041 Old Technology- Growing Your Wood Business with an Alaskan Mill

How Zach got started

Zach, from Old Technology, got started when his friends in the tree service started giving him the trees they were removing from properties. He first invested in a chainsaw mill to start milling these trees, then bought a kiln for drying and is now producing his own furniture from his wood.

Originally a general contractor with a passion in woodworking, as interest grew he was able to go full-time.

Investing in Equipment

The first piece of equipment Zach invested in was a backhoe to assist with the removal of the trees. As the trees started to pile up in his yard he found a lot and started milling and air-drying the wood. The game changer for Zach was buying an Alaskan Chainsaw Mill. It meant they could mill the trees on-site, in places that were inaccessible to heavy equipment and would be able to get the wood out.

How Zach funded the business

Zach’s business was all self funded. He began with savings and then as he started selling wood, reinvested the money in his business. This was a long road requiring a lot of patience but Zach was determined to work within his means. He continued to work as a general contractor during this time as he built the business. As Zach gained experience and found clients, things started to snowball and he had to turn down contracting jobs in order to work on the business. Going full-time in the business was the natural next step.

The Most Profitable Part of Zach’s Business

In partnership with tree service companies, Zach provides a ‘mill and return’ service to the home owner where he mills the tree and returns it to the homeowner. These trees have been apart of the home and have history. This service enables homeowners to keep a piece of that. He finds that the tree services have a lot of success selling his milling services to home owners.

His company also makes a lot of high end furniture and make commercial furniture for restaurants and coffee shops.

How Zach Markets his Business

Unusually, Old Technology does not have a website. They do have an Instagram and find that 50% of contact comes via Instagram with word of mouth being the other main source of leads.

The Equipment Zach uses

  • Panther Mill
  • Cannon Bars
  • Stihl MS 880
  • Granberg Ripping Chain

Does Zach want a bigger mill?

Zach is currently running a sawmill business with an Alaskan mill. Although Zach woud like a bigger mill in the future, they are currently investing money in other areas such as a kiln and a CNC machine. He is then looking to purchase a Lucas or a Peterson mill.

How Zach is planning to grow

He has recently moved into a new warehouse with a full service wood and metal shop. They are transforming part of it into a slab showroom and will also have a showroom for finished furniture.

Old Technology Instagram

https://www.instagram.com/old_technology/?hl=en

 

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