The final part of this four-part article examines how Frantz Building Services is preparing for the future.

With most failed family businesses, it’s the third generation that corrupts the company, says Jordan. The first generation is just trying to get by. The second generation makes the company profitable. And the third generation walks into a nice, cushy position and grows complacent.

Jordan credits his parents for making sure that never happened.
“In their mind, they would rather see the business fall apart than there be tension in our family,” says Jordan.

If Mark and Kathy are the ones who have ensured that family politics don’t drive Frantz Building Services out of business, then Jordan is the one who has ensured the company’s competitors haven’t done the same.

“The majority of the company growth has really come since Jordan has taken the helm,” says Lewis.

Jordan has been able to keep the company’s debt to a minimum while successfully tapping into new markets. He says his conservative business philosophies have taught him to focus on expansion that is cautious, controlled and logical — that includes both geographical expansion and expansion into new services.

Frantz Building Services’ newest expansion efforts — maintenance and construction services — make sense given the previous experience of both Mark and Jordan. Both services are also highly requested by customers.

The company is also increasing pressure washing services and what it calls overhead cleaning services — using scissor and boom lifts to perform dust containment in compliance with new OSHA regulations on combustible dust.

Yet the cleaning business founded three decades ago by Gerfriede and Bernard still remains.

“While we are diversifying with new services, we’ve kept our core business,” says Lewis. “We’ve not lost track of the main thing that’s gotten us to what we think is a little success.”

Perhaps the change Jordan is most proud of bringing to Frantz Building Services is his newfound pride in what the company does. It took him years to join the family business, in part because both he and his parents bought into the negative stigma surrounding janitorial services, he says. His worldview has since changed.

“I think it’s a noble thing to try to carry this on for future generations. … I feel like I’m a steward of something that’s been given to me that, ultimately, I’m going to pass on to somebody else one day,” he says.

Jordan and Sarah have five kids. Caleb is the oldest at 6 years old.

“If it’s possible to be grooming a 6-year-old for a future business,” says Kathy, “then he’s in the process.”

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Successful Family Business Secrets