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Last Update: Tuesday June 18, 2019

Key Idea: Be A Good Place To Work

Your employees will tell you by their attitudes and their actions if your company is  good place to work.   All of the owners we know agree that happy employees are productive.

Key Question:


One way is to have fun and be a good place to work.

Q: How do we know that Texas Nameplate is a good place to work?

A:  Worker turnover is low and productivity is high.  And, there are lots of smiles on lots of faces. If you study every company here at small business school you will pick up an idea or two from each about how to create a workplace that people want to come to everyday.

Bart Mahon is founder and owner of Buggies Unlimited the world’s largest supplier of golf cart gear with 48 employees in Richmond, Kentucky.   As the business grew to the $18 million in annual sales it enjoys today, Bart worried about keeping even the guys who pack boxes happy.

Bart decided to hire hospitality manager and he is convinced that this one person, named Jazzman, is the key to company happiness.  Jazzman owned a local restaurant and was getting tired of his daily grind.  Now Jazzman is the company chef. Buggies Unlimited provides lunch for all of the associates Monday through Friday.

 Jazzman is also the company chauffeur. The employee of the month gets a night on the town in the company's limo with $500 cash to spend and employee of the year gets $5,000 and a night on the town.  Jazzman also serves as host to vendors who fly in and out of Richmond to do business with Buggies Unlimited. 

Buddy Royba, Coronado Paint and Decorating in Santa Fe, New Mexico is a Christian and tells everyone that he hires that he runs the company on Christian principals.  People are paid well and good benefits are provided.  The company installs technology so that sales people can work from home when they want or need to.  In addition, Buddy gives employees time off  and cash to contribute support the charities that are of interest to them.

Joe Kreutz, a founder, the CEO and President of County Commerce Bank in Ventura, California told us that starting a new bank was easy because he recruited a team he had worked with for over 20 years. He told us that whenever he senses that there is a problem with an employee he first looks at himself.

Ken Done has over 100 employees and he has taught them his, "Go to Brazil" theory.  He says to himself every morning while in the shower, "If I'd rather go to Brazil than go to work then I'm going to Brazil."  The point is that he demands from employees that they honestly come to work by choice.  This means he expects them to be happy.

Think about it

Do you know if  your company is a good place to work?  Have you ever asked employees if they like coming to work?  Have you ever asked them what they would like to see happening at work that is not now happening?

Clip from: Texas Nameplate


Dallas, Texas: Dale Crownover took Texas Nameplate from being just another print shop to become the first small business to be given the Malcolm Baldrige National Quality Award. You will find their nameplates are on virtually everything. They print those specialized labels that out last the item to which it is attached. And because of quality controls, this group is the international supplier to the world's largest companies.

When he went to Washington to receive the Baldrige, the other two winners, Boeing and Solar Turbines, and all DC bureaucrats listened in awe; this man talked about the essence of quality, family and this nation's charter to achieve and to always do better.

We can all learn from Dale and his people. Yet, they did not stop working at it;  and six years later, they received the award again!
You will quickly see that this is an extraordinary work force. When we first taped this episode of the show, nobody including Dale had a college degree and some employees had just received their high school diploma. Notwithstanding, here you learn how they make world-class products and reap plenty of profits.

Oh yes, today, Dale and others have earned a college degree.

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Texas Nameplate

Dale Crownover, Owner

1900 E. Ervay
Dallas, TX 75215

Visit our web site:

Office: 2144288341

Business Classification:

Year Founded:

Be A Good Place To Work

HATTIE: There's something about Texas Nameplate that makes people fall in love.

HATTIE: So you met David here?

Unidentified Woman #2: Yes, I did. And we now have two little girls.

Unidentified Woman #3: We met here. We've been married almost 18 years.

HATTIE: You met here, too?

Woman #3: Mm-hmm.

HATTIE: What's in the water? What do you think? Is it just like a friendly atmosphere? How does this happen? Does this nurture love?

Woman #3: I just suppose that we're here so much.

Unidentified Woman #4: I've never been in a company where there are so many couples. You know, Dale gives everybody the opportunity -- he stresses education, he stresses that so much. And he never stands in the way of anybody who wants to do something different.

DALE: We were going to spend money doing something. You know, unfortunately, we're all like that. You're always goning to watch your expenses. But what we were doing, we were spending money on defect parts. So let's curtail our defect parts, save that money, and let's train our people.

Forty-eight years ago, there was a guy down here that I felt like started toward a goal to get his diploma--high-school diploma, and I'd like to recognize Goose.

GOOSE: You know, we started in on this because of the classes we had up here on Saturday. I didn't really know how much I wanted to get this until it got right down to the end. I guess I really always wanted to get out of school before I was 60 years old; I will in December!

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