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Duck Dynasty and the Secrets of Successful Family Business

This past February, the third season of Duck Dynasty debuted with 8.6 million viewers, the most of any show in A&E’s 29-year history.  Duck Dynasty, which is about the Robertson family and their incredibly lucrative family-owned duck-call business, has turned the unlikely family men behind the business into multi-millionaires and celebrities in the span of a few years. They’ve appeared on late-night talk shows and have best-selling books. But despite all this, the family has refused to compromise their values. On their show, they are portrayed as fun-loving and happy-go-lucky, with each episode ending with a sweet resolution, the family united in prayer and a meal.

In contrast to many other family-based television shows, it’s appropriate for the whole family: there’s no swearing, no sex and no broken marriages. The show is doing so well that when it came time to renegotiate their contract for the fourth season, the family received substantial raises, rumored to be around $200,000 for each head-of-house per episode.

Duck Commander, their family business, reportedly sold 160,000 duck calls last year, for as much as $200 each. This year, they’ve almost quadrupled sales. In fact, the operation’s warehouse has become somewhat of a tourist destination, with lines forming to enter the company store

In 1972, Phil Robertson, the eldest Robertson and founder of the business, got tired of his store-bought duck calls not sounding like real ducks and decided to make his own. Once sales took off, he produced a series of duck-hunting videos known as “The Duckmen.” These videos, combined with the success of the duck-calls, launched the family into success and local fame. After that, A&E called the family in 2011 and suggest a reality series that was less about the actual hunting of ducks than it was about a funny family obsessed with ducks. The rest is history.

It is rare that a family business will do so well across three generations of family members, not to mention, the hardships and difficulties that can come with life on television. The Robertson family is a fantastic example of a family who appears to know how to control conflict, keep the business succession plan active and overcome challenges to keep their family and their business afloat.

If your family business is struggling under the many challenges that are a part of running a business, give the ReGENERATION Partners a call. We have the tools, the tips and the expertise to give your family business the plan it needs to experience success and harmony, just like the cast of Duck Dynasty. Call us today!