Iaccarino & Son was an architectural millwork shop. It was originally started by Raffaele Iaccarino after he migrated to America from Italy. The company’s business included the manufacturing of nailed and lock corner wood boxes. The company survived for 83 years and had some very profitable years. Part of its success for so many years was their ability to adjust as the times and economy changed. Unfortunately the 83-year-old family business, which had approximately 50 employees, struggled in recent years with its profit margins.
Iaccarino & Son had to declare bankruptcy in 2016.
1. If you were in Fran’s shoes when he was running his own company, what factors might have attracted you to close your business and join Iaccarion & Son? What factors might have discouraged you from entering the family business?
The opportunity to be able to work with my father in a business that started would have been difficult for me to pass up. The Iaccarino’s put a lot of work into their business and were very proud of the company that they built.
A major factor which would have discouraged me from joining the family business is certainly the fact that there had already been family disagreements regarding the business.
2. Why do you think Carl wanted to retain ownership and decision-making authority over Iaccarino & Son after bringing Fran into the Company?
After having disagreements with other family members in the earlier years of the company, I believe it is understandable that Carl was reluctant to turn over any part of the ownership or management of the company.
He wanted to be able to run the company as he saw fit.
3. When the recession hit in 2008, what advice would you have given Carl and Fran to increase the chances of survival for Iaccarino & Son?
Instead of pushing so hard for the expansion of the company, maybe it would have been helpful for them to be happy with the size they were and focus more on their product and making sure their loyal employees were happy.
An operations consultant would have been very helpful in possibly streamlining part of the business. Financial consultants certainly could have help the Iaccarino’s when it came with dealing with banks.
Opening and maintaining a family owned business is definitely hard work and can certainly put a strain on family relationships. Sometimes business owners shouldn’t think about how much money they can make, but instead they should focus on providing the best product possible.