Family Businesses

100 in NC

The North Carolina “Our State” magazine (May 2017) featured family businesses that have been in existence for decades.

The earliest of these business go back to the 5th generation originating in the 1830’s. Many are locally owned business….however several have become nationally known:

  • Cheerwine….Salisbury….1917
  • Bertie County Peanuts….Windsor….1915
  • Capital Broadcasting….Raleigh….1937
  • Bernhardt Furniture….Lenoir….1889.

Each of the businesses has an  unique story. Each has been successful. There are certainly lessons to be learned from all of them.

If anything….it is more then likely great attention to employees, product and customers. Not too difficult when done right.

Johnsonville Sausage

Build People

From jsonline:

Johnsonville products are prominent in most grocery stores….what is behind the scene is how the business functions and operates.

The jsonline article outlines 7 key questions that were asked on changing the company culture. One of the most important principles :

“We use the business to build people”

A followup article on the consultant that facilitated the changes at Johnsonville:

One of the primary reasons for the success of Southwest Airlines was the focus on getting the right people who could provide their unique customer service. It’s a lesson some businesses (and some airlines!) have yet to learn.



Printing T-shirts is not rocket science….however that doesn’t mean it can’t be a very successful business.


What  makes Sunfrog distinct in the T-shirt business is the creativity. after all T-shirts are T-shirts….what goes on them is what differentiates one company from the other.

And being in Gaylord, Michigan (Northern Michigan) is certainly an advantage.

Relieved of Command


Within a week….two senior officers were relieved of command at Camp Lejeune.

The reason:  “loss of trust and confidence in his (her) ability to serve in command.”

The article indicates some further reasons for the actions taken. It would seem that both officers….one an O-5 (Lt. Col.) and the other an O-6 (Col.) would have thought twice before their incidents. After all….one should have some common sense after 25 + years in the Marine Corps.

They both will retire….yet with a tainted blemish on their record.

Corporate Behavior


There has been considerable news about the manufacturer of the EpiPen.  

From The NY Times:

“In the meantime, I still believe — perhaps foolishly — that sustained attention might create change. And so, as long as Mylan flouts the norms of good corporate behavior, it seems worth continuing to scrutinize what the company is doing, and questioning why EpiPens cost so much.”

Being in business is not just profits and stock prices….it is also being a good citizen. While Mylan may have a monopoly on the EpiPen and act imprudently….at some point market forces will disrupt inexcusable behavior.


Home Depot

Image result for home depot three legged strategy

The Home Depot three-legged strategy:

These are three key elements on what and how I would use to evaluate any business/organization.  

  • Education….one must have some business acumen
  • Experience….gives insight into what works and what doesn’t
  • Example….what do other successful business do or don’t do.

The Home Depot three-legged a strategy can be applied to any business. It’s an excellent example of what a successful company does to become number one in their market.

Vauable Resource

Muskegon Lake

From mlive:

The future of Muskegon depends to a great extent on the future development of five key parcels on the lakefront. There are no other cities in Michigan that have such a valuable resource (the largest harbor in Western Michigan).

While the old industries are now off the lake….there is still a need for commercial property as well as maintaining the natural environment. 

The key factor will be that each parcel meet the lifetime-long term value test. Muskegon Lake and the Great Lakes are valuable resources that should not be misused.