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Starting a Firewood Business In the USA

by Tom Harry
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start an firewood business

“Launch a successful firewood business in the US by taking advantage of the increased need for high-quality heating supplies.”

It seems to be a no-brainer. You have a vast property with a lot of dead trees. Simply chop them up and sell them for a nice side income that can evolve into a full-time firewood company. Wait! Before you swing the ax, ask yourself if you understand what you’re getting yourself into. It takes more than chopping wood and putting up a hand-drawn “Firewood for Sale” sign on your front yard to start a firewood company. Here are some things you should know if you’re serious about doing this. The good news is that if you’re serious about starting a firewood company, there can be a solid market for you. People like burning wood in their home fireplaces, backyard fire pits, and on camping and beach excursions. 

As a backup, some people use several full cords of wood. Essentially, humans utilize wood as if it were growing on trees.

Questions To Ask Yourself Before Starting A Firewood Business

Before you begin your firewood business or company, you need ask yourself some difficult questions. First, are you physically prepared for the physical effort of felling trees, carting wood, sawing and dividing it into firewood, and transporting it to markets? Do you reside near a market where there is a high demand for firewood? For example, do you have a chilly winter season when a large number of people want firewood? Do you live near any campsites or beaches, and are there many houses in your neighborhood with fireplaces and fire pits?

Could demand support a full-time operation, or would it be a seasonal one? Do you have the experience and talents to cut, split, and stack wood, cure it so it doesn’t get green, and keep it from the weather until it can be sold?

If you answered yes to any of the following questions, continue reading.

Create A Firewood Business Plan

If you’re serious about selling firewood, you should create a business plan for a firewood business, so you know where you’re going. A business plan will also be essential if you need finance for your firm.

The Small Business Administration (SBA) provides a typical business plan template that you can use, with parts covering a description of your company and its market, its structure and management, market analysis and marketing strategy, financial predictions, and more. business plan for a firewood business

Locate Your Local Firewood Market

You should evaluate the demand for firewood in the region you want to service. While the environment can seem to dictate the requirement for a large amount of wood, this is not always the case. You can sell to the following markets:

  1. Directly to individuals
  2. Parks and campgrounds
  3. Retailers

Keep in mind that, although firewood is often sold by the cord (128 cubic feet), you can make more money by cutting it up into little bundles and selling it in small packets that customers can pick up for a few days or hours required for camping vacations or use in their home fire pits. While researching your market, you should also look at what your competitors are doing, including their prices, services, and marketing strategies. You can see an untapped possibility or conclude that the market is saturated, in which case you should look elsewhere.

Select A Related Service

When determining what kind of firewood business to start, you can also pivot and provide a similar service. You can, for example, establish yourself as a sawmill or firewood processor, receiving raw wood from others and cutting and packaging it for various market demands.

To accomplish this efficiently on a larger scale, you’ll need to invest in heavy-duty firewood processing equipment that can chop and split the wood with minimum physical labor.

How Will You Locate Wood?

Having a firewood inventory will not be an issue if you have a large property with many trees. But if you don’t, there are alternative possibilities. If you have relatives or friends who own a well-wooded property, they can be willing to sell you part of the wood or engage into a profit-sharing agreement with you. You can post an ad on a classified website like Craigslist offering to remove fallen trees from people’s homes. You can also check for advertisements made by persons who are looking for tree removal or who are selling uncooked wood.

Another option for obtaining wood is to visit a lumberyard. You could receive a discount on discarded timber with flaws, but it would still burn properly. If you have the funds, you can own or rent a woodlot and harvest it in a sustainable way.

What Type Of Wood Will You Cut? 

Is it going to be woods or split wood? Is it going to be hardwood or softwood? Customers using fireplaces or wood stoves can demand longer-burning, high-quality hardwood, which must be chopped and, in certain cases, split in sizes appropriate for this usage. Camping enthusiasts can be seeking for softwood logs that catch fire readily and then burn hot and brilliant. Maple, oak, and birch are among the most popular woods.

Purchase The Correct Equipment

To start a firewood business, you will need the proper tools and equipment. This might include:

  • Chainsaw
  • Log Splitter
  • Kindling splitter
  • Maul
  • Firewood splitting ax
  • Firewood cord strapping kit
  • Set of sturdy gloves
  • Protective eyewear
  • Set of sturdy clothes and boots

If you don’t anticipate consumers to come to you, you can additionally want a big vehicle and/or trailer to transport the firewood. 

Aside from the equipment expenditures, you can incur the price of operating a home company or leasing office space if you operate a larger tree service operation!

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