Multi Business Systems

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Profile appeared in our 31-1 Issue – April 2014

In 1964 Preston Burdette had job security, a mortgage, and five children to feed. His entrepreneurial guts and reliance on God led him to take a risk and begin a small, one man shop on Niles St. Multi Business Systems (MBS), a company that originally outfitted businesses with pegboard accounting systems, opened when Preston’s son Bob was only five years old…

Bob Burdette, 25, with Preston Burdette, age 59

Bob Burdette, 25, with Preston Burdette, age 59

At 23, Bob joined his Dad and began expanding the business’ product mix to include promotional items, one of the first businesses in the print industry to do so. In 2012, Bob’s son Patrick joined MBS making him the third generation in what is quickly becoming a legacy.
MBS works alongside its customers to help grow their businesses, increase productivity, and ultimately grow their profit. “Our well experienced staff is a major differentiating point in an industry that holds little room for mistakes and missed marketing objectives,” says Patrick. “We have been able to adapt alongside technology keeping our product mix relevant to our customers’ businesses.”
Anyone who has worked with MBS can vouch for its great staff. “Everyone in our organization truly cares about the well-being of the company as well as our customers. I think our customers recognize this and really value having a team behind them,,” says Patrick.
“Second generation family businesses, as a general rule, tend to fail or not grow,” says Bob, adding, “My strengths are creativity and management. This allowed us to reorganize the corporate structure, delegate work to employees’ strengths, and allow risks to reach new markets and product lines for our customers.”

Office equipment used in the early days of the business

Office equipment used in the early days of the business

Adding Patrick to the company has given MBS the edge it needed. “In the past we had great sales and a great organization. However, we lacked the marketing leg of our ‘stool.’ Patrick’s knowledge of marketing has greatly enhanced our image and position within our marketplace, changing my focus on its future. I now focus on MBS as a legacy company, in it for the long haul,” says Bob.
Reflecting on how his father mentored him, Bob explains, “My father never said ‘I’ve tried that before it doesn’t work, trust me.’ He allowed me to explore my ideas while under his umbrella and encouraged entrepreneurial thinking. This allowed for great freedom and a wonderful working relationship. I was never held back and he never said no to my ideas. He would ask me several questions so that we both knew what we were looking at and thinking about. I try to follow his example with my own son.”
When the late Preston started MBS 50 years ago, he never imagined that the business would be named one of the fastest growing private companies by Inc. 5000 in 2010. MBS has continued to grow, adding offices in Fresno, Modesto, and associates servicing customers in Merced, Stockton, San Bernardino, Pismo, Nipomo, and Ventura. Putting their customers first and becoming a partner they can trust will continue to be the core value that propels MBS for the next generation.

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