Less than one third of family businesses survive the transition from first to second generation owners.

That’s simply a fact as shared by an article on family business sustainability published by Forbes Magazine. It is also a familiar statistic often quoted by those consultants who serve families in business and by those who own and work in family businesses. 

But these people may never have met anyone quite like Jodi Solotoff. Unlike many second generation owners, it was never Jodi's intent to inherit the family business.  Having had a very successful career in New York City, Jodi was thriving personally and professionally.

But in 2010 when the family was together celebrating her father’s 65th birthday, he took the opportunity to announce his retirement. Jodi was stunned – as were all the guests. But the impact was felt by Jodi in a different way. She suddenly found herself thinking about the business. She had an ‘epiphany’ – a sudden desire to continue the legacy that Georgia and Steve Solotoff had built at their PIP store located in Livingston.

Jodi took on the challenge and immediately immersed herself in the world of marketing as she made the successful transition to the family business from  the point-of-sale retail environment. Jodi happened to pick a tough economic time to take the plunge into a new career. But she knew if she could survive the financial obstacles of a recession she would succeed when times were good too. 

How the next generation adds value

Jodi watched Georgia and Steve, observing best practices and learning what worked, as well as what did not work. But along the way she continued to expand her own competencies and her confidence.  When she was fully in charge in 2015, she had already integrated many of her own leadership and industry ideas into the rich history and strong reputation she inherited from her parents.  

Her business acumen and success is founded on the fact that she is a relationship builder. As such, she has the ability to become involved in the community she serves, making powerful connections and forming lasting bonds.  Her approach to growing the company goes well beyond the typical ‘networking’ that most people leverage when seeking referrals.  Instead, Jodi is committed to her own personal customer philosophy of assembling a staff comprised of the easiest people to do business with. Customers seek her out and come back time and again because of the welcoming atmosphere, technical excellence, and ease with which their orders are handled.

Taking a family business into the future

As a newer owner, Jodi has avoided brining any old baggage and preconceived ideas to the table.  Actually, her lack of previous experience has worked out exceptionally well for her. As an outsider, she sees everything through a fresh lens. Under Jodi’s leadership, no one at PIP Livingston says, “we’ve always done it that way” which leaves the door open to embrace constant change, innovation, passion and energy.     

This second generation family business owner is not afraid to try something new while blazing a trail.  The appreciation and loyalty she has earned from her motivated and inspired staff and customers indicate that her formula works!