In the late 1960s, a small but determined band of irrigation
visionaries began assembling periodically in small offices and
dark restaurants dotted throughout the San Francisco Bay
Unfortunately, the majority of family-owned businesses don't survive past the second generation. While succeeding generations have every intention of keeping the business going, factors ranging from a lack of estate planning to dissension among family members cause the business to close its doors.
WHATEVER NUMBER OF HOURS you mow per week, Brian Smith probably has you beat. As the owner of Agri-Lawn Care, Brownsburg, Indiana, Smith and his crews cut grass all day long, from seven in the morning until four in the afternoon, five days a week. They truly do mow lawns for a living.
Back in 1925, E.J. Smith founded one of the country's first golf course distributorships representing The Toro Company. He knew that if he followed four basic principles, he would be successful in his new business.
When Roy Mullet moved
his family to Hesston,
Kansas, in 1958, his thought
was to live in an area with
warmer winters than the cold
climate of Montana. In order to
support his family, he took a job
with Hesston Industries. Hesston
was a metal fabricator making
cabs for agricultural combines
and tractors; small metal fabricators
were common throughout
Imagine working long hours on one job. You just want to finish it in a timely, efficient manner. So, instead of three people hand-raking a yard to remove the rocks and debris to prepare the ground for turf, you put a landscape rake attachment on the front end of a skid-steer to do the job.
When Stuart Sperber was about ten years old, his father and brother started a company called Valley Crest Landscape Nurseries in North Hollywood, California. While growing up, as you can guess, the talk around the dinner table was always about trees and landscaping. Sperber was immersed in it.
If you’re in the lawn mower business, you’ve probably heard of Tegtmeier, one of the most respected names in the business, and rightly so. Both Dick and his son Doug Tegtmeier learned the lawn mower manufacturing business from the ground up.