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Author Topic: My business plan  (Read 952 times)

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Offline Darrel

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My business plan
« on: March 31, 2014, 03:40:22 AM »
Ok, tell me what you think, I don't mind brutal honesty.  I know that the toy making won't be a huge money maker, but it will give me something to do when the weather won't let me do other things, and besides, I'm about to retire and I need to have some fun.  8)


Carson's Wood Milling & Toy Fabrication, LLC

Log cabin play houses
Rocking horses
Wooden cars, truck, trains and construction equipment
Doll cradles & high chairs
Hardwood flooring
Custom milling
And more

Improving lives one board or one toy at a time.

This is a business and as such a profit must be made in order to stay afloat as well as putting food on the table.  As the business prospers, or makes a prophet, a tithe will be paid by the business in the form of goods and services.  For example, for every 1,000 bf of timber cut, 100 bf will be cut for a worthy cause.  If ten rocking horses are made, one will be donated to a child who would otherwise have to do without.  Note: When it comes to cutting lumber for tithe, the logs are to be provide by the entity for which they are being sawn or donated by an individual.  Wood for toys will be provided by the business.

my business plan
Phase one
Equipment and Tools Needed
Used Wood-Mizer, LT15 - 40HD max $13,000
Used sharpening/setting equipment, max $2,000

Will need the following at some point, sooner rather than later
Log trailer
Bigger chainsaw
Peeve/cant hook
Better come-along
Logging equipment as deemed necessary
All items will be paid for with cash.

Physical tasks of phase one
Obtain poles/logs, lodge pole and juniper
Cut three sided logs for playhouse
Cut lumber for playhouse
Assemble playhouse
Cut lumber for, furniture in log cabin, rocking horses and other toys
Cut lumber for solar kiln
Stack lumber in barn to air dry
May need to enlarge barn
Cut lumber for flooring
Build solar kiln while lumber for flooring and other lumber is air drying
Keep mill maintained, taking advantage of free tech support provided by Wood-Mizer
Cut slabs and waste into firewood
Custom cut lumber for individuals as business comes in

Business tasks of phase one
Obtain all necessary permits and licenses from state and local government offices
Set up good accounting system, to include all items used in sawmill, each blade and repair etc, also to include hours and miles of use of personal vehicles.
Account for every cent spent
Obtain necessary insurance
Use free advertising provided by Wood-mizer (join pro sawyer network ASAP)
Make business cards
Set up first rate web page for business

my business plan
Phase two
Equipment and Tools Needed
Table saw
Drill press
Used moulder & shaper
Dust collection system
Possible need for 3 phase power source
Various hand tools
Again, cash only

Physical tasks of phase two
Continue physical tasks of phase one
Finish drying air dried lumber for flooring and toys in solar kiln
Assemble playhouse from air-dried material
Make flooring using moulder and shaper.

Business tasks of phase two
Assess adequacy of accounting system and make needed changes
Continue with consistent and accurate record keeping
Market flooring and cabins
Find my nitch,
I'm thinking it may be hard wood flooring made from western hardwoods, or maybe even juniper limbs or mountain mahogany.
And then there are the rocking horses to go along with the log cabin playhouses.
Rustic furniture for playhouse
Rustic outdoor furniture

my business plan
Phase three
Physical tasks of phase three
Continue tasks of phases one and two that are ongoing
Toy production
Stop tasks that are not money makers
Think up other ways to make money

Used equipment will be purchased whenever possible because I will get more for each dollar spent. Also there will not be nearly as much depreciation and if I ever need to sell a piece of equipment I may even stand a chance of breaking even.

Items of furniture for log cabin playhouse

Table & chairs
Deacon's bench
Coat and hat pegs by door
Porch swing

Learn how to make:
Window and door frames/casings
Rafters, purlins, and roof framing in general
Attach porch roof

Species of wood and uses
Lodgepole pine, for log cabin play houses
Madrone, for flooring, toys, cabinets
Tanbark oak, for flooring, toys, cabinets
Juniper, cabin parts, toys, cabinets, flooring
NOTE:  All species can be used for rustic furniture.
1992 LT40HD

If I don't pick myself up by my own bootstraps, nobody else will.

Offline m wood

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Re: My business plan
« Reply #1 on: March 31, 2014, 05:39:54 AM »
very interesting darell.  Some questions.  The solar kiln isnt on your lis of items needed.  Do you currently have shop space to start this endeavor?  Where will the logs come from, your own land?  What will be your time frame for breaking even, or beginning to put bread on the table?  Is that much cash available for upfront costs?  HAVE YOU RESEARCHED your market place, either locally or an e-commerce presence?

Good luck to you in all this.  They say, If you don't try it, you wont achieve it!
I am Mark
80 acre woodlot lots of hard and soft
modified nissan 4x4/welding rig
4x4 dodge plow truck
cat 931b track loader
Norwood mark IV
4' peavy
6' peavy
stihl 034
"her" wildthing limber saw
ALL the rustic furniture  woodworking stuff
check out FB

Offline chain

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Re: My business plan
« Reply #2 on: March 31, 2014, 07:34:09 AM »
I think I did see a mention of a solar kiln which will be a priority if you're sawing out green lumber. i see you have great interest in toys and things. What about a Noah's Ark? Our grandson has had a wooden ark since three years old, he's eight now and still is fascinated with all the wooden animals and workings of the boat.

I would keep everything simple but the things you do, do them well with quality.

Offline Leigh Family Farm

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Re: My business plan
« Reply #3 on: March 31, 2014, 09:35:29 AM »
Its always good to have a plan, because that gets the ideas going. I do like that you have broken down the overall plan into acheivable phases and that you plan on giving back from the get go. Here's the bubble burst:

Whats your market like? Can your area support children's toys and furniture?
Are you assembling the toys and delivering them or are they sold in a kit form?
How difficult are the toys to ship across the country?
Do you have the $20,000 cash for equipment and upfront costs PLUS the next year's worth of operation costs saved? (I ask this one because most businesses run out of cash in the first few months)
Have you ever run a business before? Do you understand acounting basics?
Have you talked to an accountant or attorney about setting up the proper entities for your business?
Where will you get your wood from? Are they a steady source or seaonsal?
What will you do with all your waste? (Burning only gets you so far)
Do you know how to market on social media?
What is your current network connections? (i.e. what groups do you belong to right now that you can tap as potential customers?)

I like your ambition. Search on here in the Business Management section. There are probably 5-10 threads on people looking to start a wood product business. You can learn a lot from just reading other people's ideas.

I would focus on one aspect of the business and go from there. Sometimes its cheaper to get others to cut and dry the wood for you instead of you doing all the work start to finish. If it were me, I would build a few toys (cradle, doll house, rocking horse) and maybe one child's playhouse first. Then I would advertise on CL, post on FB, and share to Instagram and see how quickly I can sell all the pieces & for how much. As each one sells, I make another to replace it. Only when I reached the tipping point of demand outpacing supply, would I invest in more equipment or a bigger shop. This is just me and my way of thinking. Still, I wish you the best of luck and I am very interested in your success.
There are no problems; only solutions we haven't found yet.

Offline justallan1

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Re: My business plan
« Reply #4 on: March 31, 2014, 11:24:30 PM »
The first thing I noticed was that you are willing to go several different directions with your business and apparently would be willing to change as to what works. I feel that is an absolute must and a good call on your part.
I would capitalize on being near a major city that happens to be on interstate 80 and possibly work a deal with a truck stop or tourist trap store to carry your toys.
Another outlet for guaranteed sales is garden sheds. They're like diapers, there'll never be enough. :D
Being near a big city I'd plan on sheds, arbors, gazebos, wishing wells, ETC. They are all easy sellers with no liability coming back to you.
Just my thoughts.


Offline Darrel

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Re: My business plan
« Reply #5 on: April 01, 2014, 07:11:57 PM »
Thanks for the input.  I have cash to get started as described in phase one plus plenty for operating expenses.  I don't need the business to support my lifestyle.  Could spend more on it right off the get-go but that might hamper my life style and my wife wouldn't like that.  So basically my thoughts are to put every dollar made right back into the business.  I have a supply of juniper and lodgepole.  Also, my first costumer for flooring will provide the logs.  That one job will come close to paying for a good used Weinig moulder with 5 or 6 heads.  However, I want to make and sell enough cabins to pay for the moulder.  A moulder of this size will require quite a dust collection system so my thoughts are to let this first job pay for a blower and bag house.

Allan, by time I get started on this business, I will no longer be in Utah, I'll be in Oregon just off interstate 5 but I think your ideas will work well there too.  The first log cabin is for my grand kids, pictures and videos of them helping with the assembly of the cabin as well as pics of them having fun after construction will be good advertising on social media and on the web page I plan to set up.  Having a cabin and/or tool shed on display at some of the smaller nurseries and home centers (not the big box stores) would be a good thing too. Of course the proprietor would make a buck too benefiting both of us.  This exposure might even result in a custom sawing job, and that would just be an added bonus.

I really only want to sell cabins as kits, but I suppose I could assemble them for a fee.  In a perfect world assembly would be a family project, promoting quality family time.  Well done "how to" videos of a family happily putting a cabin together could or would be great for publicity.  If I were to assemble these kits, I would strongly encourage family participation.

Just some more of my thoughts
1992 LT40HD

If I don't pick myself up by my own bootstraps, nobody else will.

Offline scsmith42

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Re: My business plan
« Reply #6 on: April 01, 2014, 08:54:19 PM »
I would factor some type of log handling equipment (skid steer with a grapple and a separate set of forks works well) into your initial phase, otherwise you will be limited to small logs.  Would also strongly suggest an LT40H, or if smaller get the hydraulic package. 
Peterson 10" WPF with 65' of track
Smith - Gallagher dedicated slabber
Tom's 3638D Baker band mill
and a mix of log handling heavy equipment.

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