18 Ways On How To Start A Logging Business
Starting A Logging Business
Are you interested in starting a logging business?
This comprehensive guide will show you exactly how to start a logging business without any money and experience.
It takes planning and preparation to start a logging company, so you’d need to get training, which could be a degree in forestry or a college diploma in forestry management.
Any type of business you start should be backed by research, economics and cost analyses, and feasibility studies.
You will not have to wait long before your logging business breaks even and you start smiling to the bank if you prepare well beforehand.
Those who are interested in starting a logging business need only to read this article, and they will be well-informed and prepared.
Towards the end of this article I’ll answer some of the most frequently asked questions on how to start a logging business…
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Table of Contents
18 Steps To Starting A Logging Business
1. Understand The Industry.
Logging companies buy and rent various timber-harvesting equipment and vehicles for felling trees. These trees are transported to a pulp mill and saw mill as saw logs.
It’s important to point out that the logging industry doesn’t include businesses that breed, plant or grow trees. These services are provided by companies in the Timber Services industry.
Logging is a serious business and shouldn’t be taken lightly, that’s why there’s a degree solely dedicated to forestry.
Therefore, you should get training and education before starting your own logging company.
2. Conduct Market Research And Feasibility Studies.
For logging companies, demographics and psychography of customers vary across all segments of the construction industry and furniture manufacturing industry, so demographics for logging are diverse and encompassing.
There’s actually a wide range of potential customers in the logging business.
This implies, however, that the target market won’t just be restricted to the construction companies within your region, but will be all those companies who make use of logs in or around the place where you have a presence.
3. Decide Which Niche To Concentrate On.
Logging is an industry in which there are no niche areas, all players primarily buy and lease log harvesting vehicles and equipment and use them for felling trees.
However, a logging company may specialize in any of the following alongside its core services:
- Softwood logs and bolts
- Hardwood logs and bolts
- Pulpwood manufacturing
- Cutting timber
- Transporting timber
- Producing wood chips in the field
- Forest management
The Level Of Competition In The Industry
You will be competing with other timber and wood-related businesses within and outside your location, and and it’s not going to be only among logging companies within your locality. This means you’re going to face quite a tough competition in the logging line of business.
4. Know Your Major Competitors In The Industry.
It is a fact that there are always some brands that perform better than others in every industry or, as the general public would like to say, are more well regarded by customers.
Many of these brands have been in business for years, while others are known for how they operate and the results they achieve.
The following companies are leaders in the United States and around the globe:
- Mixon Logging Company
- Tri-State Timber LLC
- American Forest Lands Washington Logging Company LLC
- Gerald Pelletier Inc.
- Darlage Logging & Lumber
- Ritchie Logging & Sawmill Inc.
- J M Browning Trucking
- Wasatch Timber Products
- Springhill Land & Timber Co
- W H Moore Cash Lumber LLC
5. Should You Start From Scratch or Join A Franchise?
You are unlikely to find logging companies who are selling franchises, so if you’re considering starting a logging company, you would have to start from scratch.
As another benefit, starting a logging company from the ground up is less stressful than starting a small business that usually requires detailed preparation before the business can be launched.
If you run a logging company, one of the most important things you can do for your company is to make sure that you hire the right people, establish relationships with key stakeholders, and then use every marketing tool available to you by using the internet to promote your products and services.
6. Be Sure To Know How To Avoid Any Pitfalls.
One of the biggest challenges you’re likely to face if you decide to start a logging business these days is competing with existing logging companies and other industry players, aside from the industry’s stiff regulatory control.
Creating your own market is the only way to avoid these challenges.
7. Choosing an LLC, C Corp, or S Corp
For logging businesses, you can choose a general partnership, limited liability company, or a sole proprietorship.
The sole proprietorship is a great way to start a logging business if you have moderate startup capital in a small city or neighborhood.
If you plan on expanding your business and obtaining federal licensing and permits as well as operating all across key forests in the United States, choosing sole proprietorship isn’t the best move.
The Limited Liability Company, LLC, or even a general partnership should do the trick.
You’re protected from personal liability if you set up an LLC.
If something goes wrong, you’re only liable for the money that you invested in the limited liability company.
It’s not the same for sole proprietorships and general partnerships. There’s no need for a board of directors, shareholders meetings, or other management formalities with limited liability companies.
8. Choose A Catchy Business Name.
Think creatively when you’re naming your business. What you call your business will influence how people perceive it.
It’s normal for people to name their business after the trend in the industry they plan to operate in.
9. Talk To An Insurance Agent About The Best Policies To Get
In the United States, as well as in most countries around the globe, it is almost impossible to place a business without the basic insurance coverages required by the industry you wish to operate in.
Consequently, it is important to set aside a budget for insurance and perhaps go to an insurance broker for guidance on choosing the most suitable insurance policies for your logging business.
10. Use Trademarks, Patents and Copyrights To Protect Intellectual Property
It is usually unnecessary to file for intellectual property protection/ trademarks if you are planning to start your own logging company.
It is because the nature of the business allows you to run it successfully without having to worry about challenging anyone for using your company’s intellectual property illegally.
11. Get The Necessary Professional Certification.
Professional certifications are one of the main factors which give other logging companies the advantage over their competition, regardless of the quality of the work they produce.
To excel in the log and timber industry, you should obtain the necessary certifications in your field of specialization.
Obtaining certification validates your expertise and indicates your commitment to your career as well as your current skills on this competitive market.
12. Get All The Needed Legal Documents For Running Your Business
To run your own logging business legally in the U.S., you are required to have the following legal documents in place:
- Incorporation Certificates
- Permits and Business License For Timber and Loggers
- Tax ID Number
- Business Plan
- Company Bylaws
- Building License (if you choose to also operate a sawmill or pulp mill)
- Memorandum of Understanding (MoU)
- Contract Document
- Non – disclosure Agreement
- Employee Handbook
- Employment Agreement (offer letters)
- Operating Agreement for LLCs
- Insurance Policy
- Franchise or Trademark License (optional)
13. Raise The Needed Startup Capital.
Getting started in the logging business requires a significant amount of capital even when you start small.
You’ll spend a lot of startup money on getting a truck, logging equipment, log splitter, and other logging-related tools.
You would need to source for funding if you choose to start the business on a large scale as it is expensive to setup and operate a standard sawmill or pulp mill.
14. Choose A Suitable Location For Your Business.
Logging companies come with their own challenges; it’s not a business you can start anywhere. In fact, you will need to ask the local council or other regulating bodies in the city you intend to open your lumberyard for approval and permits.
Most importantly, make sure that you conduct a detailed feasibility study and market survey in the logging industry before you choose a location for your lumberyard/ logging business.
It is possible to come across a similar business that has recently closed in the area where you are looking to open your own.
15. Hire Employees For Your Technical And Manpower Needs.
Logging services require no type of special equipment or technology but for transporting logs, you will definitely need lumberjacks, Feller Bunchers, Skidders, forklifts, and skeleton trucks.
Other safety equipment may also be required, such as protective helmets, safety booths, protective goggles, or suitable hand gloves. Among other items, you may also require for a bulldozer which can typically be bought as a fairly used item.
When hiring employees for a typical logging business with plans to provide services across major cities in America, you should look to hire the following:
- A competent Chief Executive Officer (you can occupy this role)
- Truck Drivers
- Customer Service Executive/Front Desk Officer
- Project Manager, Lumberjack Operators (Harvesters)
- Business Developer/Sales and Marketing, Accountant
- Admin and Human Resources Manager
A small-scale logging company that’s operating as per standard, needs to have a minimum of five to ten staff members.
16. Write A Marketing Plan Packed With Ideas & Strategies.
You need to be pro-active when it comes to marketing your products and services when running any business.
When you start a business in the logging industry, you will have to employ many strategies to attract new customers, otherwise you will struggle to stay in business because the market direction for the logging and timber industry is driven by well-known brands.
17. Work Out A Reasonable Pricing For Your Services & Products.
You will be most successful in selling your logs at the right price if you keep your operational costs to a minimum, and concentrate on marketing and promoting your brand.
You will not only save money by using this strategy, but you will also be able to get the right pricing for your logs.
As such, if you can secure business partnerships with the following, then you will be able to negotiate the best pricing and maximize the profits of your logging business:
- Construction companies
- Furniture manufacturing companies
- Boat makers
- Paper production companies
- Timber merchants
- Pulp mills
- Cottage industry players that use logs within and outside your location
18. Develop Strategies To Boost Brand Awareness And Create A Corporate Identity.
If you want to grow your logging business to become a national and international brand by supplying logs all across key cities in the United States, then you need to be prepared to spend money on branding and promotion.
Regardless of what industry you’re in, the market is always changing, and brand awareness and promotion is needed to stay relevant to your target market.
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