace and Grace

1/4/16       #8: Don't Know How ...
rich c.

Have you heard of this club?

Artistic Woodturners

1/5/16       #9: Don't Know How ...
dave Member

Thank you Rich

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