Tradition Outweighs Technology: A 100 Year Old Business Secret
A pair of tiny hands happily scribble a colorful drawing on construction paper. A callused pair of hands smooth out a blueprint. A pair of haggard, arthritis-ridden hands scrawl letters of love to children and grandchildren.
At Lott, we believe in people. We believe in their stories, their words, and their futures. We also believe in bookkeeping by hand.
All we need is a pen and ink.
With the infrequent exception of a typewriter, all of our ledgers, accounting, and record-keeping are done exclusively by our hands only.
In fact, we’ve been doing it since the very beginning of our history in 1917.
The 70s was a time of technological innovation that replaced traditional bookkeeping in many businesses. Manual typewriters and calculators were now obsolete, and computers became record keepers rather than ink written by careful hands in ledger books. Although aging, Mr. Lott was determined to keep records by hand even though updating to computers would have been much quicker and easier. He was unwaveringly certain that personally writing a customer’s name built a relationship that shouldn’t be sacrificed for efficiency. So while we did adopt some modern office equipment, we continue to this day to write all account information by hand.
With a company built on connection and long-lasting relationships, our hand-written bookkeeping is not the only link we have to our customers.
We have stood by Mr. Lott’s most prized billing practice, with it being our primary outlet of building strong, sometimes generational, customer relationships.
The Familiarity Within Financing
“Financing” tends to remind people of loud car dealers, pushy salesmen, and predatory lending. At Lott, the connotation doesn’t fit the bill. We see financing as a win-win.
Financing provides us with the precious opportunity of face-to-face interaction with our customers on a regular basis. It allows us to become familiar with new customers and maintain relationships with the older ones.
It brings our customer a price that’s affordable to them with no scams or fine print, and it brings us a constant cash flow that keeps us thriving.
We genuinely want to give our customers the best deal, and provide pure honesty about our process. How have we kept our doors open and our company thriving for 100 years? This is how.
Mr. Lott’s Business Model
- The customer pays a reasonable down payment depending on his or her credit.
- The customer makes monthly payments that are most affordable to them. This is adjusted to the length of the time period the customer wants to pay on his or her bill.
- An annual percentage rate interest will be applied to the account, but will also be adjusted according to the length of the time period of the account. The shorter the time period, the cheaper the interest!
- No additional charges. Period.
- All cash purchases receive a discount.
Financing vs. Rent-to-Own
One of the greatest benefits to the customer of our financing is this: You can take home your furniture and own it.
Rent-to-own is built on interest rates that leave you paying 2 to 3 times more for your furniture than it initially costs. With Mr. Lott’s business model, you leave our store with your furniture and with no unseen additional charges. Bottom-line, we want to be honest with you, and predatory lending does not offer that.
We treasure the trust formed between us and our customers through honest practices and handwritten records. If you’ve never been in to see us before, come in to get started today! We would love to have you as a part of our family.
-Keri Rowell, Lott Furniture Co.
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Keri Rowell is part of Downtown Laurel’s most historic business, Lott Furniture Co. A Laurel native and Historic District resident, Keri enjoys exploring all of the beautiful spaces and places in her Home Town, discovering the hidden tales buried deep within its history, and sharing them with the world. When you visit Downtown Laurel, you might just spot her out exploring, dreaming up the next story to share with you.