“How to Run a Wholesale Business at a Profit” – Book Review

How to Run a Wholesale Business at a Profit

I recently found “How to Run a Wholesale Business at a Profit : Plans and Methods for Cutting Down Expenses and Increasing Sales–Helpful, Comparative Cost-Of-Doing-Business Figures Based on a National Investigation Made by the Bureau of Business Standards” on Google Books. You may find the information a little dated, being that the book was published 90 years ago (1918). (2018 Edit…now 100 years old!) However, there are still plenty of principles that can be put to use today.
First, here are the technical details of the book:
By: A.W. Shaw Company
Published: 1918 by the A.W. Shaw Company
222 Pages
Part 1: Selling Methods That Have Beaten Rising Costs

  • Chapter 1: How Fast Are Wholesalers’ Costs Rising?
  • Chapter 2: The First Step in Overcoming Rising Costs
  • Chapter 3: Is There a One Best Way to Pay Salesmen?
  • Chapter 4: Fixing Profitable Sales Quotas That Stimulate
  • Chapter 5: Getting the Sales Force Ready to Go “Over The Top”
  • Chapter 6: How to Advertise to Win
  • Chapter 7: Direct Advertising That Hits Its Mark

Part 2: Keeping Overhead Expenses Down

  • Chapter 8: Plugging Little Leaks May Save Big Losses
  • Chapter 9: Cutting Down on Wasted Labor
  • Chapter 10: Ways to Speed Up the Shipping Room
  • Chapter 11: Saving Money in Handling Stock
  • Chapter 12: How Better Buildings Lower Costs
  • Chapter 13: What Should Heat, Light, Power, Insurance, and Taxes Cost?

Part 3: Can Profits be Maintained Despite Higher Costs

  • Chapter 14: Can Bad Debts Be Made “Good”?
  • Chapter 15: What About Local Deliveries?
  • Chapter 16: Equipment That Helps Pay Dividends
  • Chapter 17: Making Your Dollars Work Faster

Part 4: Actual Cost Figures That Will Help You Win Out
And of course, the Index.
This book is great for a historical look on the wholesale industry. At its core, the book is full of principles that will help you run and optimize any business. If you’re new to wholesale, or business in general, or if you’re tired of reading hype-filled “start your own business now!!!” books, this is a refreshing look at how our ancestors did business nearly one hundred years ago. If you want to do the math, any dollar figures in the book can be multiplied by about 16 to represent 2008 dollars.
For those that missed it at the top, here’s another link to Google Books where I discovered this unique look at wholesale businesses of the past.
Let me know what you think by leaving a comment.

– Jason Green

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