I've had my sawmill for a month, and I've only sawed twice in that time. Several people know that I have the mill now and I've given my number out, but I haven't gotten any jobs yet. I am still at my present job with no intentions to quit until I get a lot of work going. I plan to start custom sawing. How can I get the word out that I have a mill?
Enjoy the quiet before the storm. In our area the work picks up as the weather cools and people get back outside to work on projects. Then it slows as farmers start to bring in their crops. Then it stops during deer season. Then there is some work before the bad winter hits.
If you do a good job sawing and dealing with the customers, you shouldn't be out of work once word gets around. Just don't drop your prices!
The way our business kicked in was we did some sawing along a county road only traveled by the locals. More then a few dropped in to see what we were doing and most ended up having me saw for them sooner or later. Some were so eager that they brought their logs to where I was sawing. I think if you could get some work where the general public could see you saw, you'd have more work than you could deal with.
Also, don't be bashful in talking to other band mill owners in your area. They may have some overflow work they could send your way. We had another guy a few miles south of us that we traded customers with, depending on what the customer wanted and who was busy at the time.
The only advertisement we do is to have our name on the side and bug shield of our Dodge 3500 flatbed and have business cards.
Setting up beside the highway is good but you will not get much work done. Also, I did the county fair last week and just got a job from it. Word of mouth, though, is what's going to make or break you.
Gene Wengert, forum technical advisor
Get the saw out of your yard. Pull down to a local lunch spot with signs and saw in tow. Have lunch and entertain questions.
Look in the local farm journals. Rough-cut lumber is always in need! Don't be surprised if someone calls and wants 10,000 feet of pine cut this winter for spring expansion.
You might consider letting the local, state and national tree groups know you are in business. The local Woodlands Association is a good place to begin. You might even think about joining if you have any trees on your place.