Want to learn more about Amish traditions, culture, and heritage? Want to see how The Amish Village changes over the seasons? We pack our blog with helpful articles all about the Amish culture and some news about The Amish Village.
What Does a Successful Amish Business Look Like?
Many people assume that all Amish are farmers, selling their produce at a roadside stand or in a local market. While farming is still a primary way of life for the Amish, the opportunities for Amish-run businesses have expanded in recent years. Today, many Amish have transitioned to non-agricultural means of providing for their families. Increasing land prices, a growing Amish population, and a lack of interest in carrying on the family farm are all factors in the desire to find alternative employment.
Many Amish use their skills as builders, roofers, cabinetmakers, furniture makers, hardware suppliers, equipment converters, crafters, bakers, and more. Studies have shown that Amish businesses have a 95% success rate after 5 years. That’s up 45% from what the Bureau of Labor Statistics cites for a typical ‘English’ business startup in the U.S.
In this blog, we look at what a successful Amish business looks like.
Since Amish value humility and appreciate small-scale community, most Amish restrict business size. It’s uncommon to find an Amish business that employs more than 30 people. Instead, they focus on working as a tight-knit team and invest in every team member for their individual success. For some businesses that become very successful and grow quickly, the owner might opt to sell part or all of their company.
Electricity & Technology
The individual Amish churches have different degrees of allowances regarding the types of technology they can use. Amish leaders aim to prevent change if a given technology is seen as a threat to the community or family (for example, television, cars, and cell phones). But in most cases, there are greater allowances for technology in a business setting than in the home. Most Amish acknowledge that certain technology affords significant benefits in connecting to their non-Amish customers, therefore there is a difference between owning it for the business and having it for personal use.
Many Amish convert electric equipment and appliances to pneumatic or hydraulic power to perform their day-to-day operations. Others might rely on solar panels or diesel-powered machines. Surprisingly, some Amish who work in a non-Amish office environment use a computer and internet access.
Amish-run businesses get creative with ways to market their products and services to potential customers. Many businesses rely on non-Amish partners to help retail their products and help build relationships with the non-Amish community. This also allows them to take advantage of marketing on the internet that they wouldn’t normally have access to. Many Amish businesses have a website, but rely on a third-party service to help maintain it.
The Amish are honest and ethical in everything they do, even in the smallest business transactions. They truly bring their values into their work, and it shows. As a result, customers trust them and they are able to quickly build lasting relationships that drive a successful business. Unlike corporate American, Amish businesses view money as a tool, which puts less emphasis on financial success.
Small businesses offer a lot of benefits to an Amish family and their community, and this shift is becoming more and more common. For a list of local Amish businesses, check out this listing from LancasterPA.com. For an authentic look at Amish culture and the opportunity to visit an Amish-run business in Lancaster County, check out our various tour options.