Centurion companies are 100 years old – or more. In the United States, several farms date to the 1600s and are still in operation. The Hartford Courant newspaper dates to 1764. Crane & Co (paper company) dates to 1799/1801 and makes cards, stationery, and papers for US Currency. Dozens of centurions were founded in the 1800s. Also think: Hallmark (1910), General Electric (1892), Boeing (1916), and many more, state by state that were formed more than 100 years ago.
Japan has many of the oldest known companies, dating to the sixth and eighth centuries. Japan also appears to have the greatest number of multi-century companies. These centurions give long-term planning all new meaning. European country companies join the ranks of longstanding firms in the ninth century. A variety of industries are represented, from hotels to wineries to pubs, and bakeries.
What does it take to stand the test of time and stay in business to the century mark? To become a centurion. Let’s brainstorm the list:
- Sell products/services that are needed and/or wanted consistently by the marketplace.
- Hire people who consistently deliver what the company promises to deliver.
- Keep hiring the right people with the right skills to lead the company forward.
- Be built to last (As Jim Collins and Jerry Porras say in their book: Built to Last.)
- Be more than good, be great (As James Collins says in his book: Good to Great.)
Statistics show that most companies fail in the first year of doing business. Recently, a retail company opened on a nearby major road, and closed within two months – after repainting and rebranding the building, installing fixtures, and populating the story with inventory. The next landmark is the closure rates by year three of doing business; then year five. So, to become a centurion company is a remarkable feat.
What is your company doing to stand the tests of time and the marketplace? What can you be doing for the long-run success of your company? Today is the day to begin!
Workplace: Managing the moments of our day-to-day business lives takes work. Together, let’s explore what issues and activities affect us every day (or some days) that we go to work. – Jana