Module 10A: Managing Woodlot Finances: Planning and Investment Guide

Lesson One - Introduction

Lesson One - Introduction

Woodlots in the Maritimes have been used as a source of income and products since the early 1800's. Although some of the forest products have changed over the years, they still play an important role in the economic well-being of many woodlot owners.

Today, many people generate income from their woodlots. Forest resources such as pulp, logs, firewood, recreational activities, aggregates, maple syrup, and Christmas trees are sold by woodlot owners across the province.

Private woodlands exchange hands readily in the Maritimes, creating opportunities for people to purchase woodland at a reasonable price. Small woodlots represent a major portion of Maritime forest land, and their woodlot resources like never before in history. This increased demand is generating more and more business activity on today's woodlot.

The owner of the small woodlot business is faced with many of the challenges and opportunities that face other Maritimes small businesses.

Many successful small business attribute their success to planning and good financial management. Woodlot owners do not need to be an expert in the understanding of cash flow, tax considerations, government regulations, markets and financing. However, following the advice in Parts A and B of this module will help landowners meet some of the challenges of owning a business today.

Lesson 2 guides you through the purchase of a woodlot. The chapter covers subjects such as goal setting, places to search for properties, evaluating properties, and ensuring that there is proper title.

Figure 1.
Managing finances wisely creates opportunities for everyone.

As with any value asset, protection becomes a priority. Lesson 3 discusses risks that you and your woodlot may be exposed to and suggests how to minimize risks to the landowner and woodlot.

Most woodlot owners want to improve their woodlot to increase it's value. Lesson 4 discusses methods to improve your woodlot. It will show that improving one resource of the woodlot may increase the value of another resource.

A big part of success in seizing opportunities and facing challenges is the ability to develop a plan for your small business. Lesson 5 discusses the steps used to do this. It ties your woodlot (resource) management plan to a financial plan, by identifying strengths and weaknesses of woodlot owners and the woodlot. It discusses strategy development, illustrates the use of budgets and operating plans in the planning process, and discusses methods to finance the woodlot's operations.

This module is designed for all woodlot owners. New woodlot owners will find information to assist them in managing their new asset, and experienced woodlot owners will be familiar with some of the material but will find some new material they can use to enhance their business.