Return to Skip Menu

Main Content

New book helps put those starting a Forest Products Business on the path to success

Oct. 20, 2015 –  

The department of Sustainable Biomaterials has released a new publication targeted to those interested in starting a forest products-related business or for individuals without a forest products background who have been hired to work management positions in existing forest products companies. The authors, Robert (Bob) L. Smith, professor of forest products marketing and head of the Department of Sustainable Biomaterials in the College of Natural Resources and Environment, and Omar Espinoza, assistant professor and chair of the Forest Products Management Development Institute at the University of Minnesota, drew upon their management experience in the forest products industry and as educators and researchers.

Individuals often enter the forest products industry based on their passion for working with wood instead of with a well thought-out business plan. “Business Management Practices for Small to Medium Sized Forest Products Firms” presents the nuts and bolts of business management as it relates to the forest products industry, offering business owners and managers a framework for success. “In working with the forest products industry, owners and mangers have indicated that there is a need for management education for new employees,” smith said. “It is our hope that this book will help companies with their training efforts as well as guide individuals who are establishing new businesses.” The book’s chapters cover major topics in business management, such as strategic planning, human resources, finance, marketing, and operations management. The final chapter guides readers through writing a business plan. Appendixes include a sample business plan and contact information for dozens of agencies and organizations that can serve as resources.

The book, funded by the U.S. Forest Service Northeastern area state and private forestry’s Wood education resource center, is a follow- up to a 2008 joint publication on marketing of which smith was a co-author. The book can be downloaded free at:



newsletter logo


Job Opportunities


Course Recommendations:

To help you explore your interest in any of the degrees, we recommend trying some of our introductory courses:

Packaging Science

Sustainable Biomaterials


Workshops and Short Courses

    SBIO Student Organizations

SBIO Student Organizations

Find more information

Students life

Career and Services


Apply to Virginia Tech