“Whatever It Takes.”: If Marc Landon had a philosophy about running a family business, that might be it. Ask him what an average day at work is like for him. “It’s mainly sales, but when you’re in ownership you have to buy products, get new equipment – do whatever it takes.”
What roles has he played in the company throughout his career? “Over the years, I’ve done most everything. I’ve done deliveries, cleaned floors, inventoried, put orders together – you do what you need to get the job done.”
What about dealing with staffing issues? “If someone calls out, you do what it takes to help keep things going – put loads together, cut a board, stock shelves, etc.”
It’s that kind of dedication that is not just admirable, but indispensable when your name is on the sign above of the door.
Marc’s father started Landon Lumber in Guilford in 1955. Both of his parents, as well as his two older brothers, were all involved in the business and remained local. Marc chose a slightly different path, however. He went to Northeastern University in Boston and earned a bachelor of science in electrical engineering in 1987.
After graduation, however, he gravitated back towards the family business. “At the time, the business was busy,” he recalls. “I came back in the late ‘80s and it was booming.” By then, Landon Lumber had expanded and moved to Madison.
Of course, good times don’t last forever. Marc had to help keep the family business going through some tough years. “When you enter a tough time, you have to go very lean,” he explains. “You have to be careful with credit issues, as well as watch inventories. You have to be very cautious. You can’t go beyond your means.”
In 1994, Marc and his two older brothers took ownership of the company. Despite the ownership title, and the responsibility that comes with it, Marc says that for the most part, “eighty percent of the day to day is sales.”
That influences how he sees the job as a whole. “Over the years I’ve been involved in many aspects of the business, from stocking shelves to loading and unloading trucks to purchasing,” he continues. “And at the end of the day, I’ve learned they all have customer service in common.”
As part of the second generation of Landon Lumber, Marc is working hard to leave a legacy for the next one. He has three sons, two of whom, as well as his nephew, have followed his footsteps to the family business. His other son followed his other footsteps to Northeastern University, living and working in Boston.
Marc has plenty of lessons to pass on. “Every day is different – that’s the biggest one right there,” he says. “One thing about this industry, just when you think you’ve seen it all, something new gets you. It’s always a learning experience.”
One thing remains constant however: When the unexpected does happen, you can be sure that Marc Landon will do whatever it takes to get the job done.