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Tuesday, May 3, 2016

Heartland owner shares business startup tips

Friday, July 24, 2009

Dr. Patsy Houghton
McCOOK -- If you want to start a business, one of the most important things you need to do is establish a good, open and honest relationship with a banker.

That was one of several tips shared with start-up businesses Friday at the July meeting of the Entrepreneur Network. Patsy Houghton, who is both owner and general manager of Heartland Cattle Co., told the gathering at First Central Bank that it is essential to start with a well-structured and well thought-out business plan.

Once that is done, Dr. Houghton said it is essential to honor every commitment. "You will hit bumps in the road," she said, "but don't hide stuff. Bankers don't like surprises."

Other key points made by Dr. Houghton were:

* Avoid yes men. You need honest evaluation of business decisions. Don't be fooled by go-along advisors and employees.

* A business is no better than the people on the team. "Get the right people on the bus and be sure they're in the right seats," she said.

* Find ways to make your business unique, and, finally:

* Always go the extra mile. "People don't remember good service. They remember great service," Dr. Houghton declared.

The Entrepreneur Network meets the fourth Friday of each month in the First Central Bank conference room. The next session will be Friday, Aug. 28. It will be a round-table discussion about the value of networking.

The Entrepreneur Network is coordinated by Sue Shaner, business coach for the McCook Economic Development Corp. Her role as business coach is funded in part by the Nebraska Department of Economic Development. The grant is administered by the Nebraska Rural Development Commission.

Shaner encouraged Southwest Nebraska residents to attend a session Friday, Aug. 6, at the Cross Creek Golf Course in Cambridge. The meeting will begin at 11 a.m. and last until 1:30 p.m. Featured presenter will be Milo Alexander, director of the Community Economic Development at the Creighton University School of Law. Reservations may be made by calling 308-697-3711.

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