There seems to be an emerging business out there, and I think it is all tied to our desire to get back to a simpler way of life that is more connected to the land. The business I am talking about is the custom slabbing business. Or, the business of cutting trees lengthwise, and sometimes perpendicular to expose the grain and “live edge” of the wood. Then selling those slabs for people’s bar tops, tables or whatever else they want to do with them.
Our guest today, Matt Roberts, is the second guest I have had on the show in just over a month who is starting this business up. Our first guest was Brent Legere from Maine, who added custom slabbing to his box business in episode #369.
Matt is doing it a bit different than Brent, and this allowed him to get into the business much cheaper. Matt cuts the slabs with a chainsaw that is attached to ladder that acts as the rails for the saw to run down and keeps the cuts straight and even. This makes him very portable and thrifty. However, it does require more labor than if you had a portable mill with a hydraulic lift.
There are tradeoffs to every different method. In Matt’s case he is putting in the hard work to build his business early with the chainsaw. Will he ever change to a portable mill? Who knows? However, he found a business that works for him and he is fired up about it!
ADVICE FROM MATT:
ASSESS: Matt says to make sure and assess your competition. Even with his low starting cost, it is important to know who else is out there doing what you want to do. In his case he did not find any competition, and knew that he had a real opportunity.
CONTACTS: Networking is key and that gets done by making contacts in and around the industry that you want to work in.
RESEARCH: You should be fired up enough about the business you are starting that you are researching all parts of it. If you are not, you might want to take a second look at how serious you are about your idea.
BEST BUSINESS ADVICE MATT HAS EVER RECEIVED:
DON’T RUSH: When it comes to serving customers, especially in something that is going to be gazed upon for years to come like custom slabs, take your time. If you rush through a job you are apt to make mistakes, and the end product will not look as good to your customer.
PERSONAL HABIT THAT HELPS MATT SUCCEED:
METICULOUS: Matt is another guest who cites attention to detail as the personal habit that helps him succeed. It is in the details that you create raving fans. If you just consider things to be “good enough” then you don’t have a business that is sustainable in the long run.
CONTACT INFORMATION AND LINKS:
Matt’s Telephone Number: (785) 393-2452
Matt’s Facebook Page: LINK
Matt’s Email Address: email@example.com
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