Omaha Steaks’ 10 Success Tips
How the Simon family’s business, now 100 years old, keeps delivering.
Omaha Steaks has endured as a successful family business for 100 years, going from custom butcher to direct-marketing powerhouse.
The company is now a $450 million enterprise that employs nearly 2,000 full-time workers, ships some 14 million pounds of meat a year and has 3 million active customers annually.
What’s the secret of the Simon family’s success?
“The sign of a successful family business is not to let the family part affect the operations of the business,” says Bruce Simon, the fifth-generation CEO of Omaha Steaks.
Here are 10 lessons from the Simon family's story:
- Put the interest of the company ahead of family members’ desires.
- Don’t stifle creativity and be sure to innovate. Try new products and services.
- Know what you don’t know and continually educate yourself. Tap experts.
- Test family members, even youngsters, to see if they have the goods to become managers, leaders. Make them start from the bottom.
- Accept when it’s time to pass the reins to younger family members.
- Be involved in the day-to-day business; walk the halls and participate in meetings.
- Employ and empower non-family managers.
- Don’t let unresolved issues lie; lock family stakeholders in a room until there’s resolution.
- Have a clear chain of command.
- Set established norms for how the business operates. Make space for family participation while gleaning innovative ideas from a strong professional staff.
For specifics on these tips and to read about the Simon family’s 100-year journey, click here. (Subscription content)