Ep 9: The Family Business Behind Meyer Music

For more than 50 years, Meyer Music has been providing lessons, instruments, and edu-cation to Kansas City. This true family business continues to be a big part of the commu-nity, which speaks to their business acumen. Today we talk with Mike Meyer about the family dynamics, their growth, lessons learned, and how the pandemic has been the big-gest challenge yet.
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A small percentage of businesses last long enough to serve customers for more than a couple of years, but one Kansas City business has been a part of the community for generations.

Meyer Music, which began in 1966 with a small store and now has three locations to cover the entire market, has relied on its family to start, build, and expand the business to what it is today.

We asked Mike Meyer, who is one three Meyer children, to join the podcast and share the story of the business and how they’ve managed to succeed for such a long period of time. As you can imagine, it’s a story of taking chances, building loyalty, and providing great service.

It begins with his parents, who are still a part of the business more than 50 years later. They had finished school and were teaching in Kansas City public school when they decided to make additional money when they weren’t teaching. The narrowed down the options to opening a Dairy Queen or a music store. Needless to say, they chose the latter.

They opened the business in a small space in Blue Springs, Missouri, and it remained a small mom and pop store for many years. Eventually they both committed full time to the store and it became the family business.

Mike got his start answering phones at the age of 10 so he was part of the business early on. He also had a passion for music that he never believed could become a career. He joined the business full-time after a couple of sales jobs following college, and that’s about the time the family decided to start expanding.

There have been many lessons learned along with way, which he’ll explain on the show, but the story of a $3 return taught him a lot about customer loyalty and how important it is to the growth of a business.

There’s a lot to learn from the Meyer family and their business, and we hope this episode will do just that.

As you go through the episode, keep an ear out for these topics:

  • How his family got started in music
  • Overcoming the challenges of finding a business loan
  • How the family business evolved
  • The jobs he worked right out of college
  • The expansion of the business
  • Challenges of running a business in his 20s
  • Importance of building loyalty
  • The $3 business lesson he learned
  • Adapting the business in order to grow
  • The services Meyer Music provides
  • How the pandemic has impacted the business

Don’t forget to check out their non-profit Band of Angels, which has been a great charity for our city since 2010. Use the timestamps below to skip around to the specific topics you’d like to hear.

1:10 – Who is Mike Meyer?

1:46 – How did the family get into the music business?

6:13 – How Mike became part of the business

9:01 – His first job after college

10:44 – When he moved into the business full-time

12:43 – Challenges of running a business in his 20s

16:53 – Building processes and consistency

20:12 – What he attributes to the growth

22:46 – Mom and dad still in the business

24:17 – Mistakes he’s made along the way

27:05 – Another big change in the business model

35:13 – Competition between siblings

37:22 – Big picture view of what to expect from the business

38:46 – How has COVID impacted the business?

41:16 – The evolution of the music business

46:45 – How to get in touch with Mike and Meyer Music

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HOST

Bernie Wurts

Since 1994, Bernie Wurts has been working with individuals and business owners to help them map out their retirement and succession plan.

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