“Start with Quality…Grow with People…Prosper by Listening”—Ed Cooper
Running a family business can be the most rewarding job you’ll ever have. You know that every day you put into it is time invested in the future. When you see your kids and even your employees’ kids growing up in the business, then it really hits you—you’re not in it for yourself.
One of my favorite stories is that of Richard Godwin of Tecumseh, Michigan, who buys a new restroom unit each time a grandchild is born and assigns the revenue from that unit to the child’s college fund. When you incorporate your family into your business like that, it makes the work seem easier and the rewards sweeter.
Many people have asked me my secrets to success for growing the PolyJohn family business. And my answer is fairly simple.
First, start with quality ... there is always going to be a market for the best quality product or service in your line of work. Once you start with quality, you must be forever vigilant to innovate and keep your standards high.
Second, grow with your people. Hire the best people you can find and then look for ways to help them grow within your business. You’ll find that helping them grow will more than pay you back as they help your business succeed.
Third, develop open and honest lines of communication between your customers and your employees. You’ll never know how you are doing in the first two areas without customer and employee feedback. Accept compliments with humility and criticism without becoming defensive, and people will always be willing to share their thoughts with you.
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