Family-owned and operated businesses are the backbone of the U.S. economy, and the many benefits of working with a family business can’t be overstated in this day and age. The core foundation of a family business is based on pride, intense attention to detail, personalized services and a commitment to financial security for its employees and clients. While there are some companies that have let those values fall by the wayside over the years, there are certainly plenty that remain committed to maintaining and building upon the tradition of family businesses in America.
As a business that has been family-owned and operated for 44 years, we feel that we are particularly qualified to give our opinion on what exactly makes for a successful family business. The first element of building and maintaining a strong family business is pride. A family-owned business is a great concept that is very appealing to many, but there is inherent risk in putting your family’s name and reputation on the line. Having a strong sense of family and personal pride is crucial to building, maintaining and growing a successful business.
It may be a cliché, but family businesses tend to care more about their employees and clients. The business not only represents a paycheck to the family; it represents the reputation of the family as a whole. Family businesses thrive when they are able to instill that sense of pride in each of their employees. When the entire company adopts the same sense of family and company pride, the outcomes are almost always positive.
Family and company pride manifest themselves in all aspects of the business. Employees treat their clients’ problems as if they were their own, and finding solutions to those problems is priority number one. Here, at Case Mason, we’re always focused on different ways to make our clients’ lives a little easier. We do our best to insulate our clients from the daily headaches that our industry is notorious for. Whether it be taking the procurement process off of their plate and leveraging our longevity and buying power to drive material costs down, or turning on overtime or an additional production line to meet tight deadlines, we believe that our willingness to go the extra mile directly impacts our clients’ pockets and stress levels.
Personal and customized service is another area where family businesses should outperform large corporations. Every client has a different set wants and needs, and family businesses provide the unique service of tailoring their offerings to meet each client’s requirements. We take a proactive approach to anticipate client questions and needs. Instead of forcing clients to change their ways of doing business and adapt to our processes, we like to take a different approach. As an alternative to offering the same cookie-cutter services to each client, we work to develop fully customized turnkey services to support each of our of our clients’ unique projects. We’ll even go as far as developing customer portals inside our warehouse management system so that our clients can have 24/7 visibility.
That personalized service stretches from the company president all the way to the newest employee. If a client has an issue, they can call any member of the organization and receive a prompt response. There’s no red tape or bureaucracy in family businesses. The company president is just as involved in the day-to-day headaches as any other employee.
Building off of personal and customized service, the ability to be both versatile and flexible for your clients is another important aspect of family businesses. As mentioned earlier, Case Mason prides itself on solving problems for our clients. Versatility and flexibility are two of the main reasons why we’re able to do that. Our wide-range of capabilities positions us as a one-stop-shop for everything from procurement through production and distribution. That kind of depth of capabilities is a prime example of versatility. We have the ability to handle just one aspect of the supply chain or all aspects of the supply chain depending on the client’s needs.
A company’s ability to be flexible and pivot on short notice can’t be underestimated either. Hypothetically, say one of your clients receives a massive rush order that presents them with a great opportunity to turn a quick profit or solve an urgent problem, and they ask your company if you have the ability to fulfill the order. There’s a large amount of volume and a tight deadline involved, but your current warehouse is at capacity. You don’t want to disappoint the client and turn down the business because of those reasons, so your company’s creativity and flexibility come into play. Having the flexibility to either turn on double shifts or rent additional space for a short period of time to fulfill your client’s order shows a high level of commitment to customer service.
At the end of the day, the success of a family business is based on having pride in your company and a commitment to going above and beyond to serve the client. We’ve been doing those things for 44 years and plan on doing so for at least another 44.