Learnings of 50-years in Small Business - Part 2

Part 2 of Jake (66) and Michael (36) Linzner, the father-son team answering questions on the 50th Anniversary of their company Abacon Products Pty Ltd (also known as CHAIN.COM.AU) now in its 3rd generation.

What are the most important aspects in running a successful business? 

Jake: Besides marketing which I just mentioned, make life easy for your customers. It should be as easy as possible to purchase a product, easy to get information, easy to get a price, easy to place an order… companies in our industry often lose this as they become larger.

Secondly, whatever you say, do. Always be honest and truthful. And be willing to go that little bit further to keep your customers happy, even if it sometimes costs you. You can’t buy a reputation or goodwill. Always trade ethically. 

Thirdly, know your market, know your customer, know what they want and provide it for them. 

Lastly, hard work, to achieve anything in life takes hard work. When you’re at work, be at work. Be focused. 

And at Abacon we’ve always stuck to the simple principle of “quality products, very good service and at reasonable prices”. 

Jake Linzner Quote

What have been the main challenges over the years and how have you coped with them? 

Jake: Definitely globalisation! The dropping of tariffs and competing with cheap Asian imports. Obviously, many people have told us chain manufacturing in Australia is now impossible but we’ve been able to continue this through constant innovation by improved efficiencies with automation, which has kept us slightly ahead of our overseas competitors in this regard. 

In many areas we’ve really had to think outside the box to keep our production costs low while maintaining our high-quality products. Basically, keeping the manufacturing process as streamlined as possible by engineering some new technologies in-house. 

We don’t see this challenge going away anytime soon but we’re determined to keep a solid base of manufacturing here in Australia.

Interview continues on - read part 3.

To celebrate 50 years, get 10% off all Australian made products via chain.com.au. Use code: HAPPY50 at checkout.*

IMAGES: https://bit.ly/2FyPCOF 

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Enquiries: Jake or Michael Linzner
Phone: 03 9331 5544
Email: sales@abaconproducts.com.au
Address: 6 Lemmon Ave, East Keilor, Victoria, Australia 3033
Factory direct sales or shop online at chain.com.au
More information on history: https://chain.com.au/pages/our-history

*Limit one code use per customer. Offer expires Sunday 20 December 2020 at 11:59pm. Online purchases only. Excludes products listed on the website which are not available to purchase online inc. wire heritage fencing and hanging basket chain-sets.

Linzner father and son at the site of the original factory in 1972.
Image: Linzner father and son at the site of the original factory in 1972, located at 405 Fitzroy Street, Melbourne.

Image: The 3 generations of the Linzner family return to the site of the original 1970s factory 
located at 405 Fitzroy Street, Melbourne.

Image: Jakob, the grandfather who started the business, pictured here in 1973 making fish & chip baskets at their factory in Fitzroy, Melbourne.