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Author Topic: Professional opinion needed  (Read 5965 times)

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Offline Phorester

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Re: Professional opinion needed
« Reply #20 on: December 20, 2007, 08:11:55 PM »
I think the comments about grammar in public presentations, charts that can be read without squinting, graphs that don't look like an electrical wiring diagram for the space shuttle,  are appropriate. (Obvious, I guess, since I made some   :)) This guy is young, just starting out, and needs to know how to write something that does not turn readers away.  If you'll notice my comments were suggestions to him for future writings.

If the professors already critiqued it and pointed out the grammatical errors,  those corrections should have been made before he presented it to anybody else. If they didn't point them out, shame on them.

I agree ,Ron, about the workability of his ideas. That's why I questioned the feasibility of selling stumpage online as you questioned selling lumber & logs. Reinforced by Swamp.

Hopefully he's just giving time for some responses to be generated and he'll be back with an open mind.
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Offline boxing_cat

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Re: Professional opinion needed
« Reply #21 on: December 24, 2007, 05:24:03 PM »
Hello Everyone,

I am back.

First of all, Happy Holidays!

Thank you all for your comments. I read them all. Indeed, English is not my first language but I appreciate all critics I received on this from you. I hope your second language (assuming you know one) is much better  ;D

Thank you, Ron and Phorester. I appreciate your opinions. I share your thoughts about localization of wood markets, especially on its primary level: stumpage and logs. You are absolutely right. There is no need to reach further markets and trade trusted sawmill buyers because your business cannot be expanded and doomed to stay local.

This is what I hear from the forest industry professionals in the Northwest all the time. Do Canadians think the same way? I do not think so. Every day hundreds of Canadian trucks cross the US border with fine logs harvested somewhere in Maine or Massachusetts The first company which posted their buying offer on timberia.org was a Canadian company. Canadians are searching Internet in order to find new markets for forest products. The same situation is with Chinese companies.  So why is it that Canadians and Chinese are looking for new potential markets through the Internet while the US wood businesses prefer to stay local and do not grow?  We all know the answer, but we do not know how to change it. Correct?

When I started designing timberia.org my idea was to create something valuable that could connect small local businesses with large corporations. I thought it would help to boost secondary wood processing businesses and create potential for small wood product manufacturers in the US.  Thus when there is no demand on logs locally, some international company can reach the region and help small businesses to balance the local supply/demand. 

It is true that the idea is not entirely new and there are other web sites available online.  However, most of them are not free and often require substantial membership fees. Timberia.org is completely FREE system.  If you look at other systems you will find that they charge a lot. Also, I believe it is better to do something in this direction than do nothing at all while critiquing those who try. I understand that there are many obstacles here. This is why I asked for your opinion. Let me reformulate my previous question.

How the Internet could help YOUR particular business? How can it help your business grow?

Thank you,
 Andrey

http://www.timberia.org

   

Offline Gary_C

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Re: Professional opinion needed
« Reply #22 on: December 24, 2007, 10:03:04 PM »
Andrey,  Happy holidays to you and I am glad to see you back.

Stick around and defend your ideas, as you are right. Every one of us needs some help in marketing what we produce. But you just can't dump something like this and leave us to find the benefits for ourselves.

And yes, sometimes you need to be a little thick skinned about some of the comments. Not much different than defending your thesis in front of your professors as sometimes they can be brutal also.

I'll have more later, right now enjoy your holidays.  :) :)
Never take life seriously. Nobody gets out alive anyway.

Offline Ron Wenrich

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Re: Professional opinion needed
« Reply #23 on: December 24, 2007, 11:06:33 PM »
I am really glad to see you back on the boards.  Too often we get someone on here that's trolling for their sites, and they're gone.  Stick around, and we can help you make timberia.org a major player.

Nice jab about English as a second language.  However, English is the first language of commerce.  How well someone negotiates the commerce language will dictate how well they succeed.

Where I work, we're not a major player in world markets.  Could we be?  Probably.  We're exporting logs to Vietnam, Germany, Italy and few other countries.  We could put lumber into those countries, as well.  Problem is that we deal strictly in green lumber.

Step one.  Can we localize your site?  That means buyers are looking specifically for woods that are available from a specific area.  There is no use of a buyer looking for red oak from Oregon.  I find it a problem to be looking through tons of messages where potential buyers are looking for something I can't provide.  I move on.

Step two.  How can we verify that the people asking for goods are the real deal?  We've been burnt by guys who say they will offer $X for goods, only to rip us off (you'll need to check out the English version of what that means).   

Step three.  Let's start looking at the secondary tier of producers.  Not everyone is or aspires to be Weyerhauser.    We produce a paultry 3-4 MMbf/yr. You're not going to market lowgrade.  I think you need to focus on niche markets.   Do that, and you've really accomplished something.
Never under estimate the power of stupid people in large groups.

Offline SwampDonkey

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Re: Professional opinion needed
« Reply #24 on: December 27, 2007, 07:13:28 AM »
Locally, there is one of the largest hardwood lumber brokers in the Maritimes. I asked them if they buy much from local portable mill owners. The owner said they will buy from them, but they run into a lot of problems. A lot don't know how to grade, so the pile of lumber is a mix of everything that needs grading out and then there is a big problem with stain and spoilage when the logs/lumber lay too long. Now they could move a lot more of local hardwood if the portable mill guy was to get more educated on those two points and if there were a lot more sawing, more than just for hobby. One local fellow built his own mill and sawed a whack of hardwood. Left it all out in the weather to spoil and never sawed another stick since. This was 8 years ago and the black lumber is still sitting around the yard and the mill is growing up in weeds.  As far as I know, I'm the only person that bought any lumber from him and it was fresh sawn at the time. I'm just a hobby wood worker. Also, most hobbyists want kilned lumber for their projects or air dried for a long time. :-\

So you see there is more to it than just marketing the lumber.  ;)

Pre-commercial thinning pays off. :)

'If she wants to play lumberjack, she's going to have to learn to handle her end of the log.'
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Offline rebocardo

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Re: Professional opinion needed
« Reply #25 on: December 27, 2007, 02:26:15 PM »
> How the Internet could help YOUR particular business?

By connecting me to customers that are not Internet savvy in my local area. 

I know the idea is to reach beyond local markets, but, wood is heavy, gas is expensive, and for small sawmills or anyone involved with wood most of your business is going to be local.

An example would be a customer seeing a 1/4 page ad in the Yellow Pages, going to the site listed in the advertisement, and following a link from that site to my site. That might be worth paying for per click since a 1/4" page ad in the local Yellow Pages is $1200. I can attest from personal experience anytime less then a 1/4 page ad is a complete waste of money.

I really liked the Find a Sawmill feature.

I found a few listings within 100 miles of my location that I did not know existed. Since this is a free site, you might want to volunteer people to search down the websites of the companies listed and have that information included in the web site database since this is about the Web.

Phone numbers would not be a bad thing either. E-mail addresses ... people change those like underwear sometimes, so I do not think that would be worth the effort of keeping updated unless the company could do it themselves.

You could sow a few links that are empty on the wood web directory. An example would be under chippers you could list http://www.vermeer.com/

Under Forest Landowners you could list that organization in Maine that represents 90% (??) of the small private landowners in Maine. Or contact them because that one contact could bring 100s of interested people if your site is listed in their next printed newsletter.
 
Bonus points for having real contact information under Contact Us!

You might want to change the word "hezitate". FWIW: I can count up to 30 in Spanish ... and that is about it for my second language :D



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