The business of your propane business

April 1, 2002 By    

I am pleased to join forces with Pat Hyland and his team of professionals at LP Gas Magazine to provide you with a new column filled with ideas and concepts that will be of value to you in the daily course of operating your business.

If you can incorporate a new method or technique that allows you to make more money, then this column has achieved its objective.

Because of my background in the propane industry that stretches close to two decades, I can draw from many of my experiences to share ideas with you.

Over the years I’ve been involved in virtually all aspects of the industry: Retail operations, wholesale marketing, supply and transportation. I also have worked in fund raising and risk management. I have been involved with both public and private companies, co-founded startup businesses and have been part of larger, more complex organizations.

I suppose you could say that I have just enough information on a number of topics to be dangerous.

Today my role at Inergy L.P. involves many of the same issues you face in running your business. Like you, we seek to improve our operations and do what we do better. We are in the business to increase profits and, along the way, create great opportunities for employment.

I think you and I have a lot in common, and it is my hope that I can share some of my observations on the business side of the industry and present a notion or two that will cause you to reflect on your operations.

You will find that I write from the perspective that profitability and growth are important to all of us. Perhaps more importantly you’ll see that I write about the importance of value creation. Simply, how can you make your business more valuable?

I’ll address topics on finance, business planning, hiring and retaining employees, and business transitions. I would like to hear from you on the topics that are most important to you and learn your reaction to my observations and perspectives. I am most interested in anecdotes and stories from you that I can convert into a point for all of us to gain from.

I’ll also provide a variety of resources to help you dig deeper into issues that are important to you. Whether it’s books, articles, organizations or even Web sites, look for suggestions on where to find additional information that can help you get the answers you need.

If you have a topic that you would like addressed, or a question that you would like for me to research, drop me a note at Although, I can’t guarantee that I will always address the topic in this column, I will commit to respond to you quickly with the best answer or information that I can provide.

I will be in Atlanta at the Southeast Convention in April and would welcome a tap on the shoulder to let me know what is on your mind or a possible topic I could address. I am interested in what is most relevant and important to you. Your responses will have a lot to do with the issues I address in future columns.

I look forward to addressing the topics that are most important to you.

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