1. Assess the local market.
This kind of business is easiest to run in the country, however there might be an Urban Market, in your area. It’s really an appealing product anywhere, you just have to identify what marketing angle works best for your area.
You might have a lot of small to medium size properties in the country 1-5 acres or so, with some mid to high end homes, these folks are looking for places to store their ATV’s and RV’s. Maybe a place to hang out with friends and family. Something that goes with the country aesthetic, that appealed to them when they moved out of the Suburbs.
There may be a lot of large properties around, maybe some farms or some hunting properties. These folks are going to want to build maybe some cabins for hunting properties, and small barns to store their ATV’s again. The farmers may be looking for practical buildings for storing hay, or farm equipment. Our King post design is perfect for that.
Maybe you have a lot of small hobby farms in your area. These folks are going to want barns and shelters for their small flocks and herds, along with hay and grain storage. They are also going to be looking for small sheds or pavilions that can be used for farm market stands.
The list goes on and on, there are many scenarios where a nice timber frame wood building would be appealing. You might find your local market is most interested in small sheds, if so we have plans in the library for those as well.
A good test would be to do this. Use whatever social media site you are most active on and simply ask a question. Say, hey I am thinking of getting into the barn business, and I need your advice, take a screenshot of one of our barns, and post it. Ask if people would be interested in this type of thing. If you get a lot of positive response, then you might have a market that wants the product. Be careful here, it would be best just to ask your friends, on your personal, farm or business page. Don’t go to page owned by someone else and ask there, they likely have rules against solicitation.
2. Find a local sawmill or get your own sawmill.
If you have a good local supplier of an affordable species of timber, that would save you having to buy a sawmill and find a source for logs. I have a few recommendations for species of timber, try to avoid hardwoods if you can. The best species are things like Eastern White pine, Douglass Fir, Southern Yellow Pine, Ponderosa Pine, Cypress, and Cedar. That covers what is locally available in most regions of the US and Canada. IF you are in other parts of the world, try to find similar species that are local to you.
3. Get Plans
This is the easy part, we have several proven plans available in our BarnGeek membership library area. These will save you a ton of time and effort, they are proven marketable designs, that have been used dozens if not hundreds of times.
We ask that for each barn you build or material package you sell, from our plans, that one membership is purchased by the customer. This way we can help your customer with any question they might have, and that customer will have access to all the information and help in our library. This will save you a ton of time and effort educating your customer on how to build their barn. We have already done that work for you, no sense in re-inventing the wheel. It’s really a low price, to have full access to our knowledge base.
4. Build your barn first
It is important that you learn exactly how these barns go together so that you can answer questions with confidence when speaking face to face with your customers. There is no substitute for experience, besides a barn that you can show other people is like having a full time salesman on staff, that you only have to pay once. Most of the time, all it takes is for the customer to walk in to a barn and look up at those big timbers, and they are instantly in love.
5. Have a Party!
Create an event, like a barn raising party or host a wedding or something like that in your barn. You want to get a buzz going about your new business. If you can get people inside one of these barns, they won’t be able to stop thinking about how nice it would be to have one of their own, and all the things they can do with their new barn.
Stay tuned to this website, and if you haven’t already join the BarnGeeks membership area, learn all you can. I will be posting more videos and articles on how to build your barn business.
If you do decide a barn business is right for you, please share your story with us! Knowing that we have helped someone achieve their dreams is the greatest reward of all.