April 2009 Table of Contents

The Truth About Financials The Truth About Financials

Legendary country music songwriter Harlan Howard called what he did "three chords and the truth." That formula might seem overly simple, but Howard found enough complexity in it to pen more than 4,000 songs. One of them, a hit half a century ago, could provide the soundtrack for LBMs' financial reports today: "Heartaches by the Number." Read more

Bank Shot Bank Shot

The housing and credit crises are compromising efforts by some pro dealers to keep open lines of communications and credit with their banks, especially now that there's not much borrowing or lending going on. Read more

Institutional Sales

It's a looming presence in many towns, surrounded by razor wire and studded with guard towers. You might drive by your local prison daily. But have you ever thought of selling there? Some lumberyards do, and in these recessionary times, they are more than grateful for the revenue such sales provide. Read more

Is an ESOP for You?

With the stock market tanking and the LBM world in the doldrums, one might think this isn't the time to buy into an Employee Stock Ownership Plan, or ESOP. That might not necessarily be the case, however, especially if your company is still making solid sales and turning a profit. The keys are exactly who employees are paying when they begin the process of taking over the company and when those notes are due. Read more

Returns: Squeeze Play

You've slashed your 2009 budgets until there's not another penny left to pinch--or so you though. But there are some costs that you might not have considered: mileage reimbursement and janitorial fees, for example. In his exclusive column for ProSales Online, industry consultant Chris Rader points out 11 overlooked areas that could be trimmed. Read more

My Yardsticks
Mark Pratt Mark Pratt

In about the same distance Tiger Woods plays the Augusta National Golf Club, site of this month's Masters Tournament, he could stroll to Pratt-Dudley Builders Supply in downtown Augusta. It was founded in 1935, just four years after the tournament, by Pratt's father. Here's how this $5 million yard navigates LBM's hazards. Read more

Open for Business

I remember a conversation our owner had with a salesman years ago about collections. Read more

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