Independents: The Unsung Heroes of the American Economy
* Must be persistent. When my clients start feeling overwhelmed about a bigger competitor moving into their area, I often urge them to make a list of the big guys who have come and gone in their markets. Last year, Circuit City and Tweeter folded, but through the years, we've seen the demise of Highland, Fretter, Crazy Eddie, Tops, and many more. They may have outgunned you, but in the end, your persistence, your sheer grit, left you standing.
* Work hard and do whatever it takes to succeed. As a small business owner, you epitomize the American Dream. With everything you own on the line, you have no choice but to do whatever you have to do to build your business.
* Must be willing to adapt to change. Before he retired, my dad and I made a list of products that he'd brought into our family's business. That list included used cars, motor scooters, organs, 4-track and 8-track car stereo, the first projection TVs, Beta VCR, computers, 10' satellite dishes, and a whole host of others. Independents are a nimble bunch.