Category Business

Just desserts: top line versus bottom line growth

If you are a home improvement contractor, it is fair to say that you are a fan of growth. We’re all a bit like kids at lunch comparing desserts – bigger is better, more dessert is superior to less dessert. In banking circles, we compare ourselves to one another by asset size. Contractors gravitate toward revenue comparisons […]

Second verse, same as the first?

In 2007, I worked for a community bank with a long history of high performance. At the time, I was running the only national business line, the home improvement finance business. Competition was pretty fierce but our volumes were growing steadily. Most of the water cooler chatter in my circles was about loan sales to keep the […]

Who are your competitors?

Markets change. After long periods of stability, one or more entrepreneurial disrupters enters the market and puts its stamp on an industry. Some of the old guard will fade away, some will adapt, and the new guard will take control. Eventually, after some time passes, the new guard becomes the old guard and the market is […]

Gentlemen, start your engines

It’s been a month’s hiatus from the blog and Sarah and I have itchy typing fingers. Happy New Year! We expect to have a busy 2015. Not only will we grow substantially – thanks to our contractors – we will be starting and completing projects that should continue to improve our performance. But what is […]

Fit

If you were a fly on the wall in our offices, you’d hear the word fit somewhat regularly. Sometimes, it’s because we’re talking about how we wish we exercised more, e.g., “I sure wish I were more fit!” Most of the time, however, we’re talking about whether or not a contractor, vendor or potential new […]

It’s Taco Tuesday!

Today is Taco Tuesday in the office. Sarah and Sean are bringing the goods and we’re going to eat well for lunch. Since my normal lunch fare is fully processed and vacuum sealed, this is a big step up! Being Taco Tuesday, of course I think of The Lego Movie and President Business scheming to take […]

2 Ways to Reward Loyal Customers this Holiday Season

Loyal customers are an advantage that everyone loves to have. They are an off-the-payroll group of advocates for the work that you do and the value you provide. As such, they deserve to be recognized and (sometimes) rewarded, regardless of the scale. If you are thinking about doing so, consider the following ways: Say Thank […]

History lessons

When I was an undergraduate at the University of Washington, I encountered a phenomenal teacher in one of the undergrad history surveys. That experience prompted me to take more history courses and, eventually, I earned a degree in history. While I wouldn’t call myself a history buff, I’m quite aware of the many benefits of history awareness, particularly […]

Judgment is the name of the game

Like all businesses, we generate questions that don’t have easy or obvious answers. The competition is always innovating and that creates pressure from the market to adapt, copy or justify sticking to our guns. For us, we’ve talked on this blog about staged funding and other consumer protection-related issues. We’ve taken a strong position on […]

Choosing between indirect and direct lending

Though a fairly narrow specialty, there are two types of lenders in home improvement financing. The majority by volume are indirect lenders, a list of banks and finance companies that includes Medallion Bank. The majority by numbers are direct lenders. Direct lending is what most people think of when talking about lending. A direct lender works directly […]