Being a Family Business is a huge part of the culture and feeling at Rose City Label. We are proud to be family owned and operated. Coworkers, customers and vendors are all part of this extended family. It is the glue that holds us together. Recently, we were invited to speak to the students in the OSU Family Business Program. Helping build the family business’ culture of the future in this state is something we are very passionate about. We are proud to give back to this wonderful program.
What we Told the Students
Family Business isn’t Easy but it is Worth It!
The students in this class were all Junior and Senior level students that have a Family Business in their family. Not all are sure about their future within that business, but most are very interested to take on the challenge. We were brutally honest about the difficulties, heartache, and hurt feelings that come along from time to time. Also, we were very emphatic that it is the very best career option for many people – like us. It isn’t easy, but the rewards (mostly non-financial) make it worthwhile.
Be Patient and Respect Your Elders
Respect is the key to being respected. Your family business has been successful for many years, so it is best to watch and learn before trying to make changes. Don’t upset the system until you understand the system. Learn the trade – not just the tricks. Your value as a next generation member will be exaggerated when you can bridge the generations between yourself and your elders – when you can combine the best of their ideas and yours, then you will add value.
YOU have value – your time will come
With all the respect and deference that has been earned, don’t sell yourself short. Your family wouldn’t want you in the business if you didn’t have some real value to add. You have a unique perspective to bring to the conversation – don’t afraid to (respectfully) put forth your own opinions and ideas. You have a contribution to make and the business will be better if you make it.
Why Family Business
Being a family is a real competitive advantage. This blog post from 2015 shows many reasons why the family enterprise outperforms the average business. A longer time horizon is one of the main things that helps a family business win. When multiple generations are involved in a business, the idea of ‘legacy’ is always on our mind. We want to build and grow this enterprise so we have something of value to pass along to the next generation. This isn’t just a focus on quarterly or annual goals, but lifetime goals that last forever. This long time horizon makes difficult, correct decisions much easier. The United Front is also always in the front of your mind – we are all in this together, so we have to make it work for everyone. Cooperation and grace are always the watch words for our interactions. These two characteristics make a family business a very powerful force in the world.
OSU Family Business Program
We have learned from (and been recognized by) the OSU Family Business Program for the past 5 years. The AUSTIN FAMILY BUSINESS PROGRAM at OSU is an amazing, focused business school with a special emphasis on entrepreneurship and family business. Learn more by clicking here. Besides the current students enrolled in Bachelors and Masters degree programs, the OSU Family Business Program provides seminars and outreach to family businesses in the state. These seminars, and a dedicated network of professional advisors, provide a huge resource for the family owned businesses in the state of Oregon. We were proud to lecture to senior students about our experience growing up in and leading a successful family business.
Family Business of the Year
Rose City Label was a runner up in 2013 (click here for more info) and the big winner in 2015 – Austin Family Business of the Year. Check out the video presentation here.
Being successful in business is a privilege that we take very seriously. As part of that responsibility, we like to give back to our community. We do this in various ways, including charitable donations. More than that, we love the opportunity to share our story and impact future business leaders. Teaching and helping other family business owners (and future owners) is something we look forward to doing as often as possible. Do you know a good business program that needs a speaker? Call us today!