Give that man a raise!
In these days of overinflated executive salaries and bonuses, it’s refreshing to find a CEO who is actually underpaid — and has been for years. Donald Boone, president and CEO of Jewett-Cameron, draws a base salary of $36,000. His entire compensation package is $39,960.
In Jewett-Cameron’s filings with the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC), the low-end compensation is explained this way: “The board’s determination for Mr. Boone’s remuneration as president, CEO and treasurer was set many years ago. Mr. Boone’s compensation has remained unchanged at his request and remains below the competitive rates paid to similar executives.”
In other words, he doesn’t want more money.
The North Plains, Ore., wholesaler has held its own through the recession, and its last quarterly results, released on April 11, reported sales of $19.0 million for the first six months of fiscal 2012, compared with sales of $17.9 million a year ago. Net income after other items and income taxes was $1.35 million compared with a net loss of $349,386 a year ago.
Jewett-Cameron’s business consists of the manufacturing and distribution of specialty metal products and wholesale distribution of wood products to home centers and other retailers located primarily in the United States.
Fastenal racks up another double-double
It’s called a 20-20 double-double, and among business metrics it’s a grand slam multiplied by a slam dunk. The definition is sales and earnings growth of at least 20% in the same quarter.
Not only did Winona, Minn.-based Fastenal achieve a 20-20 in the first quarter — $769 million in sales, up 20.0%, and $100 million in net earnings, up 26.0% — but the company has scored a 20-20 double-double for eight consecutive quarters.
With that kind of performance, the company has earned the right to talk about the key to growth. One reason is they have picked their market carefully. “It’s big,” the company wrote about the industrial supplies market in its latest earnings announcement. The market’s total sales in North America are north of $160 billion. And that market is fragmented, too.
While 2,611-location Fastenal describes the concept of growth as simple — “find more customers every day and increase your activity with them,” — the execution is “hard work.” Here are the company’s keys to achieving it:
• Recruit service-minded individuals to support its customers and their business;
• Operate in a decentralized fashion to help identify the greatest value for customers;
• Build a great machine behind the store to operate efficiently and to help identify new business solutions; and
• Do these things every day.
Navigating the new Facebook
Just when you felt comfortable marketing your business on Facebook, here comes Facebook Timeline.
A Facebook posting from Dave’s Ace Hardware of Milton, Wis., had this to say about the new twist in social media: “The Dave’s Ace Hardware page has been automatically converted to Timeline. What used to be my comfortable and familiar refuge has now been reduced to a foreign and stressful exercise. This is going to take me some time to get used to.”
For small businesses wondering how to make the most of the new format, Seth Lieberman, CEO of Pangea Media, offered some tips.
“Cover and profile photos, tabs and favorite apps, milestones and more must all be considered in order to maximize all that Facebook’s new Timeline layout offers,” he said. Two keys: Brush up on private messaging and interaction skills.
Some things haven’t changed, Lieberman added: “News, humor, entertainment and insider insights grab your audience’s attention and motivate them to return for more. Simply pouring out post after post of advertising copy will mean losing fans and readership — people want to be engaged with the material, not spammed.”
After some initial frustration, Dave’s Ace Hardware has turned its Facebook page (Facebook.com/davesace) into a tour de force. His customers weigh in on everything from when he should put away his ice melt (29 responses) to the wisdom of taking back a DeWalt 18V NiCad battery from 2002. (The customer still had the receipt.)