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Specialty Fabrics Review interviews Andrea Lampson and her husband Mark

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What advice would you and Mark give to someone who is looking to purchase a small manufacturing business?

We looked at hundreds of companies before buying this one, and identified two main things to look for in a business and two main things to have in place as you take over. Look for:

  1. A company that can demonstrate that it has an existing customer base, which translates into ongoing business.
  2. A company that has staff in place, trained and ready to go. We knew the work was going to be new to us and that we needed to have trained people running the business while we learned.

Be sure you:

  1. Capitalize properly. Even if you don’t know the business, you have to understand its cyclical nature—and every business is cyclical. It’s how you’re going to get through tough times.
  2. Have a plan to grow your reputation and business.

Sigrid Tornquist is a freelance author and editor based in St. Paul, Minn. She is also the associate editor of InTents magazine, a publication of the Industrial Fabrics Association International.

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