EarthWindandFire wrote:This idea is for the benefit of my son, the next generation. Just a thought right now, but all good idea's start that way!
Depends on the enthusiasm and willingness of your son to have the patience to build a business. And starve for awhile.
Several references in this thread mention some who are giving up the business and closing. If it were a real money maker I would think they would be selling the business instead.
Where natural gas is available the current price is cheaper than coal without the work involved. If the area you are considering has gas available that is not good.
Should be selling pellets as well as anything else you can think off. Relying on one thing that is seasonal is much harder to be successful at. Garden supply, hardware, stoves, coal, pellets, bio bricks. Anything to diversify. Maybe even building chimneys both SS and masonry plus installations. Gas fired fireplaces, servicing and installation. Chimney cleaning. A friend bought a propane fired fireplace $4000 that nobody was capable of fixing when it had a problem. Your son could learn that as well as a lot of other things given time and his ability and desire to learn. He can't just sit back and wait for somebody to order coal, he has to make it happen. Dad will also have to provide a lot of unpaid labor and maybe money. Like any business you have to like what you are doing, that's what gets you over the tough spots. Seeing a need and filling it is the general advice,but it takes more than that. Who would have thought that people could be successful selling used antique stoves? Or selling vacuum cleaners for $2000?
Like your dog. Wonderful breed.
Just read your first post again. What's wrong with continuing the present business?