Are you considering starting a pallet business? If you are there are a few things that you need to know about this industry and of course, how to get started. Wooden pallets are a tremendous industry that many people simply do not consider as a viable business, but it can be a very profitable endeavor.
There are pallet buyers all around the world, because pallets are used across every single industry. Building pallets for profits is a great way to get in on a niche that is not likely to go away anytime soon. Pallet production has been in place since the early 1940’s and before that it was wooden crates. A wood pallet business can be a very profitable business.
There are Great Benefits
There are some things in the world that simply cannot be improved upon, they are likely to be around forever. Wooden pallets are one of those things. Starting your own wood pallet company is ideal because you do not need to raise tons of capital to do it. Making pallets and selling pallets for making money can be an easy business for anyone.
Pallets will always be a commodity and they will always be needed. Business cannot ship or store their goods without pallets. They are used worldwide. Currently the estimation is that there are over 1.8 billion pallets in circulation. Pallets wear out and new pallets must take their place. Of course, there is also a large market for pallet recycling and repair.
Of course, the next question is “how do I get started?” the answer is simple, you must make some decisions about:
- How much do you want to invest?
- Do you want to make pallets or be the middleman/woman for pallet manufacturing companies?
- Do you want to buy a ready-made pallet business for sale and just take over operations?
- Are you interested more in the aftermarket and recycle pallets for money?
There are quite a few ways you can use pallets for making money. The process really starts with how much you want to invest in both money and time to the business. As a pallets manufacturer you will need a factory, space to store the pallets and of course the materials to build the pallets, this is likely the option that requires the most capital and the most time commitment, but it is also the most likely way to generate the most revenue. Let’s look at some options.
Pallet Recycling Business
If capital is short and you do not have the money to invest in equipment do not give up! There is a way less expensive way to make money of a pallet business. You can do what other pallet recycling companies are doing and buy used pallets, repair them and put them back into circulation at a savings to both the purchaser and to yourself.
There are some huge benefits to becoming a local pallet recycler including:
- Helping the environment
- No need to buy raw materials
- There are plenty of pallets that can be recycled so you will always have inventory
- Repairing pallets is easier than building pallets
You can make a nice business for yourself and literally start with almost zero capital. You can even find plastic pallets on Craigslist for free! You can repair and resell the pallets that are worth repairing and then get paid by the recycling center for the ones that are not. It is a win-win situation. There are a lot of businesses that do not know what to do with their spent pallets that would be happy if you offered pallet removal services. You can even charge a fee to remove the pallets, than use the pallets to sell to someone that is interested in buying recycled pallets.
Getting started is easy, you can offer free pallet removal services to get started to build your inventory. This can be a very easy way to generate income without having to invest in equipment or machinery initially. You can easily start a pallet repair business or become one of the trusted pallet removal companies. It can be a great way to get started in the wood pallet business, but it is not the only way to go, there are other pallet business ideas that can pan out perfectly as well.
Buying an Existing Business
If you do have the capital and are looking to invest in a business, you can buy an existing pallet business. If you have experience in the pallet industry you already now how much you can sell wood pallets for and you have a feel for the business. This is a great way to get started but of course, it is likely one of the most expensive ways to get starter but with this type of business you really do not have to search to far for your customer base. If you offer fair prices on quality pallets the customers will come to you. To take this path you will need to:
- Have some manufacturing experience or have someone on board that does
- The capital to pay for the business
- The drive to make the business work
On the upside buying an existing pallet business takes a lot of the leg work out of starting from scratch.
Be the Middleman
If heavy lifting is not your thing, and you would prefer to work in a consultative position, you can do that too with a pallet business. If you can become a volume buyer straight from the manufacturer and then tack on a fee before you turn it over to the end user, you can make money without ever lifting a finger. Of course, this type of business relies heavily on your ability to convince people of your pallet “expertise” and your connections. It also relies heavily on you getting a great price from the supplier.
It is possible and doable and makes for a great low effort business model. You may need some cash for the initial transaction but after that you are all profit.
Making money off pallets is not only about buying, selling, repairing it can also be about what you can do with used pallets. If you are handy you can have tons of free materials by combining a pallet removal business and your skill set.
Pallets are popular not only with industry, but they are popular with consumers in the form of furniture designed from pallets, storage and more. Raised garden beds constructed from used pallets are a big thing. Outdoor seating areas, coffee tables and more can all be constructed relatively easy from pallets.
Thinking outside the box is critical in any business endeavor. If you can combine several streams of cash flow in your business than you can be successful. Examples:
- Combine removal, repair and recycling
- Combine selling new and used
- Combine being a middle man and a recycling business
- Combine a repair service and a removal service
- Combine removal and a pallet design type company
Thinking outside the box can help you to take full advantage of the money-making possibilities when it comes to wooden pallets and plastic pallets. You do not have to do just one thing with pallets, you can do several things with pallets that are all potentially profitable.
Becoming a leader in the industry can be as simple as meeting a wide range of customer needs. With the right approach before you know it you will be the go-to source for everything pallet in your area.
Whether it is a pallet repair business or a becoming a leader among pallets manufacturers is you plan there are a few things you can do to help your business become a success:
- Learn about government regulations in the areas that you will be doing business. Government regulations for pallet standards can vary from one region to another, it is important if you are going to be in the wooden pallet business that you know the rules.
- Speak to people in the industry that have experience. Ask them questions about how they got started and other questions that will help you to come up with a plan.
- Have a plan! It can be easy to get in the pallet business, but it is important that you set goals for yourself and that you have a plan. Set both short term and long-term goals so that your business has a path. Success starts with planning for success.
- Think outside the box! Don’t be afraid to do something that no one else is doing with a pallet business. Learn as much as you can and then act on your vision.
- Fill a void. Look around your community and see what part of the pallet lifecycle is missing. Are there local providers? Is there a recycling program for pallets? Is anyone repairing them and returning them back into the supply chain?
Every business comes with risks but at least with a pallet business you know that it is something that every business needs and it will likely continue to be something every business needs. You do not have to sell the idea of a wooden pallet to anyone, everyone already is aware of their value.