It started with a phone call I received from my client, a third-generation manufacturer in the automotive after-market industry.
When their daughter left for college three years before, she had planned to become an accountant.
The plan was, she would return to the family business and work with her brother, cousins and brother-in-law. She would provide the missing link in the management team of the fourth generation.
The call came from a frustrated father looking for suggestions on how they could put the various ingredients of their business together, now that his daughter had expressed an interest in Internet marketing and Web-design rather than an accounting career.
Being away from the business for the first time in her life (something never possible for her brothers) had given her a chance to see things differently.
The “plan” seemed less appealing to her the further she was removed from it. “Don’t get me wrong“, she said recently, “I love the manufacturing process and I’ve always been fascinated with business, it’s accounting I don’t like.”
Fortunately her dad didn’t panic, waited ’til she returned home for the holidays and listened to her side of the story. That was a year ago. During the summer, the company built their first serious Web site, beyond the original online brochure they had started with.
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