Sawing is Silver, Planing is Golden
|Bengt-Olov Byström started his company Logosol 20 years ago.|
Is it possible to turn wood into gold? What possibilities are there of starting a business in the field of small-scale wood processing? The inventor and business owner Bengt-Olov Byström gives his best tips to those who are thinking about becoming self-employed! Since 1989 he runs the company Logosol, which today manufactures and sells products for small-scale wood processing all over the world.
"Many of our customers realize their dreams with the help of our machines. They process their timber and build that veranda, outdoor hot tub or log house they have dreamt of for so long. Many of them also start their own business. We who work at Logosol have close contact with our customers, and we often hear fantastic stories about small businesses that have developed around our products," Bengt-Olov Byström says.
The Logosol Sawmill was a success
Being able to get hold of the most valuable part of a tree, the planks and the boards, was Bengt-Olov Byström’s driving force when he developed the Logosol Sawmill. The product became a great success and opened up new possibilities for small-scale wood processing all over the world. The Logosol Sawmill is still the basis of the family business, but Logosol’s planer/moulders are also important components which take the processing one step further as they turn the planks and boards into mouldings and panelling.
"Our planer/moulders are moneymakers. For every board that is machined through the planer/moulder you earn nearly two quid," the business owner Bengt-Olov Byström says contentedly.
Easy to make fantastic production calculations
When it comes to starting a business in the field of small-scale wood processing, one can easily make fantastic production calculations. The difficult part is to find your customers. In other words, producing is not the problem, selling is.
"It is essential that you look at the demands of the customers. You have to consider that the profitability is considerably better the more processed the timber is," says Bengt-Olov Byström, and gives us an example that shows how you with your own planer/moulder can produce special mouldings:
When buying a complete planing/moulding line that, in continuous use, produces 500 metre moulding per hour, the investment is approx. £8000. If the price for an unprocessed board is £0.60 per metre and you sell the planed board for £2.25 per metre you earn £577.50 even if 30% of the boards are sorted out. The planer/moulder would be paid off in two working days! In practice, however, it will take considerably longer time than two days to market your product, and find customers and sales channels. Building up a business from the bottom can take several years.
A fast machine is not the most important
"The example shows that buying a faster machine to earn money is perhaps not an interesting alternative. How much money you will earn when working with small-scale wood processing mainly depends on whether you can sell the products and what prices you can get," Bengt-Olov Byström states.
Do not try to compete with the discount stores!
"If you want to make a profit on small-scale wood processing, you should not try to compete with discount stores. Instead, you should concentrate on customers that want to pay a little extra. For instance, you can produce panelling of boards that are somewhat thicker. But you can also try your hand at producing more advanced products that the industry cannot produce today, panelling made of locally produced hardwood, for instance," says Bengt-Olov Byström.
Finding special products is even more important to the Logosol Sawmill owner. To make a profit he must specialize in pine heartwood, for instance, or wide rough-edged panel boards. Or why not twelve metre long beams!