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Last Update: Friday August 7, 2020

Key Idea: Require the Second Generation to Work For Others

Jeff Presant worked for others before he was allowed to work for his Dad.

Key Question:


Jeff told us that his Dad insisted that he work for others before he came to work at All Brand.

Q: What did Jeff learn by working for others?

A: He learned that there are many ways to get a job done and he learned that he wanted the responsibility of ownership because he saw it as his path to controlling his own destiny. This experience also gave Jeff a sensitivity and added respect for the employees at All Brand. He could get in their shoes and feel how they were feeling.

Rick and Jeff were never pampered or spoiled. They had to learn All Brand from the bottom up. This is the way to REALLY learn the business. There’s no way you can do that if you start "at the top." By doing every job in the business, they are better and more compassionate managers, fully aware of the challenges faced by each employee. They will find ways of improving the business at each level of operations as they fully participate in it. Finally, and perhaps most importantly, all the other employees will know that the next generation is qualified to lead, that they have survived the internship and are well positioned to lead the organization.

Q:  What did Mr. Presant do  that turned out to be brilliant for his own future?

A:   Rick wanted to be in the wholesale parts business but he didn't want to work for his father and the original partner.  Mr. Presant helped Rick set up in the same business in a new location that would not have as negative impact on All Brand's sales. This taught Rick the business the hard way. Rick had to run the whole operation alone and make it work.

Good mentors set up situations where the person they are mentoring can learn while always knowing the mentor is only a phone call away. The mentor is there to support and advise but not on a minute-to-minute basis. The mentor doesn't hover, control or suppress. The mentor under girds. Mr. Presant was betting that at least one of his sons might buy his business so he could retire and go to Florida! He was planning to formally pass the ownership of the company to the next generation but he wanted to make sure the young men were up to the task.

Click on the question for more answers.

Think about it

Are your children involved in your business? At what level? Are you preparing them adequately for their future roles? Do you measure their productivity the same way you measure other employees?

Clip from: All Brand Appliances

Mount Ephraim, New Jersey: In this episode of the show we go to Main Street America (just outside Philadelphia) to look at a classic family business, one that exists in most communities in America but seems to be threatened by new distribution systems and mega-stores like Lowe's and Home Depot. Talk about pressure... Yet, these small businesses may actually thrive in our fast-paced, ever-changing business culture. Best practices is what they do.

If a washing machine breaks, the parts needed to fix it are on the shelf of their store. Owned and run by brothers, Rick and Jeff Presant, the pros, the handyman, and the weekend warriors (honey-do's), are all welcomed to buy appliance parts at All Brand Appliance. With 12 employees and hundreds of ever-faithful customers, these two are building a business on kindness. That's right, kindness.

To prepare to buy All Brand from their father, Rick had his own supply company in another territory and Jeff worked for others.

Go to all the key ideas and videos of this episode...

All Brand Appliance (JP)

Jeff Present, Co-owner

170 North Black Horse Pike
Mt. Ephraim, NJ 08059

Visit our web site:

Office: 800-736-5870

Business Classification:

Year Founded: 1984

Require the Second Generation to Work For Others

HATTIE: You were 22.

JEFF PRESANT (Co-Owner, All Brand Appliance): Right.

HATTIE: (Voiceover) Jeff joined the business in 1984.

JEFF PRESANT: My father insisted upon me getting a job doing something else before I came here full time. And I did it for a summer, and I found out--I got to see what it was like, you know, on the other side. And it was interesting. I wanted to own my own business because I wanted to be able to control my own destiny. I wanted to be able to feel like, `This is mine.'

RICK: He pretty much came into the business and, again, there was that new energy, also. And we just started working and cleaning up this place.

JEFF PRESANT: My brother and I always had a great relationship. There was a 10-year difference , but I was always able to talk with him, communicate with him. You know, he was always there for me. And our relationship, fortunately, hasn't changed, even in business.

RICK: My brother and I both had a love and a respect for each other before we went into business. Now, of course, there's always gonna be disagreements and problems, and you have to communicate them and work them out. The--but if you have this respect for each other, it's an additional reason to want to solve your problem and move on. You don't want to hurt that person, you don't want to hurt your family.

JEFF PRESANT: I really watched my father. I watched the way he did things, and he was gruff at times, but he was up front and honest with people.

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