Well, it’s been 1 year since we took over the family business. One long Covid year. While there have been decades of anniversaries before us, this one is especially meaningful because it was our first as the owners. Did you know only 13% of family-owned businesses make it to the third generation (see here)? It’s a daunting statistic, but one that we’re proud to represent. While there are many reasons businesses don’t typically make it to the third generation, there are some interesting studies out there that show family businesses outperform public and state owned companies (see here).

My dad sent a family text this morning that read “Keep the main thing the main thing.” While he isn’t part of the Brady family Idaho Sporting Goods lineage, his wisdom rings true. I think this is the reason that family businesses are valued by customers: PEOPLE ARE THE MAIN THING. Our people have been “the main thing” at ISG since its inception way back in the 50s. Grandpa Hugh had some incredible relationships. He was involved in so many community organizations and genuinely cared about making Boise a better place. If you look through old ISG memorabilia, you’ll find plaques from little leagues, businesses, associations, clubs, and more. If you looked in his safe, you’d find a box of floppy discs that held years’ worth of embroidery files. If it mattered to someone, it mattered to him. We are proud to continue keeping our employees and community the main thing.

Here are a few ways we keep people the main thing:

  1. Treat people right. Be friendly, be honest, listen, smile, understand them.
  2. Make it easy. Communicate via phone, text, email, social media, or face to face, complete artwork approval & payment online, deliver their goods quickly, price fairly and consistently.
  3. Take care of it. Own the process, know the product, produce quality results, communicate when necessary, make the process smooth.
  4. Help. Solve problems, have a sense of urgency, go the extra mile, do what needs to be done.
  5. Surprise them (in a good way). Throw in an extra hat, decorate a new favorite item they might like, deliver it a day early, write a nice little note.

It’s been a wild ride, but we’re grateful for this opportunity. We can’t quite have the party we wanted this year, but you better believe ISG is going to be having one heck of a celebration for year two!

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