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Try not to go it alone

The following is based on research as well as my personal experience. Research indicates that businesses with two or more owners are more likely to succeed than companies with a single owner. For the past couple of years, I have had to fight the battles of my small business as a 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 and downs and changes in the marketplace. We reinvented 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 lessons learned is passed on to others. The following paragraph is critical advice to a new startup and 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 company succeeded, they can succeed in 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 with 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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