Everyone in town knew, and very much admired, your grandfather. After all, he started his hardware store after honorably serving his country in WWII. Customers came from miles around because they knew he provided products and services at a fair price, along with a friendly conversation and a smile. Grandpa was a local legend.
Today, Grandpa’s business is now yours. And while you want to continue traditions your grandfather started, you also want to make improvements to bring the business into the 21st century and keep it going strong.
How can a small business owner who inherits a business turn the place into his own without losing the luster of the legacy?
Be open to new ideas and encourage your customer to do the same. The phrase: “This is how it’s always been done,” does not show innovative thinking. Take a good, hard look at how the business has operated. Fix things that are “broken” and build on things that have worked well, adding more relevant touches, including current technological advances.
Be gracious. Adapting a business that has been around for decades could involve some growing pains. If your relative kept you at arm’s length over the years, you’ll need to establish yourself with the customer base. Be accommodating, but be sure to show that you’re now running the operation. This also can be an issue with long-time employees, so meet with them as soon you can to establish a rapport.
Be flexible. Remember, this is new ground for everyone: you, your customers, and your employees. Solicit ideas from employees and feedback from customers. There’s no doubt everyone who appreciated Grandpa’s business will want you to succeed as well.
Be respectful. Don’t forget where you came from as you move forward. Keep family photos in view, showing your customers and employees that you appreciate your roots and want to keep the place full of admiration for your ancestors.
We want to be there as you grow your small business legacy, too. Turn to Biz2Credit for your small business financing needs. Call us at (800) 200-5678, or visit us online at Biz2Credit.