Successful Business

Born and raised in Sheridan, Indiana, Godby discovered the furniture business by accident. After graduating from Purdue University with a degree in Agribusiness and serving in the U.S. Army in Vietnam, he returned home looking for a job. On a tip from a friend, he began selling furniture in Warsaw, Indiana.

He found he had a knack for knowing what customers wanted. Within three years, Godby opened a tiny two-room furniture store in Sheridan, convinced he could make a go of it.

“I realized early in my career that I liked being my own boss, so I opened a store in my hometown where I knew and liked the people,” Godby remembered.

A well-known basketball star for Sheridan High School, Godby built the business by working seven days a week. He rarely, if ever, took a vacation.

“Eighty percent of success is showing up day-to-day,” Godby commented.

After raising three children, he introduced his son, Jeff, to the business in 1992. They complement each other well. They finish each other’s sentences and have similar tastes when purchasing furniture for the stores.

“We communicate every day about decisions … it’s my dream to bring my family into my business,” Godby said.

Know your customer

Despite the economy, Godby finds his business, with 100 employees, thriving. Jeff Godby says one reason their business is successful is because they know what their customers want.

“Many of our customers have already made their contributions in the workplace and are looking to improve their quality of life afterwards,” said Jeff Godby.

Since most of their customers are over the age of 50, Godby’s hoping to capture the next generation of prospective customers who receive their parents’ Godby furniture hand-me-downs.

Preparing for the Future

Visiting his four furniture stores each week is part of the enjoyment Godby receives from his job. He goes from the Westfield store where he has his main office, to Noblesville, Lebanon and Avon. He’s considering adding another store in the future.

The years of dedication to the furniture business have paid off for Godby who enjoys giving back to Sheridan through philanthropic efforts. He also treasures watching his six grandchildren play sports.

“I have a very active life, but I don’t see myself retiring. I love what I do too much,” Godby added.

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