In a world of multinational corporations, global market reach, and apps that can find you the cheapest price on any item in moments, it may surprise you to learn that one of the best choices you can make for your business is to seek out a family-owned company for your major purchases.
The Two Types of Family
There are two types of family in a business: the kind made up of people related to one another, and the kind that can be cultivated among the employees of a company. Both are important, and both will add value to their customers.
The family members who go to work together are deeply invested – down to the personal level – in the success of their company. They are the ones who will stay up late and come in early, give their personal phone number to their clients, and remember who you are when you call them. The company is not just a stepping-stone to some higher position elsewhere, nor is it an asset to be bought and flipped for profit. The company is their name and their legacy, and they will do what it takes to make it succeed. These companies may be newly minted, or they may have lasted for generations, but they stay afloat by offering something so valuable that their customers keep coming back.
Some companies strive to make their employees feel like they are also part of the family. Cultivating that feeling requires a long-term commitment to valuing each team member and giving them ownership in their area of expertise. These businesses value the loyalty and institutional memory of their best people.
The Dollars-and-Cents Benefit to Customers
The dedication family businesses have for quality and service can lead to many practical and financial benefits to their customers.
The High Cost of Low Prices: You can be tempted to go for the cheapest price on equipment, but making your decision on price alone can end up being the more expensive choice, especially when it comes to the machinery that is central to your business. Terry Pratchett, the fantasy-humorist, made a famous comparison between a man who bought fifty-dollar boots that lasted over a decade, and a man who bought a ten-dollar pair that needed replacing each year. After ten years, the second man had spent twice as much, and his feet were still wet. What will the total expense of your purchases be if you choose less-reliable machinery?
A Company That Cares About Your Productivity: If you have a part that needs replacing immediately, an overseas company with high-employee turnover is not going to respond to you as quickly as the company owner who answers the phone when you call and drops everything to overnight the part to you. That kind of response can save you days of downtime. (For a look at some of the people who will care about your success as if it were their own, check out the “Our Team” page on our website.)
Making Sure What You Buy is What You Need: A good family business operates on a foundation of trust. Any customer who feels that they are being pressured into buying more than they need, or who feels unsupported when making a complicated decision, is not going to have any loyalty to the company. At Apex Filling Systems, for example, we want the equipment our customers purchase to be the best match for their current and future needs. We’re committed to partnering with our clients to deliver turnkey solutions from project inception through completion and beyond.
Spotting the Best Family Businesses
Not every family business will be successful in the long term, but there are characteristics to spot the ones that will last the longest – and be best for your business.
- Family businesses have to rise to the same level (or better) as their competitors. Look for statements on commitment to quality, extensive training, and high industry standards.
- You probably don’t want the entire family on the roster. Having everyone together is great for Thanksgiving, but not so much when you are trying to run a business. Check the family bios to make sure that everyone on board shares the same passion.
- The best outside people should be as valued as family members. Look for a company that takes pride in non-family employees and incorporates them into the company leadership.
Let Apex Help You
Apex offers all of our clients customized solutions to their filling needs. Call us at 219-575-7493 or visit our page here to discuss the best equipment choices for you.