- December 23, 2009 at 8:46 pm #40673
Well folks the new year is upon us, and with it comes new ideas! And i would like to throw this one at you. I have had conversations with some of the other practitioners in our group, and found that one of the biggest concerns is being profitable. As we all know we are at the bottom of this industry’s ladder, and so make the least profits. It is a well known fact that by taking a few more steps, and milling the timber that you remove yourself from woodlots you can increase your profit substantially. The biggest problem that most of us run into is marketing these products to the end user, most of us are to small to supply some of the bigger orders and or the orders are to small to earn a living on. What i am proposing is that we make an area to say list the products we have whether it be logs, lumber, or parts, and also possible leads for the sale of products that one practitioner may have in his area and may not be available in yours. So lets have some feed back and see if maybe we can come up with some kind of idea on how to handle this!
LanceKDecember 24, 2009 at 12:41 pm #53090Carl RussellModerator
Tim, I really like this idea. I know that many of us have played around with this for years, but the marketing is another career altogether. If we can use the networking at DAP to start to feel this out, maybe pull together some material, I think the time is ripe for this.
CarlDecember 24, 2009 at 1:46 pm #53093Rick AlgerParticipant
Tim and Carl,
Yes, a good idea. Marketing is a very different skill from logging. It is hard to do both well.
Any markets in MO for birch bark?December 24, 2009 at 2:18 pm #53089Gabe AyersKeymaster
We are definitely interested in supporting this development.
Our DRAFTWOOD program is a model we wish to share where we can. It is bottom up change that uses the source story to sell the goods. There are benefits that are supported by the current LEEDS green certification system. I look forward to growing this approach to helping us all make a living doing the right things in the forest.
We have a brochure called “What Every Forest Landowner Needs to Know about Modern Horse Logging”. We print them and then give the Biological Woodsmen a rubber stamp to put their contact information on a space on the back. We just had it reworked by our local high school image technology class and will take it to the printers as soon as we get through the year and figure out our budget of lack of for the coming year. We have also supplied the woodsmen with banners to post at their landings advertising their jobs too.
There is another concept we will share is called Consumer Supported Forestry (CSF). This is a take off on the CSA garden deal and will bring the consumer into the forest to see the actual trees their products will be made from. It also allows some money down on a project that lets the ground level worker afford to produce value added products. We have had folks actually furnish most of their home with DRAFTWOOD furniture, flooring, paneling, beams and anything we could make from what we harvest. This can also be a project that works with a landowner that is building on their own property.
Lots of good stuff to share on our marketing strategies.
Hope everyone gets through the holidays with a sense of joy among their families and friends.
~December 24, 2009 at 3:16 pm #53096
Yes Rick there is! We have a large amount of craft shops in the area that handle those type of materials and you could allso find local craftsmen to manufactor the finished pice and market that through this orgainisation! That way you are allso helping out other small shops in your area!December 25, 2009 at 2:37 pm #53094Jim OstergardParticipant
I can’t add much except to say, “right on,” to having a marketing thread here. Around here Jason Glick has really done well finding appropriate work for himself, his pair and several of us to help on jobs where he uses the mill as well as the horses. He has been able to get steady winter work from landowners who want wood milled on-site for building projects. Myself on the other hand being a somewhat thick, “square-head,” and chopping away on the traditional model find that I often do not make good money for me or the horses but do good work for the landowner. Not bad altogether but I keep having to jump on the skidder crews to pay the bills. A marketing tool for products that are going to firewood, pulp or poor scale at the local family-store mill would be a great help.
Great thinking guys
jimbojimDecember 25, 2009 at 5:29 pm #53092Scott GParticipant
First, Merry Christmas everyone!
Second, marketing is key to any business. At a minimum you’re selling yourself & your services. Having a central “go to” for various products that were sustainably harvested with draft power could be a great resource.
As an example of a collective marketing effort, check out http://www.coloradoforestproducts.org
Jason’s CSF idea has me thinking… We have a lot of local little family tree farms where this could be a great opportunity. People who join CSAs’ like to get their hands dirty; integrating that mindset into the woods makes my imagination run wild, both good and not-so-good.December 26, 2009 at 1:25 pm #53095TaylorJohnsonParticipant
Tim is there a way we could set up what we talked about the other day? may be even just a thread with what we have to offer right now. And on another thread what some of use might be looking for. This would work until something better gets going. Taylor JohnsonDecember 26, 2009 at 2:25 pm #53091Carl RussellModerator
I am thinking hard about this. I like the example Scott posted, where categories are then broken down with suppliers names and contacts. I also like the idea of general discussion/networking around cooperative marketing of forest products harvested by animal power from sustainably managed forests.
This has gotten me thinking about redeveloping the “Market Place” category on the front DAP page. Of course we should probably put the forest products “directory” under the DAPFI category, but I am thinking about ways to use DAP to help folks make these connections around ag products as well as services.
I’ll hold off for right now, but I already have some ideas how I can construct it, but I’ll wait to see what others have to say.
CarlDecember 26, 2009 at 3:31 pm #53097
Carl I concur with your assessment but feel that the two groups should be separated! And I also feel that the draft wood program should be involved with certifying our products, as should some program be involved with certifying the farm side of things! Its been my experience that this helps separate us from the big boys.December 26, 2009 at 3:34 pm #53098
Taylor If I understood Carl correctly there should be no problem with this it is just a matter of putting it out there!
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