Try not to go it alone

July 31, 2019

The following is based on research as well as my own personal experience. Research indicates that businesses with two or more owners are more likely to succeed than businesses with a single owner. For the past couple of years I have had to fight the battles of my small business as an essentially one person business owner and I can agree with the results of the study.


I have been involved with Design Manufacturers for 36 years. A small company in central Kansas operated by myself and my dad. Together we battled economic ups an downs and changes in the market place. Reinventing the company numerous times to adapt to the changes. Over the past couple of years dad has slowly been withdrawing from helping run the business and at 85 is facing issues of more importance than business. The company is at a place where reinvention is necessary and I find myself alone with no solutions. Now I do not consider this a failure if the lesson learned can be passed to others. The following paragraph is critical advice to a new start up and to existing businesses.


My best advice for a new business startup is to do a minimum of two of the following find a trusted partner or partners, have a support team that is willing to pitch in if needed to lend a helping hand with business strategy, hire people based on their commitment to the success of the business.


Now, finding a trusted partner is not easy even a support team of some sort but I will say two or more heads are better than one. I tell my children as they approach the end of schooling and the beginning of working life that it is necessary to stay in contact with the people they meet through life because you never know when one of those people can provide solutions.


I have seen the saying "only surround yourself with successful people". I would throw up a caution flag and ask you what constitutes a successful person. You need to look behind the success to find if the Emporer has no clothes. I find that many business people who become monetarily successful in their first business fail at other business ventures. They become cocky that because one business succeeded they can succeed at other types of business. A good number of the most successful business people in the US failed multiple times before finally getting it "right". The point being do not discount finding a partner that has "failed" for that person may have the life lessons to help you succeed.


When it comes time to hire people their investment in the success of your business correlates directly in your investment in them as a worker and as a person. Very few people work for money alone. Be a good steward and more often than not you will be rewarded for it.



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