Hey, I’m Brian! I’m an almost 40-something who earns a living by selling GREAT firewood products (among other things) to the right customers. It took me quite a while to figure this out… but now, I’ve cracked the code and love every bit of my firewood business. I have four (ya, I know – it scares me when I say it out loud too) BEAUTIFUL kids and the most amazing and supportive wife one could ask for!
My Mom and Dad got me started peddling firewood at the ripe old age
of 8 (seriously, that’s really me). You see, they wanted my Brother and I to learn the true value of a dollar… But, that’s pretty hard to teach an 8 year old. So, they used some marketing themselves. Back then we had 3-wheelers (just like todays 4-wheelers or ‘quads’) that we justed LOVED to ride. We used to call it ‘Mud-buggin’. But there was a catch – my Brother and I weren’t allowed
to ride the 3-wheelers until we split AND stacked 1/3 cord of wood each day. Now that’s motivation that can get just about any 8 year old movin’!
So anyways, I started off selling firewood to friends and family. Eventually, we had some business cards made and asked people to hand those out. From there, it was mailbox flyers, ValPak ads, postcards, yellow-pages… welp, you get it – you know, the normal advertising/marketing lifecycle all small business owners go through.
500 Cord Sold… And LOOSING Money??
By the ripe old age of 30, I was selling just over 500 cord of wood per year. Man things were hoppin’! There was just one thing missing… PROFIT. You see I was so focused on selling volume, that I wasn’t paying attention my profit margins. Before long, I felt like I was working for the bank and the employees. Heck – that wasn’t the American Dream I had growing-up. At the end of a 500 cord season, the only think I had done was employee 8 people, make payments to the bank and put smiles on the droves of people who bought ‘cheap’ wood from me. I barely had a dime to show for all of my efforts. Something had to change… and it did!
Before throwing-in the towel on my high volume, NO margin firewood business, I decided to try something different. I knew that people responded pretty well to my ads, but why? I started to research it a bit further. That’s when I stumbled upon marketing. Wait a minute I thought, people just don’t buy from me because I have a cool logo and a cheap price I thought… there’s more to it? It can’t be!
To make a long story short, I wound up flying out to Phoenix, AZ for a marketing workshop. It was almost $2,000 for two days + airfare and accommodations. My Brother was fit-to-be-tied! He pretty much told me that I had better show him this was worth it’s weight in gold… or else! (keep in-mind, he is my older Brother J
The Bathroom Visit that Changed It ALL!
The funny thing is, the most impactful thing I walked away from that workshop was 60 second conversation I had in the bathroom. During a break, I opted-to use the facilities. While in there, I just so happened to run into the main speaker at the event. We made small talk while washing our hands and that’s where he asked me “What’s the most challenging thing you’re facing in your business right now?” My response – “raising my prices”… to which he so casually responded “All you have to do to get people to pay you more money is to ask them for it… before that, you just have to give them the reasons why they should – the reasons why, my friend, that’s called marketing!”
Up to that point, the only thing I had been telling my customers and prospects was that I was cheap. That’s all I advertised was price. And for heavens-sake, why would anyone ever offer to pay you more than what it is you’re asking for, right?!! It just doesn’t make sense.
From that day forward, I was determined to get people to pay me what I knew my product was worth… much more! Over several years, I learned how to target the right audience for the product/service I offered. I carefully crafted the message that conveyed value and trust to my target market… and I made it super easy for them to buy. And you know what – THEY DID – over and over and over again. Heck, I even crafted a way to get them sing my praises out loud!
Why The Firewood Marketer?
Simple really… I don’t want you to have to struggle for years with break-even or just marginal profits. I don’t want you to throw in the towel on what truly is a great industry to be in.
I want to share with our industry what I’m doing to make it work. I’ll put it all out there for you to see. It’s not about showing-off (trust me, you’ll see me fail too) – that’s not how I was raised. It’s about sharing knowledge and ACTUAL experiences with like-minded-people in order to create a better lifestyle through collaboration for quicker learning.
Please feel free to subscribe to my newsletter below and get exclusive strategies that you might not find on the blog. When it’s done, you’ll also get free access to my eBook, Stop Practicing, Start PROFITING – The SIMPLE Guide to Transforming your Firewood Business, before it hits the bookshelves!
If you need some help figuring stuff out, just use my contact form below. In sticking with my share-all motto of open collaboration, I’ll probably address your questions in a group setting so we can all learn from them together. Remember, I’m a father of four beautiful kids… so I’ll get back to you as soon as I can.
Thanks for taking the time to learn a bit more about me. I look forward to collaborating together soon!