The secrets of business longevity are even harder to unlock as the global health pandemic effects every aspect of life and work.
And there’s no iron-clad guarantee that any business will stay standing when we finally reach some sort of normality (except Amazon, naturally!).
However, whatever happens going forward, there are a handful of companies around the world which have continued trading throughout countless wars, famines, plagues, revolutions and rising and declining empires.
With that in mind, here are five robust businesses you can emulate.
1. Koshu Nishiyama Hot Spring
This hot spring hotel in Japan has been operational since 705AD and, perhaps even more amazingly, the same family have managed it for 52 generations.
Mixing business with family is a faux pas that has destroyed many companies, but it has obviously done this enterprise no harm, while harnessing nature’s wonders in the name of hospitality also seems to be a recipe for the ages.
2. Sean’s Bar
Plenty of people in Ireland like perfectly-poured pints of the black stuff, live music and great craic (conversation).
And give or take a few tweaks with the beverages, that’s a formula that’s kept Sean’s Bar in Athlone, Ireland, in business since 900 AD. Sean’s is currently closed due to Covid-19 regulations, but let’s hope this legendary drinking den reopens soon.
3. Ormiston Wire
Who would have thought that wire products and their associated fixtures and fittings would be the basis of a bustling business that’s lasted for centuries?
Ormiston Wire was founded in 1793 by savvy Scotsman James Ormiston and it first provided wire for theatrical wigs and corsets in London. Fast forward to today and it’s still a family affair, producing technical wire products used in everything from architectural art to TV puppetry.
4. Wiehenstephan Brewery
The German’s know a thing or two about beer and at Wihenstephan brewery in Bavaria they’ve been brewing it officially since1040 AD, tapping into local brewing traditions that stretch back to 725 AD so they’ve got pretty good at it indeed!
So what’s the secret of this longstanding business? They found a formula for fantastic beer and stuck to it. Simple as.
5. Shore Porter’s Society
Ask any insider in the removals sector in Scotland which company has the neatest trucks and there’s a good chance that they’ll say The Shore Porters Society – legend has it that their drivers are fined if their blankets aren’t stacked properly.
Established in 1498, six years after Columbus reached America, this spic and span removals company was originally formed as a cooperative for porters at Aberdeen harbour and today helps people move all over Britain and all around the world. A simple business model and unswerving dedication to customer service have contributed to this firm staying strong for five centuries.
These five robust businesses are diverse but each has a valuable lesson about what makes a long-lasting business tick – maybe you’ve found something to apply to your enterprise?