Manage episode 307958951 series 1436989
Hey everyone! Welcome to a brand new episode of the Woodpreneur podcast. Today's guest is Zach Wicks From Wood By Wicks, based in Edmond, Oklahoma. Zach has been working for himself for thirteen years, but he describes his business as truly being realized around eight years ago.
It started when Zach thought it was a great idea to harvest some cedar from his property. So he cut some cedar trees down and thought he was going to process them with a chainsaw. After one log, though, he knew the chainsaw wasn't going to cut it.
"Handling the material is extremely hard, just getting it along from point A to B. That's kind of why I was thinking, "Well, maybe I should take this wood to a sawmill." So I took it to Woodmizer. As soon as I saw the Woodmizer process that log, I knew I needed to have one.
It took a while to get my Woodmizer. I've been selling wood for eight years. And I was paying other sawmills to cut my wood and then taking that wood. But I was really good at selling beautiful pictures of wood that I salvaged."
- Zachary Wicks
The Business Today
Today, Zach's business is entirely based on mobility. He notes that the only reason he didn't buy a sawmill until as late as he did was that he lives in a residential setting, and there was no place for it there. He would have loved to run a mill out of his backyard, but it was just not an option in his area.
"I literally keep my sawmill in a storage unit. If I need to use my sawmill, it's 100% portable, so like I never cut here, I'm going to the logs 100% of the time. It takes a lot of preparation as it's the same amount of prep work to cut for one hour as it is for 10 hours.
I've cut for hundreds of people, but cutting for people has to make sense. It needs to be a minimum of half a day, including the cutting and a setup fee. I love cutting for people if they agree with the $100 an hour price and the setup fee. Then I primarily just cut for myself. All the wood I cut is pretty much for myself."
- Zachary Wicks
Alongside his milling operation, the other half of Zach's business is his lumber sales. He explains that he wouldn't be where he is without the community and support around him.
One notable element of Zach's business is that many of his buyers will buy wood from him within 12 hours of acquiring it. Since Zach's goal is to save as many trees as possible, this quick turnover helps him enormously. Most of the time, he can sell all of his white woods quickly, and he stores his walnut pieces as they move much more slowly.