This week, our hosts Sid and Keith Brad talk about good, old-fashioned family-owned business (and how you can make them work in the modern world) with Brad Summersell of Mobile’s Educator Resource, Inc. The company, which Brad’s father bought 30 years ago, started a a distribution company for … wait for it … potato chips that also sold Bic and Lindy pen displays – since we all know nothing goes together like potato chips and pen displays, right?
Brad’s father turned the company into a regional office supplies giant in the 1980s, but with the rise of big box suppliers like Office Depot and Staples, the future was hazy as Brad joined the company after graduating from Auburn, but he helped pivot the company into the more narrowly tailored market of education and school supply distribution.
Following the pivot to educational resources, Brad found himself facing a common dilemma for those working in family-owned businesses and had to ask himself a question asked by many (and immortalized in a hit song from The Clash): Should I stay or should I go?
If you’re in such a business now or are working to create one for the future generations coming after you, this week’s episode is chock full of good advice and wisdom that is sure to help.