Privately-held companies can find great success in today’s business environment. If you’re just starting out, here’s how to get up and running and learn from some of the most successful private companies. Have a Unified Mission Private companies can be more unified in their vision. Since they don’t serve outside shareholders, they can focus on one thing: growing the business. With growth as a single focus, private companies tend to be better managed when it comes to debt. They also have a history of outperforming their public counterparts in terms of revenue and profits. Keep Employees Happy As a private company, you can better align management interests with those of your customers by focusing on employees. Keeping them happy is important, and it’s what all private companies focus on, because employees are the link between customers and management. Structure Your Company Like A Family Operation Companies, like Midlake, are private and family-owned. And, that structure can teach you a lot about how to run a business. When the company is run like a family-owned business, the company’s finances are treated more like family finances. Corporate expenses are more closely tracked. Revenue and profits are treated with care and reinvested wisely. More focus is placed on the long-term health of the company, rather than short-term profits and reports for Wall Street. Companies To Model Publix – Publix is a grocery store chain that has resisted going public, and their customers love them for it. The stores are always kept clean, customers love the attention to detail on prepared foods, and the brand doesn’t sacrifice on quality. People often have the misperception that a public company will automatically be more sophisticated or somehow better than a private one. Publix is a shining example of what a private company can achieve. Mars Inc. – The third largest private company in the U.S. makes products that are eaten by millions: Snickers, Twix, and M&Ms. They even make dog food. Mass Mutual – Mutual insurance companies, like Mass Mutual, are owned by their policyholders and, as a result, have no obligation to outside shareholders. Aside from being one of the most loved and admired companies in the U.S., Mass Mutual’s life insurance policyholders even earn dividends, payable in cash or to the insurance policy. When you’re private, you don’t have to make “tough choices” between serving your stockholders and serving your customers. Mass Mutual proves that by actively giving profits back to customers. Dell – Yes, the computer giant, Dell. The company used to be public, but a recent change allowed the company to go private. Result? The company’s outlook is much better than before. Because the company no longer has to pay dividends or buy back stock, it can focus on paying down debt and growing revenues. Wegmans – Wegmans, a small family-owned, grocery store chain, is consistently ranked as having the best corporate reputation, beating out giants like Amazon, Google, and even Apple. Bottom-line: you can stay private and still be more popular than companies many times your size. Size doesn’t equal popularity or even ensure that your customers love you. Julie Shrum has worked at Midlake since her father decided to retire way back in 1996. She has accumlated a vast knowledge of hinges and metalworking during her time as sales manager. Julie work closely with the sales team to create the best customer experience possible. She continues to learn daily about new applications for sheet metal fabrication.