Plain Business Versus Fancy Business

Amish Farm Hat

We are often asked to speak at business events on the promise of internet marketing. Through our association with Dave Wolf of Vistage International - a leading CEO mentoring organization - we were recently invited to speak at Homestead Structures during one of their distributorship meetings.

Homestead Structures is a manufacturer of quality sheds and gazebos. Their distributors are predominantly located in the Northeast. Steve Stoltzfus is the President of Homestead Structures and was the host of this recent event.

He is also Amish.

My career in sales for technical and professional services solutions does not provide me many opportunities to interact with the Amish. In fact, my experience to date with the Amish is zero.

Until yesterday.

Our demonstration to Steve’s group of distributors served as our first foray into business with the Amish. Business as usual it was not. During my time here, we’ve been in some state-of-the-art conference rooms of Fortune 500’s complete with all the bells and whistles. Impressive stuff. Costly too. It makes you wonder where all the money is coming from.

Steve’s company is completely different though. Simple, plain and comfortable is how he rolls. Steve sells the steak, not the sizzle. It’s one of the reasons for his success and why Amish goods are always in such demand.

Our meeting on Wednesday with Steve and his distributors was a rare and privileged look inside a world built and run upon the basic tenants of business:

  • Genuinely deliver a quality product or service
  • Provide product or service at a competitive and fair price

Their approach is as much about what they do as what they do not do. They do not buy expensive art for the lobby. They do not buy expensive imports (or cars in general). They do not give themselves $2 million dollar bonuses.

Their rewards are met each day through sharing in fellowship, enjoying their families and practicing their faith. It is a full day. It is a full life.

To keep the candles lit, they produce a quality product at a fair price with the assurance that you’re getting the best.

I think we all could learn a little lesson about business from Steve and his team. Thanks for the opportunity.

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Ashley Walter

By Ashley Walter, Director of Operations

Ashley Walter is ProspectMX's Marketing Operations Manager. With a BS in International Business and concentrations in Marketing and Spanish, Ashley uses her knowledge in these industries to manage every aspect of a client's campaign. Before coming to work full-time at ProspectMX, she held an internship with us and demonstrated remarkable skill and knowledge in the internet marketing field. Creative, meticulous, and hardworking, Ashley is the go-to girl for ProspectMX and can handle any task or situation that is thrown at her.