The Benefits and Joys of a Family Business

We talk a lot about ours being a family business, primarily because we believe it means something – to us, our employees, our commercial partners and our customers.

For my wife and myself, it means working on something we’re proud of with the people we love. For our daughters, it means being part of the family legacy, now and into the future.

For our employees, it means that family “feel,” as we strive to treat everyone as part of the team. For our vendors, it means an extension of the loyalty and honesty that sits at the core of a close-knit family. And for our customers, it means doing everything we can to build on the five-star reputation we’ve created over the years and want to endure.

Basically, for a family-owned company, business is personal. And we believe that’s a huge check in the plus column.

Recently, we ran across some interesting facts from the Conway Center for Family Business, which shows that our own business is in good company:

  • Family businesses generate 62 percent of the country’s employment, and account for 78 percent of all new job creation.
  • Studies have shown about 35 percent of Fortune 500 companies are family-controlled and represent the full spectrum of American companies from small business to major corporations.
  • Research shows that family businesses are less likely to lay off employees regardless of financial performance.
  • Family businesses have longevity, driven by the sense of connection and identity the owners and their family members feel with the company.
  • The tenure of leadership in a family enterprise is four to five times longer than their counterparts, lending stability to structure and philosophy.
  • Of primary importance among family firm wealth holders is transferring not only their financial wealth but also their values to subsequent generations.
  • Family businesses leaders focus on the next generation, not the next quarter. They tend to embrace strategies that put customers and employees first and emphasize social responsibility.

We would add a few of our own, noting that with us:

  • Customers always know with whom they’re dealing. We put our family’s names and faces behind everything we sell. You won’t find generic photos on our web site and ads; there’s no fine print saying there really isn’t a warehouse; or pressure to take advantage of “today only” pricing.
  • Even though we can design, create and install products in as little as two weeks, we never move on from our clients. We’re always there when they need us.
  • It’s always about what the customer wants, not what we have in stock and want to sell.
  • Our ongoing success creates ongoing enthusiasm for creating a quality experience for clients now and in the future.
  • We take pride in our products, which are based on decades of family design experience.
  • This is all we do – manufacture and sell sun protection products. This isn’t just part of a bigger offering or a side business. It’s why the company is here.
  • As a local company, our clients are our neighbors, not just our customers.

Obviously, family is important to us, whether it’s our own family involved in our business, the family of exceptional employees we are fortunate to call our own, the family of dealers we’ve assembled or the family of customers whose visions we make real.

And we think it should be important to others, creating confidence that we always will adhere to the values of being a family, acting with honesty, transparency, caring and a sincere desire to make clients’ lives safer, healthier, more comfortable and more enjoyable.