John Simourian II, the President, CEO, and Second Generation Owner of Lily Transportation, shares his thoughts about the advantages of a family owned business. . .
“Many of the multi-generation family owned businesses are the best choices to partner with because they are not focused on pleasing Wall Street and the Boards that control their large publicly held competitors. They know who their customer is — the one that pays the bills, not the board that controls them! They know who they should be pleasing and spending their time with — their clients.
The professional managers as well as any family member in a family owned business have chosen that type of culture to grow and prosper because the company invests in technology and infrastructure and training of their employees and they run the business for the long term.
I have not met many who are in a family business because no one else would hire them. Any business that has those type of employees usually does not make it to a Second Generation anyway. In fact, tenured professionally trained managers in family business have decided that “jumping” from one company to another for advancment is not the path to success. They stay with the family business because it offers both economic success and challenges and opportunities that come with being a major decision making player.
Clients of a a family owned business benefit from stable management that knows their business. Because management is stable, the client does not need to regularly “get to know” the newst manager who has been entrusted with their business but has no past knowledge of it and is learning its nuances “on the job”.
Family owned businesses are usually smaller than their competitors and therefore, significantly more agile. This translates into quick responses to their customer’s changing needs. In addition, senior managers of family owned companies are usually the shareholders — they are making decisions for the short and the long term. After all,. they will have to live with the decisions well into the future, they don’t get to hand them off to the next guy. Stable, long term management teams with little or no beaurocracy provide long term, stable service to the client.
Entering into a relationship with a properly vetted family owned business will result in one’s being treated as a family –and we think that’s Good, not bad!
So dig deep, discover what management processes are in place, how sophisticated the managers and systems are, and what their clients say about them. Because when you find the family owned company that clicks with you and your management team, you will be rewarded with an outstanding, stable, agile , long term partner.”