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Key Idea: Be A Team Player

Family businesses work because of what we can't see. In the case of the Navarro's, it's heart.

Key Question:


Be a coach, mentor and team captain rather than a dictating boss.

Jose Navarro says do not go into a business because you think that business will make a lot of money, be sure and find something you love. Work hard and the money will come. In addition to loving one another, the family members seem to see each other as a team members not as a persons who are lined up in some type of pecking order.

How does a family-owned business incorporate more family members into the business as the company grows?

A: Roles and responsibilities are critical. The Navarro's involved each child in the business at a very young age. They nurtured their children both inside and outside the business, allowing each to explore the company and self-determine how and where they could contribute to its growth. You heard Marcel; he was encouraged to find something he liked and "just go ahead and run with it."

Q: No one, not even a loving parent, can determine another's destiny. How do you guide and support family members in making the right choices for their involvement in the business?

A: What you can't do is match the open positions at the business with the available family members. Just because the company just lost its Controller or Sales Manager does not mean that the family member entering the business has either the skill or the interest in a specific role. As you incorporate new family members into the company, allow them the opportunity to work in each facet of the business, see what interests him or her.

Guide them through the process but don't dictate it or even try to influence them to assume a specific role. They may even come up with something unique that further expands the company, leading to additional growth and profits.

Think about it

Are you a team player?  Do you enjoy discovering the talent inside of a person and finding the right job for that person?  Are there family members you could recruit if you took the right approach? Do you have family members who aren't reaching their potential working in other organizations? Are you the kind of person your family wants to work with?

Clip from: Navarro Discount Pharmacies

Miami: In this city, a destination for new Spanish-speaking Americans, finding somebody who understands you, knows and feels your pain, is a seismic relief. With a profound empathy, this family's business is committed to service and to solving very big problems for their customers.

With an abiding willingness-to-serve, this family's business is one of the most profitable per square foot of any retail store in the USA. When we taped this story there were 12 locations generating $160 million in annual sales and jobs for nearly 600.

So many new medicines are announced every day, it is almost impossible for anyone to keep up. But, those new Americans with a limited command of English, and our elders who are taking multiple medicines, have special challenges.

This family has always been committed to serving their customers. Eighteen-hour days, seven-days-a-week -- whatever it took to get the job done and keep their customers in good health -- these people have done it.
In the process, they have created a first-class business.

Opened in the United States in 1961, the two sons became pharmacists; and today, with 600+ employees, they have become the most productive pharmacy per square foot in the USA and they are a force for good that is helping to reshape Miami as a world-class community.

A classic family business, three generations of compassionate people are involved at every level of the operations.

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Navarro Discount Pharmacies

Jose Navarro, CEO

5959 NW 37th Ave
Miami, FL 33142

Visit our web site:

Office: 305-633-3000

Business Classification:
Retail, Pharmacy

Year Founded: 1961

Be A Team Player

HATTIE: (Voiceover) Tony Argis is a partner in Miami's eighth-largest CPA firm. His company provides accounting services to Navarro Pharmacy, and so he knows the business as well as the personal side to Navarro's. What is it that they're doing that makes them so successful?

TONY ARGIS: The things that the Navarros do--first of all, their father started their business along with two of the brothers, Jose and Luis. And they all work as a team in the business. They all show up early in the morning. They work hard hours. They all complement each other. Luis might do the purchasing. Jose might run the entire operation. Their wives are also involved. They act as humble as when they started the business back in the early '60s. And that's what makes them excel at what they do.

HATTIE: When they came over in the '60s, others came as well.

TONY: Right.

HATTIE: What is it that that first wave of immigrants had that caused them to be so successful?

TONY: The big reason the 1960 influx of Cubans made them as successful--the cream of the crop of Havana and all of Cuba left. These were people with real good education, developed knowledge in owning their own businesses in Cuba. And they came here. And because they were so prepared educationally, that they were able to succeed and knew the hard work of the Spaniards that had come to Cuba and had been their great-grandparents and taught them...

HATTIE: Yeah, but they didn't have any money when they came.

TONY: They didn't have any money, but they had education. And education gives you the opportunity to develop the knowledge. And that's what they really used, that knowledge, to gain that foothold that they have gained in this city.

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