Secret to Success - Value Multiplied
Wood from small diameter trees is usually very beautiful. The character features are small, sound, attractive, and nearly always usable in flooring. Small logs usually have mostly good character. Large logs often have significant amounts of bad character.
As flooring strips, the birch tree now has a value of $93. But I choose to sell my wood as installed flooring. At $8/square foot installed and finished, I would earn $222 from this one small tree. The value-multiplied potential of small diameter trees is about 1,000 times the stumpage value of the tree standing in the forest.
Secret to Success: We sell direct to our customers.
We eliminate every broker and middleman and most of the trucking. When you buy lumber or furniture in the big store, about 30% of the price you pay goes to cover the transportation costs of that wood in the traditional market system. Between 30% and 50% of the price you pay goes to the retailer. I keep all that money for myself.
Selling wood flooring to a homeowner is much simpler than selling wood to a wholesale lumber buyer or broker. Flooring customers are people just like me. Almost every person I meet is a potential customer. While sitting on the procedure table at the doctor's office last week getting my leg stitched up from a freak encounter with a piece of broken glass, I told the doctor about our flooring and wooden kitchen countertops. She was very interested and promised to come for a visit soon. I can make money from visiting the doctor!!
Once you are in the business a few months, you become more knowledgeable than your homeowner customers - you gain the advantage. Your products are in demand - you have an advantage in the market. A small business owner or forest owner is at a big disadvantage to the professional buyers when selling timber or wood in any of the wholesale commercial timber markets.
The first lesson in sales I ever had was Zig Ziglar's message, "Know Your Product." By the time I grow a tree, fell it, skid it, saw it, dry it, rip it, mold it, nail it, sand it, finish it - I KNOW IT! My customers can see that I know my wood - and they see that I LOVE my wood too.
The first time I heard the Wood Dr - Gene Wengert speak, his message on selling wood was "Satisfaction Guaranteed!" As the wood producer, it is easy for me to convince a customer that they will be satisfied - and easy for me to correct any problems that may come up.
Secret to Success - Satisfaction Guaranteed!!
I installed a living room, dining room, bathroom, hallway, and kitchen floor for a young couple in Madison. The first four areas were covered with a warm mixture of oak, elm, ash, and hickory. For fun, I suggested birch, beech, maple, and cherry for the kitchen. They were quite happy with the oak, elm, ash, and hickory, but totally loved the kitchen floor. Four days in a row, I got gushing and glowing emails about the glorious kitchen floor. Then the fellow pushed the fully loaded refrigerator sideways across the floor - leaving marks in the finish.