Editor’s Note: True Stories

By / 3 months ago

Yesterday, I stopped by the local trophy shop to see about getting a part for my son’s soccer trophy. The tiny “showroom,” if you could call it that, was packed with hundreds of sample trophies of all shapes and sizes. The owner could tell I was impressed, so he offered me the nickel tour. During the next 10 minutes or so, I learned about dye-sublimation, the difference between etching and engraving, and much more. In the backroom, among rack after rack of trophies and plaques waiting to be personalized, I learned that they do everything in-house. As it turned out, they did have what I needed. I paid the $3 for the part, met Gordy’s wife, Laquita, then went on my way.

As I headed back to work, I thought about what I just experienced—how normal it was, and at the same time, how extraordinary. A high-touch business owned and run by people who take tremendous pride in what they do. In a world of franchises and big boxes, Lakeville Trophy is a breath of fresh air.

Sound familiar? It should. Because in many ways, that experience mirrors the countless dealers I’ve met and lumberyards I’ve toured, during my 25 years in this business. Our nation’s community of LBM dealers has a rich history, and every single LBM Journal reader has a story. We’ve told many of them in our pages over the years—this month its Lezzer Lumber’s story—and we will continue to in future issues.

Here’s the thing: I knew nothing about Lakeville Trophy until I walked into their store and learned their story. My question to you is this: how well does your market know your company’s story? I encourage you to chew on that, and possibly bring it up for discussion at your next company meeting. Somewhat counterintuitively, one very effective way of making personal connections is via social media. For an excellent example, check out this month’s Digital Case Study, featuring Natalia Dittmer from Tum-A-Lum Lumber. It’s important because the more people know your story, the more they’ll want to do business with you.

I want to devote the space remaining on the primary focus of this month’s issue: decking. As the American love story with outdoor living continues to unfold, decks play a central role—which spells opportunity for you and your builder/ remodeler customers. This issue goes on a deep-dive into the latest product trends, with a look at the newest innovations in deck boards, railing, lighting, fasteners and more. In fact, this issue is packed with more articles on decking and other topics than any prior issue. Which makes sense, as this is the single biggest issue in LBM Journal history.

We share stories of successful dealers because learning from others can be a powerful tool as you work to build your sales, your business and your brand. If you’d like us to share your story, let me know. In the meantime, here’s to working together to strengthen your story.

Rick Schumacher

Rick Schumacher is the editor and publisher of LBM Journal, and has more than 24 years experience covering the industry. Rick@LBMJournal.com