LOCAL Biz Family Legends: The Baltzegars
By Bailey Gilliam, LocalBiz Magazine To many, the phrase “family business” conjures up images of small companies with a narrow focus and a stereotypical set of problems like squabbles over succession or internal power struggles. While plenty of mom-and-pop shops certainly fit that description, it doesn’t reflect the powerful role that family-controlled enterprises play in the local and world economy. Family businesses focus on resilience and can withstand more than the average corporation. And with a family-oriented approach to customer service, it’s no wonder that local family businesses have become legendary in the community. These local authorities prove that despite the struggles that come with working with relatives, family businesses can and do thrive under any circumstances.
Meet the Baltzegar family of StoneWorks
This family-owned stone manufacturing company has been serving the Lowcountry for 30 years.
LocalBiz: Shannon, what’s the most gratifying part of working with your family?
Our alignment and togetherness are incredibly gratifying. We are a close family; all three children are similar in age and drive. I see families that grow up and grow apart. We are stronger and more aligned than anyone could realize. We have a bond that defines a family business.
John III, what challenges have your family overcome while working together and having different positions within the company?
With kinfolk there can be problems of sibling rivalry or someone being the boss over other family members. It takes time to find out in which areas each person excels. We’ve overcome these issues. Knowing that the family can cover all bases makes our business run smoothly.
LocalBiz: Shannon, what is one piece of advice you’d give to others wanting a successful business career?
Our bond and any successes we have achieved together come from our values rather than our business sense. And this is learned at home.
LocalBiz: What three lessons have you learned from starting a family business?
1. Don’t expect if you don’t inspect. Years ago we learned you cannot entrust a company’s assets without clear oversight. Know what you own and owe. Keep tabs on the money.
2. Not all situations are as bad as they may seem initially. Share the load with your work family — the more eyes and minds involved, the more help you’ll get solving the problems.
3. Don’t rush. When I was younger, I wish someone had told me that slow and steady means a lot. Make a plan and work it. — John Baltzegar III