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Neal Magaziner & Hughes Enterprises
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"We´re more set up to link up with our existing customer base. Our model isn´t like Amazon.com-- we don´t have people just looking up our site online and putting in their credit card and buying one of our products. It´s really more addressing an electronic link with those customers we already have or those we´re courting. It´s a B-to-B model rather than a B-to-C model."

With so many businesses growing on the Internet, and with so many high-tech options being touted as the solution to every business woe, I wondered what kind of role technology plays at Hughes. Neal admits that he views these cutting-edge toys with measured skepticism.

"You´ve got to be careful with technology. For a small company, we´re on a good technology curve, but I´m always a little careful with technology. I see all that information about equipping your sales force with Palm Pilots and all those tools, but while they have big wow factor, you have to ask yourself if they will truly help you increase revenues or if they will only increase expenses. You can spend an awful lot of money on technology, but you need to be sure that it will actually help your business, not just increase your wow factor.

"However, having said that, I think that for a small company, what we do with our e-commerce site and what we´re able to do in terms of customization and linking up electronically… I think we´re on a good technology curve.

As we finished our talk, I wanted to ask Neal the same question we´ve asked other business leaders: What´s the best piece of advice you can offer to someone else in a family business?

"In running a family business, I think one of the most important things is keeping your ego in check, because you´re always going to have disagreements about how to run the business with those you´re running the business with. You tend to think you have all the answers, but the advice I´d give anyone in a family business is really to take a deep breath, step back, and really listen to the other person´s perspective. They may have some very good points that you need to consider."

Business profile courtesy of Family Business Strategies.

About the author: Neal Magaziner can be reached at http://www.hughesent.comhttp://www.hughesent.com.

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