“The LBM business isn’t like other industries…” That’s a common comment I hear when talking with someone with extensive business experience, but who has only recently joined our world. When asked to elaborate, there are three common themes.
- It’s like the Wild West, with companies forging the rules as they go along.
- Independent companies who take great pride in their independence.
- Good people. A handshake still means something (though contracts are encouraged).
The very attributes that give our industry its character and heart (especially 1 and 2 above), can also work against us. For example, “forging the rules as they go along” is something that we do in the absence of established benchmarks. And the “independence” piece means we alone are responsible for our company’s success, or failure.
Since my initiation to the industry back in 1990, I’ve come to love this field. And since LBM Journal’s launch in 2003, I’ve made it our mission to identify and create tools that our audience needs to succeed. The way we identify gaps is by asking questions…then listening to your answers. One example is the just-completed 2018 LBM Sales Compensation + Benefits Survey. Once the data is analyzed and the report is complete, I’m confident this will be the most useful version of this important study to date. Watch future issues for a feature article on the results. And, as promised, the 300-plus readers who participated in the survey will receive a copy of the full report—complete with every question and answer.
Reader feedback, and the fact that the market has made LBM Journal the leading media brand for our industry, shows that what we’re doing makes a difference. As the methods of sharing information evolves, we need to know how you want LBM Journal to evolve to meet your needs. For the majority of you who still prefer reading a print magazine, I’m happy to assure you that, counter to what you may have heard, print is definitely not dead. In fact, 2017 was the single biggest year in LBM Journal’s history.
As we maintain and improve on the magazine and website, we’re also investing heavily in digital communications, social media, and live events*. That’s why the LBM Journal team is working through the results of the recently completed 2018 LBM Readership Survey—which more than 300 readers took time to complete. Armed with fresh info about you, what kind of information you want, and in what form you want it, means we’re prepared to continue meeting your needs, in 2018…and beyond.
In closing, I agree with those new to our community who say: “The LBM business isn’t like other industries….” I also agree with how that sentence typically ends: “…and it’s a breath of fresh air.”
* Mark your calendar for our community’s premier annual event, the LBM Strategies Conference 2018, September 19-21 at the Hilton Philadelphia at Penn’s Landing. Learn more at LBMStrategies.com