Danny Riskam Growing Up (109)

Making it work in a family business

We’ve all heard the saying before.  “Don’t mix business with family”.  It’s true that family and business don’t always make for the best marriage, but if you can make it work, the results can be great.  DanMatt Media is first and foremost a family business.  My father Marty started the company 20 years ago, and indeed he named the company after myself (you guessed it, I’m the “Dan”) and my brother (right again, he’s the “Matt”).

After my years in professional golf and later digital advertising (working for a couple of other organizations) I came over to DanMatt Media 5 years ago.  My brother was already working here at the time, and has since moved on to other things.  But I know my dad is both happy and proud that both of his sons joined him in the family business.  One day when he decides to hang up the spurs and make golf his full-time job, I’ll be carrying-on the business for the family and hopefully building on the legacy that he created.  That is a great source of pride for both myself and my father.

So how do you make a family business work?  My dad and I are both type-A personalities, and we both like getting our way.  The trick to making it work is mutual respect.  We trust each other and (for the most part) we don’t get in each other’s way.  We share the same goals and the same values.  We always strive to put our clients first and operate our family business with honesty and integrity.  Over the years I’ve found that family-owned businesses offer their clients better customer service and a greater commitment to their clients.  That’s certainly the case with us.

I can never replace my dad, I can only succeed him.  He’s the best businessman I’ve ever met, but I’ve had the benefit of watching and learning from him my whole life.  I have children of my own, and I would love for them to join me in the family business one day.  With a little luck and a lot of hard work, DanMatt Media will continue leading the way in online and offline advertising for many years to come.

And the picture above?  That’s my dad and I, from about 35 years ago, a few months after I was born.