I have the privilege of traveling around the country introducing Carlson Fixtures to potential new customers. As I do, I talk a lot about what it means to be self-identified as a “Forever Company,” even before sharing the work we do in retail store fixtures, store displays or transparent LED solutions. Most people are not familiar with the term, but are intrigued by it.
What is a Forever Company?
The answer goes well beyond providing custom store fixtures of high quality. We believe a Forever Company is one that embraces its overall responsibilities with a commitment to make a far-reaching impact. It understands that the positive ripple effect it has on its employees, customers, suppliers and community serves a greater good than simply operating to serve the narrow scope of its ownership.
It’s akin to a drop of water in a pool that creates rings emanating from its contact. The more the rings are allowed to grow and expand, the more that single drop of water affects the environment around it.
For this reason, the ownership of Carlson Fixtures declared us to be a Forever Company in 2018. We’re charged with protecting and growing the company so that we may continue to create a positive impact on those we employ, the customers we serve and suppliers we partner with, as well as the communities we touch.
What differentiates a Forever Company?
The primary differentiator is that we view what we do as a stewardship role. The goal of our company is not to maximize profits in order to be sold, but rather to build a business with far-reaching, long-term customer relationships. Relationships that allow us to expand the positive rings (or reaches) of our company.
This purposeful view of why we’re in business positively affects how we do business. It challenges us to responsibly provide positive stewardship of the company so that we can hand off a better, stronger, more impactful company than the one we inherited.
What impact does this have on customers, employees and suppliers?
As the current stewards of Carlson Fixtures, we view our roles in terms of generational relationships and not in terms of contractual months. This stewardship view promotes a sense of urgency during our tenure, while also promoting long-term solid business practices. Our relationships with our employees, customers, suppliers and communities must withstand the test of time so that we can hand off a stronger, more impactful company to the next generation of stewards.
This belief inspires us to partner with customers and suppliers who understand our commitment to them, and understand that we will always do the right things to help them grow and thrive. It means our relationships must be strong, open and honest, and that we understand the services we provide are integral parts of something bigger and more important than one single entity.
We find it a healthy and refreshing way to conduct business. We hope you think so too.