Entrepreneur’s Story: Schneiders– April 11, 2018 by Randy Myeroff

In this installment of Entrepreneur’s Story, highlighting the journey of successful private companies and their leaders, we focus on Schneiders in Cleveland, Ohio. CEO Eric Schneider continues to innovate and build the business his grandfather started back in 1948, now the leader in equestrian products throughout the U.S. and abroad. Below is an excerpt from “All About Horse Power: Schneiders Has Thrived By Capturing Market Opportunities Through Innovation” from the fall 2017 issue of Taxonomics.

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Eric actually never thought he’d end up in the family business. In fact, he didn’t ride horses seriously until about six years ago. Instead, he went to college to study finance and management, planning to make a career in the corporate world. But then his father, Stan, and Uncle Don started thinking about the future of the business, and the conversations quickly led Eric to consider coming back and joining the company.
 
“I was working in marketing, so I thought I would come back and run marketing,” Eric recalls. “I showed up and instead my uncle put me to work in the warehouse. I wasn’t happy about that at the time, but it was the best thing for me. I got to learn the business from the ground up. I probably wouldn’t be where I am today if I hadn’t done that.”
 
Under Eric’s leadership, Schneiders is focusing on product innovation by keeping a finger on the pulse of its customers’ needs. Eric and his team regularly survey their customer base and have a select number of them test the products in development. The company also has developed relationships over the years with horse trainers, who provide their firsthand insights into what products are needed most in the market. Eric and his team constantly watch buying trends and social media to analyze customer preferences. “We think about the details,” says Eric. “The details matter.” 
 
Read the full story to learn more about how the Schneiders’ family focus on innovation in, and passion for, an industry is serving them well.

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