Brandon Dickinson Parts Manager, Oliver Manufacturing

Family-owned businesses like to promote their heritage. It’s a great selling feature. But they don’t often articulate exactly why they often have a leg-up over their larger, corporate competition, and why that matters to the customer.

Yes, family-owned businesses have a heartwarming image. We all love the thought of a mom-and-pop shop where multiple generations can be found on staff, and where the company’s history can be easily traced back to when grandpa built it with his own sweat and steadfast work ethic.

But there’s a lot more to it than that. Family-owned businesses provide more than just a feel-good image, and here’s why.

  1. Better staff relationships. People who work at family-run companies spend a lot of time together outside the office. They see each other on the weekend. They mean a lot to one another. At work, this translates into great service that customers need and want. Because they care about one another, the employees care about the company and want it to succeed.
  2. Superior customer service. When dealing with a family business, if a decision needs to be made promptly, you can get ahold of the right people and have it addressed. Seed specifically has always been a niche market, and the industry is generally made up of family-owned businesses. Yes, the big-name corporations are out there, but even those were started as mom-and-pop companies. At a family business, when you call for service, you tend to see the service manager or one of the techs — you’re not forwarded to a big long chain of command where you’re not sure who you’re talking to. It’s all straightforward and transparent.

The seed industry is a tight-knit group. We know the problems that different companies have due to different geographic locations, and we understand one another. Seed is a lifestyle, and so is working for a family-run company. Everyone strives to be an upstanding member of the industry they love.

At family businesses, tradition is big. That family background gives them an upper hand. Customers take that to heart — they know they’re dealing with people who are proud to be members of the seed industry, and who are invested at a family level in the company they work for. You want that when you’re making a big purchase.